WHAT IS FAMILY CONSTELLATION?
What is a Constellation? Does it have to do with the planets and stars in the sky, Horoscopes, Bazi, or some kind of hippie practice?
Not at all. Family Constellation, Systemic Constellation, or Business Constellation is a heart-awareness exercise done individually or one-on-one or in a group where we look inward to leverage our intuition to understand an issue or intention.
The term “Family Constellations” was first used by Alfred Adler in a slightly different context, but was refined by a German psychotherapist by the name of Bert Hellinger based on his years spent with Zulu tribes in South Africa and decades of clinical psychotherapy work. He combined this ancient healing modality with the works of Arthur Janov (primal therapy), Eric Berne (transactional analysis), Milton Erickson (hypnosis and brief therapy), Joseph Moreno (psychodrama), Virginia Satir (family sculpture), and Ivan Boszormenyi Nagy (invisible loyalties in ancestral family systems) to develop the method that we use today which gained popularity since the 1990s.
In Germany, the practice of FC is called Familienstellen, Familienaustellung, or Systemausstellung and is widely practiced in personal therapies and business organizations. This relatively new method is used to analyze problems that are more complex within the company (founder(s), employees, customers, etc). FC will be able to give an in-depth insight into the source of a problem. Business constellation is a form of Family Constellation utilizing therapy to transform issues that usually start from the individual level up to an organization or company level.
In other words, when a machine gets out of order, we will look for a repairman, substitute parts, and so on. But with our own body, mind, and soul, we could not just randomly hire a person or buy the “parts” at the supermarket. We can however look into it with Family Constellation.
What is intuition? How do we listen to our heart?
If we really reflect, we all can recall moments of Déjà vu, decisions, or situations where our gut feeling screamed out to us in our hearts, the uncomfortable feeling of being in a place or when holding a foreign object or when meeting someone you have not met before but you began to like that person instantaneously or vice versa. Our body is a vessel, an antenna that can tune into many cues in the environment before our intellect can process and analyze every piece of tangible information. Imagine you opening your heart to the right frequency of the targeted person or situation and feeling the sensations of that.
Many sociologists and psychologists have found that decisions made in the blink of an eye can sometimes be more accurate or carries more information than decisions made after much deliberation. But in this modern world, we tend to ignore those messages (because the truth can be scary and hurtful) and slowly numbing those feelings and intuitions. That’s how some people got into the addiction of many forms such as alcoholism, shopping, or binging.
What happens in a Family Constellation session?
In a constellation session, there will be only a main client receiving a constellation, 1 FC facilitator (or some co-facilitators), and could also involve a few observers.
Every participant opens their heart to tune in and leverage their intuition to be present in the “knowing field” (a terminology coined by Albrecht Mahr in 1999) of the client. In the field, participants can represent the client’s intention, block, family members, ancestors, and resources such as courage, love, hope, and so on. In representation, the representative is invited to tune into the body and just share what they feel or experiences in physical and emotional sensations. We are just learning to be mindful and observe what comes up for us in the present moment.
The facilitator sets up a constellation and when these representatives interact and report their intuitive experience with the other reps, there is usually a movement for the client to witness. Oftentimes we find that the block obstructing the client from their intention is a trauma that was inherited from another generation or the past. A healing movement or resolution is facilitated to resource the ancestor or family members entangled in that trauma so everyone involved can make peace with what had happened.
What other tools are used in Family Constellation?
In a one-on-one constellation session, figurines, random objects, and felt mats can be used to represent relationships spatially for the client. These figurines represent a visual tool of a particular situation of the client’s concern. Visually, these figurines will be able to link certain dots that the client might not be able to see or resonate in a discussion or in a 2-D setting. The job of the facilitator is to bridge the resonance of the figurines to the client creating a resonating field for the healing movement to happen.
What is an entanglement or generational trauma?
The common patterns of entanglement include people being excluded from the Family Memory, violation of the hierarchy or precedence in a family, lack of balance in giving and taking and so on. For example, descendants of a wealthy ancestor who had exploited the working class or owned slaves may carry the guilt around privilege and have self-sabotaging patterns to compensate for the Family karmic debt. Someone may have blocks around sexuality and intimacy because an ancestor had an affair or abandoned a previous family due to war or immigration. Someone may carry emotional guilt around prior abortions or miscarriages that were not grieved or remembered in by the family. Someone may suffer anxiety because the family never grieved an elder sibling that either died young or was lost in a miscarriage and this person was made the “eldest” while their heart knows that they were always a second sibling.
We are all descendants of people who had to make difficult decisions in war times or poverty. The perpetrators and victims exist in every family. When the Family Soul fails to acknowledge the dynamic between the perpetrator and the victim, the youngest person in the family tends to behave in a way to represent the “forgotten” or “excluded” role. For instance, some people behave just like their estranged parent after a divorce to include the estranged parent in the Family Soul.
Modern lifestyle has driven our generation to live in urban areas, distanced from our family and generations prior. Few people can say that they know their ancestors’ stories and practice rituals that honor the generations who came before them. As humans, our heart is loyal to the Family Soul even without our conscious knowledge. We all have different self-sabotaging patterns and coping mechanisms that we are unaware of.
What can I do with a Family Constellation or Systemic Constellation?
Other than resolving certain trauma or situation, a constellation can help you to release another layer of the emotional burden that existed since childhood, recent events, etc. Every constellation that took place is a medicine for the heart and soul, be it as the main client or just as an observer.
At TGH, we hope to give everyone the tools to listen more to the heart and observe within ourselves. As we become more aware and mindful of these burdens we carry in remembrance of our ancestors, we can release patterns that no longer serve us and move forward to claim our own destiny.
Why is your Family Constellation Session different from others?
Our constellation sessions are not different from other facilitators, the most apparent modalities that we used to boost the session is that we have added a lot more elements of physical wellness based on Traditional Chinese Medicine and Clinical Hypnotherapy into it because we wanted to share the knowledge on how to balance our physical, mental and soul’s health optimally.
What do I do after a session?
Drink lots of water after that and rest. You have already done a good job during the constellation!
WHAT IS CLINICAL HYPNOTHERAPY?
What is Hypnosis?
Being in hypnosis means being in a trance-like state. In this state, you will be very calm and relaxed to receive positive suggestions. Everyone experience hypnosis-like experience at least 2 times a day, before you sleep and when waking up. Hypnosis help make positive changes in lives by breaking certain bad habits, managing pain, and releasing emotional trauma from the past.