Family Constellation is a powerful method developed by the German therapist Bert Hellinger. It is a solution-based approach whose goal is to reveal the hidden dynamics in a family or relationship. The basic idea is that a family is a complex of energies interwoven from generation to generation. The unresolved issues are passed down to the next generations, almost like a loyalty response.
In Family Constellation, the focal point is the Family’s Energy because we are energy beings. But the essential energy considered in Family Constellation is the energy of Love, which flows from the Source to our ancestors, and then down to us.
Family is a system. When an issue or more emerges, it comes as an attempt to bring homeostasis to the system. For example, when a family member becomes ill, it can be due to entanglement or identification with an ancestor or close family members. All families have trauma because we all have ancestors who went through famine, diseases, war, natural disasters, slavery, or murder.
Nowadays, we have the field of Epigenetics that confirms that traumas and strong emotions can be physiologically passed down to generations.
Why do we do Family Constellation? How can it help us?
When we do a Family Constellation session, we look for disconnection, identification, and entanglement because most of our problems started with our ancestors, not really with us. This statement is not an excuse to play the victim role. Instead, it is an opportunity we have to heal ourselves and our ancestors and prevent passing down those issues to future generations. It didn’t start with you, but it can end with you! After all, we are here to evolve, aren’t we? How are we going to evolve if we keep repeating the same problems that our parents, grandparents, great grandparents (and so on) had?
I usually say that family can be a source of support and also stress, especially when we exclude members or if they were excluded in the past. In Family Constellation, the deceased person has a place, too, because we are working with energy. Energy doesn’t die; energy can’t be destroyed. The dead are still part of the family and influence the family members. Thus, Family Constellation is about remembering; i.e., we are bringing a member of the family back by seeing them, acknowledging them, and honoring them. When we accept that family member, even if we disagree with their behaviors, we create a space for change and healing. For instance, many families rejected, in the past, a member of the family who was an alcoholic, homosexual, a single mother, mentally ill, etc. However, when we include back to the family those forgotten family members, we change the family’s energy and, consequently, the dynamic. We recognize and honor a human being who was not understood nor accepted by the family. This inclusion shifts the energy in the family, healing past problems and pains and preventing future generations from going through the same situation.
Bert Hellinger observed three orders of Love that govern families. They are:
1- The Law of Order – precedence. Who was born first has precedence over the second-born child, and the parents have precedence over the children. The order in a family provides a sense of safety and stability; each individual knows their place in the family system. When the order is not respected, it can bring confusion and chaos.
2- The Law of Belonging – every person in a family has the right to belong. When someone is completely forgotten or is excluded from the family for any reason, the whole family system is affected. Many illnesses in a family are related to excluded members, and an illness represents an excluded person from the family.
3- The Law of Giving and Receiving – there must be a balance between giving and receiving in relationships; otherwise, it gets out of balance. Parents give, and children receive, and it is passed down from generation to generation.
When a client comes for a Family Constellation session, it is important to bring as much information about the family as possible. Bert Hellinger observed that the facts are more important than any interpretation when facilitating a constellation. The facilitator is not there to judge or interpret anything but to sense the energy that has been disconnected and reconnect the energy of Love so that peace can be re-established and the family energy can flow again. Thus, the information below is crucial for a Family Constellation session.
1- The order of birth in the family,
2- If there were any hospitalizations,
3- If there were diseases, accidents, premature death, miscarriages, stillborn babies, and abortions,
4- If the ancestors were refugees or immigrants,
5- If there were divorces or separations in the family,
6- Giving a child to adoption,
7- Adopting a child,
8- Traumas, including war, famine, scarcity, slavery, and jobless,
9- Mental illness, murder, addictions,
10- Child out of the marriage, moving to another country, etc.
All the facts mentioned above come with high emotional content that people suppress, but the energy is still there, looking for a channel so that it can be released. Remember, emotion is energy-in-motion! It is common for people to be excluded from family when they don’t follow the social norms. And when it happens, the future generations will pay the price of exclusion. Thus, when clients come for a session, they are not just removing the obstacles in their lives but also for seven generations before and after them.
I can share my own experience. I had a Family Constellation session a couple of years ago, where the blockage of energy was related to both miscarriages that I had had — my first and third babies. First, we saw, acknowledged, and honored each baby. Then, we gave my children their proper places. My son is not the oldest, he is the second child, and my daughter is not the second child; she is the fourth. Several days after the session, I had two vivid dreams. In the first dream, my son, whose name would be Erick, came to visit me as an adult; he was graduating from college. He said he had permission to see me. It was a very emotional, healing dream. The second dream was the same, but instead of my son, it was my daughter, Jacqueline, who had permission to visit me. Another very emotional and healing dream. I know now that the family order has finally been established, and the energy can flow. It not only benefits me but, mainly, my living son and daughter.
Family constellation is for everyone because we all have a history of traumas, difficult times, and exclusions in our families. How about freeing yourself and your loved ones from the traumas and chains from the past that are blocking your way to the future? Freedom is the way we evolve!show less