Family Constellations

Family constellations, also known as Systemic Constellations or Systemic Family Constellations is a group process which looks into hidden familial or group patterns of behavior and works towards the acceptance of the past and having healthier dynamics. This is ideal for resolving conflicts within the family, team, and other groups. With this technique, clients may be able to see their issues from a different perspective. This alternative therapeutic method was developed by Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist, who studied and helped families for more than 50 years. The workshop is generally done with the client, who is referred to as the “seeker”, choosing representatives from the group and physically positioning them to form a constellation of family members, social agents in a community, abstract concepts like depression, and other possible constructs in relation the client’s issue. The seeker arranges the other individuals in a circular way according to how they feel at that moment. He or she then sits down for a few minutes to observe while the representatives of the constellation stand still in silence. The therapist may then ask the seeker about how the constellation is created. He may also ask each representative about what they feel about their position in relation to others to draw out perceptions on the groups’ dynamics. The therapist will then let the seeker take his own place in the constellation and facilitate the reconfiguration until the members feel comfortable in their positions. It is possible that the process will end without achieving a full resolution.

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