Family Constellations Theory and Technique
A family constellations session typically takes place in a workshop made up of a group of individuals who are not related. Members of the group stand in for family members of the person or couple presenting a difficulty or concern. The person seeking resolution of an issue, who is referred to as the seeker, or the group facilitator chooses these representatives and places them into position as members of the individual’s family, also choosing one person to take the place of the seeker in order to complete the family dynamic. The use of other individuals to represent the family is believed to illuminate the disharmony within the family, and the individuals standing in as members of the family are believed to be able to feel and experience the emotions of the person whose role they have taken on. Hellinger, the developer of family constellations, calls this sense of connectedness, which is said to be felt telepathically by members of the group, the morphogenic field.
Issues Treated with Family Constellations
Family constellations work is considered most effective in addressing concerns that are systemic in nature. These concerns might include family of origin issues, parent-child relationship difficulties, and intimate relationship challenges.
It may be used as a potential therapy method for people who:
- Are seeking to address negative or harmful relationship patterns
- Want to be in a romantic relationship
- Are attempting to resolve family entanglements
- Want to overcome inner turmoil
- Have experienced significant trauma or loss
- Are in search of personal and professional success
Proponents of the family constellations approach believe each member of a family, adult or child, longs to feel significant and find a place within the family construct and support the method as a helpful step in the process of achieving this sense of significance and belonging. People who participate in this technique often find themselves unearthing surprisingly emotional reactions regarding their relationships, familial or otherwise, regardless of their age.
Many individuals report achieving significant insight and clarity through constellation work.