Family Constellation is a therapeutic method developed by the innovative
psychotherapist Bert Hellinger. This is a powerful experiential approach to work
with both family and organisations, and its speed and effectiveness in resolving
many physical and psychological issues have attracted world wide attention and
have made it one of the fastest-growing therapeutic techniques available today.
We all belong to a family which is an integral part of a larger system to which we are emotionally and mentally tied. This larger system includes our communities and contiguous society; our nation with its history; our race or ethnicity; and our spiritual tradition – each with their own sets of moral values and rules.
No-one is an isolated entity: we are all connected and related to the generations that came before us. Rediscovering this connection and the influences that our ancestors have on our life, whether we know them or not, helps us to:
release any possible entanglements (energy patterns in which a person recreates the fate of a family member from a previous generation);
fully access the wealth and wellness of our own right to life;
fully inhabit our very specific and unique place in it.
One-to-one therapy tends to isolate the client and to lose the perspective on the greater forces that affect us all. By contrast, Family Constellation therapy looks at the whole picture and at the specific place and role that the client has consciously or unconsciously assumed within it.
The laws and influences governing family systems were first explored in the 1960s by psychiatrists such as R.D. Laing and T. Szazz, and were later developed by Virginia Satir and others, who introduced to mainstream psychology the concept of treating disturbed patients as part of a complex family system rather than as separated individuals.
In creating Family Constellations, Bert Hellinger adopted and modified elements of Psychodrama as developed by J. Moreno, and also drew on the work of E. Berne, a Canadian born psychotherapist who is the founder of transactional analysis. In Family Constellation therapy, the client is made aware of his or her hidden life script which, once brought into the light, is organically transformed.