Family constellations is a therapeutic approach designed to help reveal the hidden dynamics in a family or relationship in order to address any stressors impacting these relationships, and heal them.
The therapy is based on the idea that problems shift down generations causing stress in you. When we truly introspect our feelings and beliefs in an aware state of mind, we allow ourselves to break out of familial patterns that cause sufferings. Working through our family constellation helps us to find the root cause of our pain and stress and begins to rectify it.
As surprising as it may seem, each one of us carries familial burdens and stress throughout our lives. These burdens are not necessarily negative but certainly is not your problem and must be broken.
Family constellations assume that anything that happened in your family line can affect your behaviour or how you perceive things. One person's grief, fear, or anger influences the entire family. Because family members are connected in the morphogenic field. Due to this, everyone in the family feels the effects of things.
As mentioned above, families are connected through morphogenic fields. The morphogenic field is an energy field that contains the memories and specific energies of a group. That group can be a family, a community, a country, or even the entire population of the world. Because this energy field contains all of the knowledge from the group, it can help us understand the sources of our issues, even if no one has told us the facts.
Orders of Love
Hellinger identified several orders of love according to which love follows. The two most important and basic orders of love are that (1) everyone in a group has the same right to belong and always will belong, and (2) everyone who belongs must be given their specific rightful place along with rightful love.
Excluded Family Members
You might think that a family would never exclude one of their own member, but unfortunately it happens all of the time. In family constellations, excluded family members are thought to affect the entire family, even after the family no longer has contact with them. Some examples of excluded family members are:
These excluded family members continue to affect the entire family. If another family member takes their place, this new family member may take on their emotional struggles, addictions, or even physical illnesses. It is very important to understand this is very different from spiritual form of deceased people's thoughts that still looms over the family. The idea is to understand the impact of anyone who is not presently a part of your life on you.
Drive to Belong
Family constellation therapy identifies the drive to belong as the greatest influencer in the family. If someone feels like they don't belong, they'll do anything to get that feeling of belonging. As human beings our first motive is to belong to a community, a family or even a some cause in life and this therapy merely introspects clients in that sense.
Within the family, we all have loyalties. Sometimes, according to family constellations theory, we have loyalties to family members who died before us or family members we've never met. These hidden loyalties can lead us to follow patterns, develop habits, and make unhealthy choices we can't understand based on the factual information we have. Family constellation therapy can help us understand how these loyalties are driving us, so we can make different decisions.
Family constellation therapy can be used for a wide variety of problems, including physical, mental, social, or spiritual issues. This therapeutic method can help us overcome problems like:
In a typical family constellation therapy session, there is a seeker, a facilitator, and possibly other participants. The seeker is the person who comes to resolve an issue. The facilitator is the therapist, who directs the constellation. The other participants are unrelated people who might also be seekers in their sessions.
The Seeker's Issue
The seeker has an issue they need to resolve or overcome. The issue can be anything from nail-biting or smoking to relationship issues or depression. They very briefly tell the facilitator what their issue is, but they don't explain it in detail or suggest any reasons for the issue. Then, they sit down and observe.
Embodying the Family Constellation in a Group
If other people are involved in the session, the facilitator chooses different people to represent specific family members. The facilitator may also choose people to represent a group the seeker belongs to or an ideal they follow.
The facilitator then arranges the participants in a way that might be meaningful for the seeker. Everyone stays still for a time, giving the seeker time to connect with the morphogenic field and determine if the arrangement rings true for them.
The facilitator adjusts the arrangement until the seeker feels it's "right." It may take some time to feel the truth or untruth of each arrangement. When the seeker accepts an arrangement, he or she will connect with it on the level of feelings and then think. This helps the seeker identify the source of their current issue.