The Family Constellation Approach as Inspired by Bert Hellinger
What is Family Constellations Work?
The Family Constellation perspective offers new ways to understand ourselves and others. This approach honors where we come from and provides unique access to the often-hidden family dynamics and invisible bonds that influences how we feel, how we act, how we love and how we live.
Do any of these conditions sound familiar to you?
- Unexplained sadness, loneliness, fear
- Self-destructive behavior
- Failed relationships
- Chronic Illness & Frequent Accidents
These and other problems are common unconscious expressions of loyalty and love for members of generations past. Once people can disentangle their own fates from the fates of other members of their system, opportunities for deep change begin to emerge.
How Do Family Constellations Work?
While it may be done with individuals, Joanne facilitates Family Constellations work mainly in group settings.
A Family Constellation begins by having a participant of the group request to explore an issue using this approach. The facilitator helps the participant identify the main concern or problem. Then members of the group are randomly assigned to represent various family members that the facilitator identifies as having a significant role in the stated concern. Representatives are placed in the room and asked to hold the space or field of family members. Through this process, the representatives can see and feel certain energy patterns. Dynamics that cannot be identified by talking alone begin to take visual shape. Often unacknowledged issues, or family secrets, begin to emerge (previous marriages, abortions, miscarriages, deaths, illnesses, for example.) Once brought to light, these unacknowledged dynamics can have a tremendous impact on our lives. Through this process we have the opportunity to truly accept our lives as they are given to us – the good and the not-so-good. When we respect and agree to the life that we have been given, there is an inner strength that begins to emerge, allowing for more choice and hopefully more joy.
This work is not intended to take the place of therapy. Rather, it offers a unique perspective to persistent or chronic problems that may support your on-going therapy or personal growth.
About Joanne and Her Work
Joanne’s earliest clinical training was in family therapy. She later became interested in group work as a powerful method of healing. Joanne studied group psychotherapy at the Washington School of Psychiatry. She became curious about the energy part of healing and was drawn to study dolphins and whales in the wild. Working and playing with these creatures, who live in pods or small groups, gave her the understanding that healing is much more than a mental exercise. Indeed, energy, and tapping into energy fields, creates tremendous opportunities for change and growth. This led her to explore Gestalt work, transitional states, meditation and eastern philosophy.
Family Constellations work is a very natural addition to Joanne’s continued evolution as a person and therapist. In Family Constellations work, participants are stepping into the energy field of a family, or one’s tribe. There are very powerful dynamics that are operating in a family system. Most of theses dynamics operate just below the surface of every day life. But these forces guide and inform almost everything we do. Through Family Constellations, we can literally see, feeland ultimately accept what may be happening on a deeper level. The result is often a sense of well-being and the soothing, grounding awareness that the forces of love and life abide within each of us.
Our Approach is Inspired by Bert Hellinger the Founder of Family Constellations
The Family Constellations work that Joanne offers is directly inspired by Bert Hellinger. His wisdom and forward thinking has greatly enriched her life and work. Although Joanne has been in many workshops and trainings that Bert Hellinger has offered, she honors Harald Hohnen and Suzi Tucker as her primary teachers in this field. Harald and Suzi were asked by Bert Hellinger to train the first group of practitioners in the US. Joanne was in that initial class and has tremendous love and gratitude for the training she received from them. While Harald was able to impart the deepest level of understanding of the work, Suzi held the heart and soul of the training. They are gifted teachers and soulful stewards of this work.
For more information about Bert Hellinger, visit his website at www.hellinger.com. Suzi Tucker edits and publishes much of Bert’s written work and she can be reached at www.hellingernotes.com.