What happens at a Family Constellations Workshop?

A constellation in Hellinger’s new method (spiritual or ‘medial’ constellations) may be perhaps described as a deep meditative experience.

In tune with another force, we let ourselves be moved by it,

slowly                     in silence

The more recollected we are (facilitator, representatives, all other participants), the stronger is the healing force set in motion by the constellation. The least we interpret, the more far reaching are its effects. The key for us is minimum intervention: another force is at work.

The workshops consist of a group of attendants who may or may not know each other (private individual sessions may also be undertaken). The client presents in one or two sentences, very briefly, the issue that he needs help with to the constellations facilitator. In some cases this may not even be necessary. The facilitator, attuned to the energy field, and in resonance with the client’s family system, especially the client’s mother, may ask some relevant questions. These are generally questions relating to the family, for instance, questions that relate to facts, rather than feelings or thoughts. She will then ask the client to choose representatives from the group (people to represent family members, or other entities, or concepts, depending on the information the facilitator receives from her connection with the Field).

The client then observes what happens as representatives let themselves be guided by the movement to a particular place, position, attitude… (sometimes the client may be asked to participate in his/her own constellation alongside representatives). Hellinger has abandoned the method by which it was the client who placed representatives according to his/her inner image, since he realised that this is an interference with the spiritual movement. As the constellation progresses, other participants may be taken by the field as representatives (any change an ‘observer’ may feel in her body, a need to adopt an unusual posture with her hand, arm, foot…, receiving the consistent attention of a representative, a compelling feeling to lie down on the floor, get up on a chair, stand up… these generally are signs that the ‘observer’ is now part of the constellation, whether it is known or not whom or what she represents).

Representatives free their minds of thought, abandon all intention, they simply are. They wait for a feeling, a sensation in their bodies, they attend to their perceptions, recollected, allowing themselves be taken by the movement they feel comes to them. If nothing comes, that is ok. If something comes, it is allowed unfold. Astonishingly, representatives start feeling like the real people they represent, and often clients are able to recognise attitudes, or symptoms, and dynamics, that pertain to their relatives, or their employees or co-workers, etc., as they watch the constellation unfold. Representing is healing also for representatives, it also facilitates compassion as one stands on the shoes of someone else, and may lead to powerful insights.

The wish to attend a constellation workshop shall come originally from within the person who wants to attend, from their own free will, this is a prerequisite for the work to have strength and be effective. Insisting that someone attends, or forcing someone to attend, weakens both, the attendant, and s/he who got them to attend, having adverse consequences also for the constellations facilitator who works with such a client.

Pace: The movements of representatives are slow, the slower they are, the more in tune with the Field. A constellation may take from 10 minutes to even 1 hour.

Constellations of the Spirit happen mostly in silence. Representatives may be asked about what they feel by the facilitator, but this is generally avoided, since talking and proving representatives disturbs the energy, decentering participants and facilitator, and may be an interference. There is a sense of sacredness, great respect, in the work and the way it is conducted; in the presence of gravity, of the matters of Life and Death that emerge, we lower of voices, and remain quiet.

Hellinger on Spiritual Family Constellation Work