What are Family Constellations?
Family Constellations allow us to see where some of our issues in life or behaviors might come from. Constellations help us to look at a new image that can assist us to move forward in life.
Very often, we are linked to family members in limiting ways, subconsciously "remembering" individuals in our family who had a dfficult fate. Sometimes we resonate with traumatic events from past generations in our family system, without being aware that we do this.
We're tied by hidden loyalties to family members that couldn't process, grieve or resolve their own traumatic experiences. Their unresolved pain will later show up for us in different ways, limiting our lives. We say that we're "entangled" with an ancestor's fate and use constellations to restore healthy connections and peace in the family system, freeing us from taking on unnecessary pain that doesn't belong to us.
The events in our family system that can still have effects on us include: the death of a child or death of a parent at a young age, abortions, miscarriages, children given away, wars, immigration, severe illness, former partners, first husbands and wives, incest, rape, and murder.
Some ways in which our connection to past events or ancestors might manifest in the present are illnesses, emotional issues, difficulties with relationships, work related problems, a sense of disconnection, money issues, feeling stuck, a lack of success in business among others.
How does it work?
A person requesting a constellation will present an issue to the facilitator and group participants sitting in a circle. The facilitator will then briefly ask a few questions to identify how to set up the constellation. Then the person will ask other group participants to represent specific family members, including themselves. In addition, some aspects of the issue might also be included.
Once the respresentatives have been chosen, the person places them in the circle of seated group participants. The person then takes a seat and becomes an observer of the constellation process.
As the representatives take a moment to be in the role of a family member, they will start noticing physical sensations and emotions arise, as if they knew what a particular ancestor experienced. For example, they may experience that they need to move away from another representative or may simply feel a sense of indifference towards them. Representatives will then change their initial position, by moving where it feels "right" in the circle. Although a representative can feel the energy of the person they represent, they're always aware of their own self.
The facilitator will ask representatives for feedback and then give them short sentences to say to each other, as this will acknowledge ancestors emotions, difficult fates or unseen/untold thruths within a family.
By acknowledging forgotten or excluded family members and giving them a place in their family, something gets settled. A sense of resolution appears toward the end of a constellation when representatives notice a shift in energy compared to the beginning of the constellation.
New aspects of an issue will emerge during a constellation and a person has a chance to allow this new image to be an opening for change.