Systemic Constellation Work

The dictionary defines constellation as “a group of associated people or things”. Systemic Constellation Work is a quiet, deceptively simple, yet profound approach enabling us to identify the very roots of our being – our families, our ancestors and the hidden dynamics and loyalties that lie within that foundation, also known as the family Soul.

What is the Family Soul?

We’re all familiar with the concept of the soul but it may be baffling to understand how the idea applies collectively to the family.
First, let’s examine the origins of the word soul. The soul according to many religious and philosophical traditions is the ethereal substance particular to all living beings. Such traditions often consider the soul immortal and the true source of sentience in each living being.

Sentience, according to Webster’s Dictionary is “feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception and thought”. Woven into the fabric of family consciousness are all the dynamics of trauma that have occurred, not only in the present nucleus but in previous generations as well. Very often a traumatic incident is downplayed or ignored in an effort to preserve the semblance of “normalcy”, usually as an avoidance of pain and/or shame. Eventually, the denial becomes a way of being and the family secret is conveniently forgotten. However, the trauma will continue to have a reverberative effect on the soul.

The Ancient Greeks, who sometimes referred to the soul as psyche, used the same word for 'alive' as for ‘ensouled’. Constellation work recognizes that trauma unaddressed remains ensouled or alive in the psyche of the entire family even throughout subsequent generations. While the details of the original trauma may remain enshrouded in mystery, the resulting dynamic can lead to a multitude of problems stemming from a seemingly intangible source.

For instance, we may find ourselves encountering an experience or repetitive behavior pattern that continues to persist in spite of our repeated attempts to find release through various therapies and healing techniques. From the standpoint of constellation work this is viewed as an entanglement in someone else’s fate or, the phenomena of assuming the suffering of others. When a trauma has been denied acknowledgement, it may manifest randomly in a later generation as another member of the family repeats similar characteristics, longings or behaviors. Suicide attempts, unwanted pregnancies, abortion, life-threatening accidents or illnesses (both physical and mental), murder, etc. are all examples of some of the seemingly inexplicable patterns that might recur.

The Constellation Process

An inventory of family history is beneficial to a constellation but not necessarily required. Psychology focuses on one’s emotional responses and reactions to what has happened; in a constellation the focal point is simply the facts of what happened. From this point the client is instructed and guided to set up or recreate the relationships and dynamics of the issue, with the utilization of the other participants in the workshop. The representatives then become antennae for the system energies of the issue in question.

Similar to shamanism Constellation work is conducted outside of linear time in a space where the lines of past, present and future are dissolved. Scientists sometimes refer to this as the morphogenic field, “that which consists of all that is not matter”, where communication is instantaneous and unrestricted by time and space. This creates the possibility for us to work with the whole family, including both the deceased and those yet to be born. As with shamanism, this allows for the involvement of our ancestors and those who can assist from the Spirit realm, which then facilitates the possibility of identifying and overcoming family destinies that have repeated themselves for numerous generations. It is from this perspective that it becomes comprehendible that a representative, during the Constellation work, is able to perceive the feelings and emotions of absolute strangers, even when the person they are representing is deceased.

One very important aspect of Constellation work is that no one is leading the process. The facilitator is there solely as a guide and will offer support and assistance as required.

The resultant effect on the participant is immediate and lasting. Therefore, there’s no need for the issue to be addressed on a continuing basis. The transformation takes place in the present, the effect of which continues to be revealed in our lives as the process is more fully integrated. In order to preserve the original clarity of the experience and a strong connection to the images and feelings that arise during the process, participants are encouraged to avoid excessive verbal analysis or storytelling in the days that follow. This helps to maintain the original memory of the healing encounter, which in turn facilitates a deeper integration process within the Soul.

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