Family constellations, or systematic constellations is a therapeutic process designed to help a person recognize any conflicts that is occurring in their life, whether it be due to their family of origin, or their present family and/or relationships. It can help uncover the backgrounds of failure, illness, addiction, as well as any other issues. While we receive good qualities from our families, we are also exposed to carrying burdens, beliefs, or traumas from previous family members that could be stopping us from becoming who we are truly supposed to be. With family constellations, you have the opportunity to disentangle the trauma that you are unconsciously entangled with.
A family constellation usually takes place in a workshop with a group of participants who are not related to each other. A group facilitator is also present. Each participant is then asked to be a stand-in for a family member of the seeker, who is the main person that is seeking a resolution of an issue. The facilitator then moves each participants to where the seeker thinks they belong around the room, which is when the energy field is created. While the participants do not know anything of who they are representing, it is believed that they are able to feel and experience the emotions of the person that they are standing in for. Then, the facilitator asks each person how they are feeling, and if they want to move closer to anyone else. Different situations can happen, for example, an aunt can be standing in the way of someone else, or a sister can be uncomfortable with their sibling or their father. With this, the seeker can understand the patterns that occur within their family, and the implications these patterns have in their lives. During a session, the facilitator can also intervene and bring in excluded family members, can suggest a new and better behavior, or can find healing sentences for the family members to say to each other. Usually a session can last for 1-2 hours, or until the seeker gains insight as to how they can resolve their conflict.
A family constellation may take a while to effect, but it always depends on the seeker.
There are other ways that you can create a family constellation. If you wish to do it without other people, you can use figurines or simple objects (i.e. a cushion or a box), and each figure can symbolically represent a family member. By placing them in different locations around you, the seeker can see how they feel about each family member, and what the symbolized person needs at the moment.
If you wish to learn more about family constellations, the following books give more insight about this therapy:
Maria Elena Solar has recently concluded the Inmense Life Formation - Therapy and Systemic Constellations certification. Bodycaretreatments is offering family constellations services using figurines.
One session lasts from 1-3 hours and it only costs $180.