Healing Health Family Constellations Yildiz Sethi Published Nature and Health magazine February 2016
The solution to niggling health problems may not lie in diet, lifestyle or medication but in your family dynamics says Yildiz Sethi in Lifestyle magazine February 2016
Family Constellations views us primarily as relational beings rather than the totally individual entities that many of us consider ourselves to be in the modern world; especially since the advent of Freudian influences on mental health and talk therapy. As human beings we are born through relationships that are heavily laden with ancestral lineage and this has an effect on who we are and how we view the world. We come into the world through and with love and many other emotions, qualities, loyalties and entanglements that can bind us, until we come to peace with them in a respectful way so as to gain more freedom as the men and women of our ancestors and to be ourselves.
Family Constellations is a psychotherapeutic, energetic, experiential process that is brief and solution-focused in nature. The Constellation process may stand on its own, or be part of a personal development or psychotherapy alliance. This powerful, cutting-edge approach was introduced to us by Bert Hellinger, an ex Catholic priest and German family therapist in the 1990’s as a group process and continues to be developed and redefined in the present and is now also available in private sessions.
The group process consists of people, often unrelated, who form a circle with the facilitator to take it in turns to experience their own constellations, using the members of the group to represent important people in their own situations. (This is not psychodrama.)
The Constellation starts when the person concerned, after a brief discussion with the facilitator, is instructed to choose representatives for the important people of their situation, including one for themselves. The representatives are arranged spatially by the client, in relation to each other within the holding circle and the client takes a seat in order to view the process unfolding. Once placed, the representatives start to experience feelings and impulses as they appear to take on the energies of the people concerned, as the relational dynamics that connect them come to the surface to be seen and felt. From here, the constellation is guided by the facilitator, into a healthier order for the person concerned. During the process important members of the family may be added, such as members of previous generations, if this is deemed necessary in order to go to the root of a situation.
In putting our inner (unconscious) image of the issue out in a constellation, where it can be seen, felt and released, a healthier order is given space to arise, as we experience deep, inner shifts. These are available through our senses, such as vision, hearing (the Healing Sentences) and the release of emotions and the ensuing experience of connection and love that is available to us in the system. Love is a powerful healing force. As one of my clients said recently,“I am feeling and standing in the world differently.”
“My constellation – from Pat Quinn, Toowoomba
I am now 75 and until four years ago I struggled with excessive weight all my life. I was always on a diet; I would lose weight then put it on again. Fortunately I found a health program that changed my life. I took off weight and kept it off – quite an achievement. But I realized that there is more to the process of weight gain than food and exercise (or the lack of it).
I have been a Counsellor most of my adult life and over the years I had used various methods to explore some of the underlying issues contributing to my weight gain. These might be described as psychological or emotional. I had identified various factors involved. But having found a health program that worked for me, I wanted to see if there was any other issue that I had not yet discovered. Would there be any other unconscious element sabotaging my weight loss?
At that point I decided to participate in a Family Constellation Workshop focusing on my life long issue of weight gain. After a few introductory comments, I found myself exploring an aspect of my family history. My mother had been born of a single mother in 1920, left in an orphanage for five years then fostered. My mother carried guilt about her origins all her life. Then my mother became pregnant with me before she married my father. Both my parents felt guilty about having sex before marriage – they were devout Catholics. Society’s attitudes and church teachings had compounded the guilt my parents and grandmother carried. The constellation revealed to me that a significant contributing factor in my weight gain was carrying the burden of shame. I carried the shame of my own conception, my mother’s shame at her conception and birth, and her mother’s shame as a single mother.
That workshop was a few years ago and I am pleased to say that I have taken off 41 kilograms and maintained that loss up till now. All pain in my body has gone, I have lots of energy and at 75, feel like I am 50. I believe that the constellation work was a great support in that process.”
”Kerry Drake Brisbane
I attended a constellation due to my chronic illness.
What I witnessed throughout the constellation was how the energy field created by the facilitator and representatives was pure energetic deliverance of truth.
On a conscious level, I would never have realized what my subconscious thoughts and feelings were which manifested my illness.
What was revealed in the constellation allowed me to release myself from feelings of guilt, anxiety, sadness, fear, anger, depression, frustration and shift my feelings to be able to understand and accept “what is” and have compassion for myself and those family members who were a part of the constellation.”
In each of these constellations the unconscious image each of the women had of themselves in their situation was unveiled, emotions released and situations acknowledged in a respectful way, so that they could form a new image of themselves, hence providing a new perspective from which to live life. Epigenetics is a growing science that shows that environmental factors including emotional, relational and ancestral factors and trauma have an impact on switching DNA on and off, hence making processes like Family Constellations pivotal in promoting wellbeing. See the program on Epigenetics on Catalyst http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4198637.htm
Many people who come to constellations have already done a lot of personal development and therapies of all kinds to no avail, find resolutions through this modality as they come out of entanglement and release the burdens they carry and gain self-acceptance and connection. This has the power to improve relationships, health and wellbeing.
In particular those people who feel that situations that they were born into, such as sadness or guilt or a behavior that appears to be part of former generations, are ideal for this process.
Training is required in order to facilitate Family Constellations, as it is a deep psychotherapeutic process requiring proficiency and skill. For more information see my books and website.
Yildiz Sethi is a personal development and relationship expert. She provides consultations and training in Family Constellations and tailored programs to resolve blocks to success and wellbeing. She has been holding workshops and training in Sydney and Brisbane for over a decade. She is the author of two number 1 best seller books (Amazon) Stardust on the Spiritual Path and Be Rich AND Spiritual. You may reach her on email@example.com or www.yildizsethi.com www.familyconstellations.com.au