FC Explained


Bert Hellinger and Family Constellations Explained

Bert Hellinger is the founder of Family Constellations. Hellinger is a German psychotherapist and family therapist who was a former Catholic priest. His time in Zulu land as a priest informed him of family grouping, loyalties and what is required for a healthy sense of belonging for the group and for the individuals within it.

He left the priesthood to become a family therapist. Hellinger developed this method from the mid 1990’s while working with families as a family therapist. As a family therapist Hellinger took this knowledge along with that of many former therapeutic approaches and found that when he asked people to set up their issue through people in the group that it appeared to tap into the underlying dynamics of the family system to which they belonged and that information became available and the constellation could evolve to show new possibilities.

Family Constellations is a dynamic therapy that continues to evolve, as is evident if you look at Hellinger’s earlier and his more recent work. However, the basic principles of the work remain the same. Bert Hellinger is now in his eighties and until recently has continued to practice and teach world wide. Since the launch of his first book, “Acknowledging What is,” more than twenty years ago his unique method of working with the energy in family systems has spread throughout Europe, America and Asia and more recently Australia.

Bert Hellinger gave an alternative name for Family Constellations

“Movements of the Soul.”This is an exciting and effective new therapy that is an alternative to traditional counselling, that is very established and popular in Europe and spreading around the world. It is very powerful and effective at uncovering the situation and providing a solution.

What is Family Constellations?

A Family Constellation is a process that allows you to discover the invisible underlying dynamics of that you are involved in coming from your daily from your family of origin. This may involve your original family, present family and your ancestral past

A Family Constellation or Business Constellation workshop or seminar consists of a group of people who agree to meet in a confidential and safe sacred circle.

This is an effective process to help you improve your relationship with yourself and others that may indeed improve your relationships in general. ”  (2014) Stardust on the Spiritual Path

For more details of this book

Read more about What is Family Constellations Here

Benefits of doing a Family Constellation

There are many benefits of doing a Family Constellation or Business Constellation compared to the traditional methods such as counselling, extensive psychotherapy, coaching or personal development or motivational seminars.

A Family Constellation is a brief, deep, experiential process that allows change to take place for those who are really ready for change. READINESS is KEY.

The process is Cost Effective because it is Brief  as it may be as little as one session.

And allows space for:

  •  New perspectives to arise– No homework necessary because we deal with the core issues
  • Acceptance that require maturity, compassion and letting go of Ego and past hurts. Acceptance of what we can’t change is destiny
  • Gratitude at what we have. Most importantly this life
  • Love for self and others.What is required is acceptance of where and who we come from, so that we can accept ourselves. This may involve resolving unfinished business from our earlier experiences and the release of family and systemic traumas.

The benefits are: Read more Here

What’s different about Family Constellations

This is an effective alternative or compliment to counselling or coaching in showing the underlying dynamics of the issues and also the solution in a brief experiential approach.

The process of Family Constellations:

  • Is a brief, experiential, solution focused intervention that utilizes body sensing in tapping into the dynamics of the individual’s family, relational or systemic issues. Read More Here

 Family Constellations explained further

Individuals do not have to take the people of their issue with them as the constellation is about helping the individual to work out their own feelings, beliefs and connections in a way that enables them to connect in a better manner.

Often this in itself may cause a shift in dynamics that other members of the family may feel and respond to because we are all connected. Connected as human beings, through family systems and through biological systems as the study of Epigenetics is showing us through research.
Read More Here

The Purpose of doing Family Constellations

The client observes the process from the circle. New perspectives arise and emotions are dissipated through the representatives in the field that ripple through the mind, body and soul of the client and also the greater body of the family soul in finding a resolution and a healthier order.” taken from Stardust on the Spiritual Path (2016) For more details of the book 

Often people who seek Family Constellations had already done a lot of personal work and are seeking a deeper more effective approach. They know that the dynamics that are in operation are deeper than they can access themselves through reflection or determination and are seeking another way that is more effective. To do this there is a need to go outside the box.
Read more here

When is the Family Constellation process appropriate?

Family Constellations is appropriate when you are really ready for change. When you perhaps have tried many others methods or when you have reached the point where staying as you are in no longer an option.

This is when

you have reached the point where they are ready for change. People don’t embark on inner change unless they have reached a point where staying as they are is no longer the easier option” taken from Rapid Core Healing (2016) More details of the book

Read more Here

 Family Constellations Working on Many levels

The Family Constellation process works on many levels simultaneously, going much deeper than counselling or hypnotherapy. According to Hellinger the energy that we are dealing with here primarily is Soul energy or we may prefer to think of it as Systemic energy. The study of epigentics is showing that generations do indeed appear to be connected through relational bonds.

Constellations cause shifts on many levels simultaneously.

Quote N. Noridge “what fires together wires together” from The Brain that Heals itself (2015)

Most other process work with one level at a time only.

Eg counselling often works with understanding, debriefing, emotional processing but cannot access unconscious or repressed material in one or a few sessions for he most part.

CBT works mainly with cognitions and behaviour only when the deeper issues are normally unconscious or part of the family consciousness in being systemic.

Coaching works with thoughts beliefs and goals in the level of consciousness hence not locating he deeper unconscious or systemic blocks. Read More Here

Natural Order and Family Constellations

According to Hellinger, family systems are composed of energy that connects members of a group. Primitive groups are well aware of the order in their systems in a way that most modern societies and families have forgotten.

Such order helps to provide health and resilience to all of its members and the group as a whole.

Natural Order means:

  • Each of the members of a group, have an equal right to belong to the system.
  • Each member of the system has place in the natural order of the family system.
  • If inclusion and order are in place love flows easily through the system to the benefit of all in the system.

The purpose of the therapy process is to reinstate those of the system that have been exclude and restore the natural order, hence allowing love to flow more easily and provide a healthy place for the client in particular. To see the levels Read more

How Family Constellations Work

Exactly how Family Constellations works is still something that has not yet been determined.

It is a very common occurrence that fellow family members often feel the effects of a Family Constellation even though they are not aware of a family member doing this process. For this reason People don’t have to bring the family together in order to do a constellation for. The changes in you in finding a better place in the system often provide a shift that may be felt by others in the system. Any shifts in you often result in changes in the family energy and the next time you meet someone from the family, you may observe changes in the connection. Even if this does not take place and others are not more receptive, the process enables the individual to find a better place resulting in more resilience and harmony. Read more Here

Who are family members

Many people give up on biological family members and form their own friendship families.They save a valuable part of life but do they really replace our family connections?

These are the people that are linked to you genetically or by sexual relationships such as marriage or sexual partners. This will include your parents and their siblings, your grandparents and their siblings, your own siblings, your children and your sexual partners. This means that relatives such as your parents’ brothers and sisters, your aunts and uncles, are significant family members. Also, as dead members of the family often leave a strong influence on the family, they also are considered a part of the family and may be included if necessary in a Family Constellation.

Read more Here

Family Constellations and Phenomenology

Phenomenology is a Humanistic framework that forms the backdrop to all of the Humanistic therapy’s. Humanistic therapies include Existentialism, Gestalt, Carl Rogers Person Centered approach, Virginia Satir’s Family Sculpting and Family Constellations to name only some. It is not simply about phenomenon.
Even though in counselling terms we may attempt to “walk in another’s shoes”, to gain empathy and rapport, in truth none of us can know what it is like to be in someone else’s life. In addition if we can come out of our ego or our need to be right, we cannot assume that our reality has any more validity than anyone else’s.
Phenomenology is based on the dilemma that no one knows what is real. All we can do as human beings is to appreciate that: What we see or experience as real, is simply only our perception. Our perception is highly influenced by our conditioning, life experiences, education, culture, socio- economic group, family, beliefs and attitudes. In addition, just because we perceive something to be real, it does not mean that it is.
Consider the situation of 10 people going to a social gathering and each of them coming away with a different perception of what happened there.
• Who is right?
• Does it matter who is right?
Perhaps they are all right in their own way.
Read more Here

Family Constellations is at the cutting edge while also including the wisdom of the past

Tribal and ancient communities have a very rich and complex set of family and social rights and rituals that help to keep them rooted in the natural order of things. They are very well aware of the hierarchy of families and the need for each person to have their rightful place in the system. In addition, there are many rituals to mark “rights of passage” for many stages of human experiences, such as fertility, childbirth, puberty, marriage, death, men’s roles and women’s roles. Hellinger’s Family Constellations brings us back to this basic “knowing” of natural order in family systems, that we in the modern west seem to have lost or forgotten. In Family Constellations the dead are treated with equal importance to the living, as they have an equal right to be acknowledged in the system, as they live on in us and continue to have an effect in our families. Read more Here


Read more on Personal Development and Family Constellations


The Knowing Field in Family Constellations

The universe, our solar system, our planet and all life, plant and animal life are composed of energy and require energy for survival. Many great scientists have known this and ancient peoples have known that we are one with the stars, environment and the people of the past our ancestors.

Research into energy and energy fields is still very much in it infancy. There is a lot we don’t know. However in the Family Constellation world we have come to acknowledge and respect the existence of energy and energy fields and their connection to environment, people and family dynamics.

Read more about energy in books on the subject Here

Read more Here

Family Constellations demonstrates that we are all connected

It has been found that when representatives of an issue are placed spatially in a room in relationship to each other in a constellation: a field forms within and around the representatives, that is readily felt by the representatives and the facilitator alike and becomes a guiding force for unfolding the issue and also revealing possible solutions. Read more Here

We are connected in more ways than one.

The Family Constellation view, is that each person has a soul or life force while also being part of the collective soul or life force of the family group.

This means that each member within a family group has an effect on other in the group, via the genetic trail and relational bonds by which we are linked. This is being verified by epigenetics studies.

If people of a former generation were not able to process with a tragic or traumatic event, this may be felt as a disturbance in the family system and may be felt by those in the present.

Consider all of the drops of water in a pond as individual souls in a family network. When a ripple flows through the pond it flows through to each drop. In a family system, if all of the members are acknowledged in their rightful place and take full responsibility for their decisions and actions in life, then love will be able to flow freely throughout the system and the later generations will feel loved and connected and free. Read More Here

Family Constellations is not Psychodrama.

Psychodrama often replays events or situations in a person’s life using representatives to play each role. Read more Here