A Systemic Constellation is a creative and solution-focused way of addressing a wide range of difficult issues in relationships, families, at work, with health or other challenges. It involves working with what is known as the ‘widest possible view’ of a situation, providing a different perspective on a familiar and persistent story, and revealing the hidden dynamics which contribute to keeping you stuck. The approach is often also referred to as Family Constellations – but it is different to family therapy, where the therapist works with a whole family (this is not something I offer).
This way of working was developed by a German philosopher and psychotherapist called Bert Hellinger. His work was based on the belief that we humans are greatly influenced by our intergenerational family narratives, and that the root of the issues we struggle with the most lies deep in the unconscious of our wider familial, social and cultural systems. Coming to view things from this perspective can be extremely effective in helping to bring about change and let go of behavioural patterns or suffering. Often working in this way brings remarkable insight and a shift in perspective and circumstance, which other forms of therapy have been unable to offer.
You don’t necessarily need to know your family history for this way of working to be effective. It’s more of a body-based approach than a cognitive one, and we tap into something called the ‘knowing field’, which is essentially our perception. Many of us have lost contact with this deeper, more subtle way of knowing and there is a cost to that.
Systemic constellations offer an opportunity to explore issues, stories and patterns in an objective way, and to reintegrate body, mind and spirit. Clients who experience working in this way usually love it.
Systemic constellations therapy takes two forms – workshop form and one-to one, either as part of an ongoing counselling relationship or as an ad-hoc session for individuals or couples. Sometimes one session is enough or sometimes a few will be required to explore a particular issue. Any workshops I offer will be advertised on the Programmes page.
In terms of what you can expect, it can be a little difficult to explain and often people only fully grasp the concept and effectiveness after their initial constellation. The first thing we will do is explore what you would like to achieve, and then I will ask you some questions about the wider context. Once the context seems clear, we will co-create a ‘map’ of the situation using objects (i.e. stones, little figurines, or other participants in a workshop) as representatives of people or issues, and see what is revealed in terms of the hidden dynamics I mentioned above, or what we call 'blind loyalties' in constellations work, which often keep us stuck in unhelpful patterns.
Sessions are usually around 1.5 hours and cost £100 on an ad-hoc basis. I can work in person or online. If you are local to East Lothian, we might also meet up outside to work. Please get in touch if you would like to book a session or a free, no obligation consultation (30 minutes).