How does a Family Constellation work?
Context – a choice of group/workshop or one-to-one session.
Family Constellation work is usually undertaken in a group or workshop context. However, it can also be used very effectively in an individual session with the help of objects or figures, for example, or in the form of a guided visualisation.
The decision between a group or individual session is a personal one.
Some people are more comfortable working with one other person. Others find the group environment stimulating and wish to gain insight from participating in and witnessing other people’s constellations.
How does a group session work in practice?
There are usually sixteen to twenty-two participants in Angelika Chisholm’s workshops. Of these, usually ten participants will have the opportunity to set up their own constellation during a weekend workshop.
The group sits in a circle, and the centre space is the work area. The circle of participants, called the holding circle, is a place from which participants can observe and hold the energy gathering from the specific constellation in progress.
A participant who is undertaking their own constellation brings to the workshop an issue which they want to address. It is most effective if the issue is deeply felt, and has the most impact on the person’s life at that time.
The Constellation process starts with a brief interview, where the participant is asked who belongs to the family and what specific events have occurred (examples of these are listed at the beginning of this web page and in the paragraph below entitled “What issues can be addressed?”). The participant is then asked to select other workshop participants to represent members of his or her family. They move to the work area, and the participant arranges them intuitively in relation to one another. Once the representatives are placed, the constellation comes alive.
For those who set up a Family Constellation, there is minimal need for self disclosure, and other family members need not be present. Participants who choose not to set up their own Family Constellation find that being a representative in a constellation of another is in itself an enriching and powerful experience. Even witnessing a constellation can touch the soul deeply and change your life.
With the help of the Family Constellation process, it is possible to see the wider forces that are affecting the relationship system and the individual. New insights and understanding arise from seeing new dimensions of the particular issue. Individuals can find their “right place” and an authentic feeling of belonging. Others may be re-aligned to their unique purpose and experience renewed energy, passion and peace. Many begin to feel nourished at a deep level and experience acceptance and wholeness. A resolution is felt when the whole system begins to relax and gains its strength and vitality. Oftentimes, however, a constellation might not reach full resolution at the time, but rather a certain movement that creates momentum for healing over time.
Preparation For Your Own Constellation
Preparation is important if you wish to gain the most benefit. When you register for a Family Constellation Workshop, you will be provided with information to help you to prepare for the workshop.
If any discomfort is experienced after the workshop, you are invited to contact Angelika Chisholm or your own therapist. In most cases, a brief telephone conversation is all that is needed. However, for some people a follow-up consultation can be beneficial. Please enquire about the rates applicable.
Family Constellation work can involve intense emotional experiences. It is therefore important for prospective participants to take full responsibility for themselves. This includes considering your emotional and physical stability. If you have concerns, please discuss them with the facilitator prior to the workshop. Please inform the facilitator of any significant physical or psychological condition.
Please note that it is your responsibility to read workshop information distributed to participants beforehand.
It is expected that all workshop participants commit to a code of confidentiality regarding personal details and issues of other workshop participants. However, it cannot be guaranteed that other participants will maintain confidentiality.
Deep personal disclosure is not usually necessary. If you do not wish to disclose a particularly sensitive piece of information during a workshop but feel it may be necessary to your constellation, you can inform the facilitator in private at any time.
What issues can be addressed?
There is a range of different issues that individuals and couples can find assistance with, including:
- Relationship issues between partners, parents and children
- Concern for the wellbeing of children and siblings
- Divorce and separation
- Adoption, miscarriage, abortion
- Family secrets
- Loneliness and depression
- Painful emotional and behavioural patterns
- Incest, rape, violence, murder
- Death, suicide, loss
What can Family Constellations assist you with?
- Learning more about your unconscious dynamics, and how they affect your life
- Coming to terms with a difficult fate
- Releasing old restricting life patterns
- Experiencing renewed life energy
- Engaging positively and creatively with your family
- Enhancing your ability to fulfil your full potential
- Reaching success in personal and professional life