What is Family Constellations work?

Constellations Workshops

What is Family Constellations work? For people totally new to Family Systems Constellation work, it can a challenge to explain what it’s all about because Constellations work is a form of introspection and self-discovery that is experiential.  Rather than using the language of the mind, it speaks in the language of the heart.

The basic foundations of Family Systems Constellation work teach that we are all born into a family system.  If we are alive, we have a family system.  Even if no member of our family is alive, we still came from a legacy of ancestors starting with two parents, four grand parents, and possibly siblings.

That system has rules we unconsciously obey in order to belong in that system.

When those rules are not followed we suffer the pain of exclusion.  Sometimes exclusion leads to personal growth but most often that same personal growth leads back to a longing to have peace in the dynamics of our family of origin.  Finding peace with our family does not require the cooperation of any living member in our family.  Finding peace with our family involves navigating and releasing our own expectations and beliefs that are causing pain.

We belong in our family system.  Everyone in the system belongs in that system.  Exclusion of any member of the family system is the cause of pain.  Inclusion of the exiled aspect restores peace.  This is what Family Constellations work reveals time and again.

Constellation work helps us locate what has been excluded and what is needed to include into our psyche that which has not yet been integrated.  The system never forgets an exclusion.  Descendants of a family are biologically shaped to carry the memory of an excluded person or event throughout time.  No matter how long ago or how forgotten, the energy of a trauma in the family line is still very active and has effects on living members until whatever has been exiled can be witnessed and included.  This distance of time from the original cause of a conflict and this genetic inheritance of that conflict energetically by descendants is often why it can feel very confusing for someone who struggles to feel good, strong, and autonomous only to find nothing helps them truly heal.  The reason is because it is not actually a personal problem of theirs they can do anything about, but rather, it is a legacy of wounded energy that has been passed down from the family line longing to be witnessed.

In the past, these legacy burdens were not ever acknowledged as real.  A person’s struggles in life were considered entirely their own responsibility to heal.  People were viewed as crazy or extreme because of the deep frustration of not being able to heal an issue that they worked with all their might to heal.  Whenever someone is struggling with a long-standing chronic issue, it is more than likely not in their personal power to resolve the issue.  Something in that person’s family field wants to be witnessed and reframed in a collective, group energy way.  

That is what Family Constellations offer.  Many of our struggles in life did not start with us but are an inherited pattern from our family of origin.  It is not possible to personally heal a systemic pattern by sheer personal will.  A systemic pattern is healed through inclusion into a group, through witness by others and through a willingness on the part of the individual to recognize their limited capacities in the whole system of their family. 

Inclusion is not easy and it can not be forced.  Willingness is the nonnegotiable key and must be the guiding principle in all efforts to heal a family system pattern.  If I am not ready to release my anger about a person or a situation, it is not productive to try to over ride the anger and force an inclusion of that which causes my anger.  That anger also needs including in order to find the healing pathway.

When we see our struggles in the larger context of the family patterns that go back several generations, we are often liberated from the personal frustration that says it is all on us to figure out and resolve.  More often than not, what is wanted in a healing movement is witness, awareness, and reception.

If you are still asking: What is Family Constellations work? Here is a video description of the process and how Constellations work given by Doris Fischer.