The experience of a Constellation is not at all like traditional talk therapy. Nor is it like traditional group therapy. Family Constellations work is an alternative group therapy that functions in a unique way that may be unfamiliar to people who are new to this method of healing.
All healing work addresses one’s mental perceptions because how we see or understand a situation is the basis of how we feel. Our perceptions are always limited and can always be expanded further. Setting up a Constellation is a very powerful way to see a situation from a different perspective. If you think you’d like to set up a Constellation to look at a relationship dynamic here are a few concepts to keep in mind on how to receive a Constellation.
1. Locate a strong need.
Curiosity is not enough of a reason to investigate an issue through Constellation’s work. It takes a lot of time and effort to bring people together. These gatherings are special events. It is helpful to think of a Constellation as a ceremony, a special event dedicated to investigating an issue you have not been able to resolve through other methods. We want to respect and honor the Knowing Field by not approaching the work in a casual way. This also helps us prepare and be open to the capacity to change our long-standing perceptions that may want to be stubborn.
2. Bring an attitude of curiosity.
The healing process is not a service that is provided to you. A service is something you pay to receive, like auto repair or pizza delivery. The healing/ self-discovery process is done by you and you alone. You heal yourself for yourself. A Constellations facilitator provides a resource and an environment, not a service. S/he can not achieve any realizations for you. A resource is like a library. You bring yourself to the library ready to research and spend time studying some topic of great need and importance to you. We do not know what your Constellation will reveal and it is not possible to guarantee that you will be pleased with what unfolds. It may be that it sets in motion a challenging realization process that may continue for days or weeks beyond the Constellation. I have experienced a Constellation that has continued to unfold for me for several months.
3. Bring no agenda, do not direct the facilitator.
To change how we understand something, we must let go of our own ideas or agenda in what happens in a Constellation. Wanting the Constellation to be a certain way or asking the facilitator to move in a specific direction without being prompted by the facilitator is not going to lead to a shift in perception. Try to let go of the dynamics you are struggling with and let in new information.
4. Do not put words to what you experienced in your Constellation.
After the Constellation ends, do not engage in social or analytical conversation. Preserve the non-verbal experience for as long as possible because your non-verbal mind will continue to reveal valuable insight even days after a Constellation. Protect the new way of thinking that the Constellation offered by guarding it with silence. This may be a challenge to achieve because the people around you will be chatting socially about their experiences. Take time away from the group and do not feel pressured into engaging in conversations. This environment holds space for a wide range of moods and emotional processes.
5. Do not schedule busy obligations after a Constellation.
Do not rush off to the next event or have to step into a leadership role just after receiving a Constellation. Allow space in your schedule and do only gentle activities the following day.
6. Follow up with a sincere heart.
If the facilitator recommended an action be taken at some point by you after the Constellation, be sure to bring yourself to that activity or speak to the facilitator about why you may struggle with doing so. It may be that follow-up support is needed to allow your Constellation to stabilize.
On the Day of your Constellation
On the day of your Constellation, you will have a brief conversation with the facilitator. That conversation will be the foundation of how we will investigate your topic.
Questions you may be asked on the day of your Constellation:
Did you know both of your parents?
Did you know all your grandparents?
Do you have siblings? How many? Where are you in the order of birth?
What country/culture do your ancestors come from.
Are you wishing to address a physical issue?
Were you told stories of any major events occurring in your family to either your parents, grandparents, or their siblings?
In two sentences, how would you describe what you are wanting to address today?
What would be different for you tomorrow if a change occurred?