What is the difference between a therapist and a facilitator?
Constellation’s work is a new and somewhat unusual approach to self-discovery. It can be a bit of an adjustment for people who are more familiar with the tried and true therapy methods of working through life challenges. So what are the differences? A traditional therapist is someone who is going to ask a lot of skillful questions to help you excavate a buried pain or memory from the past that is still causing conflict in your life. A therapist is primarily interested in helping you discover what you know (but have forgotten) about a challenging life situation. Through detailed conversations, together you both bring witness to injuries you experienced but had to push away at the time in order to survive the situation. This is a deeply healing process.
In Constellation’s work, however, it has been observed time and time again for over forty years now, that there are influences and “memories” that have a huge impact on our life perspective which we did not directly experience. It has also been observed that behavior patterns we think are our own burden to change actually are a much larger fractal pattern going back generations. A Constellations facilitator is more interested in discovering aspects of your life situation that you did not have any awareness of but which are inexplicably affecting your decision-making process. Sometimes we have a pull towards death or a pull towards danger that does not have any explanation in our current life circumstances. Constellations work recognizes there are larger forces influencing every individual and we are not solely responsible for figuring out a problem that may be generations deep. Discovering these hidden aspects of our situation is also a tremendous and often mysterious relief that feels true even while we can not explain where they came from.
While the two approaches to self-improvement are quite opposite, they are very compatible when their differences are understood and honored.
We do not go to a Constellations workshop to discover facts about our history. We discover emotional truth and gain an energetic perspective of a more spiritual nature. Similarly, we do not seek a spiritual experience from one-on-one life guidance. We seek connection and deep, detailed conversations about how our thoughts are working. One method helps us remember what we know while the other method reveals what we’d never have considered part of our perspective.
Constellations work incorporates what is called phenomenology. Phenomenology is a language that is heard beyond words. It includes the timing of events, the sound of a door slamming, a dog barking, a crow cawing, or an alarm going off just as a person’s name is mentioned or a decision to move forward is made. Phenomenological conversations are what ancient cultures call Shamanic.
Shamanism recognizes that no information is ever lost. Valuable information that has been hidden or buried by the past is not gone forever. It is trapped in the world around us, in the Knowing Field. We need only go looking for it. The information we need has only ever been misplaced and can be relocated in unexpected places. Information can come to us at the moment a breeze blows the curtains or the shuffling of feet knocks over a cup. Information can reach us with a glance, or the smallest of gestures.
There are many more languages than verbal ones. Animals speak languages to us. Trees and plants speak fascinating messages to us. The world is always talking! Constellations work invites us to remember all these other ways of communicating and knowing by inviting us to learn how we work within the Knowing Field. It brings a mysterious but inspiring energy to the process of resolution and expansion.
Come learn the language of the Knowing Field! I hold Constellations workshops regularly in Glendale California. Bring a question to our learning circle. And connect your wisdom to our growing Constellations community.
Want to talk through an issue in more detail? My one-on-one sessions are a creative blend of traditional and phenomenological approaches.