Below are some frequently asked questions which aim to give you a better insight into the work we do
Is it to do with the stars?
No, family constellations/systemic constellations have nothing to do with the stars. Well, not as far as I know, though everything is connected in some way I suppose!
Can I come if I have mental health problems?
In general mild mental health problems do not prevent someone from being able to do this work. Family constellations as a process was developed by a group of psychotherapists working with a wide range of people with a wide range of problems. If you have mental health problems and would like to attend the workshop or do a one-to-one session it’s essential that you discuss this with us prior to booking, please use the contact form to arrange a conversation.
Will I get to do my "own" constellation?
Some workshops divide the group places into “issue holder” and “representative” roles, in my workshops I don’t do this for a number of reasons, sometimes people will change their mind, or they get something from being in a representative role that satisfies their intention or it turns out it is just not the right time to “constellate” the issue they have. There is no pressure to do a constellation. Just coming to a workshop and being part of the group can be enough. In a way all the constellations are for the whole group not just the person who presents a certain issue for us to look at. Many people report great benefit from being part of the group regardless of wether they do “their own” constellation
Is there a scientific basis to Systemic Constellations?
Over the years I’ve heard many explanations of how a “constellation” works. These very interesting ideas have drawn on concepts such as physics, epigenetics, quantum physics, field theory, neuroscience and esoteric and spiritual ideas as well as many principles from psychology and psychotherapy. In their explanations speakers have drawn on great thinkers such as Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Peter Levine, Rupert Sheldrake, Gabor Mate, Daniel Siegel as well and initial developers of constellations; Bert Hellinger, Gunthard Weber and Hunter Beaumont.
Personally, I do not claim to understand exactly how this process works. I do know that being part of a constellation process gives people a direct experience that they can relate to themselves. I also know that many people report a beneficial effect from doing it, they gain a new perspective and experience change in their relationships and in their experience of life.
What is a "constellation"?
In this context the word “constellation” comes from the initial German word “Aufstellung”. The literal translation of this word is complex but loosely refers to “spatial relationship”. I believe it’s use comes from fact that we are using people to represent members of the family or system being looked at. The position they are placed in and move from is all important to the process. It also refers to our position within our family and the position we place ourselves in in our own life.
In a slightly different sense a persons “family constellation” means all members of their family (those living, dead and even ancestral), cultural influences such as one’s country of origin and race, social influences such as religion and politics. It also includes significant events that have occurred to the family like war, migration and persecution. More personal events such as murder, miscarriage and the early death of a parent or child may also be present in the system.
Doing a “constellation” refers to the process of mapping out a system. Most commonly this is done for someone seeking personal development, and the process will reveal a person within the context of a wider “family system” which is in itself part of a wider cultural system.
The constellation process is also used in many other context, for example businesses use constellations to map out different parts of the organisation and other influences on it to gain insight into how they are working together overall. Many big businesses and organisations have been using “systemic constellations” to good effect in recent years.
What does the constellation process entail?
The constellation process is simple and intuitive and paradoxically has a sense of profundity to it that people find a challenge to explain. Throughout the whole process we are using something akin to “mindfulness”, “presence” or “meditation”, this is really simple and is built up throughout the workshop or session. No prior knowledge or experience is necessary.
First we have a conversation, an interview of sorts, this is to reveal simple factual information about what is going on in your life, especially important here is what is stuck, what you are looking for or what your intention is. Then we seek some factual information about your background and your family. It’s not necessary to know the full history of all of your ancestors, we can just start with simple, relevant, recent information. There is no need to do any homework, you will be guided through this.
Then we start to use “representation”, in this phase we use either people from the group or simple objects or markers when doing a one-to-one constellation. The representatives or markers start to form a map, it reveals the “constellation” that you exist in. The map is more informative than this simple description can express.
We can then interpret the map, Importantly, revealing subconscious entanglements with the system that are holding your life stuck in a pattern. This process in itself is very cathartic, but we can often go beyond that, working to “resolution” and “solution” phases which open up much wider possibilities for flow in life.
Some people are worried that they will not be able to be an accurate “representative”. It is a really simple process, anybody can do it and you will be guided through the process so you can just relax into it. Everybody who comes to a workshop finds being a representative an extremely valuable experience. I’ve never met anybody who can’t do it
Are you a psychiatrist or psychotherapist?
No. I’m not a qualified psychiatrist or psychotherapist.
Are you a registered practitioner?
Currently, practice of Systemic Constellations is unregulated. However, I meet all of the criteria of the Centre for Systemic Constellations (a training Institute) for being an “ethically impeccable practitioner” and hold a place on their voluntary register.
Will this cure my health problem?
Some practitioners have reported that their clients have experienced resolution of body symptoms following doing a constellation. In my experience doing a systemic constellation on health issues can be a very supportive process. When I have done this work with clients we have seen a completely new dynamic to their physical symptoms. I think that systemic constellations can support someone in a journey towards health and wellness as part of a wider health program.
Can I come with my partner?
Yes. The constellation process can provide invaluable insight and support to a couple’s relationship. Also, one member of the couple can attend and work on the relationship. Your partner’s physical presence is not essential to the process.
Do I have to tell my issues to the group?
Firstly, there is no pressure for someone attending a workshop to share about themselves or do their own personal work. Some people attend as an observer or will participate as a representative only. This in itself provides something very fulfilling.
Also, we can conduct some of the interview phase privately before or during the workshop. However doing a constellation with the group is to some extent a revealing process in itself so undoubtedly some of your personal information will be exposed.
Many participants are bit nervous about sharing with the group. However most people report that the group process is extremely supportive to them. They feel supported doing their own work and they feel benefit from witnessing and being part of the work of others.
Experience of doing systemic constellations as a group is for most people a completely new, supportive and enriching experience.
If this is of particular concern of yours then maybe a one-to-one session either in person or via Skype would be better for you.
If you are in doubt please use the contact form to begin a conversation.
Is this a medical treatment?
No. Doing a constellation should not replace good medical care. Though I am a practising GP systemic constellations are not a medical practice or treatment. I am not offering medical consultations in my workshops or one-to-one work and working with me in this context does not replace medical care by your GP or specialist medical practitioner.