Healing Inherited Family Trauma
A Family Constellation is a three-dimensional group process that has the power to shift generations of suffering and unhappiness. Bert Hellinger, the founder of this work, who studied and treated families for more than 50 years, observed that many of us unconsciously “take on” destructive familial patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, aloneness, alcoholism and even illness as a way of “belonging” in our families. Bonded by a deep love, a child will often sacrifice their own best interests in a vain attempt to ease the suffering of a parent or other family member.
Family Constellations allow us to break these patterns so that we can live healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives. In a moment of insight, a new life course can be set in motion. The results can be life-changing.
Parents, grandparents and ancestors live on in our minds, bodies and lives. If a person is experiencing issues that refuse to improve, the origins may not be with them. Pain and trauma can stay alive in a family for generations. Issues with relationships, health and career may actually be inherited. What may have been a life-saving response in a past generation, becomes life depleting in this generation.
Indicators for inherited family trauma include:
- persistent issues even after years of healing work
- unexplained sadness, loneliness, fear, depression
- failed relationships
- self-destructive behaviour
- unresolved grief, chronic illness, unsuccessful career
These and other issues may be unconscious expressions of loyalty and love for members of generations past.
In working with several thousand family systems, Bert Hellinger uncovered what he describes as the age-old Orders of Love, which are deeply embedded in the unconscious of family groups. This forgotten knowledge, rediscovered and refurbished, is so compelling that it can change people’s lives. Disturbances to the Orders of Love in previous generations will inevitably affect the lives of both concurrent and future generations. When this profound influence is understood, individual suffering is revealed in a whole new light – and so is healing. Family Constellation sessions will show how love, even when damaged and misdirected, can be transformed into a force for healing.
A Family Constellation is a process that allows a person to discover the invisible underlying dynamics that they are involved in, often coming from a family of origin. Family Constellations show where these entanglements are and often just the awareness is enough to softly shift the energy. This opens the flow of love that was there all along leading to happier, healthier fulfilled lives.
Some say this work defies description and must be experienced. Others say it is beyond therapy, embodying a collective presence we have not consciously met before. Seasoned therapists are amazed by the efficiency of the method. Participants often leave with a life-altering understanding of themselves, the power of love and the forces that govern human relationships.
Family Constellations are designed for individuals and couples who are seeking ways of working with difficulties in their lives, whether manifesting in physical illness or in disruptive life patterns. Anyone can benefit.
In almost every family there are things that have happened that can disturb the harmony of the family. It is important that no one is ever forgotten or shut out of a family. On every level there is a need for balance between giving and receiving (between individuals, families and larger groups such as nations).
Children can become entwined in the emotions and traumas of another member of the family and take them on as their own. Plus, there are certain events that have a deep residual impact on family members, such as:
- an early death of parents or grandparents
- surviving twin
- tragic accidents where a member of the family has died
- miscarriages, stillbirths, abortions, death of a child
- a member of the family forced into the role of “black sheep”
- war/holocaust survivor guilt/loss
- a mother that dies during childbirth
A Family Constellation session is created where an individual is asked to use figurines to represent members of a family. Everyone is intuitively placed in a position, including a figurine that takes the place of the client, whereby the family constellation comes to life. Through this method, disharmony comes to light. In a very remarkable and astounding way, the true story of the family is expressed and clearly seen for the first time. With participation by the figurines which ‘play’ the roles of others, the family constellation becomes a deep experience. Many people report recognizing situations the figurines represent, but are surprised at how intense the experience can be. Irrespective of your age, each of us is a child and what a child wants more than anything else is to find harmony within the family.
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