What Are Constellations?

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life.”
~ Carl Jung

Family and Systemic Constellations are a therapeutic process that illuminates the unconscious ways in which we may be carrying and perpetuating the unresolved feelings of those who came before us in our lineage.

Developed by Bert Hellinger, a German poet, psychoanalyst, teacher, author, philosopher and father of modern family systems-oriented psychotherapy.

According to Hellinger, the family system, or soul, is a network of interconnected beings, bonded to each other through blood or particular events and can be a “source of aliveness, goodness, wisdom, fortunate circumstances, grace and health or it can be a source of fatigue, personal disaster, feelings of being cursed or not loved by god, accidents and/or ill health.” He also observed that everyone in the family soul has an equal place and right to belong. This includes children who died young, were aborted or miscarried, divorced or estranged parents, the mentally ill, or those locked away in institutions or otherwise ostracized. Sometimes, if a member of the family soul is excluded, often due to grief or shame, another member of the family downstream will unconsciously represent the excluded member and show similar symptoms or fate.

Unresolved pain is often passed through the family line until someone is capable and ready to feel it, heal it, and let it go. Limiting and destructive thoughts, beliefs, and dogma from the past can be driving current unwanted behavior and actions, as well as attracting undesirable relationships. Until a movement is fully processed and oriented to, it can lurk within the system. When unconscious messages, often manifesting as symptoms in our bodies or struggles we cannot seem to surmount, are made conscious, clients are gifted with remarkable opportunities to break the cycle and strengthen their connection with deep core self. At the moment when a client becomes aware of the origin of their issue a feeling of spaciousness arises as the discomfort or confusion fades and a level of re-organization and grounded embodiment is palpable.

After decades of experiential work, Hellinger concluded that when members are repatriated with respect, and love flows between the living and dead, the family soul now becomes a source of strength. Facilitating this reconnection of life and love is the focus of this therapeutic approach. “What is, should be allowed to be. Reality is never wrong, even when it looks scary. The healing comes through the acceptance of the truth being brought to light.”  ~Bert Hellinger

“What happens in these constellations is difficult to describe. I think we are able to deliver messages from a knowing that wants the best for each of us…I was delighted to find a group and a method that supports consciousness and healing through free expression of the awareness that is always available to all of us. By opening to what I would call grace, we supported and informed each other in ways that left me in Awe!”
~Andy Syltebo, client

Resource Library

Bert Hellinger:
Love’s Hidden Symmetries: What Makes Love Work in Relationships

Love’s Own Truth: Bonding and Balancing in Close Relationships

Acknowledging What Is: Conversations with Bert Hellinger
By Bert Hellinger and Gabriele ten Hovel
Bertold Ulsamer
The Art and Practice of Family Constellations

Michael Reddy, Ph.D, CPC
Health, Happiness, & Family Constellations: How Ancestors, Family Systems, and Hidden Loyalties Shape Your Life-and What You can Do About IT

Mark Wolynn
It Didn’t Start with You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle
International Journal on Constellations
The professional journal of Family Constellation work, great articles by the top professionals in the field.
For Harder to find Constellation Books:

Helful Videos

Bert Hellinger
Connection to the Mother

Bert Hellinger
Constellation Example

Hidden Loyalties and Self Sabotage-Family Constellations www.familyconstellations.net & www.shavasti.com

Secrets: The Damage In Keeping Secrets Pt.1

Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Blefeld:
Constellations Overview: Interview by Linda Comeau of Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Blefel

Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Blefeld:
The Inherited Mind

Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Blefeld:
Three Dimensions of Consciousness

Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Blefeld:
Are the Ancestors Real?

Dan Booth Cohen and Emily Blefeld:
Representative Perception

Rupert Sheldrake:
Biologist, Explaining Morphic Fields

Mark Wolynn:
Author of: It Didn’t Start With You

Mark Wolynn:
Author of: It Didn’t Start With You

Brigitta Sztab

Emily Waymire