There are as many versions of Constellations as there are facilitators. The one thing they all have in common is using what Family Constellations founder Bert Hellinger called the “Knowing Field” to bring flow and joy into our lives, and to dismantle dysfunctional patterns.
To find the ones that fit you, you will have to experiment. It can be a delicious journey, tasting all the offerings out there, discovering how versatile this work is and how many applications there are for it. Enjoy the adventure!
My approach to Constellations is different than that of many facilitators because I prefer to work “blind”, i.e., without anyone but myself and the client knowing any information about the family system we are working with. I do this so that we do not place mental interpretations on the feelings and sensations that are coming through the resonators because those interpretations can limit the deeper unfolding of the experience which happens if we allow ourselves to stay lost, without preconceptions. The resonators do not even know who or what they are resonating. As the constellation unfolds, the interactions of the resonators begin to show us where dysfunctions may have originated within the family system, and we start to see the possibility of shifting away from those dysfunctional patterns. At that point I often share factual information to help clarify and facilitate those shifts, once it is likely our conscious thinking will not shape the evolution of the constellation too much.
I facilitate only group practices, because it is in the unguided interactions of the resonators as they allow feelings to move through them that we experience the deepest shifting and the true power of the field. Many other facilitators do one on one sessions, which can be very useful, but I trust the process most when it comes through the resonators, with very little shaping on the part of a facilitator.
My approach also is somewhat unique because I do it from the foundation of my Rosen Method training, which is body centered and oriented toward allowing rather than guiding. Knowing that our interpretations are limited by our conditioning and our confirmation biases, my focus is on the sense of ease or flow that comes through our bodies as shifts begin to happen in a family system rather than on the information we discover in the process. I function as a midwife, rather than a director. I consider myself to be profoundly non denominational in the sense that the only thing I really know is that our mental processes are inadequate to understand the mystery of Constellations, and that keeps my own interpretations in check. I let the work speak for itself.
I have yet to encounter a form of Constellations that I did not find profound and powerful and there is no right way to experience constellations. For some of you it may feel important to have constellations interpreted and guided by someone who shares your belief systems, and in that case, you should look for that facilitator and try a few on for size! If the way a facilitator works does not suit you, you will probably still benefit from your experience in the field, but stay true to yourself and look elsewhere for your next facilitator.
It is very important in your experimentation in the field to know that the facilitator is as human as you are, and that their interpretations are just their own. Because this work is so magical, we facilitators can often seem like magicians, who hold a "Truth", but in actuality, the only truth that matters is if the ease opens up in you as the constellation restores flow. If a facilitator or resonator offer an interpretation that doesn’t land for you, allow it to flow through and past you, take whatever fits you, and know that the work is happening deep in the field, below the conscious level. You can trust that it is shifting your internal patterns in ways that are beyond our comprehension and not dependent on the accuracy of the interpretations.
There is one version of Constellations that stands out to me as being particularly effective and useful during this time of Covid, where in person gatherings are problematic. It was created by Dr. Franz Ruppert, a senior Family Constellations facilitator and psychotherapist. Originally called Intention Constellations, it is now known as Identity-oriented Psychotrauma Therapy (IOPT). I have my own version, done "blind", which I call Integration Constellations.
In this modality, instead of working directly with family systemic patterns, we are working with the psyche in which they manifest, and the resonators are representing aspects or parts of the client. The access point to this work is that the client creates a Sentence of Desire, to set into motion a direction that they want to go in their life. Then the resonators represent the words of that sentence, showing astonishingly accurate portrayals of the internal conflicts that prevent the client from being able to live the desire in their sentence. Frequently an Integration Constellation will create alignment between our parts simply by the process of befriending them. This work is ideally suited to the internet because it only requires a few resonators, and it is a wonderful way to begin your constellations journey if group sessions are not available.
I will be hosting some online gatherings for Integration Constellations soon, and you can sign up for our mailing list here. In the meantime, group and individual sessions are available from many practitioners in America and Europe, including Dr. Franz Ruppert, and his colleague Dr. Marta Thorsheim.
In the United States the work is represented by Stephen Gyllenhaal’s Identity Development Institute, which has wonderful ongoing online opportunities, and also training to become a facilitator. *** For the rest of 2021 the ID Institute is offering free access to their online sessions. This is a marvelous opportunity to try out different facilitators and to voyage in this beautiful process and it is a lovely gift to us all that the Institute is making it available to everyone, so please spread the word!***
In additon, two members of my Constellations community who were trained at the ID institute lead juicy intimate online gatherings, in which I love to participate, so come join us and perhaps I will meet you sooner that way! Their version is called I-i sessions because the work integrates the many aspects of our outward- and inward - facing identities or “I”s.
Miven Trageser and Peri Doslu I-i Sessions.
There are many wonderful Constellations facilitators, each with their own version of constellations. Here are links to a variety of contrasting choices that may be useful to you in exploring which approach fits you. Some of these practitioners have very different perspectives than mine, but all do work that is profound.
https://allmyrelationsconstellations.com/. Francesca Mason Boring brings the perspective of her Indigenous American culture and its deep connection to the ancestors, in a unique and very powerful blend.
https://www.stephan-hausner.de/en/. Stephan Hausner comes from an osteopathic, homeopathic background and has a focus on working with physical illness.
https://relationalconstellations.com/ JoAnne Chartrand and Dyrian Benz come from a somatic psychology background that has similarity to my Rosen perspective and is very grounded.
https://alimezey.com/constellation-work/. Ali Mezey has a focus on the body and on healthy sexuality.
https://www.fivechanges.com/family-constallations/ Caitriona Reed and Michelle Benjamin-Miki blend NeuroLinguistic Programming and constellations.
http://www.livelovelaughmore.com/ Karen Seeberg has an energetic/psychic focus and a poet's use of language in her work.
https://sarahpeyton.com/project/constellations-and-neuroscience-a-monthly-exploration-circuits-of-emotion-and-motivation/ Sarah Peyton explores constellations from a neuroscience perspective.
Jane Petersen studied extensively with Hellinger and was foundational in bringing systemic constellations to the U.S.