“When I lived in South Africa, someone told me what the longest road in Africa is. It's not the road from Cairo to Cape Town, it's the way from your head to your heart, and from there to the here and now.”
― Bert Hellinger
Family dysfunction didn't start with you, but it can end with
Family constellations aka Systemic Constellations is a body of work refined by the late Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist. As a Catholic missionary, he was dispatched to South Africa where he spent a great deal of time with the Zulu people. During this time he learnt about family grouping, loyalties and what is required for a healthy sense of belonging for the group and the individuals within it.
Bert Hellinger’s work has been refined over the years and has become popular with many family and system therapists worldwide.
In a :
Families are organized according to system theory.
As a complete system, the family (throughout many generational layers) will seek to always retain balance.
Balance does not always mean “pretty” or “perfect”. It means in order according to a set or organizational principles which are:
How this "plays out" or what this means for you and me:
In practical terms:
Where any of these “orders” are not followed, then entanglements occur within the family system which seek rectification in order for love to flow again.
What this often looks like is various disturbances or repeated family patterns throughout a family system.
For example: A person is unable to go beyond earning a certain amount of money no matter what they do; or perhaps they keep attracting the same partners; or no matter what you do or how you approach it the dynamics with the in-laws don’t change. In more severe cases it shows up as repeated addictions, recurring cycles of trauma and family sicknesses or “inheritances”.
Phemenology – from the Greek phainomenon “that which appears’ and logos “study” – is in essence a method of deep, clear and present perception. To drop into the “knowing field” and work with simply “what is”.
This work can be done both in a group context, as well as with the individual.
According to Hermetic philosophy: “As within, so without”: One particular approach that I specialize in working with is the Inner Parts Constellation work (a form of Internal Family Systems Therapy), where the external dynamics of a family system are equally present within the dynamics between the various aspects of self.
By working with the internalized marginalized aspects of an individual, essentially by making the unconscious, conscious, huge transformations are able to take place.
This work is sought by people who are looking to break age-old family patterns, personal struggles and to reach over and beyond any glass-ceilings that have been imposed on them.
It is for people who are not wanting to pass on their personal baggage onto their children and those that come after them. It is for people who want to heal generationally and who want to bring relief to their family system as a whole.
Working with Family Constellations:
I offer online 1:1 family constellation sessions where we explore the family dynamics and what is currently at play in your lived experience. We explore this through a process of dialogue and exploration of your inner parts although the principles of Family Constellations work. You can view the testimonials page for some insights about previous clients experiences.
If you are based in the Western Cape, South Africa, I offer a monthly group constellation experience together with horses* in Stellenbosch. If this is something you are interested to experience or join then please reach out to me.
*Working with horses in Equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning is a method that is being used worldwide with individuals, groups, children and adults of all abilities. It has become a highly valued method of consultancy for organizations working with trust, leadership and team-building issues.