Family Constellations are a way of discovering underlying family bonds and forces that have been carried unconsciously over several generation”
-Bertold Ulsamev

*Unexplainable depression or anxiety,
* Long-lasting grief
* Lifelong sadness or fears
* Strange feelings you don’t know the origins of
* Relationship with your parents
* Relationships with significant   others
* Feelings of not belonging
* Feeling that you living somebody else’s life

* Money or success issues,
* Work-related issues
* Existential questions
* Weight, health or addiction issues


You might be bound by blind love to members of your family clan. Possibly you are being entangled in your family drama which can last for several generations without a resolution. If that is the case, the Family Constellations approach might be just right for you!

A look at Family Constellations

The family constellations approach as developed by Bert Hellinger, is a process by which we can access the deepest dynamics in our family system in order to find new sources of healing and strength. The purpose in looking at these dynamics is to better understand forces at work in the system that may not be known to current members, including hidden loyalties, subliminal identifications, and embedded patterns established long ago. Once these entanglements are revealed, they can be integrated into a solution picture that encompasses everyone and everything that belongs to the family, without judgment.

The following is a general description of how a constellation unfolds:

Most facilitators work in a group setting. A client states his or her issue. The facilitator listens for the place in the client’s description where there seems to be enough momentum to begin the work. The client is guided to select from the group people to represent members of his or her family relevant to their constellation. The facilitator may ask for the mother and father, or perhaps the five siblings, including the brother who died at birth. The facilitator will follow his or her intuition in this.

The client, then, positions the representatives in relation to one another. The client steps out of the circle. Facilitator and client wait for the movements that emerge from a shared plane of existence –  some call this the knowing field, the morphogenic field or field of  grace.

As all the participants in the constellation – client, representatives and witnesses – tune into the family, essential information emerges and the representatives begin to “receive” an understanding of those they represent. What the client always thought of as the “bad marriage” of her grandparents turns out to be a complicated but loving relationship. What another client saw as sternness in his father is actually a holding back from life because his mother had committed suicide and he felt guilty for going on. Still another client, who finds she is always angry with her husband but doesn’t know why, realizes that she cannot bear to be happier than her mother was. But when she sees that her mother smiles at her as she stands beside her husband, she can look at him with new eyes.

What we experience in the Family Constellations

Our physical, emotional and psychological challenges or sense of lack are related to events and to people outside of our immediate experience. They are connected to deeper longing in the system, such as the longing to be remembered, or acknowledged, or heard. Once we are able to identify where the natural flow of love was diverted or blocked, perhaps many generations back, we can become the memory, acknowledgment, or the listener.

This deep and humble movement may very well release the spell of denial so that the whole family system can find balance. At the very least, we find our own place and are able to experience the humility and power of being one of many, versus one alone.

About Bert Hellinger

“A person’s greatness is that which makes him/her equal to others”
–Bert Hellinger

Widely regarded as one of the most influential and effective psychotherapists in the world today, Hellinger acknowledges several important influences on his life and work: his parents, whose faith immunized him against accepting Hitler’s National Socialism; his 20 years spent as a priest and missionary with the South African Zulus; and his participation in inter-racial, ecumenical training in group dynamics led by Anglican clergy. After leaving the priesthood, he immersed himself in the study of the major forms of psychotherapy, including Psychoanalysis, Gestalt Therapy, Primal Therapy, Transactional Analysis and Family Systems Therapy, out of which, Family Constellation Work evolved. To learn more about Bert Hellinger, please visit

Order and Love work together

Identifying what he terms, “the Orders of Love,” Hellinger observed that certain governing principles must be respected for the love in the family to flow in a healthy way.  When these orders are disturbed, for example, when a child tries to take on the fate of a parent, suffering and unhappiness ensue.

“Children seldom or never dare to live a happier or more fulfilling life than their parents. Unconsciously they remain loyal to unspoken family traditions that work invisibly”.

Hellinger found that each member in our family holds a special place and has an equal right to belong to the family system. If any member of the family is disrespected, forgotten, excluded, or disregarded in some way, someone in a later generation may repeat his or her fate by sharing a similar misfortune. Only when we acknowledge and honour the difficult fates of those who’ve preceded us, can the “Orders of Love” be re established and the chain of tragic destinies be broken.

Barbara offers Family Constellations for groups as described above or for individuals. The individual constellations can take place face to face or via a Skype link.