If you’ve seen a constellation in process, you will likely have been in awe of a seemingly miraculous outcome – but it’s all part of a system. A systemic approach for healing is necessary because it is never only the body, soul or spirit that is sick. It is the whole person, and diseases can bring attention to what is lacking in wholeness.
Both illness and healing occur at all five levels – physical, energetic, mental-emotional, intuitive, and spiritual.
For me, as a medical doctor, the best tool available for learning the language of our bodies is systemic constellation work. This method can offer insight and understanding to the language of bodily symptoms, organs and even diseases.
Systemic or family constellations emerged out of family therapy, systemic theory, and phenomenology, and it was developed in Germany by Bert Hellinger. This method was later expanded by others, including myself, in order to work with symptoms and diseases. A systemic approach for healing is necessary because it is never only the body, soul or spirit that is sick. It is the whole person and therefore a holistic approach is required. Diseases can bring to attention what is lacking in wholeness.
At the core of this approach are what Hellinger refers to as the ‘orders of love’. Disturbances in these orders might be an unconscious ‘entanglement’ with the difficult fate of a family member, even going back several generations. These disturbances often manifest symptomatically as dysfunctional patterns such as addictions, depression, conflict in relationships or ill health. They could show up in our lives as grief, anger or guilt, which despite our best efforts, is never resolved. It can be that we ‘carry’ something that belongs to our parents or a previous generation.
The purpose of a family constellation is to reveal the hidden dynamics of such a situation and point the way toward resolution. It is a way of working with the collective consciousness to restore the natural flow of love.
How does a constellation work?
While it’s possible to be done in individual therapy, it’s easier to understand the concept by explaining a group constellation. An individual client has an issue in mind, and then he or she chooses participants from the group to represent family members. They position them spatially and energetically in a way that seems right, considering the family dynamics. When working with health issues the client might also choose someone to represent the symptom.
Within a very short period of time – sometimes within moments – quite extraordinarily the representatives are able to tune in, as though they have become antennae, and experience physical sensations, emotions or urges of those they are representing. This is a phenomenon in constellations referred to as the ‘knowing field’. It receives information from a ‘family soul’ or collective consciousness. Through questions, observations, trial statements and repositioning, the client comes to see the situation in a new way. It is then possible to create a picture for resolution that enables him or her to break identification with the ancestor‘s difficult fate.
During the course of a constellation the trained facilitator has a constant conversation with the client about possible causes of their issue. This guides us step by step to a better understanding of the background. It also brings new possibilities of finding good solutions.
Systemic constellation work helps decode the body’s messages
Everything in life has a purpose, including our difficulties and challenges. While we may not be aware at the time, our bodies are wise. Our bodies are connected to a wider spirit which embraces body, mind and soul.
While the mind is limited to five senses, the body also uses intuition through the perception of soul and spirit. Our bodies possess an intuitive wisdom which also has its own language which also may, at times, be painful and upsetting. Yet, the body is our friend and we need to learn to respect and pay attention to its language.
Somatic messages may well be warning of wrong directions, unhealthy life choices and that changes are needed. While it may be tempting to try to suppress some of these unpleasant messages, a healthier choice may be to pay serious attention to the process of decoding the language of the body.
Messages and insights from runny noses, coughing and inflammation
Factual messages and insights provide urgent and essential advice at a crucial stage in life. A runny nose, for example, may indicate that a sufferer is fed up with something or someone’s behaviour. This could be a situation at work or possibly a relationship, or both. Telling the truth, beginning with “I have had enough of…” will likely resolve this symptom.
Coughing is another example. In German we say, “I cough something at somebody”, or in English, “just get lost”. Without understanding this message, the body may provide a cough reflex or even full-blown bronchitis. Here there is a need to raise one’s voice and address the matter directly so that the symptom is no longer needed.
Other inflammations may indicate unresolved conflict which bodies bring to our attention in the guise of cystitis, fevers, and so on.
Christine’s abdominal pain can no longer be ignored
When her pain persists Christine agrees to medical studies which reveal no pathology. However, her constellation reveals that her pain carried a message which bowed to her like a servant. Christine then realises that she has avoided asking for help with a career decision. As she resolves to seek guidance, her pain begins to lessen, along with the realisation that she has remained too long in a state of irresolution.
How many times could his ankle be hurt before he would listen?
Simon repeatedly injured his right ankle in various different ways. In his constellation the representative for ‘accident risk’ wanted to hit his right ankle, again and again, reflecting Simon’s actual situation in recent weeks. His symptom then began to behave like an actual woman who was waiting for Simon in relationship. This was initially without meaning for him as he was content with remaining single. Two weeks later he broke his right ankle and surgery was needed.
When Simon returned for another constellation he revealed that he had not responded to a beautiful email written to him by a woman some months ago. In his second constellation, his symptom was an inflammation in his operated ankle. I set up a representative for the ‘message of the symptom’ and another for the woman. It became clear that this woman and his symptom were related.
When Simon decided to contact her, his symptom began to weaken. As a result, they began a relationship in real life, and his ankle healed without incident. It is surprising how a symptom can initiate a relationship!
Constantly tired to the point of exhaustion
In Anna’s constellation the person representing ‘the potential message of the symptom’ turned away as somebody who was offended or had long gone unnoticed. At first, this had no meaning for Anna. But then as the symptom developed child-like features, she realised that she had been suppressing her desire to have children because her partner did not want them.
When I set up a position for ‘Anna’s desire to have children’ she suddenly came awake to her desire and the need to clarify this within her relationship. Here a body symptom was calling the unborn to life.
Messages and trauma
Messages of a symptom or a disease may indicate that a person’s entire soul is not completely present and may be caught somewhere else in space and time. This can be due to unresolved personal trauma like accidents, sexual or physical abuse, or a separation trauma in early childhood.
Other messages may indicate that an individual’s clan is not complete. A person or persons may be excluded, forgotten or otherwise missing from the consciousness of an entire family system. Such persons may be far away in space and time, but still near in our hearts. The family of origin includes parents, siblings, grandparents, great grandparents, and so on, back to the ancestors. Family constellations work has revealed that some diseases and other conditions can be an expression of a trans-generational transfer of fate.
At first, this archaic notion seems extremely unjust, and while it can happen, there are essential preconditions. Risk of transfer of destiny is especially high if a former family member was excluded, forgotten due to early, untimely or difficult unresolved fate. As a result, a force within the clan system allows the fate of the forgotten to reappear in a later generation or generations.
A solution appears when the forgotten or excluded is given a place in one’s own heart. Then the burden can return to its source and a disease can then weaken or even leave altogether.
His uncle was not mourned
Benno developed a depressive disorder at age 20, along with a risk of suicide. A symptom constellation revealed that his depression originated within his family system. His mother stated that one of his uncles, a brother of his father, committed suicide at age 22. Benno was unaware of this uncle, who was not mourned, as the family had tried to just forget about this episode. Speaking about this uncle was a taboo and his death became a family secret.
In this constellation Benno’s secret energetic connection to this uncle became clear. He was then able to integrate his uncle within his inner image of his clan by telling him, “Dear Uncle Thomas, I did not know about you, but now I know about you. You belong to our family, just like me and everyone else. Now, I am giving you a good place in my heart as my uncle. But, from now on, I leave your fate completely to you in respect and love.”
Here, it is important that love remains integral in giving back an unwanted burden. Our deep bonds to those of our own ancestry are near and dear to us, no matter what our superficial thoughts may hold. In addition to severe or life-threatening disorders, other depressive mood disorders, addictions and even somatic diseases can originate in the background of our family systems.
Wolfgang’s addiction – a search for the real thing
Wolfgang, age 40, had problems with alcohol which, in his constellation, seemed to be related to a child. Upon enquiry, Wolfgang says that he has an illegitimate daughter he has never seen, although she lives nearby. The systemic solution suggests that he contact his daughter and bring his other two children with his current wife to meet with their older sister.
Wolfgang’s addiction was, as is often the case, a search for ‘the real thing’. His soul wanted contact with his daughter and in addiction one finds only a substitute. These substitutes can and do destroy. During his constellation, when the representative for his daughter came closer to him, the representative for alcoholism showed a willingness to withdraw.
Applies to ailing organs too
While the above is an overview of messages that can be carried by symptoms, the same applies for diseases because you can set them up in constellations too and decode their messages in this way. Sometimes I set up an ailing organ as well. The heart, lung, kidney, knee or hip. It’s really interesting to hear what organs have to say. We learn at first hand, how they are doing, and are more willing to do something for them. We keep them away from harmful things and learn primarily to listen to their messages.
The body is our friend. It is much wiser than we. Our body knows no separation from soul or spirit. It is deeply connected to everything and therefore has a great wisdom. Learn to listen to its voice. It is worth it.
The team at LivingNow are proud to be affiliated with the following events at which Karl-Heinz presents. We can offer you a special discount when you use the code LN2019 at registration – details below.
MEN, WOMEN AND PEACE
21 February, 2019 – Sydney
LivingNow special discount code: LN2019 – save $60
Full price: $180 LivingNow price: $120
Anngwyn St Just PhD and Dr Karl-Heinz Rauscher share a passion for healing the collective trauma for women and men. The hidden causes of pain and misunderstanding between men and women often have their roots in family, social, and historical trauma.
Understanding and honouring on a deeper level the masculine and feminine as two aspects of the collective soul helps us to reconcile our real and imagined differences.
Together Anngwyn and Karl-Heinz bring their many years of experience in trauma and family/systemic constellation work to explore patterns that hurt and disconnect us. Importantly, they also explore what brings resolution and real peace into the relationship between men and women.
This is a rare opportunity to experience two highly experienced international constellation trainers. The one-day event is suitable for both professional and personal development.
AUSTRALASIAN CONSTELLATION INTENSIVE
Creating Change for Future Generations
22-25 February, 2019 – Sydney
LivingNow special discount code: LN2019 – save $200
Full price: $1300 (depending on accommodation options) LivingNow price: $1100
A brief solution-oriented process, systemic constellations creates the potential for healing intergenerational traumas and destructive patterns. This may manifest in our daily lives as unresolvable health and relationship issues. A dynamic psychotherapeutic approach that connects us to the strengths of our ancestors and healing on the level of the soul.
With four different streams, this event is suited to therapists, coaches, healthcare workers and everyone on a journey of self-discovery to create healthy relationships.
Through a combination of lectures, experiential processes and immersion into the core principles of systemic constellation work, you will learn the value and application of these principles for your own relationships and well-being. Practitioners will learn how they can enhance their work with clients, groups and organisations.
Connect and belong to an open-hearted community
Presenters and participants from all around the world committed to making a difference.
Gain valuable new skills and insights professionally
Be enriched personally
Participants include a diverse group of mental health professionals, educators, coaches, business owners and many other practitioners in alternative and complementary health practices.
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