A constellation is an exercise where a deeper awareness can arise regarding your own position in a larger whole. This larger whole can be the family (of origin) but also, for instance, a work environment. In a constellation you are looking for the intersection where the larger whole – the family system – and the personal – you yourself – meet. A constellation is primarily a method of looking at a certain question or problem in a different way. During a constellation, the therapist makes use of what metaphysicians refer to as the morphological field. That is a formative and ‘knowing’ field where energy creation and information exchange takes place. Science journalist Lynne McTaggart has written a book about it; ‘The Field’ (2003).
There is such a thing as a system ‘soul’. The family system, or any environment for that matter, is seen as a living organism where mutual relationships are the central focus. These relationships balance each other out and have a natural order. When inter-relationships in a system are disturbed, problems arise. This happens, for instance when people start to emulate each other’s emotions or behaviour or if someone is singled out due to conflict. It can also happen when parental roles change in a newly formed patchwork family.
We are all part of a family system. Each individual is deeply connected to his or her family and the destiny of the family is closely linked to one’s personal destiny. The position that a child takes in the family affects their behavior, emotions and perception. If this position is not the natural one then confusion occurs. It may be that a child, out of love for a parent, is going to ‘carry’ their unresolved problems or sorrows. That’s when the child feels it has to take care of the (emotional) well-being of the parent. Confusion of the natural position in the family then arises, because the child takes the parent position and violates the ‘law’ of the natural order. Children can no longer be their child-self and don’t learn to develop – or take care of – their own feelings and needs. If parents do not carry their own emotions themselves, they lose the respect of and authority over their children. This distorted relationship can cause disturbed self-esteem and its adverse effects can be felt much later in life.
Potential for change
The moment of the constellation is impermanent and the issues raised are not the whole story but only certain aspects of it. It is a method that appeals to feelings, intuition and emotions, rather than the rational. A constellation has the potential to bring about changes on the subconscious level. The purpose of a constellation is to explore your situation from a place of balance. Together with the therapist, you take a look at the layers underneath a problem. It is a process on soul level. You can do a one time constellation at the practice, as an individual session or as part of a therapy trajectory. You can, therefore, gain insight into your questions or relationships and what your own place and part in that relationship or situation has been. That way, a constellation may pave the way to solving a problem.