My teacher, my God
By Suzi Tucker
What is the difference between teachers and gods? Between students and supplicants?
Well, one difference is in the level of freedom that they have. The teacher-student relationship assumes the freedom to change. In other words, when the teacher shifts his or her way of teaching or even what is being explored, the student is free to follow or to withdraw. In this freedom, the student allows himself or herself to continue to receive from what has already been learned.
The learning experience is complete with respect to the relationship to the particular teacher, but the potential unfoldings over time are limitless. In this way, a decision to stay with a particular teacher is not actually a decision to stay, but rather it is a moment to choose anew.
And the teacher is free to build upon the original ideas — adding to, reexamining, reframing and continuing to value what has been even as he or she moves toward the new. When the insights and gathered knowledge of the past can be integrated, rather than dismissed or rejected, the backbone of the future is strengthened.
“No one knows your name until you draw your last breath.” -- Rumi
By Rosalba Stocco, MSW, RSW
When I first heard this line from Rumi, it left me dumbstruck. What does it mean? It can’t be true. My family knows my name. My friends know my name. I knew my parents’ names. What in the world does it mean?
“It means that people don’t really know you until after you are gone.” That’s what Jacqueline told me. And then the pieces fell together for me. How sad, my children will not really know me until I draw my last breath and then some?
I then thought of my parents: Amalia Semenzin, my mother, and Luigi Cadorin, my father. When they died 20 and 30 years ago, I really thought I knew them. I knew them as their Canadianized youngest daughter.
After the Constellation course, we find the "Accidental Community"
By Suzi Tucker
So, there are lots of great teachers and courses in Family and Systemic Constellations being offered in the United States. Bert Hellinger’s early view of “let many flowers bloom” certainly has come to be.
But what happens when a beautiful circle of learning closes?
Often, the inspired student becomes the deflated entrepreneur. Suddenly on their own, some former students find that they feel isolated in their home territories or insulated in their psychotherapy, Reiki, medical, or other practices. The circle is no longer there to land in every month or two, a place where being with one another offers a sense of relief, the learning and also the invitation to be who you are full on. The circle is no longer a reliable shape with a seat for every member, no question. The circle is now an abstraction, and though some may try to keep it going informally, the challenges often overtake the momentum.
In these courses, there are the teachers and the teaching, and there is something else: the formation of what I think of as “accidental communities.”
“If we reveal and facilitate these dynamics in a conscious manner, without being entangled by polarization, it’s possible to mitigate the drive to unconsciously reenact past traumas, individually, in families, and collectively in our society.”
By Harrison Snow
The U.S. election is over. We have a new president. And yet not since the American Civil War, from 1860 to 1865, and the Vietnam War, about a hundred years later, has the United States been so polarized. This polarization includes the constructs of race, as well as gender, class, country of origin, ethnicity and religion, to name a few.
However, although our public discourse is divisive, there seems to be an emerging readiness to explore social territory that has long been ignored or avoided.
The program committee for the 2017 North American Systemic Constellations Conference, scheduled Oct. 5-8 in Virginia Beach, Va., believes the conference agenda should reflect this readiness in addition to giving attention to presentations on Family and Systemic Constellations and their innovations.
Therefore, we will be giving space “to reveal and explore the hidden dynamics that underlie the pressing issues affecting us individually and collectively.”.
By Carolyn Zahner, LISW
Women’s voices spring up immediately upon Donald J. Trump being elected U.S. president. The energy erupts from the core of the earth and from the bottom of the ocean requiring the full surface of our planet to find its complete expression: more than five million strong worldwide..
Would I go to our nation’s capital to march? What was my right place? I watched and listened as the leaders and organizers allowed the movement to find its right place. I sat as one sits, witnessing the unfolding of a Systemic Constellation session.
The Response: from an activist’s heart
I was born with an activist’s heart. My ancestors, the perpetrators and the victims, stand behind me, leading me and guiding me on this path.
Yes, activism can be filled with the same perpetrator energy that one is resisting – the activist’s heart consumed with rage, blame and vindictiveness – and keeping us stuck in old loyalties that no longer serve.
“Autism spectrum disorders can only be fully healed by restoring the self-regulation of the system and making it fully functional.” -- Deitrich Klinghardt, M.D.
By Jennifer Giustra-Kozek, LPC
Autism and related disorders have become pandemic in our world. Some form of autism is now observed in 1 in 55 children and is growing at a rate of more than 1,100 percent. Western medicine focuses on medication to suppress symptoms, and alternative approaches focus on treating the underlying biomedical, physical, psychological and environmental causes of autism.
However, illness not only originates in our physical body but can also originate in our energetic and spiritual body as well. So, it becomes imperative that we treat the entire person for a fuller recovery.
Systemic Constellations, sometimes known as Family Constellations, were created by Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist. This phenomenological method is used to uncover the source of chronic conditions, illnesses and emotional difficulties that may have roots in the inter-generational family system, rather than the individual person, and may be connected to a key stress event.
This moving and powerful work in the family’s energetic field, which is also referred to as “the knowing field,” has been used to examine the emotional factors connected to conditions such as illness, allergies, alcoholism, ADHD and autism. Some parents of autistic children have experienced profound transformations as a result of this work for themselves as well as for their families.
Soul retrieval for a horse, from a constellations facilitator who works with horses
By Sara Fancy
Recently I was distressed to find Diva and Corazon, my two mares at Silver Horse Ranch, engaged in a violent battle. They screamed and kicked at each other relentlessly. Neither horse showed signs of backing down.
Not wanting the horses to be injured, I broke them apart, and each dispersed to other areas of the corral.
I hoped this battle would be a onetime occurrence. Up until now, Corazon and Diva had been inseparable since Corazon was integrated into this herd at the ranch nine months ago. Alas, the following day, they continued where they left off, screaming and kicking at each other with no sign of resolution. Again I broke them up, knowing this was a temporary fix.
By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
For most of her life, Lucille had loved escalators – those amazing and efficient moving staircases that smoothly glided up and down in department stores, hotels and airports. She marveled at their construction and how they made life and travel easy and convenient.
Then one day, there was nothing marvelous, easy or convenient about escalators.
She was surprised – and shocked – that escalators suddenly seemed very scary. In fact, she found herself panic stricken when she stood at the top of the smoothly running steps of an escalator.
Just the thought of placing her right foot on the first step as the stair moved downwards felt serious, like certain death.
She knew that this frozen and body-tightening experience would be called a “phobia” in the world of mental health but felt embarrassed to discuss this strange experience with anyone.
By Alemka Dauskardt, M.A. Psych
Family and Systemic Constellations are a living and growing body of knowledge that is mostly discovered through an experiential method of inquiry.
It successfully resists any attempts to be comprehensively defined. As soon as we say anything about it, including how it came about or who “invented” it, as soon as we call it this or that way, there is a myriad of voices who offer a different perspective.
Risking that, I offer my view that Family Constellations have been developed by Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist, as an innovative and original approach, through synthesis of many different modalities and strands of knowledge coupled with his own phenomenological insights.
It was originally applied within a psychotherapy framework as a method of offering professional help in ameliorating some of life’s difficulties which are encountered in everyday living. At the beginning it was maybe merely a method in which unrelated persons were set up to represent family members, and through which we gained a direct insight into the dynamics operating in the system being set up.
A peculiar phenomenon which became apparent through these “set ups” was that strangers somehow picked up the information about the family members when they were set up to represent them.
By Harrison Snow
Trauma results when an individual or group suffers a natural or man-made catastrophe.
If the suffering is strong enough, a certain amount of associated feelings and memories are repressed as a survival strategy. Trauma and its repression can occur on an individual, family, organizational or social level. The strategy of denial, repression or addiction may provide some refuge from the pain. However, the price is steep and symptoms often occur as a silent call for help.
Facilitating a discussion about diversity often raises issues about race, class, gender and criminal justice, to name a few. These topics are hugely difficult to discuss in a group because of the intensity of feelings that may emerge. Feelings and judgments can spring not only from an individual’s personal history but also from unresolved family and social trauma that has been stored in the individual and collective subconscious.
Welcome to our blog, which explores what people are doing with Family and Systemic Constellations here, there and everywhere throughout North America.