Family Constellations: The Song of Saturn

13 07 2010

©July 2010 by Fabienne Lopez

Family Constellation

I have recently become very interested in family constellations work. Family constellations are an intense group process developed by the German psychologist-philosopher Bert Hellinger that aim to release and resolve profound tensions within and between family members.  Hellinger noticed in his therapeutic work that that one member of a family is unconsciously “following” another member. That is, the fate of one member has become entangled in the fate of another. Often it is the younger ones who unconsciously and out of love, take on the unresolved burdens or fates of those who came before. For example, a child may take on the illness of an aunt who was excluded from the family, or carry the depression and grief of a parent, or become entangled in the fate of a grandparent who suffered a “secret” misfortune and died young. One member of a family is “following” another by sharing their fate — out of a deep and unconscious bond of loyalty and love. But this “blind love,” or unconscious following, solves nothing, only adding complexity and tragedy to the family line. It often leads to repeated problems that seems unsolvable: bad relationships, debt problems, health issues…

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