Bert Hellinger developed the now well-known family constellations. His method appears to be suitable for many more purposes. Besides family constellations there are individual constellations, organizational constellations, careers constellations, marketing constellations, political constellations, scenario constellations, supervision constellations and much more. Even Marco van Basten seems to have used the method once for the preparation of the Dutch team.
Now what makes the method of Hellinger so popular?
Constellations make it possible for a connecting field to be felt and experienced. People who have never met you can meticulously reflect the deeper dynamics of your situation at home or at work. This gives constellations their wondrous and effective name.
Where did constellations come from?
Hellinger has worked 25 years as a priest and school principal in South Africa. Here he saw that the Catholic Mass and the Zulu rituals had many similarities. After quitting he studied and underwent many forms of therapy, including psychoanalysis; body-oriented psychotherapy; systemic therapy “family sculpting” and NLP.
All these experiences have contributed to the development of family constellations. One of its main principles is the ‘phenomenological basic attitude’, where you investigate a problem by observing the here and now ‘phenomena’ from your own quiet center. So you start with no preconceived framework of theories. You let yourself be moved by what you are experiencing in the moment without thinking too much about it. You simply follow your first impulses.
All forms of system constellations have in common that it’s about examining the relationships here and now. You could call it an inquiry into the systemic field that your questioner is interested in. It can be almost any field.
Hellinger himself always exercised a degree of humility not to be presumptuous towards the questioner or the system that you constellate. In the constellations it is always about facts (no interpretations or ideas). What specific elements do we hear in the question of the client. In addition, we do not forget the client him or herself, who we also bring into the constellation. We are not tempted by all kinds of beautiful stories and stick to the simple concrete elements.
In the development of Hellinger himself one clearly sees A “Mondriaan movement”. From a concrete direction to the abstract, in which he does not lose sight of the concrete. First he worked primarily with the classic family constellation. A therapeutic method with many phrases and much work to be done by the therapist. Then arose a working format which he called “the movement of the soul.” Here he had the representatives themselves slowly follow the soulful motion of the system. Lately, he focuses on the movement of the spirit.
• Political Constellations
Hellinger focuses on the essentials and has little regard for the personality. He focuses on the heart, the soul. Sometimes to the dismay of our “political” personality, who has compassion and likes to constellate himself as a helper. Some journalists write negatively about Hellinger because his attitude to Hitler is sometimes firm and because of his letters to him. On closer examination you see that it is about different starting points. Hellinger speaks from a therapeutic philosophical dimension and it is judged from the normative political dimension. To let Hitler into our heart really means to forgive and be free, while we consider him guilty of genocide.
Political constellations have been developed in order to gain more brightness and clarity while making political decisions. Here the broad systemic political field plays a role with its historical, social, cultural and economic background. Here the questioner himself gets into the picture. It is even quite important to make it clear who is the questioner; a “problem owner”. Some constellators play more with this than others. My experience is that without a problem owner the story gets vague with no clear outcome.
• Individual Constellations
These are constellations that are being used in individual coaching or therapy. In these sessions the facilitator does not work with other people but opens the systemic field of the client using for example paper on the floor or pieces of carpet. The client him or herself then stands in all different places and conducts research. My experience is that it can be equally powerful as a constellation in a group.
In individual sessions one can also use puppets, chess pieces or teacups in order to make the relations clear. In addition visualization is also a good way to become aware of the field and make it transformable. For more information I can recommend the book by Ursula Franke called “If I close my eyes, I can see you.”
• Organization Constellations
Organization Constellations bring the organization into view. It makes a culture scan of the underlying relational dynamics. These arrangements may be more focused on the mutual dynamics within a management team or even the organization as a whole, including all stakeholders. The energetic dynamics in these setups is lighter than in family constellations. Because you can do to work somewhere else, but not step out of your family.
• Career setups
In career setups career can be examined. Also suitable for assessment. It may be clear at once that the person fits within the team or organization. Sometimes these arrangements still lead to family constellations, because certain blockages in the development of the career can be traced back to the family history. Courage to take new steps and feel stuck may contain a hidden loyalty to someone from the family of origin.
• Marketing setups
Marketing arrangements in different marketing strategies or new products can be examined. You can, for example, the different products, different strategies and different target preparation to examine how they relate to each other. A variant of this is sales – arrangements in which you examine your relationship with your customers. If something is not going well with a particular customer, you can prepare yourself with that customer and your product or service.
• Scenario setups
These setups are used by script or book writers to give their creative process a (new) momentum and to investigate the piece that they write. Research In addition, except the roles are also drawn the writer and the reader or the audience. In making these arrangements came to the great surprise of the writers often the plot above water without the writer had even told where would go. Piece These arrangements were the writers often more insight into their own piece. They could now merge certain roles or roles omit. Something in family constellations can not. Moreover, their scenarios or books which were often much to have their own family system. Away
• Supervision arrangements
These are used in supervision and give a wonderful view of the unconscious eg transfers between teachers and students, or between therapists and clients. It shows how important personal development is people-oriented professions and how fast you bring certain aspects of your own past and stick to your students or clients.
Hellinger holds itself was much involved with the art of helping and how the classical therapeutic relationship, the client becomes entangled with you as a (good) father or mother, you can never be because the client still remains loyal to its own mother or father .
In addition to the above are the possibilities seem almost limitless. We are experimenting with setups with pets, reincarnation setups and setups with shamanic power animals, guides and gods. There are astrological configurations and setups done with Bible stories to prepare the sermon. And systemic approach is also increasingly sought without the methodology of drafting. We work with systemic coaching, use it in dialogue form, management games and in support of, among other vocal training and training actors.