To be able to grow strong, a tree needs healthy roots, firmly grounded to the soil. In fact, when the roots are weak or unstable, a plant cannot fully bloom. Try to cut some of them and the tree will struggle to stay up.
Of course, they are not the only factor that contributes to the tree’s growth. At some point in its life, it’s up to the plant to find its way to the light. However, they are the foundation on which the tree stands. This is how nature works. And it is how we work too.
The influence of your parents in your life choices
Our parents are our roots. For the better or the worse, they brought us here. So, this natural connection cannot be ignored even if sometimes (oftentimes!) we have troubles with it. We reject them, we fight them, we blame them. But they are still our parents, they gave us life.
Even when we think we reached the long-sought independence from them, we still carry their presence with us throughout our lives. What’s unresolved with your parents doesn’t automatically disappear, instead, it shows up unconsciously in our relationships.
They condition our early development, and in many cases, their ascendancy continues to affect us for the years to come.
Who we are today, how we relate to each other, how we experience trust and self-esteem greatly depends on the first experiences we took in as babies, toddlers, kids and even further up during our growth.
Naturally, when we become adults and emotionally independent, we are responsible for our own choices and happiness. At least, that’s how it should be in a healthy parenting relationship.
Nonetheless, when this connection is damaged, broken or unhealthy, we do not reach such emotional independence. We might have experienced some kind of conflict, pressure, fear, frustration.
As a consequence, we often reproduce the behavioural patterns we have seen in our parents or rather react to them going to the opposite end (which still makes our choices not free).
As a matter of fact, we remain stuck in such an emotionally dependent relationship. In other words, we give them the power to influence us.
How to have healthy relationships with your parents?
It is staggering to realise how many behaviours, reactions and patterns that we unconsciously reproduce in our life, relationships and intimacy are influenced by the education we received, the relationship with our parents and even behavioural patterns that keep repeating throughout generations.
When these fundamental ties are damaged, we experience lack of love, judgment, attachment, rejection or resentment; we generate codependency relationships, repeat harmful patterns, or isolate ourselves.
How to heal damaged/unhealthy family relationships?
In order to truly break free, open up to love and develop our full potential, we need to heal our roots.
This workshop hinges upon Family Constellations as a therapeutic approach designed to help reveal the hidden dynamics in a family or relationship in order to address any stressors impacting these relationships and heal them.
An experienced facilitator will use this technique and other practices to help us release this burden and eventually flourish in life and love.
What are Family Constellations?
So, how do family constellations work, practically? What happens in a family constellation? It’s quite an unbelievable process and the best way to get a grasp is to attend one! Even so, we assure you will be pretty amazed.
In a family constellation, the participants reproduce an abstract family setting playing different roles.
After a short talk with the facilitator, the person receiving the session – the seeker – chooses the representatives from the participants, just by listening to his or her guts.
Purposely, not much is explained or “directed” here. Once all characters are in the scene, the acting unfolds naturally. The facilitator might add or remove participants, guide some actions, introduce some situation, utter some words, pose some questions.
The unrolling of the scene itself is healing as it shows hidden patterns and suppressed feelings. This is especially true for the main character: the seeker.
However, it ripples out to all participants who might identify themselves with the situation being enacted. After all, we all have common issues, even if we think ours are so special or unique.
You will be stunned to realise we all share similar patterns. So, whether you participate as the “protagonist” or as a “side actor”, you will greatly benefit from it.
Where do family constellations come from?
If you are wondering who invented Family Constellations, the technique at the base of Healing the Roots, you first need to understand it has been a long development.
In fact, this technique integrates elements from systematic family therapy – namely, Existential Phenomenology – and indigenous mysticism – African Zulu believes.
They also include a lineage from Gestalt therapy, psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy, hypnotherapy.
Virginia Satir’s Family Sculpture
The primordial forms of Family Constellations date to the 1960s when American family therapist Virginia Satir family sculpting created Family Sculpture.
Satir aimed at making family relationships visible using postures. A Family Sculpture depicts a snapshot of the family dynamics through static poses.
Each family member represents themselves or a feeling. In the end, each one can share with the group how they felt.
Satir also developed a more interactive version, Family Reconstructions, in which the clients play different scenes that they have witnessed in their family of origin. In fact, the same patterns often repeat throughout generations.
Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellations
Among the various researchers, family therapists and psychiatrists who were inspired by Satir’s method, Bert Hellinger stands out for his remarkable work, as well as the criticism he received.
In the 1990s he greatly contributed to spreading Family Constellations therapy in Germany, where he organised live performances with thousands of spectators.
He chose random representatives from the audience with no connections with the clients and position them on stage to form a constellation. He would then question the stand-ins to grasp the dynamics of his clients’ family drawing from elements of “quantum mysticism”.
He believed that in family relationships, members often take on a role which deviates from the natural “Orders of Love”, that is, their natural ranking in the family.
As a consequence, the family balance is disturbed and problems arise. Once he had deduced what the correct position order of each member is, he would reposition them on the stage to achieve the natural equilibrium.
Although some critics considered his method too dogmatic – as opposed to letting the solution develop autonomously within the group – and his views a bit on the patriarchal side, his contribution undoubtedly enriched the family therapy universe.
Regardless of his personal views, the method seems to work effectively for many people, who could heal traumas and overcome relationship issues.
Family constellations, today
Today, Family Constellations became a very popular alternative therapy in many countries, such as Australia, Ireland, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK (the latter boasting many Family Constellation groups in Manchester, London, Liverpool).
A bunch of derivatives were created based on Hellinger’s model and are often used as stand-alone therapies for traumas and relational issues or as part of a holistic approach to well-being, such as Tantra.
In recent years Family Constellations have gained a lot of satisfied clients in Thailand too and Samma Karuna is proud to offer the Healing the Roots workshop which is essentially based on Family Constellations with particular attention to parents-children relationships.
Check the upcoming Healing the Roots workshop dates at the end of this article.
Healing the Roots in Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is the ideal setting of family therapy, away from stress and problems that affect our daily routine. It’s an opportunity to come back to the important values and try to mend some damaged relationships.
Samma Karuna’s Healing the Roots workshop lasts 3 days, during which you will practise Family Constellations in a group alongside other techniques. You will have a chance to be the seeker or a stand-in.
Most likely, you will get an intense breakthrough regarding your family relationships, even if you have been working on them for some time. It’s not about understanding with the mind, it’s about experiencing it.
Legal requirements for soliciting Family Constellations
As a result, it is quite hard to find a sole definition of Family Constellations, though they all share some features as we have seen above. It’s safe to say it falls under the category of Parapsychology, being a practice which embraces psychology, spirituality and quantum mechanics.
Consequently, the legal requirements for soliciting Family Constellations are not well defined. However, a facilitator training is required before starting to offer family constellation therapy.
Osho’s disciple Svagito Liebermeister is a good starting point for a beginners’ Family Constellations Facilitator Training.
Many of us still feel conditioning from our parents, hold a grudge, blame them or behave like victims, letting them take control of our lives. If they are still alive you get a chance to fix these issues face to face.
Nevertheless, even if they passed away or disappeared from our lives, we can still heal our roots. Family constellations open up a world to us.
They don’t magically fix all issues, eventually, it’s up to us to do the work. We are responsible for letting go, forgiving, accepting, honouring their role.
The healing doesn’t come much from a mental process: here you get to experience, to feel. Even though you know it’s being enacted, soon enough you will feel so involved that it looks and feels real.
This course is an essential basis upon which you can build solid and healthy relationships. It is strongly recommended to anyone approaching Tantra for the first time and to all those who feel they have some unresolved issue with their parents – so, nearly everyone!
Find out when the next workshop will take place.