Family Constellations Group Work
Group Family Constellations work is a powerful opportunity to explore issues within a safe, supportive and dynamic group environment. Participants help facilitate each other's process by either physically representing family members or simply by holding space for each other.
The group process usually takes this general form:
- A group of workshop participants is led by a facilitator. Group members come forward in turn to explore personal issues they are seeking to resolve.
- After a brief interview, the facilitator suggests who will be represented in the Constellation. These are usually a representative for the seeker, one or more family members, and sometimes abstract concepts or emotion such as anger, depression or a possibly even a country.
- The person presenting the issue then asks people from the group to be representatives. He or she arranges the representatives according to what feels right in the moment. The seeker then sits down and observes.
- Several minutes elapse with the representatives standing still and silent in their places. Unlike psychodrama the representatives do not act, pose or role play.
- Emphasis is placed on intuition in placing the representatives and in subsequent steps of the procedure. The aim is to tap into what the psychiatrist Albrecht Mahr describes as the Knowing Field. This Knowing Field guides participants to perceive and articulate feelings and sensation that mirror those of the real family members they represent. The representatives have little or no factual knowledge about those they represent. Nevertheless, the representatives usually experience feelings or physical sensations which inform the process.
- The facilitator may ask each representative to describe how it feels to be placed in relation to the others. At this point, the facilitator, seeker, and group members may perceive something in the spacial relationships and feelings held by the representatives that is informative regarding an underlying dynamic that relates to the presenting personal issue.
- The practitioner pays attention to configurations of the group that do not feel right or which generate negative feelings or physical sensations in their own bodies. Within this attentive, intuitive process, often a healing resolution reveals itself.
- A healing resolution for the issue generally involves repositioning the representatives and for the facilitator to suggest one or two sentences to be spoken aloud. If the representatives do not feel better in their new position or sentence, they can move again or try a different sentence. Sometimes the process ends before a full resolution is achieved.
- A healing resolution is achieved when every representative feels right in his or her place and the other representatives agree. This final tableau represents a resolution of the issues the subject being represented by the group has experienced.