FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The emotional history you share with your family began even before you were conceived. When your grandmother was five months pregnant with your mother, the egg that will eventually become you was already present in your mother’s womb. That means you, your mother and your grandmother all shared the same biological environment. Whatever your grandmother experienced—her traumas, her sadness, her grief—can become your emotional inheritance.
DO YOU OFFER INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS?
Yes, we offer phone, Skype or in-person sessions designed to get to the heart of the issue. Many times, a single session is enough to generate a major breakthrough. You can contact us at (403) 244-0455 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT EVENTS IN MY FAMILY?
In this work, we examine the tragic events affecting us and our children. Looking back three generations, we ask: Who died early? Who left? Who was abandoned, isolated or excluded from the family? Who was adopted or who gave a child up for adoption? Who died in childbirth? Who had a stillborn birth or an abortion? Who was murdered or murdered someone? Who committed suicide? Who suffered in war? Who died in or participated in the holocaust? Who profited from another’s loss? Who was wrongly accused? Who was jailed or institutionalized? Who had a physical, emotional or mental disability? Who had a significant relationship prior to getting married, and what happened? Who experienced an early separation from a mother? And so on. Most importantly, we see how tragic events have deeply impacted our families. We see how our parents and grandparents struggled. We ask: Are we struggling similarly? The imprint of these events can become the blueprint for future generations.
HOW CAN I HEAL FROM A TRAUMA THAT I EXPERIENCED FROM MY CHILDHOOD?
Though the traumas each of us have experienced are different, the path toward healing is similar. That being said, it’s important to look beyond the behaviors of our family members and ask: “What traumas happened to them, or behind them, that blocked their love from flowing? What traumas made them behave in a certain way? Understanding that, takes things out of the realm of what’s personal. Instead, we begin to understand that any parent who experienced this type of trauma (or inherited it from their parents) wouldn’t have much love to give. Simply put, traumatic events block the flow of love and close our hearts. Another way to say it is: hurt people hurt people. When we really understand this, we arrive at compassion. And compassion leads us to inner peace, which is our ultimate goal.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A FAMILY CONSTELLATION?
In short, constellations are three-dimensional images that allow us to break destructive family patterns. They give us a deeper understanding as to why we feel the way we feel. First, we gain a felt sense of how we are still affected by the tragic events that remain unresolved in our families. Secondly, we literally step into a new image of feeling whole. After a constellation, we stand in a stronger and clearer place.
BUT I’VE DISTANCED MYSELF FROM MY FAMILY, WHAT’S MY NEXT STEP?
Much of our suffering comes from being unconsciously loyal to our families. In an innocent way, we imagine that we can somehow alleviate the family unhappiness by sharing it. But this fantasized thinking only leads to more unhappiness. Sometimes, we reject or distance ourselves from our parents in an attempt to feel free. Yet this only causes more suffering. The path toward true peace is to make peace with our parents, even if they are deceased. This work makes that possible.
HOW CAN I HELP MY CHILDREN?
Our children often express what’s unresolved between the parents or behind the parents. They can also mirror to us what we have long ago suppressed. When someone has been excluded from the family—a failure, an alcoholic, a child’s father—our children often try to bring what’s excluded to awareness by continuing the suffering and behaving similarly to the one who has been left out. Children often express the difficult or negative behaviors of the one we have rejected. Yet when we find our peace with those who’ve hurt us, it has a positive effect on us, and indirectly upon our children, who may now feel more free from having to carry our heaviness for us.
HOW MIGHT YOU TREAT A BOY WITH AN ANXIETY DISORDER?
That depends on many variables. Is he close with his mother? Is he close with his father? Is he closer with his mother than his father? Had he ever been separated from his mother as a young boy? Did anything happen in utero or when he was an infant that interrupted his bond with his mother? Is his father in the picture? Is his mother anxious? Is his father anxious? Was there ever a great tragedy in the family that could not be grieved?
Let’s say a father loses his father when he is twelve in a tragic accident. Years later, when his own son reaches twelve or thereabouts, this father begins to distance himself from his family. Perhaps he has an affair or separates from his wife. Whatever the case, he repeats the absence of his father.
In an attempt to soothe the sad feelings of his mother, his son begins to carry his mother’s anger toward the father. This creates a conflict in the boy, as both parents are needed for the boy to feel whole and develop in his masculinity. This boy now begins to feel anxious. Perhaps he develops panic attacks, or he becomes defiant or oppositional, or he begins failing at school.
Solutions rarely rest in the hands of our children alone. For therapy to be successful, we must look at the entire system and not focus solely on the child as the problem. Even if contact with the father is not possible, a solution is attainable when the larger system is brought into focus.
In a session, there are specific interventions we can accomplish with the boy alone, with the mother alone, with the father alone, with the boy and his mother, or with the boy and his father. Often a single intervention that enables the child to feel that he doesn’t have to choose between his parents can be what’s needed for the child to reduce his anxiety and reestablish his composure.
IS THIS A SHORT-TERM THERAPY?
A Family Constellation can be a one-time, therapeutic intervention that does not necessarily require ongoing therapy.
CAN YOU DO FAMILY CONSTELLATIONS OVER THE PHONE OR VIA SKYPE?
Yes. Private sessions are just as effective as group sessions.
WHO WOULD BENEFIT FROM THIS WORK?
Anyone who struggles with illness, depression, anxiety, panic disorders, obsessive thoughts, fears, phobias, guilt, bi-polar disorder, persistent anger, lingering grief, meaninglessness, psychosomatic diseases, asthma, colitis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, IBS, reproductive health issues, failed relationships, financial difficulties, family violence, addictions, OCD, ADHD, ADD, PTSD, could benefit from receiving a family constellation.