Systemic work

Systemic work

People all live in different systems. Families, organisations and even sports club are considered systems. We are all affected by these systems, consciously or unconsciously. What exactly is a system? Have you ever observed your team or family from a distance? A different perspective can give you a much more unobstructed view on matters. Feelings and relationships become visible and lead to new insights…the start of change.

What is a systemic constellation?

A systemic constellation is a living painting in which colleagues, themes or family members are represented by unknown persons (representatives) who make themselves available for this purpose. You place these people in a room, at a particular place that you feel matches their role. After the representatives have been set up, they miraculously access information that is important at that point of the constellation. That information plays an important role; it symbolises feelings and relationships to others, creating a 3D image that provides information about the client’s system.

A systemic constellation brings new insights

A systemic constellation is a living painting in which colleagues, themes or family members are represented by unknown persons (representatives) who make themselves available for this purpose. You place these people in a room, at a particular place that you feel matches their role. After the representatives have been set up, they miraculously access information that is important at that point of the constellation. That information plays an important role; it symbolises feelings and relationships to others, creating a 3D image that provides information about the client’s system.

Family constellations

The family in which you are born is the basis of your life. Your parents, grandparents, siblings, uncles and aunts and a whole range of ancestors form the clay from which you are moulded. All these people have left their mark on you. This means that events that happened generations ago can often continue to affect the family unconsciously. These can range from war, abuse, miscarriage, crime, exploitation, abortion, emigration to adoption, premature death of family members, divorce, etc.

There is always an invisible influence present within the family

The patterns have been created, affect all members of a family to a greater or lesser extent. Anyone born within a family system will always be part of this system. Specific disruptions can linger in the family for generations as an unconscious and invisible influence.

Suffocating

Bert Hellinger is the founder of the family constellations concept. He discovered that children often mimic the feelings and behaviours of a person from their family’s past. If this is not clearly expressed, the child can, throughout their lives, hold on to feelings and behaviours that are, in fact, not their own.

When a therapist tries to find a solution at the level of expression, this will, generally, not bring about a real change. This is because we are dealing with symptom control rather than addressing the cause. Identifying a systemic problem, a problem with a cause that is situated at a (collective) unconscious level, requires a different approach.

Family constellations can expose this entanglement. A systemic constellation often enables counsellors to find out with how or with whom a client has an entanglement. When the dynamics within a system become visible, this creates room for the client to disconnect from the entanglement and start leading their own life.

There are different forms of entanglements or unconscious loyalty to a family member or pattern. For example, you notice that relationships repeatedly fail or that your work does not provide the satisfaction you seek. Or you walk around with feelings that you have no idea how they got there, such as the feeling of being left out, or grief, anxiety, aggression and so on. But symptoms such as depression, guilt, addiction, mental disorder, suicidal tendencies or diseases can also indicate hidden ties with former family members.