What is Family Constellation Therapy?Nov 22, 2022
Family Constellation Therapy: An Overview
Keywords: healing trauma, holistic medicine, family constellation therapy
With so many natural treatments out there in regards to healing trauma, choosing can be overwhelming. One option that may be suitable for you is family constellation therapy. This natural treatment helps you work through past conflicts and heal trauma.
Family constellations therapy is a tool used to help identify patterns and behaviors and improve your current skills. You’ll talk with your therapist and go over whether this type of trauma healing is right for you. Let’s take a deeper look into what family constellation therapy is and how you can use this holistic treatment for healing family and ancestral trauma.
Family Constellations Therapy & Healing Generational or Ancestral Trauma
The idea is that the problem you’re facing has trickled down through generations of family causing you issues in the present. This type of therapy doesn’t look at family members individually, but as a system.
Family constellations allows the therapist to gain insight and information into a client’s family dynamics and history. You and your therapist will explore family relationships going back through generations to find where the problem started. Family constellation is typically done in a group setting, or individually.
The nice thing about family constellation therapy is that while it examines your family, they don’t need to be present for the work to be done. Within family constellation therapy, there are different methods used depending on what you’re comfortable with.
A Brief History of Family Constellations Therapy
The idea of family constellations was developed by a German psychologist named Bert Hellinger in the 1990s. It’s based on the components of Gestalt therapy, psychodynamic therapy and other influences.
Hellinger believed that both positive and negative energy are found in family bonds. During his time as a therapist, he observed patterns in families such as mental health concerns and negative emotions. His thought was that family members could cling on to these issues to help others cope. Since family constellation therapy is a large umbrella that covers a lot of ground, it was accepted as an alternative to traditional therapy. Traditional family constellation therapy is a form of expressive therapy.
What is Expressive Therapy?
Expressive therapy is an integrative holistic therapy approach that involves different methods including writing, visual arts, crafting and drama. It can be seen as a form of art therapy, and it’s a great option because there are so many methods for you to choose from. It’s all about finding what works for you and what you’re most comfortable using when healing trauma.
Types of Family Constellation Therapy
Family constellation therapy is traditionally done in a group setting. The therapist is in charge, and others in the group will stand in during role play. A scenario will be acted out and the client will typically observe others. The therapist will make note of reactions to the recreated event to proceed with treatment.
You may be wondering what this type of group therapy would look like. Typically, there isn’t a lot of speaking involved. The individuals that are standing in are not family members, or those who were present for the event. You watch the others perform the act, and your therapist will watch how you react to it.
Depending on the type of issues being addressed, the client may also interact with the people standing in. It all depends on what the person is comfortable with.
If you’re not comfortable with working in a group, family constellation therapy can also be done individually. You’ll work one on one with your therapist with creative tools such as:
- Sand trays to express emotion
- Toys or figurines to represent family members
- Drawing your family tree
These creative tools can help your therapist identify the family dynamic without the use of group therapy. Group therapy isn’t for everyone, especially when you’re healing trauma. It’s good to have an option for clients to be able to work individually on themselves with family constellations therapy.
What Issues Can be Treated With Family Constellation Therapy?
Family constellation therapy is great for a number of mental health issues. It can also be used to improve communication skills. You will work with your therapist to determine a plan that’s right for you. If you are interested in family constellation therapy, be sure to let your therapist know.
This type of therapy is good for treating:
- Generational Trauma
- Childhood Trauma
- Chronic diseases that stem from ancestral trauma or family entanglements
It’s important to note that family constellations aren’t used for one specific diagnosis. Your therapist will use them to determine a treatment plan and give you exercises to work on. Family constellation therapy can also be a good fit if you:
- Want to break dysfunctional patterns in your relationships
- You want to improve your relationship with your partner
- Want to confront an abuser without being actually around them
- Gain insight into how your childhood is impacting your current life as an adult
Benefits of Family Constellation Therapy
People who decide to participate in family constellation therapy can experience catharsis after the intervention. This is because family constellation therapy allows people to work through:
- Difficult past experiences
One of the biggest benefits to this type of holistic healing is that the person who wants to work through trauma or conflict can do so in a safe space. They don’t have to actually confront the person who has made them feel this way, but can confront the situation through other means such as role play and art therapy.
Since family constellation therapy draws attention to the client’s patterns and dynamics that they didn’t previously notice, this type of therapy will help them to develop improved insight into their overall behavior. Not only will family constellation therapy help individuals to work through trauma and confrontations of the past, it will improve their life going forward.
For example, the work done in constellation therapy can help people improve their relationships with others and perfect their communication skills. Telling your therapist what you’d like to work on will help you begin your healing journey.
Is Family Constellation Therapy Effective for Healing Trauma?
To put it simply, yes healing ancestral or generational trauma can be effective. It’s important to understand when deciding to go through family constellation therapy that the experience can be very intense. The role play along with other exercises may unearth even more details about the trauma of the past which can be difficult to confront.
When you decide to do family constellation therapy, be sure you are very comfortable with your therapist. Ask as many questions as possible before you begin, and you and your therapist will make the decision together whether it’s the appropriate therapy method for you.
You will also need to choose whether you want to do group or individual constellation therapy. Group therapy will typically involve people that you don’t know. If you aren’t comfortable with that, you may choose individual family constellation therapy.
Family Constellation Therapy and Natural Treatments
If you decide to try out family constellation therapy, the work doesn’t stop there! Through Dr. Ameet’s Free Holistic Health Courses Online, you can start to get in tune with yourself to start your journey. You’ll learn about how the body manifests trauma physically, how family constellation therapy can help, and also how to improve your mental health by using natural treatments for gut health, how to detox the leaky liver with herbs for liver cleanse and how to reverse adrenal fatigue naturally. Check out the holistic medicine books and Dr Ameet's best book on gut health.
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