What are family constellations? Explanation

What are family constellations? Explanation

Family Constellations is a therapy in which certain acquired or inherited patterns or behaviors can be detected that, if we know them, allow us to better understand ourselves and be able to continue evolving without carrying burdens that do not belong to us.

Family Constellations

Family Constellations , many of us have heard of these wonderful therapies, however, what are family constellations ?

Many times, in our families there is something that we feel is not right or situations that are constantly repeated and this is where family constellations come in .

Family constellations give us clarity to see these “things” that are repeated can be: diseases, behavior patterns, addictions, ways of being or acting, among others; we are a system and as such, our actions and decisions have consequences for others.

Sometimes, we fail to understand what is wrong? Why does it seem that we are in a kind of vicious circle from which we cannot escape? why even if we try different things we have similar results? And it is here, where we see the importance of this family constellation therapy .

Although family constellations do not have a scientific basis that can prove their effectiveness, this wonderful tool is based on pseudoscientific concepts such as quantum mysticism or morphic resonance.

What are they for?

You may be wondering, what are family constellations for ? Mainly, they aim to show us the connection with our ancestors, allowing us to better understand our present, and that perhaps what we are is the result of inherited unconscious patterns.

In some cases, they can be done individually, although they can also be worked on in groups; Put simply, they deeply work our consciousness, eliminating anchors or unconscious patterns that we perceive “for no apparent reason”: pain, illness, suffering, among others.

These “anchors” can lead us to have repetitive, compulsive and even obsessive behaviors without understanding why, which in turn, can generate high levels of stress, anxiety, depression, among others.

Family constellations, although they can be worked on with several people, should not be confused with group therapy, since they must be handled in a very personal way.

At the group level, we work with people who do not have any type of relationship and the only “link” is the workshop in which each member of the group must find their place in a very respectful way for themselves as well as for others.

Perhaps, we can consider family constellations as a sensitive and highly experiential method that seeks to work on our fears, dynamics within a family that have been hidden, low energies, among others.

We can perform family constellation therapy when:

  • We feel that we are stuck on a personal, work or spiritual level
  • There is a difficult time in our family
  • Accompaniment or prevention
  • family reconciliation

Einstein said that the past, present and future are all in one place, with family constellations we can go to the past, repair things, heal, return to the present and with the development of the family our perspective and lifestyle can change radically.


Family Constellations are a therapeutic technique developed by Bert Hellinger in 1925, in Germany.

Bert Hellinger had knowledge of pedagogy, psychology and philosophy. But in reality, one of his most important contributions was the sixteen years he spent as a missionary for a Catholic community in southern Africa.

He began to notice how the community interacted with each other and wondered how it was possible for energy to flow so well in that community? What did they do differently from the rest of us?

Based on his initial observation and relying on other therapeutic techniques such as: NLP, psychoanalysis, psychodrama, phenomenology and especially transactional psychology, he collected extremely interesting data, which allowed him to develop family constellations .

Hellinger realized that this community honored their ancestors, unlike other communities and cultures, this was the secret for energy to flow freely and harmoniously.

We are all part of a system (integration of various parts that form a whole). Each part directly influences the whole, and in turn, the whole influences each of the parts.

When that order within the system becomes disordered, everything is affected and it is where we see psychic illnesses, pain, suffering, physical illnesses, among others.

What are not family constellations?

Family constellations are not a therapy that has a scientific basis or proof, so its “efficacy” is questioned and it would be more logical to attribute it to empathy or suggestion.

It is developed from observation and other therapies.

To practice it, in reality, it does not require academic training.

It does not suit many of the circumstances of our modern lives.

It is not considered an ethical practice.

How is it constellated?

A Spanish website entitled Family Constellations Bert Hellinguer   has a method, which we will try to explain. It should be noted that this method can be applied both individually and for a group.

individual family constellations

In the case of individual family constellations we can participate in three different ways:

  • As a client, where to express what is that matter that you want to solve.
  • As a representative, where we represent a family member of the client who presented his case.
  • As a participant, where you simply observe in silence and help with the regulation of the client’s energy during the time that is required in said family constellation .

The therapist or guide (whatever you prefer to call him) begins to include the “actors”, starting with the client, then the representative, and finally the helper. The idea of ​​involving them little by little is that a whole process and psychological scenario is generated.

Also, to make the therapy more effective, some family constellation phrases are included, supported by the use of additional tools such as NLP, for example.

The therapy usually ends with a final participation of the client, then expressing this “new reality” that he has just built to his “relatives”, feeling free, renewed and ready to start a new life.

How does a group session take place?

Family constellations how are they done ? They work with groups made up of between three and six people where each one has one hour of time to act as a “client” and expose their case to be resolved, the rest of the participants collaborate and serve as “relatives”. No prior knowledge is necessary.

Criticism of this practice

One of the biggest criticisms of family constellations is the fact that they do not have any scientific basis that supports or proves their effectiveness. Some even claim that family constellations are dangerous .

It is said that it is an unethical practice because it rather uses the power of suggestion to “heal” the person, but in reality it is nothing more than a mental game, a trick for our reality.

Opinions about family constellations are very personal, however they seduce young people, who have adopted it as a fashion.

What can they treat or heal?

Family constellations can treat or heal “anything” as long as it has some kind of relationship with our family or ancestors, helping us find a new meaning in our lives.

Rosary family constellations can work at a very deep subconscious level, much like hypnotherapy. According to its creator, this therapy works the processes, energies and wounds of our soul.

Themes that can be constellated

  • Difficulties in family relationships.
  • Personal development.
  • Childhood traumas.
  • Relationship conflicts, current or past relationships
  • Problems with the children.
  • Guidance in vital moments of change.
  • Depression, sadness and melancholy, with or without apparent cause.
  • Loss and bereavement – ​​Overcome tragic events.
  • Resources to deal with illnesses.
  • Fertility problems, adoptions.
  • Exclusion and problems of social relations.
  • Difficult destinations (premature deaths, abortions).
  • Feeling of Self-sabotage to not achieve economic, professional, or personal success.
  • Other topics: inheritance, lawsuits.
  • Guidance at a professional level and projects.

A Phenomenological Approach

In order for a therapist to perform this therapy effectively, they must put aside their beliefs and unlearn in order to learn again. It must free itself from limiting patterns and simply flow to build a new reality, otherwise the therapy will not be effective, since we would sabotage the process for ourselves.

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