Author(s): Joy Manne
Mapping out a family constellation, explains Dr. Joy Manne, encompasses exploring previous powerful life events from accidents to adoptions and accessing the deepest dynamics in that family system. This process helps us recognize and then resolve deeply seated family patterns. For example, in order to understand a person's inability to trust, the family history of betrayal must be uncovered and released. These insights replace resentment with respect, pain with understanding.
Dr. Manne uses the knowledge gained from her own practice as well as her educational experiences with Bert Hellinger, the founder of Family Constellations therapy, to clearly describe this technique. Most family constellation sessions are carried out in a group setting, with the facilitator first seeking clarity regarding the issue or problem the client has come to work out. Representatives are then chosen from among the group and the constellation is set up and worked in until it comes to resolution. This may be followed by a closing ritual and advice about how to integrate what the constellation has revealed. Through the use of real-life examples of family constellations, Dr. Manne makes this increasingly popular practice understandable and relatable.