What is Family Constellations purpose and and how it is done

Family Constellations

Family constellations is an alternative therapy developed by psychotherapist Bert Hellinger, which aims to facilitate the understanding of psychological disorders, especially those that may be stimulated by the dynamics of family relationships or relationships, through the identification of stress factors.

This type of approach is considered pseudoscience, as there is no scientific proof of its effectiveness and, therefore, it is not approved by the Federal Council of Psychology or by the Federal Council of Medicine. However, it is recognized and offered by SUS, as part of the National Program of Integrative and Complementary Practices (PNPIC). 

It is important to note that the family constellation does not promote healing and does not replace psychotherapy with psychologists or medical treatments for psychiatric illnesses.

Purpose of the Family Constellations

According to the theory that serves as the basis for the family constellation, the sessions can help resolve problems of family origin, difficulties in the relationship between parents and children, as well as challenges in intimate relationships.

Thus, people who usually resort to family constellations are those who:

  • They seek to solve family problems;
  • Need to address negative relationship patterns;
  • They want to overcome an inner turmoil;
  • Who have experienced significant trauma or loss.

In addition, family constellation therapy also seems to be a great tool for anyone looking to achieve a higher level of professional or personal success.

How the therapy is done

In general, in this type of approach, a group of people who do not know each other is used to replace and assume the role of some family members of the person who is trying to find a solution to the difficulty or concern that he/she presents.

Then the therapist encourages interaction with these “family members” and asks each individual to try to identify what emotions are behind the phrases and behaviors of the person seeking the solution. It is important, therefore, that none of the people representing the family know the person who is doing the therapy, nor the problem to be treated, as these factors should not influence the way emotions are interpreted.

During this time, the therapist stays outside the interaction and tries to assess all perspectives and then, along with the emotions reported by each person, show the person all the facts about their interaction with the “family”, identifying points of greater stress, which need to be worked on.

Since it is a relatively complex therapy, the family constellation does not always bring immediate results, and several sessions may be necessary until the person begins to identify what needs to change in their interaction with some family members. From one session to the next, it is common for the therapist to change the roles of the different “family members” until he finds the organization/constellation that best helps the person to identify his obstacles.

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