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Somatic Constellations

The part can never be well unless the whole is well. - Plato

Nowadays, a variety of constellations are in use (from systemic family reconstruction following V. Satir, psychodrama following J. L. Moreno, classical family constellations following B. Hellinger, constructivist constellations following M. Varga von Kibed, trauma constellation following F. Ruppert, life integration following W. Nelles and more). They are not merely individual techniques, but complex philosophies, which foster profound changes in an individual, groups or even communities. What they have in common is the shift of focus from conversation and (mental) analysis to the experience of the here and now. For instance, in a constellation session we don’t talk about the relationship with the mother, but rather feel it, and the immediacy of the moment may even enable us to tell her what we feel is important. Constellation is often performed in groups. Those who are the recipients in a session merely observe the activities that take place among other participants, who take on specific roles.

In our work we make use of constellations when needed, as part of integral sessions with individuals. We also organize group constellations. We continuously draw on experiences from a variety of different approaches, while retaining the tie with the general principles of our work. This makes our work somewhat different from the most famous constellation methods. One of the main traits of our method is the focus on the observation of bodily experience and signs of activity or ‘freezing’ of the nervous system. Traumatic experiences can radically affect the body and the nervous system.

Also, in group sessions, the moderator focuses primarily on the person for whom the constellation is conducted, but the focus is also on the experiencing of the representatives. A problem, symptom, relationship or illness, etc. can all be explored. The participants are first guided to a connection with their bodily experiences and sources of personal power. All participants gradually, gently and consciously come into contact with their own experiences. We don’t engage with the feelings or act them out but merely observe them. We also let the body move on its own, performing the movements it ‘wants’ to perform (for instance deep breathing, tremors, crying, etc.). Of course, the positions of representatives might change, some things can get expressed, etc. We don’t lead the process in accordance with some pre-determined rules; we let it play out on its own. Repressed energy is released gradually, naturally, at its own pace. We are especially attentive to integration, helping the system to process ‘new data’ and re-organize itself. The slowing down of the whole process works towards this goal. The result of this process is a more balanced fluctuation between states of activation and relaxation, enabling valuable insights into meanings.