What Is Family Constellation Therapy?

Last Update on December 22, 2023 : Published on December 23, 2023
What is Family Constellation Therapy

Family therapy has always proved to be one of the effective treatment options for resolving family issues, understanding dynamics, or exploring the family system. But, do you want to know about a family therapy option that is based on therapeutic interventions?

Today, we are going to take a look at family constellation therapy which is a therapeutic intervention-based therapy. During sessions of family constellation therapy, the therapist uses different intervention techniques to understand the dysfunctional patterns within the family. In this blog, let us explore what family constellation therapy is. So, let’s get started!

What is Family Constellation Therapy?

Family constellation therapy is a type of therapeutic intervention wherein a professional or psychotherapist uses different interventional techniques to gain information or insight related to family history, dysfunctional patterns, and dynamics. This therapy was developed by Bert Hellinger and this type of therapy is mostly based on the components of psychodynamic therapy and Gestalt therapy.

While attending the sessions of family constellation therapy, the therapist might employ some people who take up on roles of different family members. This act generally proceeds to make the family understand their dynamics and concerns related to each other. This type of technique is taken from expressive therapy. The ultimate goal of family constellation therapy is to help the client or family members understand their concerns and develop insights based on the conflicts.

Types of Family Constellation Therapy

Generally, the sessions of family constellation therapy proceeded in a group setting wherein other people stand as client members and act out the real problems.

During this, a group of 4-5 people acts and takes the turn of the main client so that each family member can understand the dynamic practically. If a client is not comfortable in a group setting, the therapist generally opts for the other type. Usually, there are two types of family constellation therapy:

1. Group Setting

In a group setting, the therapist directs the words, position, or posture through activities that involve less talking. The client generally watches the interactions and understands the main roots of causes. In some cases, the client can also directly interact with other family members in a constellation.

2. Individual Setting

In an individual setting, the therapist generally asks the client to take the help of expressive arts therapy, sand tray therapy, or figurines or toys to represent their family members and real issues. Sometimes, they are also asked to draw a family tree and understand the family dynamics. During individual settings, role play is not performed with other humans. However, in order to map out the relationship and dysfunctional patterns, the client and therapist work together.

Different Techniques Used in Family Constellations Therapy

Different techniques are used in group and individual settings to make the client understand the connections, dynamics, root cause, and observation. The therapist also focuses on the intergenerational trauma or transgenerational patterns leading to family conflicts, deprived mental health, and other issues.

1. Group Setting

In a group setting, the therapist takes the help of drama therapy wherein other people are asked to act as family members in a constellation. During this, the client and other family members are asked to observe and gain insights so that they can understand the root cause and address the traumas associated. This setting also helps in confrontation with all family members. This technique is generally taken from psychodrama therapy.

2. Individual Setting

In an individual setting, the therapist usually takes the help of painting, drawing, or other forms of expressive arts to represent the family members and dynamics. During the interaction, the therapist explains their own observations and encourages the client to look for dysfunctional patterns in their relationship with other family members so that they can resolve the conflicts together.

Uses and Benefits of Family Constellations Therapy

Before prescribing the type of therapy, the therapist generally observes and interacts with family members or the client to understand the concerns. After concluding this, the therapist might prescribe family constellation therapy and explain the reasons behind choosing this therapy, such as:

  • To break harmful or dysfunctional patterns in relationships
  • To make each family member or the client understand the intergenerational history or trauma-related
  • To understand the origin of the issues
  • To make the family members or client confront the abuser in a safe and protected environment
  • To gain insight and understand patterns leading to mental health issues

Family constellation therapy can be effective for treating the following issues:

  • Childhood trauma
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Complicated feelings

Below listed are some of the benefits of family constellations therapy:

  • Allows the client to work on the trauma, conflicts, childhood wounds, and other difficult experiences in a safe environment
  • Promotes healthy healing and improves insight into each other’s behavior
  • Promotes healthy communication, fulfilling and meaningful relationships
  • Creates a powerful space for processing traumatic events
  • Works through dysfunctional family experiences
  • Brings positive changes in your relationship

How to Find a Family Constellation Therapist?

If you or your family member is undergoing therapy, you can feel free to ask your therapist to utilize the techniques of family constellation therapy in the treatment process. If they are not certified to practice this therapy, you can ask for referrals.

I hope this blog helps you understand family constellation therapy. Comment down and share your views on the same.

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Thanks for reading!

About The Author

Aayushi Kapoor
Aayushi Kapoor

Aayushi is a Content Creator at Calm Sage. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Food Technology and a Master's Degree in Clinical Nutrition. Her constant interest in the improvement of mental health, nutrition, and overall wellness embarked upon her career as a “full-time educational writer.” She likes to make an asynchronous connection with her readers. Her mantra for living life is "What you seek is seeking you".

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