Learn how this innovative & unique approach to therapy can help encourage an understanding of other perspectives and repair relationships.
What Is Family Constellation Therapy?
Family constellation therapy is a type of expressive therapeutic intervention used by psychologists and other mental health professionals to gain information about a client’s family history, dynamics, and any potential dysfunctional patterns. The goals of family constellation therapy are to help participants work through familial concerns and develop better insight regarding certain conflicts. Developed by German therapist Bert Hellinger, this therapy model is based on the idea that problems usually move down through generations. When these problems are not addressed, they can cause stress in the present. It utilizes components of Gestalt therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and other influences to deliver a unique experience.
How A Family Constellation Therapy Session Works
Most family constellation therapy sessions are conducted in a group setting. During these sessions, there will be multiple participants who don’t know each other in the room at once. The therapist will have participants take turns playing roles of other clients’ family members to act out dynamics related to the individual’s concerns or traumas. The client will either interact directly with their “relatives” or stand aside and observe from an outside perspective. Essentially, the therapist uses drama therapy with members of the group to create a family constellation.
While this format is less common, family constellation therapy can also be done in an individual setting. During one-on-one family constellation sessions, objects (toys, figurines, etc.) and drawings are used to represent a participant’s family members. This gives the client the opportunity to express themselves creatively while giving the therapist more insight. The therapist may point out observations they make to encourage clients to look for patterns. With individual family constellation therapy, the participant and therapist can work together more closely for a longer period of time.
Who Could Benefit From Family Constellation Therapy?
Family constellation therapy can help almost anyone who has experienced problematic family dynamics or any other relationship-related issues. It may be especially helpful for:
- people who want to break unhealthy patterns in relationships
- individuals struggling to overcome childhood trauma
- couples trying to understand each other’s families
- people who have been physically abused
- individuals experiencing complicated feelings after the death of a relative
- those who want to gain insight into how patterns from their childhood may be impacting their mental health today
Exploring unhealthy patterns in family constellation therapy can make the client aware of intergenerational trauma and can help them draw connections between themselves and various members of their family. It can also help people communicate better, which could help strengthen family bonds. And by participating in this type of therapy in a group setting, you’re not only benefiting yourself – you may also be helping other individuals in the room struggling with similar problems understand more about their own situation. Overall, family constellation therapy can be a very cathartic experience that gives individuals the space to process family issues and other traumatic events in a comfortable and constructive environment.
Finding Family Constellation Therapy Near You
When it comes to any type of therapy, especially family constellation therapy, it’s important to find a therapist who fits your needs and preferences. If you already have a therapist but are interested in exploring this type of therapy, it could be helpful to ask them for a referral.
At Elium Health, we have a team of certified therapists and psychiatrists who are trained in family constellation therapy as well as many other therapeutic formats. For more information about our services and offerings, contact us by calling 866-552-3758 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.