Bert Hellinger recently commented that Family Constellations have powerful healing effects on both the spiritual as well as the physical levels. Hellinger claims that whatever happens on the level of the physical, is mirrored in the body in a positive way. He points out that Family Constellations work permeates the individual at all levels and heals both physically and spiritually.
Fascinatingly enough, since Hellinger’s concentration is mostly spiritual these days, recent research demonstrates that a life-enriching experience or new learning, changes the wiring in the brain—making the brain better! The uniqueness of a Systemic Family Constellation is that it can stimulate the creation of new neural pathways in the brain, and in the process of rewiring, old traumas can be revisited and reframed. The reframing or re-remembering—as Hellinger likes to say—can bring resolution and healing of the old pain and suffering that interferes with the individual’s ability to live a happy and productive life.
Franz Ruppert, who is a Constellations Trauma Specialist, believes that trauma causes the psyche to split into three parts—the Trauma Self, the Survival Self, and the Healthy Self. The original trauma often occurs with the primary relationship for everyone—that of the relationship with mother. The split can occur at the moment of birth, or sometimes even during the early part of gestation. Or, sometimes the trauma results from being separated from mother shortly after birth. Such early traumas can have a lasting impact on the individual’s developing personality, as well as the path he or she will take in life. Early trauma determines whether or not that individual will even have a successful life.
The healthy part exhibits open-mindedness, is capable of regulating feelings, exhibits compassion and empathy, and is able to bond in a healthy way. The healthy part has a good memory and is able to accept responsibility, and self-reflection. It’s realistic, optimistic and finally, has the ability for self-reflection.
The traumatized part buries all memories of the trauma, and individuals who have been traumatized remain the same age they were when the first trauma occurred, and remain engaged in the traumatic experience. The traumatized individual is easily triggered to display mal-adaptive behaviors as an adult.
Much like the traumatized part, the survival part buries all memories of the trauma so that the trauma is buried deep and actively guards the split. The survival part can be controlling, avoiding, compensating and adept at producing illusions. It is a mirror image of the Traumatized Part.
Although it was accepted since the early days of Family Constellations that a constellation could heal trauma, the exact mechanism was not understood until very recently. The only way anyone could “prove” that healing took place was through the participant’s self-report.
Recent research shows that when the individual experiences a unique experience, or some kind of intense new learning occurs, new pathways are created in the brain which can be seen with brain imaging techniques now available. A constellation is such a unique experience that it triggers what is known as neurogenesis, or the creation of new neural pathways in the brain, during which the trauma is revisited and “re-membering” or reframing takes place and new information is added to the original trauma so that the Healthy Self becomes more available to the individual.
The early trauma that causes the psyche to split can result from problems during delivery, or with events immediately following birth. More recently, it is understood that some traumas actually occur during the first trimester of gestation. Such early traumas are the result of what Hellinger calls the “interrupted reaching out”—a loss of connection with mother, or an incomplete attachment, resulting in the inability of the individual to develop a good relationship while still in the womb.
Whether you are sure you were victimized by an early trauma, or just want to experience new learning to strengthen the pathways in the brain, Systemic Family Constellations have much to offer. Join Liz Jelinek in November to learn more about the new training program for constellations facilitators that begins in January Or, come to heal old traumas that stand in the way of living a fully functioning and happy life — live up to your full potential!