Perhaps the most important day in the life of every individual is the day that he or she was born. According to Bert Hellinger, the creator of Family Constellations, events surrounding birth and the time shortly thereafter have a lasting impact on the individual’s developing personality and on the path that person chooses in life, as well as whether or not he or she will be truly successful! The good news is that early traumas are easily addressed using Systemic Family Constellations.
Many things can go wrong during a delivery or the period immediately following birth, that result in what Hellinger calls, “the interrupted reaching out”—a loss of connection or attachment with mother. If the delivery is a difficult one and forceps are required to “pull” the baby out—this can result in the infant’s pulling away or withdrawing from mother’s love. It’s as if that tiny infant has the cognitive ability to say, “How can I trust this person who allowed such a trauma to happen to me?”
What if the baby is born prematurely or has some kind of birth defect that results in the infant’s being placed in an incubator where it is incessantly poked and prodded with needles and drainage tubes—with little or no contact with mother? Maybe the baby is given to a loving adoptive family or the birth mother dies? All these events are extremely traumatic for the infant. They are experienced as a loss of mother, resulting in the “interrupted reaching out!”
Sometimes the mother is ill and someone else must take over the nurturing of the young child, or the baby is ill and requires hospitalization—even the most devoted substitute caregiver is experienced by the baby as a loss of mom, creating an “interrupted reaching out.” Hellinger maintains that this “interrupted reaching out” is internalized by that child as a separation from and a loss of mother, resulting in a trauma that lasts a lifetime if left unaddressed.
Hellinger stresses that any of these early traumatic events can lead to unconscious conclusions that can result in unfortunate decisions later in life—such as giving up trying to connect with anyone and making the decision to remain alone—in order to keep a distance from mom and from others as well. The injured child grows to adulthood and turns away from the most important thing of all—he or she rejects love!
Hellinger reminds us that Systemic Family Constellations provides a unique opportunity to heal these deep traumas and to reconcile the lost relationship with mom. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for traumatized individuals to be resistant to “making up” with mom—either because they are angry with her, they don’t trust her, or they don’t believe it will help them. But a skillful facilitator can assist and can bring a constellation to resolution, restoring the lost connection between the individual and the most important person in his or her life—Mother!
Once the lost connection with mom is re-established, the transformational experience heals not just the relationship with mother, whether she is alive or dead—and even with an unknown birth mother—but heals relationships with others as well, and successes replace failures throughout the individual’s life.
The MIDWEST INSTITUTE FOR SYSTEMIC CONSTELLATIONS was established by
Liz Jelinek, PhD ©, as a Training Center for Constellations Facilitators,
and to bring this amazing process to everyone!