I am new to Systemic Constellation Work; what should I expect?

I am new to Systemic Constellation Work; what should I expect?

I have always admired the bravery of those who take the shot in the dark and come for the first time to (especially) group workshops. The room always has slight awkwardness and apprehension in the first few minutes of the day. Participants find themselves in a new environment with people they most likely never met before. As expected in any group dynamic, one may be worried if their place in the group is safe and if their actions may make others judge them. The irony of it is that all people usually feel the same way, as it is injected into us by evolutionary psychology – where one’s very survival may depend on being included in the tribe. Thankfully, the short-term discomfort always gets replaced by trust and the deep feeling of belonging – even for those who have befriended scepticism.

The biggest worry – I won’t know what to do.

The quick answer to this statement is: You don’t need to know anything!
It is the responsibility and duty of the facilitator to ensure that everyone is well-explained in what they are expected and not expected to do. For example, if you have been chosen to represent an issue holder’s family member, then it is essential that you check in with yourself to see if your body tells you anything that is worth reporting. Perhaps a higher-than-usual heartbeat, hot flashes, pain in a shoulder, or a clear feeling of irritation toward other family members. The fact that representatives can experience the emotions and feelings of the issue holder’s family members, who are complete strangers to them, is called Phenomenology. As the name suggests, it is a phenomenon that works; however, no one knows how. It is important to mention, though, that in some rare cases, representatives may not have anything to report. This makes the representative anxious as they may start to question themselves if they are not feeling something that is expected from them. If this ever happens to you, it is essential to know that not feeling anything is also information and needs to be reported to the facilitator honestly, without any personal input. On the contrary to a lack of feelings, you may like to say something that is either inappropriate or rude in normal circumstances – such as: “I like seeing him suffering; it makes me happy”. If it is on your tongue, then spit it out without any hesitation! No one in the room will ever think that this came from you as the representative! It is never about the representative’s personal actions; it is all about what they represent.

However, the overall movement in the field should always be done at a slow pace, with calm, safe and respectful motion. Aggressive feelings that may arise should be described verbally and not acted upon! It is the facilitator’s duty to ensure discipline and take action if some participants may cross the line in extremely rare cases.

Do I have the right issue to be looked at?

This feeling is way too familiar for many. Is my issue the right one? Is it even worth mentioning? How on earth will they be able to resolve this one?

Regardless of the issue that has been brought to the table, the facilitator and the whole group are always in service of the issue holder. There are almost no topics that can’t be looked at. Nevertheless, we cannot look at the issues on behalf of other people who are not in the room and whose permission we don’t have. A mother who wants to save her daughter from anorexia can only bring to the field the dynamic related to herself and her daughter’s illness and not how her daughter relates to it.

We should also respect this work by not bringing comical, disrespectful, or unreasonable issues to the table.

Is it worth it?

I have always learned that people who have come across this work have been genuinely moved by it. The experience of the workshops has left them with a feeling of change. Once your soul has been touched, you won’t forget it.

I am looking forward to seeing you in one of our next workshops!

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