By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
We’ve just finished the final day of the 2017 North American Systemic Constellations Conference.
This year’s conference, with the theme of “Bridging the Divide: Healing for the Personal and Collective Soul,” took place Oct. 5-8 in Virginia Beach, Va. It’s the first time in several years that the conference has been located on the East Coast of the United States.
We’d like to think there are other noteworthy and newsworthy items that are worth sharing. Here are my 10 takeaways from the conference:
Dr. Karl-Heinz Rauscher gave this keynote speech in "Collective Healing" at the North American Systemic Constellations Conference on Oct. 7, 2017 in Virginia Beach, Va. The theme of the conference was “Bridging the Divide: Healing the Personal and Collective Soul.”
By Karl-Heinz Rauscher, M.D.
Good morning. I am delighted to be invited to speak about the important issue of "Collective Healing" at this conference. Collective healing is defined as a healing impulse from which not only a few, but many people benefit, perhaps even large parts of the population.
The centerpiece of systemic constellation work is still the family constellation. It remains important and valuable. On the personal level, however, we only reach a small percentage of people who suffer from the consequences of collective trauma. Plus, in the face of current wars, expulsions and natural catastrophes, the work on personal problems often occurs to me as a Sisyphean task. We work with the consequences of the First and Second World Wars and the Vietnam War, while every day hundreds and thousands of people die in the current wars.
We work with the descendants of people who were murdered in genocides in the 19th and 20th centuries, while new genocides are being carried out. We work with the consequences of the expulsions of the great-grandparents, while millions of people are on the run every day.
By Katherine Revoir
Hooray for Family Constellations!
Entanglements are identified, family members are given their respected and honored place in the system, and the client ends up with a more expansive view of the family, with more room for choice about how to move.
A Family Constellations session is resolved when connections between family members are acknowledged and brought into balance, and missing people and pieces of information are reclaimed. At this point, at the end of the constellation, the client has a new opportunity to ask the question, “How will I now choose to relate to myself and others in healthy and loving ways?”
This question is one of my favorites that comes from constellation work, and is at the heart of my explorations into attachment and intimacy, which I will have the good fortune to be presenting at the North American Systemic Constellations Conference.
By Jenn Elsa Plourde
Four years ago I took part in a Systemic Constellations session. The group I am involved with has monthly meetings, and our theme that month had to do with land, place and identity – topics that have been spinning around my head since I was a child.
I live on the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron and Haudenosaunee people that are now a part of Ontario, Canada. My roots go deep in Canada. My mother's family is French Canadian. Everyone in my maternal lineage was here by the 1620s.
My father's father is French Canadian, and the first ancestor who came here from France on that side was in the 1590s. My father's mother is Anishinaabe, and her ancestors have lived in the area of Northern Ontario where we are from for at least 1,000 years.
By Melody Allen, MA, PMA, LPC-S
My healing journey started from my own outpouring of grief and misunderstanding about being a single woman older than 30.
When I talked with friends and family about this matter, I met responses ranging from “Have you prayed?” to “How are you sabotaging yourself?” and “Look who you’re picking!” I later realized that these unsupported comments arose from people’s inability to handle the anxiety of not having an answer for me. I decided to stop complaining and accept singledom as my present state. There was nothing I could do about it until the time came for “IT” to change.
Just bringing up the topic of being single used to give me a visceral reaction, rooted in the shame and blame that society puts on unmarried, childless young women. In alignment with our 2017 North American Systemic Constellations Conference theme “Bridging the Divide: Healing the Personal and Collective Soul,” I have seen so many divides when it come to finding love and lasting partnership.
By Betsy Hostetler, Ph.D.
I’m startled to see that I have only a few minutes to change planes. I’m on my way to study Family and Systemic Constellations in Germany, and it’s not clear that I’ll make the connection.
I take a deep breath and imagine it working out fine.
Surprised by my own reaction, I remember a time when anxiety would have driven me to make back-up plans even though no sound data existed. I think of constellation sessions I’ve done, and I understand where this new sense of calm is coming from.
Even though I don’t know what will happen next, I come home to my breath and to myself. I change planes easily, without trouble, either external or internal.
By Anita Harrell
Tsenacommacah was a political alliance of Algonkian-speaking nations in south-eastern Virginia, sometimes referred to as the Powhatan Chieftaincy or the Powhatan Confederacy. It was led by paramount Chief Wahunsenacawh, frequently spoken of as Chief Powhatan. Tribal holy men told Wahunsenacawh of a prophecy in which a nation would come from the East and defeat him. He concluded the prophecy referred to the Chesapeakes, the largest tribe to the East, and either killed or forcibly relocated almost all of them, replacing them with families loyal to him.
He was wrong, of course. What actually came from the East in 1607 and caused his destruction was the English.
The reconstituted Chesapeakes, or a smaller related band farther east, were those who drove off the Jamestown settlers when they landed initially at what is now Virginia Beach. Apparently one of the first things the English did was to plant a large cross on the beach, annoying the residents. The three ships then stopped at Kicotan, where they were welcomed and fed by the Natives there. All of that area, and considerably more to the west, was part of Tsenacommacah.
Some of the English proceeded to establish James Cittie, which later became Jamestown, in 1609. At first it was believed the English remaining at Kicotan had come to trade. But in 1610 they pretended to invite the Kicotan to a celebration. They sent a merry piper to the village, who beckoned for everyone to follow him. When they arrived the English killed most of the Kicotan and drove the rest away, acquiring in the process 6,000 acres of cultivated land that later became part of the City of Hampton. Hampton celebrates 1610 as the year of its founding. From 1610 through 1614 the English killed many Natives and burned their homes and cornfields, and it became clear they weren't planning to leave.
by Anita Harrell
Native peoples have been in the Americas for from 13,000 to 20,000 years, depending on your source. Those in what is now Virginia Beach were part of a group referred to as Eastern Woodlands, found up and down the East coast, most speaking a variant of Algonkian.
After them came the Africans, among others, although chances are you didn't learn that in school.
There are documents in Arabic recording the story of Abubakari II, who in the 1300s abdicated the throne of Mali in favor of his brother, known as Mansa Musa. Abubakari had heard old stories of ships that went to sea and didn't return, and had a burning desire to explore what lay on the other side of the ocean. There is a current off the west coast of Africa that carries ships south, then meets another current flowing west. Barring accident or poor planning, such as not taking along enough fresh water, the second current will deposit those same ships anywhere from northern South America to the Caribbean, whether they had intended to go there or not. It is believed that this is where Abubakari II's ships went, because they didn't return either.
Although the early arrival of Africans in the Americas is not widely known, those who doubt should consider this:
By Reva Hamilton
Once upon a time I walked on this earth in a bit of a fog with a belief that I was never enough. Shame lived in me like a vine, tangling me with doubt and fear, holding me back from living freely, fully and wholeheartedly.
My destiny introduced me to Family and Systemic Constellations with facilitator Mary Rentschler in 2006 in Washington, D.C. The person I am today has been influenced greatly from my journey with constellations.
I now dance in the world with a mysterious and delicious comfort in trusting I am enough.
I am humbly grateful to my teachers and the creators of this remarkable method of being given the opportunity to consent, and to agree and to see what is.
Cecilio Fernández Regojo, a featured presenter at the upcoming North American Systemic Constellations Conference this October in Virginia, will be our next guest for our online live video series. You can see Cecilio, listen and ask questions in this special online live video call on Thursday, Sept. 14. The times are:
10 a.m. PT
11 a.m. MT
This internationally-known organizational constellations consultant and trainer is a born entrepreneur who has created companies across many countries for more than 40 years. He is especially interested in empowering the client through constellation work, preserving the autonomy of client insight and choice. He is also warm, funny and has a keen intelligence, making him a delightful presenter and speaker. He is one of our international presenters, coming from Portugal.
Join us live via video or phone, meet Cecilio and ask the questions you want answered about why organizational constellations work matters, how it works, and what he will be offering at the conference. This will be an interactive and enjoyable hour together!
This is the last of a series of live conversations hosted by Leslie Nipps, co-director of the 2015 conference. To register for this conversation, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and she will send you the call-in info.
More about the conference, from Oct. 5-8 in Virginia Beach, Va., is here.
Welcome to our blog, which explores what people are doing with Family and Systemic Constellations here, there and everywhere throughout North America.