“Autism spectrum disorders can only be fully healed by restoring the self-regulation of the system and making it fully functional.” -- Deitrich Klinghardt, M.D.
By Jennifer Giustra-Kozek, LPC
Autism and related disorders have become pandemic in our world. Some form of autism is now observed in 1 in 55 children and is growing at a rate of more than 1,100 percent. Western medicine focuses on medication to suppress symptoms, and alternative approaches focus on treating the underlying biomedical, physical, psychological and environmental causes of autism.
However, illness not only originates in our physical body but can also originate in our energetic and spiritual body as well. So, it becomes imperative that we treat the entire person for a fuller recovery.
Systemic Constellations, sometimes known as Family Constellations, were created by Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist. This phenomenological method is used to uncover the source of chronic conditions, illnesses and emotional difficulties that may have roots in the inter-generational family system, rather than the individual person, and may be connected to a key stress event.
This moving and powerful work in the family’s energetic field, which is also referred to as “the knowing field,” has been used to examine the emotional factors connected to conditions such as illness, allergies, alcoholism, ADHD and autism. Some parents of autistic children have experienced profound transformations as a result of this work for themselves as well as for their families.
By Sara Fancy
Recently I was distressed to find Diva and Corazon, my two mares at Silver Horse Ranch, engaged in a violent battle. They screamed and kicked at each other relentlessly. Neither horse showed signs of backing down.
Not wanting the horses to be injured, I broke them apart, and each dispersed to other areas of the corral.
I hoped this battle would be a onetime occurrence. Up until now, Corazon and Diva had been inseparable since Corazon was integrated into this herd at the ranch nine months ago. Alas, the following day, they continued where they left off, screaming and kicking at each other with no sign of resolution. Again I broke them up, knowing this was a temporary fix.
By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
For most of her life, Lucille had loved escalators – those amazing and efficient moving staircases that smoothly glided up and down in department stores, hotels and airports. She marveled at their construction and how they made life and travel easy and convenient.
Then one day, there was nothing marvelous, easy or convenient about escalators.
She was surprised – and shocked – that escalators suddenly seemed very scary. In fact, she found herself panic stricken when she stood at the top of the smoothly running steps of an escalator.
Just the thought of placing her right foot on the first step as the stair moved downwards felt serious, like certain death.
She knew that this frozen and body-tightening experience would be called a “phobia” in the world of mental health but felt embarrassed to discuss this strange experience with anyone.
By Alemka Dauskardt, M.A. Psych
Family and Systemic Constellations are a living and growing body of knowledge that is mostly discovered through an experiential method of inquiry.
It successfully resists any attempts to be comprehensively defined. As soon as we say anything about it, including how it came about or who “invented” it, as soon as we call it this or that way, there is a myriad of voices who offer a different perspective.
Risking that, I offer my view that Family Constellations have been developed by Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist, as an innovative and original approach, through synthesis of many different modalities and strands of knowledge coupled with his own phenomenological insights.
It was originally applied within a psychotherapy framework as a method of offering professional help in ameliorating some of life’s difficulties which are encountered in everyday living. At the beginning it was maybe merely a method in which unrelated persons were set up to represent family members, and through which we gained a direct insight into the dynamics operating in the system being set up.
A peculiar phenomenon which became apparent through these “set ups” was that strangers somehow picked up the information about the family members when they were set up to represent them.
Welcome to our blog, which explores what people are doing with Family and Systemic Constellations here, there and everywhere throughout North America.