Family Constellations: The Invisible Ties that Bind Us-with Ines Seco

Many of us, unconsciously, "take on" destructive familial patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, loneliness  and even illness as a way of "belonging" in our families. Bonded by a deep love, a child will often sacrifice his own best interests in a vain attempt to ease the suffering of a parent or other family member.

Bert Hellinger developed the therapy of family constellations based on how strongly people are bound to their ancestors through loyalty. Without being aware of it, people carry the unprocessed emotional loads (called entanglements) and manifest them in  their lives in subconscious ways. This leads to profound (at times destructive) consequences—not only for the people themselves but those around them. 

Becoming aware of these loyalties and their costs can certainly help you move forward in your life. You will recognise how strong the influence of your ancestors is on your life as well as the freedom offered when you learn to let go of entanglements. In other words this is about positively transforming loyalty connections with parents and other ancestors.

The goal of a constellation is that the client, becomes conscious of all the emotional entanglements he/she carried and release them. They provide instantaneously accessible images of underlying problems.

The power of constellations lay in restoring the flow of love between family members. 

Through representatives expressing their perceptions, the hidden dynamic behind the clients problem can became visible. The therapist then works with special clarifying statements to replace order in the system. 

Most of us do not have an idea how strong the connections with family members can be, even the ones not alive.  We have no idea how strongly the negative effects of unresolved happenings in former generations can impacted people and how many generations back that it can go.

A person is born in a family and takes on the whole family system as his or her inner images. This inner image that everyone carries with him or her includes what is known as family conscience.  At the end of a constellation, a new family image replaces the old inner image of the client. Just as the old image subconsciously determined a person’s life, the new image does so from then on. The resultant changes stem from the same subconscious depth and take shape in people’s daily lives. 

Epigenetic explains how we carry in our DNA traumas, changes of environment, etc, and therefore we can change it by releasing it. But for that we need to know!

Through a family constellation, this inner image of knowing becomes visible and emotionally perceivable. 


In a family constellation workshop , the client presents a personal, familial, or work relationship problem for which resolution is sought. Then the therapist will ask the group if anyone feels like being  a representative either for the client, family member, object, anything that the therapist thinks would be important for the consultation. But this will be done anonymously so the mind doesn’t interfere with the energy of the constellations. 

Then the magic begins. 

The representatives in their respective role, access perceptions of the people they are representing. The facilitator questions one representative after another and works with the representatives to help resolve the clients struggle so the natural flow of love can be restored. 

The special roles of representatives and the way in which subconscious patterns can show up as entanglements of the family system, they can be transformed into healthy solutions. 

The beauty of a constellation is that it provides a way out of an entangled existence; relaxation, awareness, and peace become an integral part of an improved life. But success also depends on  how much the client can face up to, it also depends on how they can integrate newly acquired knowledge and awareness.