This post has been on my mind for quite some time. A friend last year asked me directly and it is importnat to share and put into words. Here goes!
We all deserve to know where we come from, and we all deserve to heal. Constellations is a tool that helped me with both. Like many people who train in a specific technique, it’s because it worked for me; it’s because it impacted my life, and it’s because it made a lasting change that I felt led to share with others.
Let’s start from the beginning. I grew up in a conservative family, and in a part of my home country—the United States—where help from a therapist not only has a stigma associated to it, but it’s also expensive and out of reach for a lot of people. I grew up seeking help from my local church, the pastor and the ministry team. That was fine for a while but as time went on and life became more complex, I needed more. I needed to define things in terms of psychology and understand patterns within myself and my family. As it does for us all, life threw me some curve balls, and I had questions—many of which I never thought I’d get an answer. This was either because the information wasn’t known or because it was hard to get.
Fast forward to a time after I had been living in Buenos Aires, Argentina for nearly four years. In comparison to my home state, Buenos Aires is a city where it’s odd not to have a therapist, so, I had one too. The opportunity to psychoanalyze myself was revealing, yet knowing how to move forward during a moment of change and transition didn’t come so easily. I was at a crossroads in this particular moment, and I was trying to decide between returning to the Land of Red, White and Blue or pursuing another place. It was more complex than that but for the sake of this post, I will leave it at that.
It was then that a friend recommended Constellations to me. In the first group workshop, a small session at the facilitator’s home, my constellation got me to the same point that therapy had after 7-8 months. In less than an hour my internal conflict and its origin were made visible. How could this be, and with strangers? I couldn’t explain how it worked, but the whole experience was calming for my analytical mind and it gave me some of the direction I was looking for.
This profound experience sparked an interest inside and I soon constellated again, this time about my parents. The simple movements of the representatives portrayed a dynamic I knew well and yet now it was outside of me, as a visual image I could remember. The constellation revealed a hidden loyalty I had to my dad, trying to fill the love only a mother (his mother) could give to her son, when I am only the daughter and only granddaughter. Indirectly I linked it as the source of a relentless search for dad’s approval that I had come to learn about years before. Again, the constellation was right on, and what I could see and perceive started to widen.
I started to witness stories all around and participate in others’ constellations. The method fascinated me enough to participate in a bi-monthly group where we worked together, sharing experiences and seeking answers from both present and past questions – all while passing around the mate, an Argentine custom. A key learning in it all was realizing that there are answers to what seems hidden or lost. It was a beautiful time of awakening and resolution, and the tool continued to surprise me and direct my path… or clear my path as I now see it.
I resonated so much with the tool and felt called to pursue it more. However, instead of jumping into a training right away, my first teacher –Anni Schuff – suggested something different. “Just continue to work on your own (family) system,” she said. This was the best personal and professional advice I could have received, and it became my compass.
Although I did officially start training in Buenos Aires, I didn't finish and instead went back to the US to study in Boulder, CO with Elmar Dornberger. After that I went on an extended trip in Europe, testing the waters, exploring and seeing what was out there. Between being a digital nomad, sightseeing and constellating with facilitators of all types, I was searching for my new home and next steps. It was really the path of my ancestors, which I’ll share in another post. Seeing other facilitators’ work gave me great insight into the different styles, topics and themes possible in constellations. I ended up in Barcelona, Spain to study with Maria Crespo, a first-generation facilitator. “First generation” is a term for those who attended Bert Hellinger’s original trainings and workshops, for those who learned from him – the Father and Founder of Constellations. In the end I trained two years with Maria, including a full year of supervision. At the same time, I started my own Circles in Barcelona and initiated work with individual clients.
Today I find myself in Brussels, Belgium and like many, I came for love. Believe it or not, it was while traveling in Europe and attending a large Constellation workshop in Barcelona with Joan Garriga from the Institute Gestalt that I met my now husband.
One never knows what life has in store, but I can guarantee as I speak from experience that when you work on yourself and your family system, things get in order and life becomes new. I don’t hold back in sharing personal experiences with Constellations. Anyone who comes to a Circle learns quickly that even though we have different backgrounds and/or different languages, we share similar stories, similar experiences and similar pains. We are human.
I credit a lot of my life today to the work of Constellations. Years after my journey began, today it’s an honor and privilege to be able to help others get many of the things I have gotten. There's always more to learn and deeper healing to find, but I have come to understand myself and my family system in ways I didn’t think were possible. There are many techniques out there and some needed where Constellations can't reach, but this is one that has impacted me greatly and continues to do so.
So why did I become a facilitator?
With all it’s given me, I had to share.
Thanks for reading!