Perhaps The #1 Mistake We Can Make With Family Constellation Work
I’ve re-traumatized clients, perhaps you have too?
But it’s been a few years!
Here’s the mistake I made and what I did about it… (Overgeneralized)
What was in the Field was too much for my clients and they were over-stimulated. They went too deeply into their trauma causing them to become overwhelmed (by emotions or sensations) or they had to freeze or dissociate to protect themselves. Either way it was too much for their nervous system to handle.
As facilitators I believe all of us will make this mistake at one time or another. This is a NORMAL part of our facilitator learning curve.
How I Created Safety
I wrestled for a long time with how to create sufficient safety.
With some clients you can place anything in the Field and they’ll be fine. However, clients with severe trauma need to be supported differently.
Some facilitators will work very closely with a client’s trauma as it arises while the client sits in the chair (a more psychological approach), this method works and I will use it occasionally, but what I prefer to do is let the Field do the work for me…
What I Eventually Learned
A few years ago I worked with a client in a workshop setting. I could tell this client had a ton of trauma and massive blind spots. It did NOT feel safe to simply throw this clients life story in front of the group. Here’s what I did, before the Constellation even began I asked, “what do you love?” or “what supports you?”, the reply I got was – “trees.” Before I even started the Constellation, I had representatives for two BIG TREES in the center of the circle. This Constellation went very well – and the trees were needed!
With what I perceive as the most severe trauma, I energetically strengthened the Field with supportive forces before I bring in any personality aspects.
This is not a strategy I use often, perhaps 1 in 20 Constellations.
(One caution here, we have all brought in “healthy ancestors” before only to see them melt onto the floor in an ancestral wound-puddle. This is not helpful. So most times when I’m strengthening the Field for severe trauma I bring in archetypal forces. Angels, love, trees, puppies, etc)
What occurs more often is a client who becomes overwhelmed DURING the Constellation. In this case I will use one of two variations. I will bring supportive forces directly into the Field or I will bring a supportive force directly behind my actual clients seat. I use my intuition on this one, occasionally doing both at the same time, though usually I bring the supportive force directly into the Field.
My goal is to strengthen the client/clients Field sufficiently so they can observe the Constellation without becoming overwhelmed, freezing or dissociating.
I hope this helps, this is not a conversation that is had very often, but I think it’s important as it relates so clearly to our clients safety.
Learning Constellation Work
– I do have a Level I training starting in December. If Constellation work is a gift you’d like to bring to your clients, here are all the good details: