Family Constellation: A Quick view

family constellation therapy

In this post, we will discuss why Family Constellations (family constellation) are, who can be helped by them, how they are effective, and what professionals think about them.

What Is Family Constellation Therapy?


Family constellation therapy is a therapeutic technique that helps the family to work through their problems and find solutions. The theory behind Family Constellation is that each member of the family has a place in the constellation. Thus, it reflects how they relate to other members as well as what issues they have at any given time.

History And Development Of Family Constellation Therapy

It was Bert Hellinger, a German psychologist, who gave family constellation therapy. The first constellation was held in the early 1990s with one of his clients who needed help with her family issues after the death of her child. This is now considered as one of the most important events that led to Family Constellation Therapy becoming an established therapy today. The steps to be followed in performing the constellation are now established. They include setting up, contracting, and reading out family constellations among others.

Levels In Family Constellation Therapy

There can be many levels in constellation therapy.

  • There is the individual level where a person works on their issues within their family system.
  • Then, there is the systemic level which looks at how the family functions as a unit, and
  • Finally, the group level which looks at groups of people who share a common experience or problem.

Family Constellation Theory And Technique

how does it work

The “symbolic space” of Family Constellation Therapy is an energy field where symbols or events can act without having any say of time or location. The technique used in this Therapy is to allow these symbols to show themselves and be voiced by the client. These can then be shared with all concerned parties for further discussion or action. This can then help them to resolve any family issues that they may be experiencing. With time, these symbols are no longer needed as they have been integrated into the family system.

Issues Treated With Family Constellation Therapy

Family constellation therapy can be beneficial to anyone who is experiencing problems within their family system. This includes couples, parents and children, siblings, and other relatives. It can also be helpful for people who have difficulties in their personal relationships or those who are struggling with issues such as addiction, divorce, or grief.

However, this therapy may be ineffective for issues like:

Is Family Constellation Therapy Effective?


There is no definitive answer to this question. However, the majority of professionals who have used this therapy believe that it is an effective therapy. Several studies support this view as well. Some of the criticisms against family constellation therapy include the lack of empirical evidence and the use of unlicensed practitioners.

The Other View

Several studies support the effectiveness of Family Constellation Therapy. According to one study, participants showed significant reductions in their symptoms after eight sessions. Another study also found that constellation therapy was able to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

Criticism Of Family Constellation Therapy

  • Some criticisms against family constellation therapy include that it may lead to false memories being created by clients. Especially when they are in an emotionally vulnerable state at the time of family constellations.
  • Furthermore, there are allegations about certain aspects of this type of therapy being unethical. For example, some practitioners use constellation therapy to exploit their clients emotionally and financially.
  • In addition, it does not explain how it is able to achieve its results using methods like astrology, numerology, or other pseudoscience theories. Others also think that this technique is nothing more than a way to get people to talk about their problems.

Professionals’ View On Family Constellation Therapy

Many professionals view family constellation therapy as a powerful tool in helping families resolve their issues. According to them, it is an effective way to help clients who are unable to resolve their problems through other forms of therapy. Some of the benefits that professionals see in constellation therapy include:

  • De-escalation of family conflict
  • Increase in communication between family members
  • Easier resolution of issues through the use of symbols and contracts

NOTE: This is an effective therapy for families who are willing to address their issues. However, it cannot be a substitute for other forms of therapy.

Case Study

Remark 1

As a professional family therapist (name not cited), I have used the Family Constellation process for over 20 years. My experience shows me that this method is an effective tool in supporting families during difficult times as well as helping them find solutions to many of their problems. This system is also helpful when working with individuals or couples who are experiencing difficulties in their relationships.

The constellation process is based on the idea that we all exist within a family constellation – an invisible energy field made up of our thoughts, emotions, and beliefs about ourselves and others. The belief behind this model is that no one exists outside of his or her system. Thus, everyone carries these dynamics into every relationship they have.

The one exception to this is when there has been an energetic disconnection between family members. This may be the result of physical or emotional separation, unresolved conflict, or even death. When there is a gap in these energy connections, it can lead to confusion and harmful behavior towards oneself and others. Here the goal of constellation work is to re-connect all family members to heal these energetic breaks.

Remark 2

I have used this model successfully with many individuals and families who are struggling to find solutions for their various problems. Some of the issues that I have helped them resolve include addiction, anxiety, depression, relationship conflict, family rifts, and communication breakdowns between parents/children or couples. It has also helped me work through the pain of traumatic life experiences such as physical or sexual abuse.

One of the benefits of using this model is that it allows us to take a step back and look at our family dynamics from a different perspective. This can be very helpful in understanding why we are struggling with certain issues and how to resolve them. This constellation therapy also utilizes the power of symbols and contracts to help us find solutions.


Family constellation therapy is a therapeutic technique that helps the family to work through their problems and find solutions. The theory behind the constellation is that each member of the family has a place in the constellation. Thus, it reflects how the family functions as a whole. This therapy is an effective way of helping families resolve their issues. However, more research will eventually determine the long-term effects of constellation therapy.

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