Mental Health
What is Family Constellation Therapy?

What is Family Constellation Therapy?

5 min read


Lauren Carlson

A Journey Through Family Constellation Therapy

In the quiet spaces between generations, amidst the echoes of shared stories and unspoken emotions, lies the heart of Family Constellation Therapy. It's more than a therapeutic approach; it's an invitation to unearth the roots of your experiences, to understand the threads that weave through your family tapestry, and to discover the healing potential within the constellations of your relationships.

Family Constellation Therapy is a unique and holistic approach that recognizes the intricate web of connections within a family system. Like threads weaving through a tapestry, each family member contributes to the overall pattern, and disruptions in this pattern can impact the well-being of individuals. Let’s explore the hidden threads that shape our lives.

What is Family Constellation Therapy?

The Family Constellations approach is dynamic and experiential, delving into the intricate interplay of family dynamics, systemic connections, and generational patterns. Developed by renowned therapist Bert Hellinger, this therapeutic modality recognizes that the experiences and emotions of previous generations can profoundly influence our present lives.

In a Hellinger Family Constellation session, individuals or a group gather to explore the hidden dynamics within a family system. The process involves representing family members, either through participants or symbolic objects, creating a living "constellation" that reflects the relationships and entanglements present in the family's history.

Types of Family Constellations

From the nuanced bonds between siblings to the profound interplay of roles within parent-child relationships, and the complexities of romantic relationships, let’s explore how each constellation offers unique insights and resolutions within family dynamics.

Sibling Constellations

Sibling Constellations center around the intricate relationships between brothers and sisters. This type of constellation sheds light on dynamics such as competition, support, and unresolved conflicts among siblings, offering clarity and resolution.

Parent-Child Constellations

Focused on the dynamic between parents and children, this constellation type illuminates the complex interplay of roles, expectations, and emotional bonds. It provides a platform to address issues such as parental influence, attachment, and generational patterns.

Relationship Constellations

Relationship Constellations explore the dynamics between partners or spouses. This type delves into the intricacies of romantic relationships, uncovering patterns of connection, unresolved issues, and the impact of family backgrounds on the partnership.

Intergenerational Constellations

Intergenerational Constellations widen the lens to encompass multiple generations within a family system. This approach allows for a comprehensive exploration of the systemic influences that shape the experiences of individuals across different age groups.

Key principles of Family Constellation Therapy

Embarking on the transformative journey of Family Constellation Therapy involves embracing several foundational principles. 

Systemic Awareness

Family systems are seen as interconnected systems where each member of the group plays a role in the overall dynamic. The therapy emphasizes understanding the systemic forces at play and their impact on individuals within the family.

Uncovering Unconscious Patterns

The approach brings to light unconscious patterns, loyalty conflicts, and unresolved traumas that may be carried across generations. By making these hidden dynamics visible, individuals can gain insights into the root causes of their challenges.

Representative Exploration

Participants, or representatives, are chosen to stand in for family members within the constellation. Through the experiential process, these representatives often tap into the emotions and experiences of the actual family members, offering a profound window into the family's dynamics.

Resolution and Healing

Family Constellation Therapy seeks to bring resolution to entanglements and conflicts within the family system. Acknowledging and honoring the experiences of family members, even those from past generations, can lead to a release of emotional burdens and promote healing.

Beyond Individual Perspective

Unlike traditional therapy which focuses primarily on the individual, Family Constellation Therapy widens the lens to encompass the entire family system. It recognizes that an individual's challenges may be linked to the experiences of others in the family, necessitating a systemic perspective.

Transgenerational Impact

The therapy acknowledges the transgenerational impact of trauma and emotions, emphasizing that healing in one generation can positively affect the multiple generations that follow. By addressing and resolving ancestral issues, individuals can contribute to breaking negative patterns.

Benefits of Family Constellation Therapy

Family Constellation Therapy offers benefits that extend beyond traditional therapeutic approaches. Unlike traditional talk therapy, Family Constellation sessions involve experiential exercises where individuals or representatives embody family members. 

This hands-on approach offers profound insights and a deeper understanding of emotional dynamics within the family. By bringing hidden dynamics to light, individuals can untangle emotional knots, paving the way for healing and a renewed sense of emotional freedom.

Additionally, Family Constellation Therapy empowers individuals by increasing awareness of unconscious patterns and generational influences. This heightened awareness allows for conscious choices, fostering a sense of empowerment and control over one's life. The insights gained from Family Constellation sessions are designed to integrate seamlessly into daily life. Participants often find that the therapeutic benefits extend beyond the session, positively influencing their relationships, decision-making, and overall quality of life.

What Does a Typical Session Look Like in Family Constellation Therapy?

Family constellation workshops follow a thoughtful and empathetic process designed to unravel the complexities of family dynamics. While every session is unique, here's a glimpse into what you may experience during a Family Constellation Therapy session:


The session begins with introductions and an exploration of your intentions for the constellation. You may share your reasons for seeking Family Constellation Therapy, specific issues you'd like to address, or any goals you have for the session.

Formation of the constellation

Members of the group are invited to stand in as representatives for family members or elements within the family system. In an individual setting, symbolic objects or placeholders may be used. The facilitator assists in setting up the constellation, and arranging representatives in the space. 


Throughout the session, the facilitator provides gentle guidance, encouraging open dialogue among representatives and offering insights based on systemic principles. The facilitator may ask questions, suggest movements, or offer reflections to deepen the exploration.

Insights & Closing

The session concludes with a process of integration. Participants are invited to share their reflections on the experience, and the facilitator may offer guidance on how to carry the insights gained into daily life. The session closes with a sense of closure and gratitude for the exploration. Participants are encouraged to reflect on their experiences after the session, and the facilitator may provide resources or suggestions for further exploration.

How Do I Know if Family Constellation Therapy is For Me?

Determining if Family Constellation Therapy is a good match involves considering factors such as your interest in exploring family dynamics, openness to systemic perspectives, readiness for experiential work, a desire for resolution and healing, comfort with group dynamics, awareness of transgenerational impact, a supportive environment, and a willingness to embrace insights. Consulting with a qualified therapist can provide personalized guidance based on your specific mental health needs and goals.

Looking for a therapist who understands your unique needs and can support your well-being journey? Complete this simple questionnaire to get instantly matched with therapists and coaches that meet your unique needs. Even better, every provider offers a free consultation call.

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About the author

Lauren is a member of the content team at MyWellbeing. She originally began her career in Client Services within the field of Advertising Technology. Recently, she transitioned career paths to pursue her passion for helping others. In December 2022, Lauren graduated with a Master’s degree in School Counseling and is primarily focused on working with middle school and high school students.

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