The foundation of systemic phenomenological work


22 April 2022| Persoonlijk


A woman in a workshop family constellations dares to do a constellation the second day. The previous day, she was severely affected by a constellation of someone else.

Now I ask her what could help her to stay in the here and now when she is touched again. “My grandmother,” she says. She asks someone from the other side of the circle to represent her grandmother, who stays on the side, so she can look at her and feel that she is safe and just here, in February 2022.  She tells me that she is Jewish and two of her grandmother’s children were betrayed and eventually gassed in a concentration camp.

I ask her to set up ‘the betrayal’. I take her into the constellation and make her look into the eyes of the betrayal. After a long time, she says: “Yes”. I also make her say: “Yes, you belong to us”. After another time of looking into the eyes of betrayal, she says that.

Then I turn her so that she can see “her grandmother” sitting on the side. I make her say: “Grandma, I am going to betray you”.  “No, I’m really not going to say that!” is her comment. “Do I really have to?” I repeat. Gasping and swallowing, she says to her grandma: “Grandma, I’m going to betray you”. “I’m going to stop surviving. I’m going to live”, I add.  After a long, deep sigh, she repeats: “Grandma, I’m going to betray you, I’m going to live…”.  “And what was I supposed to do with that survival, you said?” She asks me… “Leave it behind” I say and turn her around with her back to her grandma and her face to the window. A ray of sunlight shines exactly on her face.

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About the Bert Hellinger Institute

People are constantly evolving. With each other, without each other. In families, in teams, in organizations. Systemic thinking makes us aware of the “why” of our being and doing. Organizational and family constellations create room for movement. The BHI provides courses, workshops and training programs in the field of systemic work, constellations, leadership and coaching. This is how we contribute to the development of people, organizations and society.

For up-and-coming and established leaders. An initiative of the Bert Hellinger Institute.