"Depression runs in our family."
"Your grandfather was an alcoholic."
"Your mother never fully recovered after that..."
Have you ever felt the weight of previous generations on your shoulders?
It's not your imagination.
Not only did you inherit your father's height or your mother's temper, but the experiences of your parents, grandparents and other ancestors were passed down to you, deeply embedded in your cells.
And no family lineage is without trauma---whether a war experience, an illness, an untimely death, physical or sexual abuse, or addiction.
Often, these traumatic experiences were never acknowledged or resolved. But, their imprints remain in your body, mind and spirit.
Many of the biggest challenges that YOU currently encounter, such as health, career or relationship issues, have their basis in these unresolved issues, from previous generations. The trauma imprinted upon you, creating a pattern within your own life. Some of these imprints are physiological, such as how our bodies respond to stress.
Genetics, parenting, social learning, and shared environmental context can influence outcomes related to stress across generations. Stress effects that are inherited via an ‘intergenerational transmission’ mode are reflected in offspring biological changes, including neuroendocrine, epigenetic, and neuroanatomical changes. (source)
Others are psychological--- our sub-conscious loyalty to re-create the experiences of previous generations.
Offspring of trauma survivors have described vicarious traumatization through the stories told by exposed parents, their own feelings of helplessness, and burdens of compensating not only for parental losses but parental damage. (source)
Both types of imprints seem rather mystical, until you better understand them.
And to complicate matters, most of these imprints are sub-conscious, making it very difficult to connect your current challenges with their origins.
But, Constellation work is a tool that helps you identify and unwind these inherited patterns, that impact your current life.
When we personally experience trauma, it can create a split in the psyche. What emerges are three distinct parts---the healthy self, the traumatized self and the survival self. The healthy self is the part of us that still operates from wellness. The traumatized self is the part that is still held in the trauma. The survival self is the part of us that adopted coping mechanisms, or survival strategies, in order to endure the trauma. This final part is what governs our continued trauma pattern responses such as fight, flight, freeze and fawn. These are also the patterns that are being passed through our lineage.
Identity Oriented Psychotraumatology (IoPT), aka Constellation work, is a therapeutic method, established by German psychotherapist Franz Ruppert, that evolved from Bert Hellinger's Family Constellation work, to specifically address the splits in our psyche, that occur from experiencing trauma. The process can help us move from our survival strategies toward a more integrated healthy self.
Whether we are addressing inherited traumas, or something that happened in your lifetime, Constellation work is a beneficial, experiential tool for discovery and integration.
In a Constellation, you, as the client, determine what you seek to resolve. From that point, the group or I, as the facilitator, supports that intention, as the ultimate goal.
You may participate in Identity Constellations at two different levels:
As the Client:
In the role of the client, you select an intention for your Constellation. Intentions can be trauma specific, such as, "I want to heal the trauma of my car accident," or more open-ended, like, "I want to understand the root cause of my digestive issues."
The Client role is recommended for those who have previously worked with me, or on a referral basis. Constellations can be facilitated remotely.
Discuss details, or schedule your constellation, HERE
As a Representative:
In the role of Representative, you participate in the interactive work that supports the resolution of the client's healing intention. Representatives also receive personal healing, through this process.
The Representative role is a great way to experience the work, whether, or not, we have previously worked together. I also recommend it for those interested in the client role, but wanting an opportunity to further explore the work, prior to that commitment.
I walked away with a powerful feeling of having been part of something very healing and transformative. Being involved in the constellation was an experience so utterly organic and guided by intuition. Afterward, I felt a deeper sense of trust in my gut instincts, my capacity to know the next thing to do. I also felt the power of the group and the healing that can happen with the presence and involvement of others. ~JW