In 2018, I was introduced to Family Constellations with my beloved Greek/German teacher: Mary Zapiti (1).
Family Constellations are also known as Systemic Constellations or Systemic family Constellations. Mary told us that it was “discovered” by Bert Hellinger (16/12/1925- 19/09/2019) when he was sent to South-Africa, as a missionary, to be with the Zulus.He lived there for 16 years, becoming fluent in the Zulu language, participating in Zulu rituals. There he was intensively engaged with the influence of group dynamics. Afterwards Bert Hellinger became a psychoanalyst and completed various trainings in Primary Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and Neuro-linguistic Programming.
Over the years he finally developed his own method: Family Constellation (Familien-Stellen) according to Bert Hellinger was born. Today it is known worldwide and is used in many different areas. In psychotherapy, organizational and management consulting, education, medicine, justice, life and educational counseling and life assistance in the broadest sense.
Bert Hellinger researched further and further. New insights and discoveries, gained in practice during seminars, conversations, meditations and many other life situations, were constantly incorporated into his method. Until it became clear that the “Original Family Constellation according to Hellinger” had grown beyond this level. Instead of a rigid technique that could be learned and a claim to help, a posture of a very special kind emerged, so to speak in the first place. A posture of “consenting to what is – exactly as it is”.” (2)
To participate in a session is amazing, like being in the Quantum fields; you experience different emotions and get to know and love your fellow human beings. During our sessions, a question appeared: what if animals could help in Family constellations?
This question was answered a month ago, when I found the Brazilian Marly Cordeiro, doing Systemic Constellations with horses in Brazil and Argentina.
Marly Cordeiro does not call Systemic Family Constellations as a Method, but a group of integrative techniques that connect the philosophy of life helping in the development of human beings and integrating the being in a System (family, organization, school, offices, industry or company). According to her, Hellinger brought spirituality into the group of methods that we call Family Constellations, bringing love to the essence of the therapeutic process. ” We work with three consciousness : individual consciousness, family consciousness and Supreme consciousness or spiritual conscience ( collective unconsciousness), uniting also psychoanalysis to access this unconsciousness.
She is a professional “Consteladora”(Constellator) and teacher for the last 18 years (since 2005). She is also Bert Hellinger’s student. Already a teacher, she decided to specialize not only as a therapist but also as an educator and also as an organizer of events related to Systemic Constellations. She explained that Systemic Constellations can be used in any area of life. Indeed, I have a lawyer friend in Brazil studying Systemic Constellations in law. It can also be used in various organizations as: industries, offices, families, companies, schools …anywhere where there is a group of people, animals or both together.
These Constellations Systems can be applied to any part of Society using the three factors: to think, to feel and to act.
In a way, this echoes my latest article in Greek,when I researched the relationship between ancient Greeks and animals; they used to live (ancient times) in the same cave , as in a group or mini society. During medieval times, animals (pigs,cows and horses) lived in the ground floor of farms and houses to help heat the house for the humans who lived in the first floor. Humans were always close to animals until the Industrial revolution, when artificial cities were created and the relation to nature was severed.
Marly, a descendant of native cultures of Brazil, started to work with horses in 2012 mainly because she came from a farm, herself, which gave her opportunity to be in contact with animals and plants since childhood. The professionals in Brazil started working with horses in 2012, instinctively and realized the same was happening in other countries. She does also Coaching with horses, which she learnt from a professional from Holland, integrating various techniques.
Marly starts explaining how a session works using humans for humans:”Using human Gestalt, a person interested in working a System (family, organization, office, etc..), we can do: individually (in the clinic or online) and we use the information of the conscious field that the person is bringing. The resources are in the Systemic relations that this person has with himself, family or other persons. The same work can be done using other people in a group; these persons represent, in a psychodrama system, other people, elements or themes that the patient has brought to the session. There is an expansion of consciousness due due to a quantum synchronicity and in the end, the patient interprets the result scene as a solution scene.The result will bring the patient to a new state of consciousness.”
“With horses, the difference is the Equine group which is a different species, one that is more authentic and truer than the humans because humans have a mental factor (ego and self) that we use in our relationships. When we are using our self, we can use authenticity that comes from love but when we are in the Ego, the patient does not recognize the actions and they lose the force, because there is no trust between the therapist-client and group used;the work becomes superficial.”
Marly tells me that a lot depends on the experience of the therapist. Actions must be interpreted by the bodies of the participants.”With horses, it is beautiful, we don`t need to control, as therapists, the situation. As a therapist, I have a lot of knowledge and resources, but all of this is not needed with horses because the group of horses has its own wisdom and connection to the spirit of the earth and love of spirit. It is a fantastic work because they are deeply connected to the Natural law of the Systemic Constellations (order,belonging and energetic balance). We would need to learn from them.”
She told me a beautiful story of her experience in Argentina with half-wild horses that had contact with only one human. Marly brought a group with her and noticed that the horses reacted in seconds, showing the connection of each case/patient according to the issue/problem brought forward. She compares a session with humans, that take minutes to get inside the issue, to seconds that the horses need.
From people to horses
As a retribution to the horses, Marly brings groups of people to facilitate processes for the horses, too. She tells me a story of a horse that had an invitation to go to the United States to do competitions. The guardian of the horse called Marly, because she wanted to find out if this would be a good situation for the horse. The answer was yes, he wanted to leave and go compete in the United States. His past traumas were resolved and he is happily competing in the United States, nowadays.
Why work with horses?
” The answer comes from the heart. The horse, a hundred meters from you, can synchronize his heart with yours and everything flows. Unconditional love flowing for life.”
It is time to go back to nature and start again interacting with animals and plants.