Family Constellations Therapy, also known as Systemic Constellations, is a powerful therapeutic approach that focuses on family systems and their relationships. Although this therapy has gained popularity recently, its roots can be traced back to the work of Bert Hellinger in the 1970s. This blog post will explore the evolution and history of Family Constellations from its early beginnings to modern practice.

Understanding Family Constellations

Family Constellations is a form of psychotherapy that aims to uncover and resolve deeply ingrained issues within families and their ancestral lineages. This approach is based on the idea that our family systems profoundly affect our psychological and emotional well-being, and unresolved conflicts and traumas within the family can manifest in physical, emotional, or mental issues in the individual’s life.

In Family Constellations, a therapist or facilitator guides the client through group therapy and role-playing to identify and understand the hidden dynamics within their family systems. This involves exploring the family’s history, significant events, and relationships, as well as revealing hidden patterns and dynamics that may be impacting their present relationships and life experiences.

Bert Hellinger and the Beginnings of Family Constellations

Family Constellations origins can be traced back to Bert Hellinger, a German psychotherapist born in 1925. Throughout his career, Hellinger worked with various psychotherapeutic approaches, such as psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, and transactional analysis.

In the 1970s, Hellinger began developing his approach to Family Constellations, which drew inspiration from his experiences working with indigenous tribes in South Africa and his studies in group dynamics and family therapy. Hellinger observed that the family systems of these tribes were characterized by a deep sense of interconnectedness and interdependence, which informed his approach to Family Constellations.

Hellinger’s approach to Family Constellations was innovative and quickly gained popularity in Europe. He believed that the family system was a complex web of interconnected relationships, and that unresolved conflicts and traumas could affect the individual and the wider family system.

Hellinger’s approach involved using group therapy to explore the hidden dynamics within the family system. Participants took on the roles of family members and acted out scenes from the family history, which allowed the therapist to identify the underlying patterns and dynamics at play.

The Evolution of Family Constellations

Family Constellations has since evolved and diversified, with a range of different approaches and techniques now being used in modern practice. While the core principles remain the same, the approach has been adapted to address a wider range of issues and meet the needs of different populations.

One of the most significant developments in the evolution of Family Constellations has been the rise of individual therapy approaches. While group therapy remains an essential part of Family Constellations, many therapists now offer one-on-one sessions that allow clients to explore their family history and dynamics in a more private and individualized setting.

Another significant development has been the increased use of Family Constellations to address issues beyond family dynamics, such as addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. Therapists are using the approach to help clients identify and resolve the underlying emotional and psychological issues contributing to their problems.

The integration of other therapeutic approaches has also been an important aspect of the evolution of Family Constellations. Therapists combine Family Constellations with other therapeutic approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), to address clients’ specific needs.


In conclusion, Family Constellations has evolved significantly since its inception in the 1970s, from Bert Hellinger’s groundbreaking approach to modern practice. The therapy has become more individualized, expanded its scope beyond family dynamics, and integrated with other therapeutic approaches to address clients’ specific needs.

Family Constellations has gained popularity worldwide, with practitioners and clients alike seeing its effectiveness in addressing deep-seated issues within families and ancestral lineages. The approach has helped many individuals resolve long-standing emotional and psychological issues, improve their relationships, and achieve greater self-awareness and personal growth.

Overall, the history and evolution of Family Constellations has been marked by innovation and adaptation to meet the needs of individuals and changing times. Its principles and techniques continue to inform and inspire therapists and clients, making it a valuable therapeutic approach for those seeking deeper understanding and resolution of family and personal issues.

How I Can Help

As a fully qualified Family Constellation therapist based in Ireland, I offer one-to-one sessions in Dublin and Kildare, as well as remote sessions for clients all over Ireland.

If you’re struggling with issues related to your family or ancestral lineage, or if you’re experiencing emotional or psychological challenges that you suspect may be linked to your family dynamics, Family Constellations may be an effective therapeutic approach for you.

In our sessions, I will work with you to explore your family history, significant events, and relationships, and identify any hidden patterns and dynamics that may be affecting your present life experiences. Through role-playing and other techniques, we will work to resolve any conflicts or traumas within your family system, and help you achieve greater self-awareness, personal growth, and improved relationships.

Whether you’re seeking support for personal issues, relationship challenges, or simply want to gain a deeper understanding of your family history and dynamics, Family Constellations can offer profound insights and lasting change. And with remote sessions available, you can receive support and guidance from the comfort of your own home, no matter where you are in Ireland.

If you’re interested in learning more about Family Constellations therapy and how it can help you, please don’t hesitate to contact me to schedule a session. I look forward to helping you achieve greater self-awareness, healing, and personal growth through this powerful therapeutic approach.

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