By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Imagine a constellation in the sky -- a grouping of stars that depicts you and your ancestors.
These ancestors have imbued you with strengths to face the struggles of your daily life. And ironically, some of your struggles may actually belong to these ancestors, not to you. You are “carrying” the struggles because they have been passed to you as a curious inheritance.
New studies that focus on epigenetics – the study of biological mechanisms that will switch genes on and off – are suggesting that we inherit experiences of our ancestors just as much as physical characteristics like eye color and nose shape.
However, these inherited traumatic experiences can be healed with Family Constellations, an unusual experiential approach that defies typical therapeutic categories. The Family Constellations approach is not talk psychotherapy, nor is it a true creative arts therapy. It has similarities to psychodrama although it most closely resembles sociometry, the sister method to psychodrama, as developed by Dr. J.L. Moreno.
(By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Stephan Hausner is the author of an amazing book Even If It Costs Me My Life: Systemic Constellations and Serious Illness.
As a master facilitator and teacher of Family and Systemic Constellations, Hausner has become internationally renowned for specializing in illness and health, particularly working with illnesses that seem resistant to conventional medical treatment.
I haven’t yet had the chance to study with Stephan, although I have read his book (twice!) and include it on my reading list for my trainees. And now I’m in the middle of watching a wonderful-wow five-part documentary produced by Ali Mezey about his profound work.
In the documentary series, Stephan shows how transgenerational trauma influences illness and how hidden loyalties and entanglements to the ancestral system hinder physical healing. It is designed for people who want greater insight about their own illness or the illnesses of people in their lives. It is also an excellent resource for professionals of all kinds who want to work more effectively with people who are ill.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.