In Brazil, Diversity in Systemic Constellations (or more than 300 ways to constellate)
By Gabriela Simionato Klein
After my first Family Constellations session, I went into a full immersion.
Just like many people who fall in love with constellations, I started reading all the books on the subject that I could put my hands on. I took advantage of every opportunity to participate in sessions and start dreaming about how to include this newfound philosophy in every aspect of my life. My natural curiosity — I am a trained journalist who has been working as public relations professional for the last 15 years – led me to investigate how the concept has been integrated to other professions and countries.
And when a work assignment took me back to my hometown of São Paulo, in Brazil, a national symposium on the subject was happening there at the same time, I registered to participate. Organized by the CBCS (Brazilian Community of Systemic Constelators or Comunidade Brasileira dos Consteladores Sistêmicos) the event united 150 attendees that benefited from hearing the experience of 30 speakers. Although figures are hard to come by, it is estimated that there are at least 2,000 and perhaps up to 3,000 facilitators in Brazil.
After experiencing Constellations in United States, where I have been living for the past decade, it was interesting to see how a different culture impacts the same concept. I would say with just a distinct shade of the same color.
Brazil is a country of intense miscegenation and syncretism. Intermarriage was common between native Brazilians, colonizers and Africans brought up as slaves, meaning that cultural beliefs have been intermingled and many lines of spiritual thinking are integrated on society.
By culture, Brazilians are also very comfortable in demonstrating passion. Some of the sessions seemed a little more dramatic in movement and expression that the ones I was used to, but this was not the most notable difference. Although the main questions that move people are the same, you can always find a different approach based on how you have been brought up. This diversity is amazing! Can you imagine how all the different ways to look at something can bring gifts of light and understanding that a unique approach could never grasp at?
Immensely popular in Brazil, the systemic constellation approach has been adopted by professionals from the most diverse areas. Of course, it fitted in with family therapists. But I was surprised to discover that a judge has been using constellations with success to diminish conflict and help on conciliations. And his approach already is being emulated by few others in the judicial system. Many facilitators are focusing in services to companies – from coaches to organizational consultants. Those who translated the method to a corporate environment created many products and interesting systems.
But for me, one of the most passionate applications in Brazil is the embracing of constellations by Spiritism, a spiritualist doctrine founded by a French educator under the pseudonym of Alan Kardek in mid-19th century and followed by 3 percent of the population in the country.
Spiritism sees us all as immortal spirits that temporarily inhabit physical bodies for several incarnations to achieve moral and intellectual improvement. Another important point in the doctrine is the belief that spirits can communicate through people known as mediums and in that way may have influence on the physical world. Followers usually gather to study, to talk with mediums, receive “passes” (a hand imposition blessing), and perform community work. Constellations sessions are common happenings at those gatherings. Furthermore, a Spiritist college is offering a post-graduate course on constellations.
Also as part of the religion ethos of energy work and doing good in the world, it is common to encounter clinics that offer spiritual treatments. As an example of how this view applies to a psychiatric treatment, I am sharing a video from the documentary “Crazy Wise” and let Dr. Dagmar Ramos explain her work. Dagmar is a Brazilian psychiatrist, homeopath and practitioner of Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellations and Barbara Brennan’s energy work. She has been recently focused on helping addicts recover and is very active as a medium at the Spiritist Center “Ramatis” in the city of Goiania, in Brazil. To see the video:
And these are just a few examples of how constellations are unfolding in Brazil. This is the reason why I am eager to participate in the 2015 North American Systemic Constellations Conference Nov. 12-15 in San Diego. The list of presenters is exciting, as well the anticipation to meet with more than 300 participants that have been including systemic methodology in their line of work and in their lives.
I can’t wait to meet and learn from you!
Gabriela Simionato Klein is a Brazilian journalist who immigrated to the United States 10 years ago to accompany her American husband. Although working as public relations professional for a global non-profit, she is also searching for ways to include more of systemic constellations work in her life and use her skills in this field. She lives in Miami Beach, Florida.