Skillful Facilitation: Faculty Share Their Wisdom

This month, I asked the faculty from The Constellations Intensive:

What gem can you offer us about Constellation facilitation?



Ed Lynch, PhD

“One of the little gems that I have found in doing Constellation work is the importance of the embrace or hug. It is usually done towards the end of the constellation when there is some  healing or reconciliation movement occurring. On some occasions, I have witnessed another dynamic playing out on the personal conscience level. With the embrace, I’ve seen on a deeper level the healing of the interrupted reaching out movement. This is a double healing in that there is an embrace of reconciliation and on a deeper level the embrace of the child with the parent, or parent figure. I’ve seen this occur in the slight regression that allows for the surprise of feeling in the client.”


Francesca Mason Boring: TRUST

Francesca Mason Boring

“The single word which I think resonates strongly in a good facilitation, and which has perhaps the greatest impact on my facilitation is: “trust”.

Trusting the capacity and resilience as well as the fragility of those who are ready to look at their family system, trusting the function of paradox within family systems: that war criminals can be loving fathers and that their children can love them deeply- to somehow trust that there is a functional wisdom in those apparent conflicts supports stamina in a facilitator.  To trust the gifts of our ancestors as well as our own gifts and to equally trust our limitations is crucial.  I continue to be amazed at the changes folks describe in their lives when they find peace through family constellation; I trust the presence of that possibility in every family constellation.”


Dan Booth Cohen: NERVE


“Nerve is courage with a little bit of Chutzpah. It takes nerve to claim that a single Constellation can shift serious emotional, behavioral, relationship and health issues that have been active for ages. It takes nerve to be fully present to unbearable horrors and catastrophic losses found in the depths of a family system. It takes nerve assert publicly that representatives in Constellations are literally tuning into the consciousness that survives death.  From my work with Constellations, I have learned to accept that almost any intention can be achieved when the obstacles and burdens that impede forward movement are seen in the context of generational trauma.  Making direct contact with the ancestors who occupy the second dimension of consciousness engages them in the healing process. They literally arrive when called in by the client’s issue, substantiate the root of trauma and make embodied contact with their living children. When the root is identified and the healing has occurred, they retreat into the Greater Whole, taking the burden, block or restraint with them.”


Suzi Tucker: CONFLUENCE 

suzi tucker 2015

“I discovered myself: that’s the unexpected gem I found as a facilitator. The constellation is one place where I can and must bring everything I am to the fore in order to truly meet someone in her or his full dimension. Thus, I call upon everything I have ever learned, everyone I have ever known, every book I have ever read, every word Bert Hellinger ever said, and before him, the teachers of dance, poetry, language, science, philosophy, as well as my mother and father and other important ones. I allow for vulnerabilities and strengths to have their places; they are not fixed states, as they are not fixed for those I accompany. I see myself simply as walking through the client’s home and turning on lights, some of which haven’t been touched in years or generations. I see the intricacy of the architecture, and the complexity of the present and past inhabitants. Education, curiosity, the release of assumptions, the acceptance of others’ metaphors, my own continued reconciliations – they are all a part of mobility, creativity, constellation.”


Bill Mannle: PATIENCE


“I have learned to go slow, to take my time, and to start small; that every family/generational issue does not need to be addressed in a single constellation; to practice seeing with no intent to heal; and speak what I see.”


Emily Blefeld Volden: PERCEPTION

Emily Blefeld Volden, LICSW

“Constellation work has taught me to open the gates of my heart, amplify the power of my perception, and be present to the dimension of human consciousness that occupies an intermediate space between the personal and the spiritual.  I have learned to allow the consciousness that comes through the representatives and my own inner perception to move me beyond what I know and into the Mystery of the Knowing Field.  Connection, communication, and collaboration with the presences that come forth in this dimension guide my facilitation. For me, there is more to a constellation than freeing oneself from inherited burdens or connecting to Spirit, as powerful as that can be.  A constellation connects us to the consciousness of the people and ancestors who created us and remain present with us along our journey forward. Cultivating a living, healthy relationship with ancestral presence as a facilitator and in everyday life has offered me freedom, connection, and resource as life unfolds within and around me.”

And here’s mine – Alison Fornés: NOT-KNOWING


“What I have discovered is that the closer you get to the source of the issue, the greater the sense of “not-knowing”. When I was first starting out, this encounter with not-knowing created fear and uncertainty. But what Constellations have taught me is that when I settle into the not-knowing, the momentum of the inquiry guides us to the solution. It’s a beautiful and powerful experience, and it allows me to engage in Constellation work as a spiritual practice.”

The Constellations Intensive