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TRAUMA AND CONSTELLATIONWORK
Trauma constellation has been developed by Prof. Dr. Franz Ruppert and is largely about the understanding of splitting in the soul/psyche after a traumatic, overwhelming event. A trauma constellation will reveal and highlight the inner splitting and show how we can integrate splittings in ourselves again.
The method shows major changes all the time, and these changes lead to the fact that we all the time come closer to what is our true and healthy identity. The self and our will are important in the process of becoming ourselves. Our identity is damaged by relational trauma. Below you can read more about the basic ideas of the method, now called Self encounter with the sentence of the intention.
Internal splitting in the psyche/inner self:
Splitting may have occurred because of trauma one has experienced oneself, like trauma of existence and trauma of loss:
Trauma of existence: the human being feels that the existence/that life is threatened. Examples can be a serious accident, rape, natural disaster. Trauma of existence is also called trauma of shock.
Trauma of loss: unexpected deaths, e.g. when a child dies or when a child experiences that a parent dies before it is 25 years old. Trauma of loss can also occur in case of serious loss of health.
Trauma of existence and trauma of loss are the so-called “classic/standard/archetypal traumas”; they are perceptible and may be felt by more people than the traumatized person himself/only and they are caused by specific events. Our society has gradually built up a lot of knowledge and good expertise for trauma treatment after unexpected deaths, disasters and accidents. Trauma constellation is a new treatment for/(offer to) those who want it.
Transferred trauma from family/relatives: recent brain research, attachment and bonding theory and neuro-science have affected Prof. Franz Ruppert and his own empirical research in the field of Multigenerational Psychotraumatology; Franz Ruppert has come to the conclusion that the bonding-and attachment process between mother and child can be traumatizing for the child.
Trauma of bonding: When the mother lives with an unprocessed trauma (or when the mother dies or otherwise becomes unavailable for the child), the child must bond with the mother through the mother’s trauma. Because the mother cannot really see the child without her being at risk of being re-traumatised, the child’s soul needs to split parts of its self. The child must adapt to the mother and her unconscious need to keep her own trauma under control. This creates serious consequences for the child and lasting consequences all the way up into adulthood.
The inner splitting in the child consists from then on of trauma parts, which encompass all of the bad feelings that could not be expressed – the child’s extreme anxiety to be seen/valued, understood, to feel safe and loved as itself by the mother. Trauma parts all the time long to be set free from their inner prison.
Survival parts living with adaptation, illusion and compensation need to survive, because it is not possible to express true feelings without becoming overwhelmed all over again. Survival parts will do anything to make sure that the feelings of trauma will not come out; it is simply too painful. The risk of being rejected by the mother is excessive, and the pain of being left to itself and its loneliness is insufferable.
In addition, we have healthy and strong personality parts, which are longing for healing, integration and more life force/strength; to live with an inner split compromises our vital life force – it takes a lot of energy to live with the unconscious trauma. The healthy personality parts will always look for opportunities to free themselves from the trauma and regain their own life force!
Because the child grows up with an internal split in the soul/psyche, a general vulnerability regarding all types of relationships may occur – the child will feel helpless in terms of being able to establish a safe bond to other people. In a social context, we can say that the trauma of bonding occurs in situations where we see bullying, exclusion from a group, the experience of feeling stigmatized due to ethnicity, religion or gender. My experience so far suggests that people suffering from helplessness regarding social stigma may find a solution for their vulnerability by looking at the original attachment/bond with the mother, and later with the father and the rest of the family.
The Symbiotic trauma: Even deeper traumatising occurs within the trauma of bonding, of symbiosis, also called “The Trauma of Love”: in family systems where unprocessed trauma and dramatic events are not redeemed and reconciled, we can see that the trauma works its way down through generations through the emotional bonding process between mother and child. This is a transgenerational trauma which is being “kept alive” because of the almost total absence of the healthy values in a family.
In case of a trauma of love, the relationship between the mother and child is so disrupted that the mother fails to see the difference between herself and the child. Who is the adult? Who is the little one? Who is going to take care of whom? This leads to the situation/fact that the child cannot develop its own healthy autonomy; the whole personality is built up of survival strategies – personal survival strategies and survival strategies taken on from the mother. The healthy parts of the soul are there, but receive little or no support from the mother, which were necessary to develop itself.
If the negative symbiosis is not released, trauma feelings like loneliness, helplessness and desperation make people very vulnerable to new overwhelming events and personal trauma throughout their lives. This can lead to addiction of all types, to being intertwined in the trauma history of other people, to long-lasting conflicts and a general life pattern of feeling “trapped”. A lasting trauma of love does not give space to the development of one’s own healthy autonomy.
Trauma of Bonding Systems: This is a trauma that affects the entire bonding system (the whole family/all relatives). The trauma of bonding system occurs in families where we find murder, incest and big secrets which at all costs must be kept hidden: this is the theme everyone knows about and everyone knows the ban: “We do not talk about this!” and this “This is not to be spoken about”. This is perceived as very dangerous and threatening.
In a way, the family implodes around the secret; the trust dies in a family system where the secret holds the field. No relationships are safe, the truth does not come out and the people cannot rely on their own gut feeling, as it does not agree/correspond with the stated “truth” in the family. In a trauma of bonding system all relationships are characterized by projections and reaction; it is impossible to live with true integrity, and this drains the personality totally. Looking at the model above, we can allege that there no longer is a healthy part left. Relationships in such a family system are reduced to a more or less conscious distribution of balance between survival strategies and feelings of trauma. Someone has to be the victim and someone must be the assailant/aggressor.
Reflections on the survival parts: survival strategies that saved us when we were small, in the long term become a big burden for us: we cannot fulfill the need for closeness and intimacy because affiliation and closeness involve deep emotions. Emotions are often chaotic and strong, especially in close relationships and partnerships, and these can stir up the unconscious memories of the feeling that “getting close is the most dangerous thing in this world”. For the child no one was/is more important than the mother, and the desire for safe bonding with the mother can last a whole life long. Through trauma constellation this small child may be seen/appreciated/valued and may get an opportunity to grow up so the person can be authentic, integrated and autonomous as an adult.
Practical info: Trauma constellation is focused entirely on you, your reality and what you can do in order to change your life situation. Healing of the family and the family you come from receives little focus, simply because when we deal with a trauma, it is impossible to save other people than oneself.
A trauma constellation highlights the person’s sentence of Intention: what would you like to change in your life? Your constellation (which has your intention as a starting point/actual management tool) will show what has happened and will make the psychological trauma field that you live in visible. The constellation will also show what it takes to leave this trauma, so you can integrate your own splittings/splits and regain your own authentic life force. I find it very significant that Franz Ruppert for a longer period of time used this title for his courses: “Becoming Who You Really Are”.
You can do trauma constellations in a group and individually, all the time aiming at what you want. “I want to ….”
Results: Through the systemic constellations we can gradually recover from internal splittings and helplessness:
• we can be released from the negative relationships in which we depended too much on the other person
• we can see where we can find real support and warmth in close relationships
• we can learn to trust ourselves when it comes to what we want in our own lives and thus make the right choices based on these wishes
• we can have the opportunity to raise awareness and healing, so we can find the strength to live our own lives with more inner peace.
For more information:
Prof. Dr. Franz Ruppert has written several books in German and many of them have been translated into English:
“Trauma, Bonding and Family Constellations” (2008), “Splits in the Soul” (2011) “Symbiosis and Autonomy” (2012), “Traume, Fear and Love” (2015), «Early trauma» (2016)
See www.franz-ruppert.de for free powerpionts, pdh files and video-talks.
Vivian Broughton specializes in individual trauma work and she has written two book: “In the Presence of Many” (2010) and “The Heart of things” (2013). In addition, her publishing company Green Ballon has released all the English translations of Prof. Dr. Franz Rupperts’ books.
Feel free to follow her interesting and educating blog.
I here include the roots of the method of Constellations:
The method Family Constellations has a focus on our place in the family system; “The Orders of Love”. This method was first developed by Bert Hellinger and was groundbreaking when it came out. In this new, large contribution we see man in a multi-generational way, i.e. that we unconsciously are influenced by the life and unresolved events in the family and relatives as far as at least four generations back in time.
Our family of origin affects our lives and us more than anything or anyone; the choices we make or do not make are often characterized/marked by blind love, loyalty and our need to belong somewhere/to someone. This can show itself in many ways, among other things, in how we find ourselves in new social contexts, e.g. in our current family, at work, among friends and in social life.
Through systemic constellations, we can see how our inner, unconscious attitude to relationships can be reflected externally, as in our choice of partner, the number of children we get, diseases we drag along, how much success we dare to have, how we choose to live in the world, etc.
Systemic constellations can be a good tool when it comes to processing grief. A constellation can be a healing ritual for those living now, an opportunity to thank the ancestors for life, at the same time releasing them, so everyone can be free. By recognizing reality as it is in this larger perspective, and through healing sentences from the soul, a previous serious experience/action of injustice may be redeemed in people’s hearts.
There are many books about Bert Hellinger’s work. I recommend these two:
“Acknowledging What Is” (1999)
“Love’s Hidden Symmetry” (2005)
Other important contributors are among others Dr. Ilse Kutschera; as a physician and cardiologist, she has contributed to the understanding of diseases and symptoms as indications of being intertwined in the family system’s fate. Dr. Ilse Kutschera has written the book: “What’s Out of Order Here?” (2006).
Jacob and Sieglinde Schneider are prominent facilitators and teachers of Family Constellations.
Constellations for Companies and Organizations
Companies and organizations are like living organisms. They have their own history, their own culture and character. However, and more importantly, they have a separate, unique purpose in society. This purpose has a direct relation to why the organization or company was started to begin with. Many organizations struggle within and in society because they have forgotten their own history/story/roots and why they exist at all.
Jan Jacob Stam, a Dutch facilitator, taught me constellations for companies and organizations. In the Netherlands, these kinds of constellations are very widespread and they are a successful tool for many large and small businesses/companies and organizations.
When we do constellations for companies and organizations, we always work with the approval of the highest leader. Even if the conflict applies to departments further down in the hierarchy, we still need to have the permission from the highest leader in order to start off doing a constellation.
When it comes to personal ambitions at work or choice of career, feel free to contact me in order to find out whether a constellation for companies and organizations can be the tool to succeed.
ABOUT MIRA TVEITANE:
Since early 2003 my main focus has been the field of Systemic Constellations and the ongoing development of this method:
- Family constellations
- The movement of the Soul
- The Symptom as way of healing
- Constellations for organizations and companies
- Constellations with figures 1-1
- Constellations with floor anchors 1-1
- Constellations on Myths
- Inner journeys and trances
- The transitionary years between 2004 – 2010 from Hellingers “Orders of Love” to Franz Rupperts “Multigenerational Psycotraumatology”.
My main teachers have been:
Tore Kval, Dr. Ilse Kutchera, Anngyn St. Just, Jan Jacob Stam, Jacob and Sieglinde Schneider, Vivian Broughton, Prof. Dr. Franz Ruppert.
Assisting in trainings:
Since 2005 I have been assisting in many trainings in Systemic Constellationwork on a national level run by Tore Kval. In 2013/14 I was assisting in an international traning in Trauma and Constellationwork run by Prof. Dr. Franz Ruppert, Vivian Broughton and Tore Kval.
In 2010 I started my own practice facilitating constellations, mainly trauma constellations for and with people with a deep commitment to heal. I have done most of my personal healing prosess in this constellation field and I do not teach or facilitate anything I have not experienced myself as a client.
I met my first teacher in energyhealing at the age of 17, and this encounter was lifesaving for me at the time. The sense of being seen and understood was profound, and I am so grateful to this person and all the wise people I have met in my life.
The quality of presence and deeply felt contact is important to me. For periods of my life this deeper contact has moved me to stay longer periods in meditation, gifted me short but very powerful meetings with shamans and medicine women from different cultures.
At the moment I am immersed in the deep longing for more authentic life lived from my Heart- Womb. Womb Wisdom is to me the most logic respons as a woman to decades of blaming the female reproductive organ as the root cause of Hysteria, the initial focus in the study of trauma. I will write more about this topic in the years to come.
Life is a precious gift. And no matter what has happened to us in relation to parents, family, society I know we have the ability to heal and become who we truly are!