Family Constellation Workshop 21 July 2018 Cape Town

Family Constellation Workshop with The Inner Process

The Narrative of Love

Go deeper than love, for the soul has greater depths,
love is like the grass, but the heart is deep wild rock
molten, yet dense and permanent.

D H Lawrence

Space Nebula - nasa
Image credit: NASA

Uncovering the history of love

How do we travel through the layers of the many different ways there may be, to love and to be loved? How do we begin with loving our self?

There is only one word in the English language for love. One word for this emotion, this state of beingness that is learned through the early experiencing of nurture and care. First from a mother and then growing up within a loving family. Only one word to describe the many ways of connecting to another. Maternal love, parental love, love between siblings. Love in a friendship, a lover’s love, self-love. So many loves and so many ways to love and learn to love. For love is a learned activity. The learning begins while still in the womb.

Generational Love

What is your story of love or feeling unloved in your family? Where does the story begin? Rebecca Solnit in The Faraway Nearby, tells of the beginning of her parents’ stories going back to both sets of grandmothers, neither had the experience of being mothered. Solnit writes:

Some secret of nurture withered a generation or two before I arrived, if it had ever existed before among the poor, marginalized people on the edges of Europe from whom I descend.

In those words above are layers of generational hardship, grief and loss. Generations of women who never learned how to mother, how to be a mother – for they themselves were never nurtured or loved. Through history, hardship and circumstance, we may never be taught the ways of intimacy and love, may never have learned how to trust another, how to trust the self in life.

Interrupted Reaching Out Movement & Attachment Theory

My first experience of constellation work was in 2002, in a workshop facilitated by Ursula Franke. I knew nothing of the work, but was instantly connected through Ursula’s opening introductory words – she had begun talking of the history of attachment theory, an area of deep interest for me. I shall be forever grateful to Ursula for that door into this Systemic Family Constellations work (and the richness of subsequent trainings).

In constellation work the way of working with attachment issues is called the Interrupted Reaching Out Movement (IROM). This is a special area of teaching within the constellation field, that Ursula offers. The words quoted below are from an article by Cecilia Altieri, a constellation practitioner, detailing a discussion between herself and Ursula Franke.

If the child’s needs are not met, there are no options, the focus is on survival. In the sensitive onset of basic personality structures, the child learns behaviors which are non-functional, or non-sustainable in the long term. As an adult, the client may feel unable to find alternatives accessible.

Without mirroring of presence from the parents, the child has difficulty perceiving their own simple sense of beingness. The client often searches for this inner authenticity throughout their life, trying many routes for self-discovery and learning techniques for tension reduction. They often have long therapeutic histories and are still searching.

If there is a break in the early connection between mother and child, the child does not easily build up a trust in another, nor is able to develop a foundation of self-trust. The primary movement of reaching out and connecting to another has literally been interrupted. It is too dangerous to risk the movement towards another and be again rejected. The child retreats. This movement may become an inner movement of turning away from life.

A Loving Touch
from Harry Harlow, John Bowlby, Colin Murray Parkes … to neuroscience

It was in the 1950s that Harry Harlow showed in a now famous deprivation experiments with infant rhesus monkeys. The results from these experiments showed clearly that the infants needed more than just food nourishment from their surrogate mothers. They also needed comfort and cuddling (which they got from the wire-framed surrogate mother covered with soft cloth).

Touch appeared to be central to the developing bond between mother and infant. The results became part of the growing body of attachment and loss research of John Bowlby, Colin Murray Parkes and others.

This more recent neurological research looks at the level of development of a social brain in children, and how the frequency of touch is an important part of that development.

…..explored the relationship between maternal touch and resting activity in the developing “social brain”.

Love & Connection

Love is an emotion – is a feeling, a sensation that rises, that floods, that warms the body, softens the edges between one and another. Each one gives without expectation of anything in return. The flow of emotion / energy between allows a shared understanding at the deepest level of wordless knowing.

Some words below from Thich Nhat Hanh, the Zen Buddhist teacher, from his book, How to Love

Understanding someone’s suffering is the best gift you can give another person. Understanding is love’s other name. If you don’t understand, you can’t love.

Final words from Erich Fromm,  from his book, The Art of Loving

The first step is to become aware that love is an art, just as life is an art; If we want to learn to love, we must proceed in the same way that we should proceed if we want to learn any other art, such as music, painting, carpentry or the art of medicine or engineering.

Workshop Details : The Narrative of Love

This full day workshop offers a space for those who feel a need to work through the layers of love and connection in their wider family system; to begin to explore the many ways of opening the heart to love.

There are 4 places offered for those wanting to work on a personal issue by setting up a constellation. And as always many more places to attend as a representative.

For more information of the ‘how’ and of what happens in a workshop continue reading here


VENUE (we are back to The Forge for this workshop)
The Forge, 12 Windsor Road, Kalk Bay, Cape Town

9:00 – 17:00

Book to set a constellation @ R1250
Book to set a constellation @ R1050 [early pay discount – 2 weeks before workshop]
Book to attend as representative @ R350
Book as repeat representative @ R200
Please note early payment fee reduction for booking a personal constellation, if booked and paid 2 weeks in advance of the workshop date.

Looking forward to meeting within the work.