Wholes and Parts: Family Constellations & Systems

Network - image by Geralt
Textures of connection and relationship

A systemic view

We tend to see our problems as belonging to us alone. Yet we as individuals also belong to a wider system; we are connected and interconnected within a web of intersecting  groups and systems. The experience of our existence is dependent on the quality of these connections that we have with others.

The first experience of connection and belonging is of course that of the family. In the best of times these relationships can nurture and feed us, inform us, warm us; they give meaning to our lives.

The texture of connection

An awareness of these interconnections allows us to become conscious of how we connect to others in the different systems that we belong to: our family of origin, our present family, our work place, a school setting – any group of people with whom we share life experiences.

This consciousness also makes it easier to experience a sense of a shared responsibility for what happens in our lives as individuals, and as part of the family or intimate group. An action taken by one person has an effect on everyone in the system, and can have an impact across generations.

Richness of complexity

So taking a systemic view, or more simply, seeing an individual within the context of their family, school, community offers up a wider and more complex view of someone’s life. This complexity of connections opens out a landscape rich with possible meanings and stories that can make sense of inexplicable behaviours experienced in the present. Out of this richer landscape comes a deeper understanding of self and opens up the possibility for a movement towards resolution of a longstanding issue.