Relationships – The perspective from systemic constellations

By Susanne Hazen and Josianne Zwart (Hey Joos! Virtual assistant & projectmanager)
Photo: Rod Long, published on Unsplash

A couple relationship isn’t a relationship between two people, but a relationship between many people. Think of it as the congregation of two planets: each planet is connected to a bigger picture. As human beings, we’re also part of a bigger picture: a family, a living environment, a country, a culture. When you’re in a couple relationship, you will also deal with his or her family, living environment, culture, etc.

When you really like someone, the feeling of being in love comes up: “I have butterflies in my stomach!” or “I found the one!” But: being in love is a feeling triggered by hormones and ‘only’ lasts between three days and two years, according to American research. By then, the real work begins.

At the same time, being in love doesn’t have anything to do with everlasting love. It’s being romanticized by Western society: in fairytales or movies with a happy ending. The reality is much different.

Why is that reality different? Why don’t relationships work and why are there that many breakups and divorces? About 10 to 15% of the divorces in the Netherlands are a so-called ‘fight divorce’. The characteristics of such a divorce are heavy fights and lots of rage between the people in that relationship. When children are involved and parents don’t have (any) healthy contact, the children pay the highest price.

Where does this (disproportionate) rage come from?

Normal rage is a physical reaction that helps you to achieve your goals, set boundaries or defend yourself.

If you use it the right way.

However, most of the rage is ‘infected’: it’s mixed up with old rage. This is when rage becomes destructive and disproportionate. So, this rage can be infected by events from someone’s personal past: lots of rage comes from one’s childhood, but there is also rage coming from transgenerational connections; the connections you have with your ancestors.

When there is conflict, it isn’t between two adults in a relationship. It’s with their old child’s emotions, their inner child or lots of men and women from the past who bring this rage out.

Family constellations and Systemic Ritual

I said it at the beginning: a couple relationship isn’t a relationship between two people, but a relationship between many. You’re not just married or in a relationship with your partner, but also with his or her father/mother and ancestral and socio-cultural background.

This is the base of family constellations and Systemic Ritual: methodologies that shed light and can bring enlightenment to the underlying dynamics of a situation.

With Systemic Ritual, you see the influence of family constellations:

  • There are representatives;
  • Healing phrases are spoken;
  • The healing effect works for the entire system, not for one individual;
  • The healing isn’t based on an individual’s capabilities, but you’ll also see that forces from outside are being used. For example, from an ancestor;
  • Both dead and living people have a role. Both exist in the here and now. The deceased only live in another ‘dimension’ or ‘world’.

A Systemic Ritual is enriched with principles from Shamanism: a connection is made with ‘power sources’. Who or what can give enough support or power to the client in order for a next healing movement to be made? For example, participants are asked to represent a ‘healer.’ A Systemic Ritual can also work with qualities of the four directions or the various souls or bodies – concepts from Shamanism.

The difference with a family constellation

When we work with Systemic Rituals, the exact details of a family constellation aren’t needed. With a family constellation, a confrontation usually takes place between the client and the one in the system with whom the client has an issue: this weakens the client. In Systemic Ritual we look for a connection with strength: for example, a connection with an ancestor who can give a healing power. The addition of power sources is an important addition to Systemic Ritual. There has to be enough strength to go up against the confrontation, as it happens in a family constellation. Do you want to read more? Click here.

Do you want to take part?

Do you want to get to know Systemic Ritual in an accessible way? Then, the online workshops might be perfect for you: I’ll tell you more about systemic constellations and Systemic Ritual, but we will mainly do some constellations or rituals, so you can experience how it works and what it can do for you. Do you want more, and live? Click here for the workshop series ‘Hidden Dynamics’. You can find all workshops and courses here.

Published by Susanne Hazen

Drs. Susanne Hazen is in 1988 afgestudeerd aan de Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht in Psychologie . Na deze opleiding is ze gaan werken in het welzijnswerk. In 2001 is ze eveneens afgestudeerd aan de toenmalige Academie voor Natuurgeneeskunde Hilversum. In 2002 is ze gestart met haar eigen praktijk. Ze doceert sinds 2002 Psychologie / Therapeutische Vorming aan de diverse opleidingen in CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine). In de jaren 2004 en 2005 volgde ze de opleiding Familieopstellingen bij Harrie de Kruijff en ontving in juni 2005 het diploma. Sinds 2003 verdiept ze zich in het Sjamanistisch werk en heeft diverse trainingen gevolgd bij Daan van Kampenhout in Nederland en Zwitserland. In 2011 heeft ze de tweejarige training “Systemic Ritual®” afgerond. Wenst u meer informatie – zie haar profiel op LinkedIn.

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