What are Constellations

You might have heard or experienced Family Constellations. Please note that when we talk about Constellations, we’re not referring to Family Constellations, but we consider Constellations in a broader sense, to use them in different contexts beyond family therapy.

Constellation is a technical term used in the human sciences to identify a system as a set of elements in relationship to one another.

So, we can use the word Constellation to refer to: a working team, a relationship, an organization, the key elements of a project,  the choices for a decision, or the parts of our inner world.

Constellations are a methodology for guiding clients – in individual, team, and group coaching – through experiential exercises to quickly increase the level of awareness of the current situation, foster inner alignment and open up the way to change.

When using Constellations in a coaching session, we create a spatial representation of the key elements of a topic presented by the client.

In one-on-one coaching, we create this representation using objects on a table or placeholders on the floor, while in team or group coaching it’s possible to use people who are physically present.

In  individual coaching, the Client can embody and explore each element, by tapping not only into cognitive reflections but also into emotions and physical sensations.

Whatever the topic presented by the Client, Constellations are highly effective for developing Self-Leadership by increasing self-awareness and promoting a better inner and outer harmony.

A brief history of Constellations

Constellations are a relatively new methodology which has started spreading in the world at the end of 1990s. These are the main milestones of their evolution:

  • Bert Hellinger created Family Constellations to work on family systems and ancestors
    • the elements of  Constellations are people
  • Gunthard Weber developed the concept of Organizational Constellations
    • the elements of  Constellations are either people or aspects of a business
  • Insa Sparrer e Matthias Varga von Kibéd have developed Structural Constellations, further expanding the use of Constellations to a broader variety of systems
    • the elements of Constellations are people or abstract aspects of both the outer (e.g.: projects, businesses) and the inner system (e.g.: values, energies)

Later, other applications of Constellations have emerged, such as, for example: Business Constellations, Work Constellations, Shamanic Constellations and more.

So what are Constellations?

Constellations are a language

Constellations are a methodology or a “language” which is independent from the context or application. As a metaphor, think of the English language: it can be used for many applications, you can write poetry, fiction, science, history, etc.

One language, many applications!

It is clear that each application requires, in addition to the basic language, additional “technical jargon”, along with specific skills, but the language remains the same.

At the Academy of Constellations, we teach the basic Constellations language, which is the same across any application, and the models and skillset needed to use Constellations in coaching.

How they work in individual coaching

In a nutshell, the Constellations process in a 1:1 coaching session can be split into four main steps:

Step 1. A conversation between the Coach and the Client that aims to identify the key elements of the situation presented by the Client.

Step 2. The Client maps the current situation by creating a spatial representation of those elements. The Coach then guides the client to explore each element to enhance the Client’s awareness of the situation.

Step 3. The Client and the Coach can work together to modify the system and move it into an improved state by increasing the harmony among the elements, so that the system works better.

Step 4. The Coach supports the Client in integrating the learning and identifying the next steps.

Click here to download the training brochure, where you will find all the details of the program.