Wat is Family Systems Therapy?
The solution to
life in family occurs when each of it members takes his/her
appropriate and actual place, takes upon
his/her roles in life, taking care of himself/herself and
avoiding intervening in other's destiny. Most personal
difficulties, as well as problems in relationship are results of
confusions in families' systems. That confusion happens when,
without being aware of that and without wanting, we incorporate
in our life the destiny of another person from our own family,
despite the fact that such person lived in a distant past. That
makes us repeat the family members' destiny who were excluded,
forgotten or not recognised at their belonging place. We try to
live that destiny for them or create misfortune to diminish our
The disruption to the natural order of the system causes entanglements and children begin to become like the parents, involving themselves in their parents' business, trying to make them feel better by suffering themselves. As they grow up, they often feel anger and some try rejecting their families in an attempt to build a new, separate life. Sometimes they move to the other side of the world to disentangle themselves but it doesn't work. When they remain tied to their families in this way, they are not free to go forward in their lives and when they form relationships with partners, they can never be fully available because they are still caught up with their parents.
What happens in a workshop?
The participant choosing to work on their family is asked what their heart's desire is. They are then asked for the facts about their family - either their family of origin or their current family, whichever seems more appropriate at the time. The facts are such things as unusual deaths, previous or extra-marital relationships, abortions, stillbirths etc.
Stories about "Uncle Tom who was said to be very selfish or cruel" are not wanted as it often turns out that the feelings experienced by the participants completely contradict these stories. So only actual events are asked about.
Group members are then chosen to represent family members and are positioned intuitively by the participant. As if stepping into the energy field of that particular family, these representatives then begin to feel in their bodies the actual feelings of those family members they are representing. By looking at how people are positioned and asking them how they feel, the therapist can begin to get some idea of where the system may be out of order. He or she then experiments with moving people around and bringing in possible missing people until the heart opens. This then uncovers the hidden dynamics which have led to the disruption of the order. When the heart opens in this way, the whole group feels it as a very deep and moving experience. It is as if the soul finally comes home. Healing sentences are spoken to honour the missing members and allow love to flow freely once more. It is not always possible to get to a resolution. Sometimes there are secrets we do not appear to have permission to know. But the effects seem to be felt in the family anyway; sometimes even more powerfully than if a resolution were found.
Does it work?
Sometimes the effects are very dramatic - children given away for adoption get in touch, infertile couples become pregnant, banished members of the family suddenly ring up. More often, there is a gradual change in relationships, a more peaceful feeling inside, greater acceptance of parents and other family members. And occasionally, there is no change at all. For some people, healing requires a level of inner change they are not able to make. Yet, when these changes are felt, it's as if we are once more in tune with the movement of our souls and can begin to feel at peace with ourselves.