To be chosen to be a Representative for an aspect of an Issue Holder’s life whether that is to represent a part of themself, a family member, work colleague or wider business or life situation, is a deep honour and one that we need to treat with care and respect.
The purpose of a Systemic Constellation is to gather data about a situation for the Issue Holder to create more clarity, and may help unstick stuck aspects of a system, or give new information about how to proceed.
However, not all situations can be resolved and sometimes the system is not ready to move to resolution. So, it is important to bear in mind that not all constellations will end in hugs with love flowing.
There are Systemic Principles the Facilitator will follow, but mostly the Facilitator will be working with a curious and open-mind to allow whatever wants to be revealed to arise.
In particular to help those new to the role of Representative, here are some guidelines to bear in mind as the workshop unfolds: –
Confidentiality – it is important that we all agree to hold confidential whatever happens in the workshop to create a safe supportive container for the work.
- The Issue Holder will be asked to give some details about the issue they wish to constellate, this will be kept to a minimum to prevent the Representatives from making assumptions based on what they have heard which might affect their ability to be a good representative.
- The Issue Holder will invite people to represent certain elements within their constellation as directed by the Facilitator.
- If the group is large the Issue Holder will choose someone to represent themselves. Otherwise the Issue Holder may be called on to be themselves in the Constellation.
- As a Representative, you always have the choice to either accept or decline the invitation to represent.
- Not all workshop participants will be chosen to be a part of each constellation, if you are not chosen initially, your role in the circle is to observe the constellation and support those working with your presence and attention.
- Even if not chosen initially, you may be asked to step into a role by the Facilitator later on during the constellation.
- Constellations are not psycho-drama and representative must resist any temptation to role play or influence the constellation towards their own desired conclusion.
- The work can be deeply personal and take surprising turns, therefore it is important to remain open-minded and curious to what is unfolding before you.
- The function of a Representative is to use their own sense of perception to gather data by noticing what is arising in their experience about the person, people, thing or aspect they are representing and then tell the truth of this experience, when asked, to by the Facilitator.
- Whatever you experience as the Representative, that is data for the system. E.g. you may have a feeling such as anger, be disinterested, only want to look out the window, feel heavy, hot or cold, or have feelings towards another Representative.
- Even if you feel nothing, that is also data.
- Be mindful of subtle signals. You will have your own way of noticing things, which may be different to other people and not everything will be hugely impactful.
- Also be mindful if the element you are representing triggers something about your own situation or process, it can take practice to notice what is your material and what belongs to the Constellation.
- If things feel overwhelming for you, remember, you can always de-role and return to being an observer.
- As the Constellation unfolds the Facilitator will test out hypotheses so it is essential that the Representatives give truthful responses rather than saying something which they think the Facilitator wants them to say.
- You will often be asked – “is this better, worse, same, different” – this data is key so please answer truthfully.
Please wait to be asked to speak or move by the Facilitator.
But if you have an overwhelming urge to speak or move, please make this known to the Facilitator.
- The Facilitator will offer sentences for Representatives to say to each other. Please say the sentence as it is offered, or tell the Facilitator that the sentence doesn’t feel right and it will be amended. Please do not make up your own sentences unless specifically invited to do so.
- The recipient of the sentence will be asked about the impact of the sentence on them. Please do not speak back without being invited to do so.
- If another Representative is reaching out to you, be very mindful about your own reaction to this move from the place you are representing. Do not act in a way that is contrary to the feelings of the role you are representing because you are drawn into wanting to be nice or obliging.
- Be mindful of the filter the information is passing through, those with a flamboyant personality may represent in a more flamboyant way than those of a quieter disposition.
- Be mindful of your choice of language, feel in to finding the right words for the role.
- Towards the end of a constellation the Facilitator may ask the Issue Holder to step in the place of the Representative for themselves.
- The Facilitator will either ask the Issue Holders Representative to de-role and return to the circle or they may remain to support the Issue Holder.
- At the end of the Constellation it is important that all Representatives step out of the role fully when requested to do so, you will be guided through a process for how to do this.
- If after you return to your seat you feel you are still carrying something that belongs to the role, please make this known to the Facilitator, who will help you de-role.
- The Facilitator will lead a feedback round after the constellation so any remaining information can be spoken, if needed, this should be addressed to the Facilitator and not the Issue Holder.
- After the constellation please respect the Issue Holders process and do not speak to them about their work during the breaks.
- Issue Holders will be asked to sit out of any subsequent Constellations to allow time for their process to settle.
- Systemic Constellations can often appear to speak in metaphors and the meaning is not always clear at the end of the process.
- Please know that the constellation will have moved something within the wider field and that the process may take some time to unfold after the workshop.
- Systemic Constellations can also be useful to test whether certain business or personal plans have energy to proceed. This can be in terms of product names, dates, times, brand colours etc. This type of testing is usually lighter in nature and can be fun.
- You may be asked to represent a product, service or stakeholder, as above your role is to feedback what you feel, this information can be enormously helpful for a business owner, so it is important again to be truthful and not succumb to group think.
- Testing may also be done blind by standing on pieces of paper to reduce influence from our conscious minds.