Publications on Family Constellations
*This is a compilation, but not an exhaustive list of published research articles and studies on the rich applications of Bert Hellinger’s and Judy Wilkins-Smith family constellation work. If you wish to add your published research to this list or remove your publication from this list, please contact Sofia Georgiadou at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgiadou, S., & Wilkins-Smith, J. (2014). Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellation Work: Roots, similarities and distinctions with Classic Family Therapy Models. The Knowing Field.
- Georgiadou, S., & Wilkins-Smith, J. (2013). Participants’ Experiences in Hellinger’s Family Constellation Work: Findings of a Grounded Theory Study. The Knowing Field, 21, 34-40. Abstract: Hellinger’s work is intensive, intergenerational, insight-driven, yet embraces many systemic ideas which can serve as assessment or case conceptualization tools that complement the practice of contemporary family therapists or other healthcare professionals. More client-based, experiential information is needed to allow for a deeper understanding of how this process works and influences clients’ lives. The exploration of themes and domains that underpin this work will facilitate an understanding of its procedures and effects. It will also promote its application by a wider, more diverse group of professionals (not just in the healthcare realm) who wish to incorporate elements of this process into their practice, e.g. the concepts of loyalty, need for belonging and need for everyone in a system to be honored and acknowledged, whether in a family or organizational/business context. This study aimed to provide the participants with a platform from which to voice their perspectives about this method so that: facilitators will be able to use the participants’ input to further improve their experience other clinicians, who want to familiarize themselves with it, will be able to gain a better understanding of how this approach works from the participants’ point of view.
- Mayer C-H, Viviers A. (2016). Constellation work principles, resonance phenomena, and shamanism in South Africa. South African Journal of Psychology, 46(1), 130-145. doi:10.1177/0081246315591339
Abstract: The pioneering work of Bert Hellinger in ‘Familien-Stellen’ (constellation work) started in the 1970s in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It was the beginning of the international therapeutic movement, which is contemporarily based on different theoretical and therapeutic intervention approaches. Since then, constellation work has received recognition in Europe, followed by the United States, Australia, and later Asia. Scientists and practitioners have contributed to its development. However, constellation work as a counselling and therapeutic intervention in African contexts has hardly been recognised and explored. This article explores principles and resonance phenomena in constellation work and their interlinkages with shamanism as a cross-cultural counselling intervention method. The study uses an empirical in-depth qualitative research approach within the phenomenological paradigm and semi-structured interviews with six constellation facilitators and participative observation. Findings provide insight into principles of constellation work in South Africa, explanations of the resonances and the knowing field phenomenon, the connection of constellation work and shamanism, as well as context-specific future directions. Thus, it provides theoretical and practical recommendations in African contexts and beyond.
- Jafferany, M.,Capec, S., Yaremkevych, R., Andrashko, Y., Capec, G., & Petrek, M. (2019). Effects of family constellation seminars on itch in patients with atopic dermatitis and psoriasis: A patient preference controlled trial. Dermatologic Therapy, 32(6), e13100. https://doi.org/10.1111/dth.13100
Abstract: Family dynamics play a major role in itch related dermatoses. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of family constellation seminars (FCS) in the decrease of itch in atopic dermatitis (AD) and psoriasis. Thirty-one adult patients with chronic itch (16 with AD and 15 with psoriasis) were allocated to intervention group (FCS + G) and control group (CG). Patients from FCS + G have participated in a series of four FCS for 3 months. During the study period, all patients used only emollients. Itch was evaluated by 27-item questionnaire and skin condition was evaluated by SCORAD and PASI. The severity of itch in FCS + G decreased (Median; (25%;75%)) from 8.42 (6.57;11.92) initially to 4.78 (1.36;9.14); p < .01 after 1 month and (0.61 (0;6.66); p < .001) after 9 months after the psychological intervention with no significant changes in the CG. In the patients with AD in the FCS + G, SCORAD decreased (21.5 (14.4;40); 14.1 (7.3;15.5) p < .05; 7.2 (3.6;11); p < .05). In the FCS + G, itch decreased both in patients with AD and psoriasis, with less significant visible changes of skin in patients with psoriasis. Participation in FCS in a series of four seminars has high effect (r = .53) on reduction of itch and high effect (r = .74) on improvement of AD signs with lower effect on skin condition in patients with psoriasis for 4 months. Positive effect of FCS gradually increases during at least 9 months. Further studies for understanding FCS influence on the patients with itch are needed.
- McQuillin, J., & Welford, E. (2013).How Many People Are Gathered Here? Group Work and Family Constellation Theory. Transactional Analysis Journal, 43(4), 352–365. https://doi.org/10.1177/0362153713519743
Abstract: Each of us is both an individual and a carrier of dynamics from many generations of ancestors. Many people hold trauma that belonged originally to other family members or the family group, and there are few ways to work with such situations clinically. In this article the authors address how the principles and practice of Hellinger’s (1998) family constellation work provide tools with which to heal the family system and thus the client. They describe the impact of the family group on the individual psyche and the practical application of family constellation work in group settings. They also explore the interface between family constellation work and transactional analysis, including how transactional analysis theory supports the use of family constellations.
- Wade, H. (2004). Systemic working: the constellations approach. Industrial & Commercial Training, 36(5), 197–199. DOI:1108/00197850410548576
Abstract: This paper introduces a new approach to diagnosing issues, be they individual, departmental, or for the whole group of companies. It gives a very basic outline about constellations and focuses on their practical uses. Some key themes are highlighted that underpin the approach. The author shows how the underlying ideas associated with constellations can be used without necessarily doing a constellation. Using this approach speeds up the process of understanding issues. The underlying themes may also inform your way of approaching work without having to undertake a constellation. “Organizational constellations” is a relatively new technique within organizations, particularly in the UK. It is so powerful in its clarity of diagnosis, speed and potential for option-testing that all managers and directors would benefit from its use.
- Jurg, W., Bloemer, J., Doorewaard, H., Peelen, E., & Simons, R. (2008). Systems constellations: A better way to identify branding opportunities? Journal of Brand Management, 15(4), 239–257. DOI:1057/palgrave.bm.2550116
Abstract: Building strong brands has become one of the main marketing priorities for brand-supportive companies. The leading positivist paradigm in marketing may not be, however, the most-effective perspective in identifying branding opportunities. This paper offers an alternative phenomenological point of view by applying the innovative systems constellation technique within the soft systems methodology to identify new branding opportunities. A case study illustrates its content validity but also shows there is limited support for its reliability, which is in line with the positivists’ reservation on phenomenological methods and techniques.
- Disterheft, A., Pijetlovic, D., & Müller-Christ, G. (2021). On the road of discovery with systemic exploratory constellations: Potentials of online constellation exercises about sustainability transitions.Sustainability, 13(9), 5101. http://dx.doi.org.ulm.idm.oclc.org/10.3390/su13095101
Abstract: Sustainability transitions are shaped by specific dynamics, dependencies, and influences among the actors and elements that are part of the system. Systemic constellations as a social science research method can offer tangible visualizations of such system dynamics and thereby extract valuable, often hidden knowledge for research. This article builds on two online exploratory system constellation exercises about sustainability transitions, with two major objectives: (i) to introduce and disseminate (exploratory) systemic constellations as a method for (sustainability) research, and (ii) to extract their potential for (online) collaborative and transdisciplinary research, with a focus on sustainability transitions. Our exploratory research design includes participatory action research that took place during the virtual International Sustainability Transitions Conference 2020, Vienna, Austria. Data were analyzed following an interpretative-hermeneutic approach. The main findings consist of visualizations about sustainability transition dynamics between selected actors in Germany and Portugal that are discussed in light of the literature on constellation work and sustainability transitions, triggering new assumptions: (i) a strong sustainability narrative does not (necessarily) lead to action and transformation and (ii) transformation requires integrating narratives beyond weak and strong sustainability. We conclude with a list of potentials of exploratory constellations for sustainability research and online formats that offer novelties such as a constant bird-eye perspective on the system while simultaneously engaging with the system.
Dissertation research studies:
- Georgiadou, S. (2012). Participants’ experiences in Hellinger’s Family Constellation Work: A grounded theory study. University of Louisiana at Monroe. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, https://www.proquest.com/docview/1172852673
Abstract: As a recently introduced to the U.S. model of intergenerational systemic therapy from Germany, Bert Hellinger’s Family Constellation Work (FCW) has very limited research support. Hellinger himself has authored a number of publications referencing hundreds of cases, where he implemented his method to approach a broad array of physical, emotional, and relational issues. Isolated case studies by some of his followers (Cohen, 2009; Lynch & Tucker, 2005) shed light to the interventions and different styles of facilitation in family constellation work. However, very little is known about the participants’ perspectives and their views on how FCW works. That gap in the literature became the focal point of this study. This study employed a grounded theory methodology as outlined by Strauss and Corbin (1998). The researcher conducted thorough interviews with a total of thirteen participants. The data collected from interviews were transcribed, coded and categorized into distinct concepts that also intersected with one another. The core category that integrated all lower levels of data delineated the final substantive theory called Meaning-making Process through Reflective and Experiential Understanding. The first goal of the study was to understand how participants in FCW workshops experience this therapeutic modality both as representatives and clients. The second goal was to uncover new perspectives on how clients experience FCW in a group setting that would offer to facilitators a more informed view on the clients’ perception of FCW that could invoke potential changes in the facilitation of FCW workshops to improve the participants’ experience. The researcher aimed at imparting the knowledge acquired through this study on the participants’ outlooks on FCW to the family therapy field, so that more systems-oriented clinicians can familiarize themselves with this intergenerational approach and/or incorporate it to their practice as a complementary therapeutic tool. The generated theory focuses on the meanings individuals attach to their FCW experience. In the participants’ retrospective reports, the attribution of significance to the experience was mediated by cognitive processing of the experience (via reconstructed memories and comparison with their previously defined reality) and recollection of the most intense experiential components (feelings and the experience of group dynamics).
- Tener, C. L. (2013). Organizational constellations: Facilitators’ perspectives (Order No. 3604244). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I. (1475194186). https://www-proquest-com.ulm.idm.oclc.org/dissertations-theses/organizational-constellations-facilitators/docview/1475194186/se-2?accountid=26268
Abstract: Organizational constellations are configurations of people or symbols that represent individuals’ connections to one another within a business context. The practice of facilitating organizational constellations, which grew out of family systems theory, aims to identify and explore relationships within a business system in order to solve problems and reach goals. The systemic nature of organizational constellations encourages, through the use of the senses, the discovery of relationship dynamics that may have previously gone unnoticed. This approach can be better understood through exploring the perspectives of those who facilitate organizational constellations. The research question, “How do organizational constellation facilitators in North America make sense of their work with organizational constellations?” provides the foundation to explore the ways that organizational constellation facilitators understand and make meaning of their experiences. This qualitative study used semi-structured interviews to gather data from participants, focused on discovering how and why organizational constellation facilitators in North America use organizational constellations. This research resulted in six key findings. Organizational constellation facilitators in North America make sense of their work with organizational constellations (a) by the manner in which they incorporate organizational constellations into their work, (b) through the indirect and direct application of organizational constellations, (c) through the application of their knowledge of systemic principles and relationship dynamics, (d) by the way in which they speak about organizational constellations, (e) by considering the client when constellations are chosen and used, and (f) through measuring the results of organizational constellations in diversified ways. These findings have implications for the practice of organizational constellation facilitators and for business people. In addition, these findings contribute to the literature in the areas of organizational constellations, sensemaking, and systems. Key Words: Organizational constellations, sensemaking, systems theory, qualitative.
- Jelinek, E. M. (2015). Epigenetics: The transgenerational transmission of ancestral trauma, experiences, and behaviors— as seen in systemic family constellations (Order No. 3726301). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I; Publicly Available Content Database. (1728319426). https://www-proquest-com.ulm.idm.oclc.org/dissertations-theses/epigenetics-transgenerational-transmission/docview/1728319426/se-2?accountid=26268
Abstract: A Systemic Family Constellation is a phenomenological systemic group process that promotes healing and transformation in individuals through the use of representatives who stand in for family members, so that entanglements with the ancestors can be revealed and brought to reconciliation. Family Constellations were created by German psychotherapist and former priest, Bert Hellinger, who spent 16 years as a missionary and educator with the Zulu peoples of South Africa. Hellinger suggests that individuals become entangled with the fate of the ancestors. This study proposes that epigenetics can explain the heritability of ancestral experiences. This study explores the role of epigenetics in the transgenerational transmission of the effects of trauma, experiences, and behaviors of the ancestors as observed in Systemic Family Constellations. It employs a multiparadigmatic model of research and performs a systematic review of existing literature on epigenetics from the fields of biology, genetics, medicine and psychology, and demonstrates that some epigenetic changes can be inherited for as many as four generations—and possibly iv more, without any changes in the underlying DNA. A systematic review of existing literature has become a viable research method in the fields of medicine and the social sciences in recent years, and is used here to explore epigenetic changes in genomic expression that are transmitted transgenerationally. This study recommends that epigenetics be added as a scientific explanation to the existing metaphysical theories of how constellations work, that include: (a) the knowing field, (b) morphic fields and morphic resonance, and (c) indigenous ways of knowing. Some of the examples of epigenetic inheritance presented in this study, include the epigenetic effects of major traumas, such as the bombing of the World Trade Center, the Holocaust, and the Dutch Hunger Winter, as well as the effects of mothering on the stress responses of their offspring, the effects of feast or famine in utero that can potentially result in schizophrenia, and the effects of child sex abuse on mental health in adulthood and on same sex orientation—as well as potential evolutionary changes.
- Ruhl, M. R. (2013). Clients’ experiences of family constellations in psychological healing (Order No. 3567720). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I. (1418275114). https://www-proquest-com.ulm.idm.oclc.org/dissertations-theses/clients-experiences-family-constellations/docview/1418275114/se-2?accountid=26268
Abstract: This research seeks to investigate Clients’ Experiences of Family Constellations (FC) in Psychological Healing. The qualitative research model of heuristic inquiry is used. The phases of the research model that were utilized are initial engagement, immersion, incubation, illumination, explication, and creative synthesis. The collection of data was done via an interview process to allow for exploration of the meanings and essences of client’s experiences of Family Constellations in psychological healing, an increase in the knowledge and possibilities of the approach, and to best serve and support clients and those around them. Co-researchers’ experiences are explicated through the following themes in hopes to better understand their lived healing experiences using FC, and increase their awareness of self and relationships with others and the world: (1) experiences of healing; (2) somatic experiences; (3) experiences of emotion; (4) experiences of connection; (5) changes in perception and understanding; and (6) impact on relationships and self. It is anticipated that this study will give a voice to this approach to psychological healing. Clinically, the expectation is that the findings of this study could be used to further understand the essence of the challenges of psychological suffering, its impact on the family system and the individual, the clients who are challenged by it, and to inform future psychological treatments. This study may give the mental health, and maybe other professions, another instrument to use with clients. Since there is also a shortage of research on this topic, it is hoped that this study helps bridge the gaps between studies and experiences, and may further explore the efficacy of Family Constellations in working with individuals.
- Ramos, J. A., & Ramos, S. (2021). Process of change and effectiveness of family constellations: “On the verge of divorce, I glimpse my finitude” A mixed methods single case study on suicidal ideation. The Humanistic Psychologist. https://doi.org/10.1037/hum0000242.supp (Supplemental)
Abstract: This article analyzed the process of change and the effectiveness of 10 sessions of Family Constellations (FC), explored elements that may aid reconciliation effectiveness, and decrypted factors underlying four variables of interest: suicidal ideation, verge of divorce, depression, and anxiety. Using a mixed methods design, this single case study used a triangulation of data: quantitative (DASS-21) and qualitative (the notes from the consultations and the patient’s responses to the Psychotherapeutic Process Data Mining Questionnaire, or PPDMQ). The Reliable Change Index (RCI) was used to gauge clinical change in the DASS-21 scores. RCI analysis showed a clinically and statistically significant change at process termination, and at the 6-month follow-up, on the patient’s symptoms of anxiety and depression. As a member of a couple on the verge of divorce, by undoing that drive to divorce, the suicidal ideation of the patient seemed to stop. Two focuses of interventions are proposed to mitigate divorce rates, suicide rates linked to divorce, as well as depression and anxiety levels associated with divorce and suicidal ideations. FC, as a psychotherapy, seems to possess a substantial financial and societal positive change potential (e.g., at the judicial sphere) and perhaps needs to be addressed from an unbiased perspective.
- Pritzker, S. E., & Duncan, W. L. (2019).Technologies of the Social: Family Constellation Therapy and the Remodeling of Relational Selfhood in China and Mexico. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry, 43(3), 468–495. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-019-09632-x
Abstract: In this article, we investigate how an increasingly popular therapeutic modality, family constellation therapy (FCT), functions simultaneously as a technology of the self (Foucault, Technologies of the self: a seminar with Michel Foucault, University of Massachusetts Press, Amherst, 1988) as well as what we here call a “technology of the social.” In FCT, the self is understood as an assemblage of ancestral relationships that often creates problems in the present day. Healing this multi-generational self involves identifying and correcting hidden family dynamics in high-intensity group sessions where other participants represent the focus client and his/her family members, both alive and deceased. Drawing on ethnographic data collected in multiple FCT workshops in Beijing, China and Oaxaca City, Mexico, we show how FCT ritually reorganizes boundaries between self and other in novel ways, creating a collective space for shared moral reflection on troubling social, historical, and cultural patterns. By demonstrating the ways in which FCT unfolds as both a personal and social technology, this article contributes to ongoing conversations about how to effectively theorize sociality in therapeutic practice, and problematizes critical approaches emphasizing governmentality and commensuration (Mattingly, Moral laboratories family peril and the struggle for a good life, University of California Press, Oakland, 2014; Duncan, Transforming therapy: mental health practice and cultural change in Mexico, Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, 2018; Matza, Shock therapy: psychology, precarity, and well-being in postsocialist Russia, Duke University Press, Durham, 2018; Pritzker, Presented at “Living Well in China” Conference, Irvine, CA, 2018; Mattingly, Anthropol Theory, 2019; Zigon, “HIV is God’s Blessing”: rehabilitating morality in neoliberal Russia, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2011).
- Marcelo Leandro PereiraLopes, & Viviane Moura da Costa. (2018). Systemic Family Constellation Focused on the Judiciary in the Technique of Judicial Mediation of Family Processes. Revista Eletrônica Do Curso de Direito Da UFSM, 13(3), 1190–1204. https://doi.org/10.5902/1981369429591
Abstract: The Family Systemic Constellation is a psychotherapeutic method developed by the German philosopher Anton Suibert Hellinger (1980). The systemic method aims at overcoming, recognizing and possibly changing the entanglements that arise in the family system, based on the laws called “Orders of Love”. The application of the Family Constellation to the judiciary gives the parties involved in the dispute another way of dealing with the problems. This question is what the benefits of the application of the Family System Constellation in the judicial mediation of conflicts, especially in cases related to Family Law. Its main objective is to analyze whether the application of the systemic method can contribute to the pacification of family conflicts. The methodology is centered on a bibliographical research, exploratory and the approach to analysis of information will be qualitative.
- Hrnčić (2017). Family constellation as a treatment for overcoming the consequences of violence on victims. Temida, 20(2), 219–240. https://doi.org/10.2298/TEM1702219H
Abstract: The subject of this paper is the implementation of family constellations by Bert Hellinger in work with clients with special emphasis on victims of physical and sexual violence. Although extremely popular in Europe and the world it has not been presented in Serbian scientific literature. As the approach has been developed in Germany as an answer to the situation where a significant part of population was a victim or perpetrator of violence during the Second World War causing suffering not only to them, but also to their offsprings, it offers a special contribution to the work with victims of violence. The aims of the paper are the presentation and analysis of the implementation of family constellations by Bert Hellinger and their effects generally in work with clients as well as with victims of physical and sexual violence. The technique of family constellations based on systemic and phenomenological approach is presented and discussed. Work is in the group, where participants form the circle and person who seeks problem resolution invites representatives – persons who are crucial for problem solution previously agreed with constellation facilitator – constellator. The constellator communicate with the representatives, encouraging them to express feelings, sensations and movement that will facilitate progress towards finding the optimal solution. The basic theoretical concepts are also analysed, including two types of conscience (individual and family), three basic principles of orders of love (principle of equal right to belong, principle of balance between giving and taking and principle of order) and three levels of the soul (individual, family and great soul). The approach to overcoming consequences of violence on victims of physical violence and incest through symbolic interconnecting with the perpetrator is analysed. When it is applied to violence the victim has an opportunity to get a more comprehensive understanding and to experience an alternative solution that could generate impulse for overcoming the violence. A frequent solution is that the perpetrator takes responsibility and expresses guilt for the deed and suffers together with the victim. That enables the victim to accept and overcome the effects of the violence. This solution is also useful in overcoming consequences of incest because it enables the victim to accept the perpetrator as a member of family. The victim could also have an insight into the role of other family members and significant others, accept it and find a better place in the family for himself/herself. This approach causes different reaction with public with its focus on reparation instead on retribution even in such a difficult issue as incest. Qualitative and quantitative evaluations have documented the positive effects of family constellations on problem solving and social relations of both active and observing participants. Further systematic researches of constellations’ effects on victims of violence and comparative studies with other therapeutic approaches are needed.
- Hunger, C., Weinhold, J., Bornhäuser, A., Link, L., & Schweitzer, J. (2015). Mid- and Long-Term Effects of Family Constellation Seminars in a General Population Sample: 8- and 12-Month Follow-Up. Family Process, 54(2), 344–358. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12102
Abstract: In a previous randomized controlled trial (RCT), short-term efficacy of family constellation seminars (FCSs) in a general population sample was demonstrated. In this article, we examined mid- and long-term stability of these effects. Participants were 104 adults (M = 47 years; SD = 9; 84% female) who were part of the intervention group in the original RCT (3-day FCS; 64 active participants and 40 observing participants). FCSs were carried out according to manuals. It was predicted that FCSs would improve psychological functioning (Outcome Questionnaire OQ-45.2) at 8- and 12-month follow-up. Additionally, we assessed the effects of FCSs on psychological distress, motivational incongruence, individuals’ experience in their personal social systems, and overall goal attainment. Participants yielded significant improvement in psychological functioning (d = 0.41 at 8-month follow-up, p = .000; d = 0.40 at 12-month follow-up, p = .000). Results were confirmed for psychological distress, motivational incongruence, the participants’ experience in their personal social systems, and overall goal attainment. No adverse events were reported. This study provides first evidence for the mid- and long-term efficacy of FCSs in a nonclinical population. The implications of the findings are discussed.
- Hunger, C., Bornhäuser, A., Link, L., Schweitzer, J., & Weinhold, J. (2014). Improving Experience in Personal Social Systems through Family Constellation Seminars: Results of a Randomized Controlled Trial. Family Process, 53(2), 288–306. https://doi.org/10.1111/famp.12051
Abstract: This study examined the efficacy of family constellation seminars (FCSs) on individuals’ experience in their personal social systems, especially the experience of belonging, autonomy, accord, and confidence. We conducted a single-blind, stratified and balanced, randomized controlled trial. Participants were 208 adults (M = 48 years, SD = 10, 79% women) who were randomly allocated either to the intervention group (3-day FCSs; 64 active participants, 40 observing participants) or to the wait-list group (64 active participants, 40 observing participants). Change was measured short-term (2-week and 4-month follow-up) using the Experience In Social Systems Questionnaire, personal domain (EXIS.pers). EXIS.pers is a new outcome measure being applied for the first time in evaluation research. In addition, we used interpersonal scales derived from established measures (Outcome Questionnaire, OQ-45; Tool for the Evaluation of the Psychotherapeutic Progress, FEP). The average person in the intervention group showed improved experience in personal social systems, as compared with approximately 73% of the wait-list group after 2 weeks (total score: Cohen’s d = .61, p = .000) and 69% of the wait-list group after 4 months (total score: d = .53, p = .000). The results were confirmed in per-protocol analyses (n = 191) by the results of the EXIS.pers dimensions (Belonging, Autonomy, Accord, and Confidence) and the interpersonal scales derived from the OQ-45 and FEP. No adverse events were reported. This RCT provides first evidence that FCSs tend to positively influence participants’ experience in their social systems.
- Weinhold, J., Hunger, C.,Bornhäuser, A., Link, L., Rochon, J., Wild, B., & Schweitzer, J. (2013). Family constellation seminars improve psychological functioning in a general population sample: Results of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 60(4), 601–609. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033539
Abstract: The study examined the efficacy of nonrecurring family constellation seminars on psychological health. We conducted a monocentric, single-blind, stratified, and balanced randomized controlled trial (RCT). After choosing their roles for participating in a family constellation seminar as either active participant (AP) or observing participant (OP), 208 adults (M = 48 years, SD = 10; 79% women) from the general population were randomly allocated to the intervention group (IG; 3-day family constellation seminar; 64 AP, 40 OP) or a wait-list control group (WLG; 64 AP, 40 OP). It was predicted that family constellation seminars would improve psychological functioning (Outcome Questionnaire OQ-45.2) at 2-week and 4-month follow-ups. In addition, we assessed the impact of family constellation seminars on psychological distress and motivational incongruence. The IG showed significantly improved psychological functioning (d = 0.45 at 2-week follow-up, p = .003; d = 0.46 at 4-month follow-up, p = .003). Results were confirmed for psychological distress and motivational incongruence. No adverse events were reported. This RCT provides evidence for the efficacy of family constellation in a nonclinical population. The implications of the findings are discussed.
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