Published on June 7, 2016
1. RAFE’S FIELD GUIDE TO CONSTELLATION SENTENCES ATv kUsing sentences to stimulate movement of the soul in the context of constellation work .5 0 . ft ft Rafe Nauen
2. Rafe’s field guide to constellation sentences Using sentences to stimulate movement of the soul in the context of constellation work
3. CONTENTS Foreword Introduction Chapter One – What Why When and Where? Chapter two – The Sentences Conclusion
4. FOREWORD This book is part of a series that accompany five training modules in systemic constellation therapy. Theory and Practice Family – see bibliography Health Business Money Constellations are about mapping the elements of a system that appear when you ask that system to reveal. The map then helps the individual to become acutely aware of the part he or she plays in the bigger picture of their life, work, or simple journey. In this book I sometimes refer to he, sometimes she but in all cases I am alluding to either or both. In working with individuals it is often true that the issue or challenge appears to be outside that individual, and resides instead in the system to which she belongs. The constellation model enables the facilitator/therapist to enquire into that system by using representatives of the observed elements of the system.
5. INTRODUCTION I got into constellation work as a result of needing personal counselling in connection with the imminent death of my then wife Maia. The psychotherapist Isaac Pizer introduced me to constellations therapy almost straight away and I was blown away. It showed that I could see what I was carrying in my life, what belonged to me and what didn’t. That story is described more fully in my first book Family Constellations – Unravelling the mystery of our ancestral timeline. This book assumes a working knowledge of the layout of constellation therapy workshops and endeavours to fill a gap concerning the words we use, how they are formulated and what prompts the use of sentences. There are plenty of samples, but the primary situation should always be, whatever is showing up in the work – what comes from the field.
6. CHAPTER ONE – WHAT WHY WHEN AND WHERE? What are sentences, and why do we use them in constellations and where do they come from? WHAT? They are form of words that implies a statement of fact, but that probably would never be said out loud in conversation with a relative or descendant. One example often used is in the case of an adult who feels abandoned during childhood. Whatever the story the fundamental truth is that that child has arrived at adulthood, and if they find themselves in a constellation workshop, must be wishing to run their lives better, and not simply escape, they have been successful. That means that everything that happened has been part of their arriving, and nothing that didn’t happen prevented them from becoming that adult. The sentence frequently used in this scenario is “Dear mother, thank you for my life, I got enough” I refer in my work to a kind of Edwardian language – slightly clipped – clearly stated and slightly off beat with English in the 21st Century! Early BBC broadcasters come to mind. They are definitely not designed to illicit an answer, but are statements of implied fact. “I am big you are small” “You are just a child” “None of this has anything to do with you” WHY? Sentences are used to stimulate change within a family or other type of system and unlock doorways into secondary dimensions of experience. In the above example, the constellation will have arrived at a place where the issue holder is ready to say/ hear themselves saying “Dear mother, thank you for my life, I got enough”. These are breakthrough moments, and need to be handled with care. This is not roleplay, psychodrama or anything else. The field will have shown that that there is a reaching out movement by the issue holder as the child, and the sentence stimulates a softening of the stance, and a reduction in anger. With all sentences you need to check that you have the form of words that comes from the field, and that the moment has arrived when the representatives are in the right place to manage what is being asked of them. Sentences in this framework are little clipped phrases that simplify and address stuck places where people find themselves, and enables movement and change. The concept of constellation work is to allow a better balance of energy within a system, and for responsibility to be restored to the right place. The sentences reveal mistakes that have been made with the energetic field and allowed responsibilities to lie in the wrong p2lace. To
7. clarify WHEN? You have noticed a change in pallor, or stance or seen a reaching out movement, and perhaps someone wants to hug some other representative within the workshop field. Sometimes a hug will do, but in the example given, that would perhaps imply that all is forgiven, and the sentence creates something rather different to that – it is not in any way forgiving the mother for a lack of parental care, or missing hugs as a five-year-old, or indeed anything that would enhance guilt or shame anywhere, rather it is saying “Thank you - nothing more was needed in my life for me to become exactly who I have become” – which is of course exactly true in every case. Always ensure that a sentence does not disrupt or change the dynamic which comes from mental structures imposed on the system. When is REALLY important. It arises from the field, you notice a shift in energy, and you need something to lift that into a breakthrough. That is when sentences arise. To second guess and to bring them from nowhere can lead to spoiling the ship for a halfpenny worth of tar. (That saying is actually a corruption – it should be spoiling the sheep for a halfpenny worth of Stockholm tar – a medical ointment used to stop foot rot!)
8. WHERE? Where are the sentences used? When you arrive at a place in the work where leaving it, just allowing warmth to pervade the field, a sentence may show up to enable an adjustment in the energy. A constellation workshop has three fundamental stages, Diagnosis, Change or Movement and Resolution. In Diagnosis the issue holder sets up the piece of work choosing all the representatives that he or she can visualise as being crucial to the field. The issue holder and the facilitator get to see the structures, the dynamics and the tensions within the field, and maybe, some gaps or challenges. In the change part, the dynamics are engaged and enabled so that the energy in the field balances itself. That maybe by allowing free movement if the field appears to have enough energy for that, or it may be by asking questions of or getting representatives to speak sentences to other representatives may suggest better places that appear within the field. The “I am big you are small, you are just a child” may well introduce a dynamic where a child can move from a position of responsibility by the child for the adult parent, to a place which better supports being a child within that system, and preserves or supports the flow of love from the ancestors towards the future and the descendants, rather than in the opposite direction. PROVISO ALWAYS get the sentence from the field. Use these examples and samples only in context and always with care and love. Feel free to adapt and change to suit and to experiment, but always use the field as the source, just use these examples as the sort of thing you might say/ could say to relieve the tension in a scenario.
9. CHAPTER TWO – SENTENCES 1. “I am big you are small” is used to underline the facts that the issue holder is the child of this constellation and that the parent is just that, the parent. It re- establishes the flow of love from ancestral towards descendants, and puts the brakes on systems where the children are parenting the adults. 2. “you are just a child” – can be used with sentence above to augment that flow direction, but it can be used on its own to reinforce an acceptance by a previous generation that things are the way they are and that responsibility lies entirely with the older generation, and not with the younger. 3. “none of this has anything to do with you” – more in the vein and 1 2 and 3 can be used all together or separately. This phrase separates the responsibility clearly from the person who is taking responsibility to where it may belong. Can be used in health constellations or family work 4. “thank you for my life” very powerful concept in any abandonment issues – often used with 5. It enables the issue holder to stop wanting any more from life than he or she already has. How can you have more than enough? When a glass is full it is full enough. 5. “I got enough” stops the issue holder from anticipating that life could be perfect as if there were some manual of perfection somewhere and that his or her mother or father would have been like that. The “I got enough” enables a feeling that everything that happened – all the good, and all the bad has made the issue holder exactly like they are, and that since they are trying to be a better person, they got enough to travel from birth to here. This sentence is very powerful, but engagement is crucial – more than other sentences because if the issue holder is in the place of mental arguments still, they will be saying underneath that they did NOT get enough. As often repeated here, do not use sentences by rote. They need to arise from the field. When an adopted child (say) issue holder has started a reaching out to a birth parent and maybe you have seen emotions in the participants, this sentence will enable that reaching out to be fulfilled without shame or guilt and a resolution breakthrough will inevitably arise. If they are not ready, and are in an argument about it, you may not get the chance again. 6. “I will deal with what I can, but the rest I leave with you” – deals with the scenario where a child has inherited more than is appropriate. This sentence will enable the parent to acknowledge they let too much of their own stuff through. It may well be followed up by the child saying that they reject that and hand it back for the ancestors creating a situation where the child becomes the leader in a process of reversing the flow so that the ancestors move into their right place with the children standing in front of their parents with their backs to the parents – the right place if you will – the place where the flow of love is always towards
10. futures and descendants.
11. DEAR MOTHER, FATHER Releasing the hold that difficult childhood experiences have wrought. I accept from you everything, all of it, And at the full price you paid for it, And that I too am paying for it I will make something of it, For your pleasure, and in your memory. It shall not have been in vain. I will hold onto it and honour it And when I can, I will pass it on, as you did. I take you as my mother/father And you can have me as your child. You are for me the right one, And I am the right child for you. You are big and I am small. You give and I receive – dear Mother/dear Father. I am happy that you have chosen Father/Mother, The two of you are the right ones for me. Only you!
12. MEN AND WOMEN Removing the barriers to being a wife or a husband Husband and wife to each other; I take you as my wife/ my husband/ with everything that belongs with you. Parents to each other: I love our children, I love you and respect you. Parents of a handicapped or deceased child to each other: We will bear it together – with love. Husband to his wife who has died giving birth to their child: My love for you remains; and in remembrance of you, I will take care of our child. Husband, suffering from terminal illness, to his wife: I entrust our children to you – with love. Second wife to the divorced first wife: You are the first, I am the second. Second wife to the deceased first wife: I will take on your children – out of love for you. Parents and Children Father, with terminal illness, to his children: I am entrusting you to your mother – with love. Mother, whose husband died early, to her children: In you I also love and honour your father. He is still here for you, through me.
13. Divorced mother to her children, seeing that they hate their father: I loved your father very much, and if you become like him, I assent to that. Woman who would have preferred to marry another man to her children: For you, your father is the best. Mother and father to an aborted child: My dear child. I take you now as my child, and you may have me as your mother/your father. And I am sorry. I now give you a place in my heart, and you shall have a part of the good that I shall bring about in memory of you and consideration of you.
14. CHILDREN AND PARENTS Removing unwanted blockages to the soul that have occurred during childhood Child to father and mother, bowing to them deeply: I honour you. Son to his mother, who died giving birth to him: Dear Mother, please bless me. Son, wanting to follow his father, to his father, who died in prison for his conviction: I will not let you go unless you bless me. Son to his father who became culpable in the war: Father I let you go, whatever your fate and your guilt. Terminally ill son to his father, while still unable to bow before him: Please, give me time. Child to father who killed himself: I bow to your decision and to your fate. You will always remain my father, and I will always remain your child. Son of an alcoholic father to his mother: Mother, I will respect my father, just like I respect you. Daughter, whom the father identifies with his former wife, to her father as she points to her mother: She is my mother, and I am her daughter. She is the only right one for me. I have nothing to do with the other woman.
15. This same daughter to her mother: You are my mother, and I am your daughter. You are the right one for me. I have nothing to do with Father's previous wife. Son, whom the mother identifies with her former husband, to his mother as he points to his father: He is my father, and I am his son. Only he is the right one for me. I have nothing to do with the other man. The same son to his father: You are my father, and I am your son. You are the right one for me. I have nothing to do with Mother's previous husband. Son to his mother, when she speaks disparagingly about his father: In seeing him, you are also seeing me. Daughter to her mother, when she is afraid of becoming like her: Look, I have become just like you, and I am content with that.
16. SIBLINGS Issues that have arisen between siblings. Woman to her older sister, who took care of her as a child: I know what you gave me. I respect it and it accompanies me. Woman to her brother, whom she feels might not be a good father to his son: For him, you are the best. Man to his older brother, who died early: I respect you as my big brother, You are the first, and I am the second. Child of unmarried parents, to the younger siblings, from whom it had been kept a secret: I am your sister, your brother. Woman to her older brother, for whose guilt she is atoning: I respect your fate, and I remain with mine.
17. PARENTS AND CHILDREN From parents, releasing them from injunctions made during their childhood Giving and Receiving Mother, to her son, at whose birth she became ill: I was glad to give you life, even at this price. You may keep the gift – it will make me happy. Child to parents, who married for the child's sake, and who are unhappy: Whatever the blame or the guilt may be between you – I accept what you gave me with love. Child to the mother, who was injured in the birth process: Dear Mother, as you paid such a heavy price for my life, it shall not have been in vain. Woman to her mother, who died in childbirth; Mother, dear Mother, this was really terrible. And, pointing to her family: Look, life has continued in a good way. I am passing on what you have given to me. Child to mother who gave the child up for adoption: Mother, if it relieves you of a burden, I will carry it willingly. Adopted child, on seeing the mother again: I am happy that you gave birth to me.
18. REMAINING For children – allowing parents the freedom to leave the system without it affecting them (too much) Child to parents, seeing that one of them wants to leave or die: Dear Father, dear Mother, Even though you may leave, I will stay. I will always honour you. You will always remain my father. You will always remain my mother. Child to someone in the family to whom the child wants to say, " I would rather die than you:" Dear Father (or Dear Mother), please bless me, even though you are leaving and I am staying. Child to deceased family members, when this child does not dare to live because they are dead: Dear Father (or Mother, or Brother, or Sister), you are dead. I will live a while longer, then I will die also. Or: I will complete what has been given to me, as long as it lasts. Then I too will die. Mother who wanted to die, to her little daughter, who had fallen deathly ill: I will stay – and I will be happy if you also stay. Woman to her great-grandmother, who had died in childbirth: Please, be friendly, if I stay with my husband and my child. Anorexic daughter to her father, who wants to leave: Dear Father, even if you leave, - I will stay. I stay with Mother.
19. And to her mother: Mother, even if Father leaves, I will stay. Bulimic girl, for whom eating means wanting to live and purging means wanting to die, to her father. Father, I am staying. I like what I get to eat with you. I accept it gladly from you. Compulsive gambler to his grandfather and father, seeing that he wants to follow then into death: I would rather gamble my money away than my life.
20. SOLVING Honouring the state of fact, and enabling the movement away from holding on to past hurt. Father to his son, who hold him in contempt: Listen, my son: I am your father, and you are my son. Father, heavily disabled from the war, to his daughter, who wants to take on his suffering: I will bear it myself. As far as I am concerned, you are free. Child to parents who mistreated the child: It was terrible. Nevertheless, I will make something with my life. Husband to his wife who was abused as a child: Allow yourself to love them, then you are free. When someone has made a mistake and suffers from it: I made a mistake, and now I accept the consequences. Daughter to her mother who told her she was a whore: I am, - a little bit. Woman who wants to object immediately when someone ways something unfair: There is something in that.
21. LEAVE-TAKING AND PEACE Empty nesting process, and following divorce etc. Child to parents upon growing up and leaving: I accept what you have given me. It was a great deal, and it was enough. The rest I will do myself. And now I will leave you in peace. Man and woman to each other at their separation: I accept what you have given me. It was great deal. I will take it with me and honour it always. For what went wrong between us, I accept my part of the responsibility, and leave you with your part. And now I leave you in peace. Parents to their child who died: We gladly gave you life and gladly did for you everything that we did. We let you go now, in peace. Yet for us you will always remain our child and we your parents. Father to son who killed himself: I hold for you a place in my heart. You will always remain my son and I your father. Child to father who killed himself: I respect your fate and your decision. You should know that things have worked out well. And now you can have your peace. Daughter to father, whom she found dead, having killed himself: Dear Father, within me you are still alive, and within me you are doing well.
22. I will let you participate in what I do. Mother to her son, who died in an accident, and for whom she still grieves: I respect your life and your death. Daughter to her father, who died when she was still little: Dear Father, you are still here within me.
23. CONCLUSION Build your own repertoire of sentences that you feel comfortable with, but always build them from what arises in the field. The few noted here are used commonly and often lead to others, or prompt the representative to say “No, that’s not quite right” whereupon you can ask if they have the words, or you can adjust them yourself. These sentences have come from a variety of sources and have been used before. My training yielded many of them, and my reading most of the rest.
24. INDEX Children and Parents , 21 Dear Mother, Father , 17 Leave-taking and Peace , 35 Men and Women , 18 PARENTS AND CHILDREN , 27 Remaining , 29 Siblings , 25 Solving , 33 ©2016 Rafe Nauen www.rafenauen.com firstname.lastname@example.org 07889 523164  Field refers to the space held for the piece of work and represents all the space needed for the all the representatives of that particular system. Things that show up – for example people that have been forgotten, family secrets, people that have been excluded can be said to have been shown by the field.  In this book Mother and Father may always be equally interchangeable. However, because the mother has been the vessel for the child for 9 months, that bond has a stronger impact, especially when the bond gets damaged by separation.  Child means just that – even a 70-year-old man is the child in a constellation that includes his parents
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