adlerian therapy family constellation

adlerian therapy family constellation插图

The Adlerian Theory focuses onbirth orderin the family constellation. Firstborns are authoritative and generally take control of the family especially when the parents are not present. Secondborns are outgoing,happy-go-lucky,and artistic. This is because they don’t have to worry about taking charge.

What is Adler’s family constellation?

Family Constellation. Family constellation is the term coined by Adler and elaborated by Dreikurs to represent the operation of the family system, including parents, siblings, and others in the family of origin, together with any others living with them as members of the person’s childhood household.

What is family constellation therapy and how does it work?

Family constellation therapy is a therapeutic intervention that a therapist might use in order to gain insight and information into a client’s family history, dynamics, and possible dysfunctional patterns.

What is Adlerian therapy?

Adlerian therapy is a short-term, goal-oriented, and positive psychodynamic therapy based on the theories of Alfred Adler—a one-time colleague of Sigmund Freud.

What is Hellinger’s Family Constellations therapy?

This alternative approach was developed by German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger in the mid-1990s. Family constellations therapy evolved out of his work as a family therapist and his belief in the energy, both positive and negative, found in familial bonds.

What Is Family Constellation Therapy?

Family constellation therapy is a therapeutic intervention that a therapist might use in order to gain insight and information into a client’s family history, dynamics, and possible dysfunctional patterns. German therapist Bert Hellinger developed this intervention based on components of Gestalt therapy and psychodynamic therapy. 1

Types of Family Constellations

Since a traditional family constellation involves humans standing in as the client’s family members, it is often done in a group setting. 2 Group members can take turns as the main client and stand in for each other’s family members.

Techniques in Family Constellation Therapy

In the group setting, therapists typically use drama therapy with the other people in the group to create the family constellation. 2 The client can observe interactions between members in real time to gain insight, or they might role play interactions with group members to practice a confrontation or address a past trauma.

What Family Constellations Can Help With

A therapist might suggest a family constellation for a number of presenting concerns, and a client might decide to consider this intervention for a number of reasons, including:

Benefits of Family Constellations

Clients who utilize the family constellation might experience catharsis following this intervention because it allowed them to work through conflict, trauma, and difficult past experiences in a safe environment.


Psychological researchers have extensively studied family constellations as an evidence-based treatment for various mental health concerns.

Things to Consider

Family constellations can be intense, and participation might bring up strong feelings or memories related to traumatic or stressful events. Clients considering this treatment intervention should ensure that they feel comfortable with their therapist and ask any questions or present concerns they have about doing the family constellation.

Why does family constellation therapy require imagination?

In individual counseling, family constellation therapy often requires imagination because there are no other participants to play the roles of various family members. The therapist may invite you to envision a situation where you connect with an excluded family member or where you connect with members of the family if you’re the excluded family member.

How does the facilitator adjust an arrangement?

The facilitator adjusts the arrangement until the seeker feels it’s "right." It may take some time to feel the truth or untruth of each arrangement. When the seeker accepts an arrangement, he or she will connect with it on the level of feelings and then think. This helps the seeker identify the source of their current issue.

How does internet therapy help with anxiety?

Research shows that internet-based therapy platforms have been successful in helping people manage an array of symptoms that can be related to problems with family. In a study on the efficacy of internet-delivered cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) on childhood anxiety, researchers found that symptoms were significantly decreased or eliminated in 75% of participants. Internet-based CBT helps people to reframe intrusive or unhelpful thoughts so that they are better able to understand and shift their behavior, which can create more healthy bonds between family members. The report also notes that online therapy eliminates barriers to care, such as cost, time, and availability.

What is family constellation therapy?

Family constellation is a type of therapy based on the idea that problems sift down through generations to cause stress in the here and now. When we examine our feelings and perceptions in a "field of knowing," we can break out of familial patterns that cause suffering.

How many books does Bert Hellinger have?

His body of work includes an impressive 83 books, and he has also conducted countless seminars.

What language did Hellinger speak?

The content — books and videos mostly — that came directly from Hellinger was produced in his native German language. What may not be obvious to people who don’t speak German is that Hellinger had many controversial views. He tends to take a very patriarchal view, valuing antiquated gender roles and stereotypes, and he seems to consider homosexuality a disease that needs to be cured. Some people see his views as anti-Semitic as well.

Why is online therapy important?

The report also notes that online therapy eliminates barriers to care, such as cost, time, and availability. As discussed above, online therapy can provide the tools to deal with mental health concerns arising out of, or linked to, one’s family.

What is the goal of Adlerian family therapy?

Under most conditions, a goal of therapy is to establish and support parents as effective leaders of the family. Using the information gathered during assessment, Adlerians explicate the systemic process in the family by describing the place that each person has assumed and the interactive

What is unfair to middle children?

unfair to middle children. They also may believe that the oldest and the youngest align against them, leaving the middle child to take the bla me for problems or simply leaving them out altogether. They are sensitive to criticism and easily angered when being bossed around. They may seek a peer group to whom they give more allegiance than the family. They even may rebel against expectations and traditions. But they never stop comparing themselves to others: Suffering by comparison too often becomes a constant in life. Youngest children will never be dethroned. A true youngest is always the baby of the family. Typically, youngest children use helplessness and dependent behaviors to put others—especially parents—in their service. They also can be good entertainers and good observers. Often, they will use their observations to develop in areas and ways that none of their siblings have attempted and often they will outshine all of their brothers and sisters. Being the baby can lead them to the conclusion that they are special, but they also can decide they are unwanted. Those who believe they are special may seek pampering or over protection: They can become easily spoiled. Those who think that they do not have a place may begin to feel hated or neglected. These ?ve positions represent vantage points from which children view the world. It is not the position, however, that counts, but rather the meaning and interpretation the child gives to that position. In this sense, every person’s birth position is unique and uniquely de?ned. Adler’s (1931) emphasis on phenomenological interpretation of family position (or perceived place within the family) was so strong that, even when he talked about parents in an unhappy marriage, he believed children would intervene as active agents. Although he acknowledged the dangers of raising children in a disruptive marriage, he also thought that the children would become skilled at reading dissension and play one parent against the other. Adlerians believe that children do not merely react: They interact, often having more in?uence on the responses of parents than the other way around. In addition to a phenomenological assessment of birth position, Adlerians consider a number of additional variables in describing the family constellation. How many years are there between the siblings? Is a child the only boy or girl in the family? What are the effects of being special (for example, being twins; being the favorite of a parent or grandparent; being ill, physically challenged, traumatized, or facing death; or being talented or beautiful)? What are the effects of family structure (for example, being in a single parent home or in a blended family, or being part of an extended family)? Taken together, each of these considerations contributes to the development of a pattern that indicates how family members ?t into the system and how each is likely to act and interact. “It is the actions and interactions within the family and the interpretations that each person assigns to these that give initial meaning to children’s lives and to the family as a whole” (Bitter, Roberts, & Sonstegard, 2002, p. 46). Adlerian family therapists view the family constellation as a description of how each person ?nds a place within the system. How does each child relate to the parents, guardians, or extended family members? How does each child relate to and de?ne “self ” in relation to the other children? Who is most different from whom? Which children have aligned with each other? Against whom? Which parents have aligned with which children? Toward what end? How does each child address family values; negotiate within and in?uence the family atmosphere; or handle the impact of culture, age and gender differences, and the demands of school and society? A typical investigation of a family constellation may start by asking the parents to describe each of the children. These descriptions often reveal both the effects of birth order and the unique ways in which each child has adapted behaviors to engage or challenge what is important to the parents. Many Adlerians use genograms to develop a graphic picture of the family system (Sherman & Dinkmeyer, 1987; Bitter, 1988, 1991a). A phenomenological perspective can be gained by asking family members, especially the index person or a child the family identi?es as having dif?culties, to provide three adjectives for each person in the

What is the role of parents in family life?

interacting. Parents are the models for how one gender relates to the other, how to work and participate in the world, how to get along with other people. Children may experience these models as joyful, angry, loving, frightening, strict, easy-going, involved, indulgent, protective/ overprotective, hostile, nurturing, challenging, or respectful, to name a few. What the family comes to value plays a signi?cant role in the development of children and family life. When both parents maintain and support the same value, Adlerians call it a family value: It is a value that cannot be ignored and that will require each child to take a stand in relation to it. Common family values emerge around education, religion, money, achievement, right and wrong. An essential ingredient in family atmosphere is the manner in which the members communicate. Who speaks to whom? Do they tend to be hostile, critical, commanding, direct, indirect, attentive, preoccupied, active, passive, cooperative, competitive? Are they warm, caring, and able to negotiate differences? Do they utilize double messages, create openness or rigidity, fear or seriousness? Is there a sense of tension, challenge, or ease? (Sherman & Dinkmeyer, 1987, p. 10) Each person within the system learns to negotiate within the limitations of the climate established. With rare exceptions, the atmosphere in which we are raised tends to become the model for how we expect life and the world to be.

How do Adlerians approach culture?

Adlerians approach culture phenomenologically. Similar to birth order, culture becomes a vantage point from which individuals and families view life. It is not the vantage point that determines the individual’s position, but rather the interpretation the individual gives it. Indeed, in any given family, there may be multiple interpretations that individual members assign to their culture. This is especially true in families that are experiencing acculturation. Older members may hold to the values of their culture-of-origin with as much or more dedication than they would have done in their home country, while older children who come to a new host culture may try to bridge both worlds. Often complicating family values further, children born in the new or host country may adopt the perspectives of that country through their interactions with the school system and other children. Adlerians believe that the interpretation each family member gives to the culture will be a very strong factor in how the person sees self and life, and interacts with other people. Sometimes, the most effective initial intervention is to listen carefully to all family members and to help them sort out the various positions that each person has adopted. Many Adlerians have made contributions to multicultural perspectives, with some exceptional work by Miguel Arciniega and Betty Newlon (1995). In 7 of 11 multicultural categories, ranging from being competent in the individual’s or family’s language-of-origin to considerations of oppression and racism, they noted that Adlerian theory and practice rates positively. The next closest rating—with 5 positives—is Ivey’s developmental theory. Corey (1991) echoed this positive assessment of Adlerian theory, noting “Adler’s ideas are certainly compatible with many of the macrostrategies for future delivery of services to a culturally diverse population.” (p. 54) For more than 30 years, Adlerians have conducted an international summer school called ICASSI, a two-week Adlerian international convocation, held each summer. Over the years, both trainers and participants have come together from every continent on Earth. This international symposium seeks to develop Adlerian ideas through a professional and cultural interchange both in established centers and new, often underdeveloped countries. In the last decade, ICASSI has been held in Canada, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Latvia, Romania, Israel, England, and Ireland, to name a few. Smaller programs have been offered in Malta, parts of the old Soviet Union, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Peru, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. Manford Sonstegard and Oscar Christensen have instituted family education centers throughout the world, and Bill Nicoll has established certi?cation programs in more than eight countries outside of the United States. There are very few limitations related to this approach in multicultural settings. One limitation may exist in using a public setting for some cultures: Such cultures may prefer private sessions to ones held in an open forum. A sensitive interest in and valuing of the extended family and culture are, however, part of the Adlerian model. The focus on parents as leaders, as well as an understanding and redirecting of mistaken notions in children, ?t well with both individualistic and collectivist cultures. Learning to control oneself in the face of provocation also can be effectively incorporated into a broad range of cultures. But the single most effective intervention in diverse cultural families is an investigation of birth order, a phenomenological understanding that holds across cultures. As I have already noted, the Adlerian perspective on social interest and social equality goes a long way toward creating a foundation for effective relationships. Adler (1931) believed that true safety for all couples was guaranteed when each partner treated the welfare of the other as more important than their own. The fundamental guarantee of marriage, the meaning of marital happiness, is the feeling that you are worthwhile, that you cannot be replaced, that your partner needs you, that you are acting well, and that you are a fellow [hu]man and a true friend. (p. 267)

What are the goals of Adlerians?

These goals are attention getting, power struggle, revenge, and a demonstration of inadequacy (also called an assumed disability). They act as “shorthand explanations/descriptions of consistent patterns of misbehavior in children” (Bitter, 1991b, p. 210), and they re?ect increasing levels of discouragement with each additional goal. Dreikurs (1950) and Dreikurs & Soltz (1964) also developed a systematic approach to goal recognition based on (a) descriptions of the child’s misbehavior, (b) the parents’ reactions to the misbehavior, and (c) the child’s reaction to the parents’ attempts at discipline. The goal recognition criteria can be summarized using the following chart:

What is goal disclosure therapy?

processes that are repeated in daily living. Goal disclosure also is used to facilitate an understanding of the motivations involved. These interventions serve another goal of therapy: to replace automatic, often non-conscious, negative interactions with a conscious understanding of family process. Adlerian family therapists characterize their approach as motivation modi?cation rather than behavior modi?cation. The therapist develops with families speci?c changes in process that are designed to replace mistaken goals with those that favor functional family interactions. During the last half of the 20th century, Adlerians developed a wide range of parenting skills and interventions that constitute what is now called authoritative-responsive parenting or democratic child-rearing (Dinkmeyer, McKay & Dinkmeyer, 1997; Lew, 1999; Popkin, 1993). Based on an understanding of the family’s speci?c motivational patterns, parents often leave the therapy session with suggestions designed to initiate a reorientation of the family.

What is the most complete biography of Adler?

MA: Addison Wesley. The most-complete biography of Adler ever written, completed with a psychological historian’s eye for detail and accuracy. It is the most-bene?cial glimpse into the life and work of one of psychology’s great geniuses. Oberst, U. E., & Stewart, A. E. (2003). Adlerian psychotherapy: An advanced approach to individual psychology. New York: Brynner/Routlege. This book devoted to the overall practice of Adlerian counseling and psychotherapy, with excellent chapters related to family counseling, family therapy, and parent education. Sherman, R., & Dinkmeyer, D. (Eds.). (1987). Systems of family therapy: An Adlerian integration. New York: Brunner/Mazel. A thorough presentation of Adlerian family therapy with additional chapters

Is Family Constellations Effective?

Family constellations is gaining popularity as an alternative approach to therapy, particularly in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia, where it is seen by many as a powerful and cost-effective method of addressing relationship-based challenges. Its popularity may be in part due to the brief nature of the therapy and its unique method of resolving challenges in which others are involved without necessitating the presence of those other individuals.

How many cases of obsessions did Hellinger’s family constellations workshop have?

The German critical agency Forum Kritische Psychologie reported four cases of people seeking treatment for obsessions they reported developing as a result of attending Hellinger’s family constellations workshop, and a Dutch psychiatrist reported an additional four cases of individuals experiencing mental health concerns they said developed after they attended a workshop.

What does a facilitator ask a family member to explain?

The facilitator may ask members to explain what they are feeling, specifically in their relation to other members of the family. This may shed light on certain emotions and relational aspects that can be clearly connected to the issue being addressed.

How to heal trauma from incest?

One method developed by Hellinger purports to treat trauma resulting from incest (namely, a father’s abuse of his daughter) by having the person representing the daughter kneel and thank the person representing the father for the experience. This, according to Hellinger, will restore harmony within the family.

What is family constellation?

Family constellations is a therapeutic approach designed to help reveal the hidden dynamics in a family or relationship in order to address any stressors impacting these relationships and heal them. This alternative approach may help people seeking treatment view their concerns from a different perspective, and therapists may offer …

Why do people use other people to represent the family?

The use of other individuals to represent the family is believed to illuminate the disharmony within the family, and the individuals standing in as members of the family are believed to be able to feel and experience the emotions of the person whose role they have taken on. Hellinger, the developer of family constellations, …

Who developed family constellations?

This alternative approach was developed by German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger in the mid-1990s. Family constellations therapy evolved out of his work as a family therapist and his belief in the energy, both positive and negative, found in familial bonds. Nearly 50 years of studying and treating families led to his observation of patterns of mental health concerns, illness, negative emotions, and potentially destructive behaviors within families, and he suggested individuals might unconsciously "adopt" these concerns as a way of helping other members to cope. Proponents of family constellations believe the method to be less restrictive than other methods of therapy and support its capacity to allow people to see different perspectives and alternate solutions.

What is the North American Society of Adlerian Psychology?

The North American Society of Adlerian Psychology and other academic institutions offer certificates and degree programs in Adlerian counseling and psychotherapy. When you speak to the potential therapist, ask if he or she takes an Adlerian approach to treatment.

What is Adlerian therapy?

Adlerian therapy is an evidence-based approach that can be applied successfully in the treatment of any type of psychological disorder or mental illness.

What is reorientation therapy?

Reorientation, wherein the therapist suggests active steps you can take outside of therapy to reinforce newly developed insights and perhaps learn even more about yourself and your capabilities

Where do Adlerian therapists work?

Adlerian therapists often work in schools, clinics, corporations, and other community settings , helping to create learning environments that provide a sense of belonging and respect for all. These therapists work especially with those people who are most in need of positive, future-oriented counseling and encouragement.

What is an engagement with a therapist?

Engagement, or creating a collaborative relationship with your therapist. Assessment of your personal history, with an emphasis on birth order and early childhood memories. Insight, wherein the therapist helps you view your situation from a different perspective.

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