A person’s greatness is that which makes him/her equal to others. ~Bert Hellinger
Bert Hellinger was a true master. He was also my greatest teacher.
Hellinger revolutionized the heart and soul of family therapy by illuminating the unconscious, and often destructive, loyalties within families. He observed that traumatic events, such as the premature death of a parent, sibling or child, an abandonment, crime or suicide, can exert a powerful force affecting later generations. Entangled with unhappiness from the past, family members often continue patterns of anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, fear, chronic illness, and unfulfilled relationships.
Identifying what he termed “Orders of Love,” Hellinger observed that certain governing principles must be respected in order for the love in the family to flow in a healthy way. And that when these orders are disturbed, for example, when a child unknowingly carries the fate of a parent, suffering and unhappiness ensue. Hellinger found that each member in our family holds a special place and has an equal right to belong to the family system. This applies equally to stillborn and aborted babies, as well as to the failures and perpetrators in our family who may have been rejected for reasons of immorality, criminal misconduct or abuse. If any member of the family is disrespected, forgotten, excluded, or disregarded in some way, someone in a later generation may repeat his or her fate by sharing a similar misfortune. Only when we acknowledge and honor the difficult fates of those who’ve preceded us, can the “Orders of Love” be reestablished and the chain of tragic destinies be broken.
Hellinger developed Family Constellation Work, an effective therapeutic process that helps to break destructive family patterns of unhappiness, illness, failure, and addiction. The results are often immediate and life-changing.