Every group, to which we are connected in one way or another, is more than a sum of individuals. A group is a social system that seeks balance, with its own laws and its own order. This may cause disruptions that can have a profound influence on the functioning of the system and its individual members. The German therapists Bert Hellinger and Gunthard Weber developed an effective method that maps family organisation context in a visual and often penetrating way.

A systemic setup is a spatial representation of a system (family, organisation, team, work, project etc.), represented by “representatives” (stand-ins of people and elements in the setup). Disruptions in the system can have a profound influence on the functioning of the system and its individual members. By placing and questioning the representatives in the space, we gain visual insight into deeper issues and into the theme or question that is currently playing. With Family and Organisational Constellations, own questions from participants are usually a reason for an setup. This question usually relates to the current system (current family, work, education, club, personal or work relationships) or in the family system of origin. The purpose of the setup is to relieve stress or restore balance. The method has been further developed over the past twenty, thirty years. For example, the business community is increasingly using constellations and constellations are being used to investigate issues in the areas of personal development, health, work, career and career development.

HOW DOES A SETUP WORK? A group of participants together form a creative force field. One of the participants introduces a research question. This question is specified to determine the nature of the question or issue and to determine a research direction. A number of participants are then set up in the room by the person asking the question. These prepared participants represent people or elements of the question. We can already read a lot of information on how the representatives are arranged in the space and how they relate to each other, through distance and gaze. Then the facilitator invites the representatives to speak out about their observations and experiences. We are already gaining insight into the question and underlying themes of the person asking the question. The supervisor then questions each representative, what he sees, what he feels or is aware of and how he relates to the space and to other representatives. This exposes the underlying force field with information for the person asking the question and the theme that plays a role. In mutual consultation with the questioner, the mutual relationships and motives are discussed below and changes in the set-up are tried out.

ONE TO ONE SETTINGS In a one-to-one arrangement, the various characters and elements from the system are represented by templates or place anchors. When working with templates, the supervisor and participant (and possibly one or more persons present if desired) take place as representative on different cardboard, which represent characters. Instead of living representatives, there is an arrangement of cardboard templates. That way you can also feel what is going on. The course is more or less the same as an arrangement with a group of people. With site anchors we work at the table. Representatives are represented here by, for example: blocks, dolls, post-it’s etc.