“All that we need to remember during our psychotrauma therapy is stored within us (in our body and our brain). It will show up, if we are prepared for it.” (Ruppert, Early Trauma lecture)
This is taken from a slide in Franz’s recent presentation in London on Early Trauma. It has great implications for us as facilitators and for us on our own personal journey of trauma healing, because the implication is that we do know everything we need to know, it is just that it isn’t in our conscious memory.
More and more evidence is coming into the frame (primarily from the neurosciences) that there is a cellular memory, a body memory, and that potentially everything we have experienced from the moment of conception (perhaps even before) is there within us for us to discover… if we choose to. (For more information on cellular memory check out the Wikipedia page and/or the work of the late Candace Pert.)
This potentially makes the constellations process much more a tool for the client to use to really find out what actually happened to us. To have as one’s intention “I want to feel better” or “I want to be able to be more in relationship” will, in the constellations process, show the problem underlying this issue, and this is useful and is a valid part of the journey. I have often thought that the first stages of psychotrauma therapy is to really understand that there is a problem… that there is trauma there in the family and within us, and such an intention will show this. But it also to an extent encourages the idea that I can have such a thing without really doing the work, without actually facing the devastation of my trauma.
As a facilitator, to ask of a client the question “what do you want from this constellation” will tend to produce answers that look to a wanted solution such as: ‘I want to be happy/at peace/confident/in a relationship’ etc. Of course we want these things, and it is valid to do so, but at the same time this kind of intention has a tendency to overlook what is between here and there. It tends towards the idealistic rather than the realistic, and in this sense for the client it may even encourage idealistic survival strategies, and a tendency to slide further into thinking that we can passively leave the constellations process to provide us with what we want without us having to really engage with the trauma. This aligns with more delusional survival strategies rather than actually taking charge of our therapy.
Whereas if we take on the idea that we can use the constellation to find out the truth of what happened to us in that ‘unknown’ time before cognition (pre-verbal and pre-birth), then we are really taking charge of our own health and healing. So an intention that looks for information rather than solution, that ‘wants to know’ for example, that asks a valid question of the constellations process rather than wants the constellation to do something for us (that, by implication, we are not ready to do for ourself) makes the client more active, more responsible and more likely to gain access to the truth… if we are ready to take the risk.
Of course the journey to being able to take this risk is valid in itself, and I would still hold that there are no wrong intentions… but even so this understanding and insight is useful for facilitator and client alike… (in the spirit of openness and transparency, where the facilitator holds no superior or ‘mysterious’ knowledge).
This perception has other implications: it puts some pressure on the constellations process itself as the purveyor of truths… that we can ask such a question and rely on what the constellation shows us as the answer. We do not yet understand the process of the constellation (how representatives can access information about the client’s issue/intention when they do not actually know the client and may not know anything about their history or issues) sufficiently in my view to respond. We (or in my case I) merely have some many years of experience of this work by which to assess its reliability, and the many incidences where what the constellation shows does seem in fact to fit with the clients’ own experience and knowledge to date of their history and situation. Which leads me always to say or imply to the client “it only works if it makes sense to you… if it doesn’t, let it be and see what happens next in your life”.
Even so, to heal trauma we have to take on the issue, not be passive and hopeful of a good result. As clients we have to take courage and make a commitment to ourselves to engage fully with what is as yet unknown, and decide that I do know all that I need to know, I just need to access it.
Seeing the constellation as the means by which we can find out what is ‘stored within us’ gives us more power, more authority and more autonomy.