The Intention Method originated in the Family Constellations work developed by the German philosopher and psychotherapist Bert Hellinger, drawing on earlier therapeutic traditions such as Psychodrama (Jakob Moreno) and Family Reconstruction Therapy (Virginia Satir) where group members in a group (or markers in the individual session) are used to represent relevant family members or other relevant elements.
The Intention Method offers an opportunity for personal exploration of the individual’s unconscious psychological world, thereby allowing for change and integration of traumatic memories that underlie our life difficulties.
A client or patient comes with an issue or ‘intention’ that is connected with their current psychological and emotional life difficulties. This ‘intention’ may not be clear in the beginning, but the initial focus of the work is to clarify this need, which then becomes the ‘Sentence of Intention’ and provides the framework for the process.
The person then chooses group members (or markers in the private session) to resonate with the individual words from this sentence. The representatives come into a resonance with the word that they are representing and their experience then provides useful information to the client. This is a process of limbic brain resonance, is quite safe and provides information and experiences that lead to insight and resolution.
How does it work?
The phenomenon comes from a resonance communication at the level of the limbic brain rather than the neo-cortex, and as such seems to provide a means of communication between client and the represented configuration. The resonators often have quite strong experiences, which usually make sense to the client in a helpful way. It is as if once the ‘intention’ is set and the representation is constructed there is a field of resonance between the client and the resonators whereby information and experience is shared, transferred and allowed between them. Often truths emerge that were held unconscious before, and traumas that have been split off are allowed to surface and be seen, understood and, in time, integrated.
Current developments in the neurosciences confirm ‘limbic resonance’, the importance of non-verbal communication between us which is constantly happening… our interconnectedness. In the resonance process this is given a focus by the Sentence of Intention developed by the client.
The word ‘intention’ implies the will to do something, to achieve something, to put something into effect. It reflects determination. The effectiveness of the Sentence of Intention is dependent on this commitment of the person to their intention. The work will always show something, but the will for change, for something new has to come from the person themselves. A decision has to be made, and no one else can make it. We can only decide for ourselves that we will do something.