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Natural Awakenings Tucson

Exploring Ancestral Connections: Coyote Healing Center Workshop

We all come from families. Our experiences with families differ widely, at times wildly, but there is no doubt as to their power to shape our individual psyche. A technique known as Family Constellation provides us a new lens with which to observe intergenerational dynamics thatfrequently shape the course of our lives.

Popular in Europe, Latin America and more recently China, Family Constellation is not well known in the U.S. Some speculate that the greater
interest and acceptance elsewhere is related to a higher value being placed on families and ancestors.

Also known as Systemic Constellation, this is a process for understanding multigenerational connections within families. It is not identified as therapy, although it can have deeply beneficial effects for participants. Family Constellation can practiced in group settings or one-onone.

The process begins in a group setting, and with an individual identifying a particular issue they wish to explore. This might be an illness, a dynamic in relationships or a pattern that has repeated in their life. The facilitator asks a few questions to focus the issue and learn something of the individual’s family—parents, siblings,grandparents, aunts and uncles. It is important to note early deaths, unusual fates and previous relationships.

The facilitator then directs the issue holder to choose representatives from the group and position them with respect to each other according to  what feels correct. The representatives are instructed to notice changes in their physical perceptions and bodily sensations. After some time, their responses are observed and solicited by the facilitator.

As the process unfolds, representatives may move or be requested to move, other representatives may be added, and sentences may be offered by the facilitator to be spoken between representatives. It should be noted that the representatives do not have much, if any, information about those whom they represent. It is uncanny how accurately the perceptions and responses reflect the represented.

Over the last 20-plus years, several patterns to these interactions have been observed. These have to do with how love and energy flow within families, as well as the importance of inclusion and the impact of exclusion. Patterns occur between generations that promote love and the flow of energy, but there are patterns and events that disrupt the flow, as well. The early deaths of a parent or sibling are examples of potential disruptions.

One way to describe what is typically experienced is a profound sense of connection.

Previously unknown or unappreciated dynamics are revealed, and with their observation changes unfold in the representatives and within the felt dynamics between representatives.

One surprising aspect of this process is that the benefits are not just experienced by the issue holder. There are many stories of insights and shifts for those who participate, whether as representatives or as observers. It may be less surprising that family members who are not present frequently experience shifts, as well.

It is far from clear how this process works. How representatives appear to have access to information that is not provided to them is not known. How information not known to the issue holder can be available to the representatives is not understood. Yet these are common experiences in this process and make it a powerful tool for exploration of issues that have defied other therapeutic techniques.

This is highly experiential in the group format. It is not necessary to have any family members present in the group. The experience provides a new perspective on being a member of a family. That it has spread so far in such a short period of time is some evidence of the healing power it offers.

A workshop, Revealing the Mysteries of Family Disconnections, will be held October 22 and 23, at Coyote Healing Center.

Location: 700 N Country Club Road, Suite 110, 85716. David C. Rupley, Jr., MD(H) is licensed by the Arizona State Board of Homeopathic and Integrated Medicine Examiners and has facilitated Systemic Family Constellations for five years. For more information call 520- 722-9787 or visit

A workshop, Revealing the Mysteries of Family Disconnections, will be held October 22 and 23, at Coyote Healing Center.