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Group Healing Circles

"Again, again we come and go, changed, changing. Hands join, unjoin in love and fear, grief and joy.
The circles turn, each giving into each, into all."
- Wendell Berry

For people who are exploring the possibility of doing Constellations one of their first (often unspoken) concerns is about sharing personal issues with a group of strangers.

Everyone has some fear about entering a group - especially one where the express purpose is personal exploration, healing, and expansion. Because confidential personal information is disclosed in a Constellation circle, they do contain a risk that is not present in the private space of one-on-one hourly talk therapy.

Our culture at large discourages us from freely sharing what we are experiencing inside. Instead, we are taught to conceal or put a smile on our woes. At the start of every Constellation circle there is always an element of uncertainty about who is in the room and what will be revealed.

As soon as we begin, the mood shifts. Once the seeker presents his or her issue, our personal fears and anxieties recede in response to the gravity of the problem and our being asked to help. Self-centered discomfort turns to focused concentration in service of the seeker and the issue.

By the end, we have shared a profound and intimate experience that unites us in love and compassion. The initial fear of being ourselves in front of strangers now seems trivial compared to the gift of the intimacy we have received.

Lurking behind the risk of exposing your most serious personal problems to strangers is another, even more frightening risk: This is the fear of having your problem solved, rather than merely having it – yet again - confirmed. Despite our protests to the contrary, we all share a tendency to cling to our problems against all proposed remedies. How else could these problems survive all of the ‘trying’ we do to be rid of them?

For this reason above the others, your discomfort towards Constellations is well founded. One woman explained her reluctance to participate, “I have had a terrible relationship with my mother for my whole life. How dare you claim to fix it in a single session.”

What would you do if the obstacle forever blocking your way was removed? Who would you be if you were unburdened from blame and regret?

The Constellation circle is a healing circle. Shoshone Medicine Woman and Constellations Facilitator Francesca Mason Boring explains it this way:

“The circle of participants is a circle of healers based upon circles in many native traditions. Each person is respected as a healer. The motivation to participate in a Constellation is to give. The generosity of participants is itself a healing element.”

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