PHO705: Family Constellations

This reading is used to extend research-driven practice into Family Constellations

(Hellinger, 2011)
(Ulsamer, no date)
(Preiss, 2012)

A Return to Family Constellation Research

Family Constellation is now on the second iteration of research in connection with this photographic practice. When looked at before, the emphasis was on the title word Therapy: Family Constellation Therapy used to describe a group or individual interaction under the guidance of a facilitator. In this sense, it appeared to have a disconnect with Family and mitochondria.

In the interests of promoting the research-driven photographic practice, Family Constellation is now subjected to a more critical appraisal.

First indications are positive. Who we are as a dependance on who we came from, which does connect with the current project. A search for love in these connections is said to satisfy the soul and allow the individual in the present to become free of ant entanglement and give focus to their own life or in other terms from the method, give birth to themselves.

The language does appear unscientific, that of a guru yet on a commercial level selling a product or more accurately a service that works on a psychological basis in a manner perhaps Yoga does for the physical and spiritual.

At a cursory level, it is easy to dismiss Family Constellation unless the reader of it is happy to believe in its principles. Acceptance of approaches to help individuals grow into management roles in a business context is probably very similar and more familiar. Trust in strategies such as Transactional Analysis PAC or Emotional Intelligence EI is normally readily established. Other areas are more difficult to accept for some such as Myers Briggs categorisations which seem to be wholeheartedly accepted or are accepted within a collection of similar strategies, with outlined limitations or in the opposite and quite commonly outright rejected, potentially as a threat of some sort regarding manipulation. And so with Family Constellations, there appears to be the same kind of barriers to acceptance. Not being so well known a technique it may be more difficult for it to gain widespread acceptance. The feeling is there is bound to be and seems to be a body of followers.

If we take the above as an a priori position and set about to prove or disprove, then we have a way of moving forward. More reading is required.


Going into this research with an open mind is quite revealing. What is clear from (Preiss , 2012) is that a number of family situations documented here could or can be linked to the family narratives of the Photographic Project e.g. Relationships (Preiss, 2012, Loc 3081) with heavy fates. What is offered is a way of maintaining a healthy link to family in the past in such a way as to gain release from entanglement and become free from it and do so in a respectful and healing manner.

From a set on non-academic texts of all things has come a realisation that there can now be a disconnect with the heavy load of the past carried through the project. In fact, in radical terms, it becomes possible to disconnect from the subject matter, which has not been feasible until now.

Already the project has been on a trajectory away from the military endeavours of the past to family photography archive and flora.

Investment and Direction

To take the photo project and stop dead with it would be brave if not risky a move. Such a move would also mean having to write off costly investments relating to the original subject.

If the themes of empathy and loss were to be set aside, there still remains the artistic interest in abstraction as the natural expression of the author and the ever-growing theme around mitochondria, photographing healing and movement into creating art from a science of Biology.

Hear hangs a major decision. A decision needs to be made.

Staying with the methods developed for making abstract work is the decision. More emphasis is beginning to be placed on the mitochondrial theme. Research is also being conducted into the themes of spectres or ghosts and into the weird and eerie to draw out those elements.

The latter is base on the appearance of landscapes, seascapes and consistently but more frequently the appearance of ghost images.


Preiss, I. T. (2012) Family Constellations Revealed. 2nd Editio. Antwerp, Belgium: Indra Torsten Preiss.

Hellinger, B. (2011) Laws of Healing. Bischofswiesen, Germany: Hellinger Publications.

Ulsamer, B. (no date) The Art and Practice of Family Constellations. Edited by C. Beaumont. Kindle Unlimited.

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