Social and Community Constellations
With Sonya Welch-Moring
17th February 2018
North London Group Therapy, 9 Manor Gardens, London N7 6LA
‘A constellation reveals the re-cycling pattern of transgenerational life, past, present and future’
When we look at problems and difficulties in family relationships, we often find untold stories and secrets in the ancestral line which includes family members who have been excluded or forgotten for a variety of reasons.
In later generations, different family members may feel that they are carrying the weight of these exclusions without a real sense of knowing why. So when we seek to include, previously excluded family members it is not just those of the blood line, but also others who influence the family.
A combination of systemic theory and indigenous wisdom, the systemic constellations process explores the deep roots of family and community. One of the key principles in constellations work is to include the excluded so that family reconciliation and healing can take place across the generations. For many cultures, the extended family is part of community life and encompasses a wider network of relationships.
“We were able to explore and discover family and heritage dynamics in a very open and powerful way. I feel that this workshop has had a deep impact on how I view my role in my family, my work and the communities that I live in.”
Including the Excluded Conversations
Viewed in this way families and communities are often indivisible. By looking to the past, to see what hasn’t been resolved, we can make changes to the present and create a better future for coming generations.
During this one day workshop, we will extend the family constellations method to give more space for exploring the social and community connection to family life.
As we move into 2018, it is a timely moment to look at issues in the public domain that may influence family and community life.
Brexit and the place of the UK in the world! There is a growing right wing threat that is moving across Europe and entering the political arena, with growing anti immigration and anti-muslim sentiments. In 1918 2018 it will be 60 years since ‘Windrush’ when the first large scale immigration from the Caribbean took place and just over 60 70 years since Partition between India and Pakistan. And in 2018 the upcoming marriage between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle could provide an interesting and enlightening conversation around multiple identities and past histories.
What impact does all this have on our families and communities? What issues should we explore in our communities, so that we can do our own healing from the inside out?
Using this psycho-social approach, we will look through a systemic constellations lens to explore history, ancestral lineage and cultural heritage. We will ‘map-out’ a range of issues that may include suppressed and taboo subjects. And we can look at the unspoken and the unknown, in order to explore their impact on family identity and community cohesion, with special relevance to BAATN communities.
This workshop is open to all regardless of background. Whether we come from a European, Indian, Caribbean or African background, Brexit and the place of the UK in the world is impacting us all and people are seeking answers to questions about identity and culture. Where is our place in the world and where do we belong?
The days will offer participants an opportunity to….
- reflect on relationship dynamics that impact on family and community wellbeing
- identify issues in the social system that create disharmony in the family and community
- start breaking down barriers that stop us from connecting with each other across cultures
- explore the indigenous wisdom that is held in communities even if unrevealed
- take steps to restore the flow of love in our families and communities
NB.PARTICIPANTS will choose topics to map on the day using the Systemic Constellations method
you are encouraged to take part and share experiences.
Who should attend the training?
Psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, holistic therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and individuals involved in the mental health field, caring professions and those concerned about black mental health.
Date: 17 Feb 18
Registration 9:30am for a 10.00am Start – End 5.00pm
Venue: – North London Group Therapy, 9 Manor Gardens, London N7 6LA
Earlybird Fee: £90 (Members £70), Organisations £130, (Student members £50) (until 31 Jan 18)
Normal Fee: £105 (Members £85), Organisations £155, (Student members £65)
“The workshop gave me a chance to focus on what is truly important and I now have a better sense of direction.”
Sonya has over 25 year experience facilitating groups and has specialised in the systemic constellations method since 2011. She is a trained mental health professional and accredited coach (ICF), for more information please visit
About Social and Community Constellations
Including the Excluded Conversation
All communities have to start ‘from their own back door’ if they wish to heal, because only they know what is needed and required for change to take place. We have to start from the inside and heal out. One way of facilitating that healing is through Family and Community constellations that Include the Excluded Conversation. The Excluded Conversation is one that focuses on the difficult issues that impact our communities and cause dis-tress, dis-ease and dis-harmony.
Ancestral Constellations are interested in how to support families and communities to look at the ‘deep roots’ of difficult conversations and relationships. In many of our communities the family is indivisible, both impact on the other. This is what can make it so difficult for individuals in families to explore their African or Asian heritage, often questions about identity and belonging are taboo or too painful to discuss so they are avoided or ignored.
Social and Community constellations seeks to explore these conversations on history and legacy and trauma through a systemic constellations lens. When we fear the taboo, the unspoken and the unknown and keep silent, there is a danger that others in the family or community may take them on and recreate the family patterns from the past.
There are many issues that we know exists in our communities that we do not speak about, Often these conversations are suppressed and kept within our families and communities for fear of shame, guilt, judgement!! My cousin told me a story about a young woman in America who entered her boyfriends house and looking at a picture on the wall enquired “why is my grandmother on your wall”.
We do not speak of this, or the fear of our other losses, the missing brothers and sisters in our clan, those we have heard of but never met, those we do not know yet are known to us. Young women from Africa and Asia are involved in skin bleaching, a hang-over from colonialism and issues of ‘shadism’ and colour favouritism still exists in many families and communities.
In our rage we lash out at each other and commit atrocious acts of harm and self harm, gang violence and black on black killing is an example of this. Many families who come from communities that have migrated and raised second and third generations in their new homeland face other issues of identity, belonging and stigmatisation. The dis-ease of living with these stressors impact our families and communities. Our emotional well-being is affected and can cause mental health problems.
Social and Community Constellations workshops are a place to have these conversations from a different perspective using the systemic constellations method. In the African heritage diaspora we have often used, music and dance to articulate our experience. Movement allows us to express a situation in a different way, to harness the energy of the conversation along different lines.
We can do something similar through systemic constellations which maps out a family situation or community dilemma that can act as an oracle, a past to present story that we can learn and begin to heal from. Through this process we can begin to look at the legacy of our history differently. When we map out and constellate the impact of slavery and colonialism, war and migration on the lived life of our family members and community it affords us a different perspective.
Coming to a workshop requires you to both experience and learn and heal at the same time.
This is therapeutic healing work for community in the modern world, and as such it sometimes brings up strong emotion and feelings. That is why our Family and Community workshops are aimed currently at therapists, coaches, healers and others who work with people or are social and health care professionals.
Sonya – Bio
As I was born and grew up in Europe and have travelled extensively in Europe, US Caribbean and Africa I am influenced by the experience of those who have trans-generationally followed the middle passage as slaves from Africa to Caribbean and US and then the modern passage from Caribbean to Europe
My contention is that in these shared journeys, we are also sharing a path in the modern world that even though we may wish to deny it we are caught up in it. A collective loss of memory and a collective sharing of guilt, shame and rage resulting from our historical legacy
In constellations work in the modern world, therapy is often an adjunct to constellations. This is useful more for some people than others. So whilst I would not deny the importance of therapy in recovery I am interested in the concept of ‘Remembering’ remembering what has been lost our access to indigenous wisdom.
The thought process that keeps black people entangled in not-remembering of their history is a complex one. For me it was as though I was sleepwalking through life with difficult and conflicting dreams from which i woke-up when i started to retrace my ancestral history.
What would happen and how would thinking about self and identity change how we view the world and our place of belonging in it. If we could remember more about the lost knowledge from the past it could help to guide our recovery and healing