What is a Family Constellation?

Expanded Knowing workshops and trainings are rooted in Family Constellation Work.

“The Power of Requests” A retreat featuring Constellation Work, facilitated by Alison Fornés (Aitabé) and Ben Roberts.

Family Constellations

A Family Constellation (FC) is a process designed to bring insight and healing to participants. As FC facilitators, we are trained to understand how personal, familial and ancestral traumas impact us in the present.

Mapping and Representing Your Family System

Insight and healing are generated using tools and practices that allow us to create “maps” of your question or issue. We then “step into” these maps, often literally. By representing the parts of your system, a constellation will surface the feelings, experiences, and hidden stories present in the system. This sensing practice reveals the hidden dynamics behind your issue.

Trauma: the Root Cause of Unproductive Patterns

In Family Constellations, we are looking for a “systemic imprint”. This refers to our unconscious experience of a current relationship as if it were a past trauma or pattern. For example, we might experience a work conflict as if it were a parent-child relationship. Other times, the root cause is a dynamic that we have no personal knowledge of, but is a pattern that arises from an ancestral trauma. You can read examples here and here.

The Orders of Love in Family Systems

Bert Hellinger, the founder of Family and Systemic Constellation Work, identified three dynamics that are necessary for the healthy flow of energy in a family system. They are called the Orders of Love: belonging, precedence, and exchange.

There is much that can be said about each of these three. In brief:

  1. Belonging. All who belong to a family have the same right to belong. Belonging is beyond personal judgment, it simply is. When a family system excludes a member who has the right to belong, there will be an unconscious movement in the system to remember the one who has been excluded and bring them back into belonging. Click here to read a constellation story about Belonging.
  2. Precedence. Everyone in the system has a unique position in the system that is theirs alone. It is not earned and cannot be lost. For example, the parents come first in a system before the children, and the older children come before younger children. One common example I see in my clients is when the children, out of love, take on a parental role with their parents. A child who has this experience will often feel burdened and resentful, and may have difficulty being in a healthy relationship to authority.
  3. Exchange. The flow of giving and receiving is part of every healthy system, including family systems. Exchange can operate in many ways, depending on the circumstances. A Family Constellation will illuminate how the flow of giving and receiving is operating in your system.

    A healthy flow will be a balanced or generative flow of giving and receiving. A balanced flow of giving and receiving happens between, say, a client and their coach. In that case, a balanced exchange feels complete and satisfactory on both sides. A generative flow of giving and receiving happens between friends and lovers. Sometimes one gives more, sometimes one receives more. This generates growth in the relationship. There is one unique case in which we cannot give back in return: the gift of Life which we received from our parents. While we cannot give anything back to our parents that could possibly equal the life we have received from them, we honor this gift by paying it forward.

In a Family Constellation, we are able to identify where blocks to the Orders of Love have arisen. Clients are supported to create the inner healing movement that opens the system up to the flow of life-force energy.

What Does Healing Look Like?

“I have worked with [Aitabé] on multiple occasions to help facilitate personal and community issues. Each time her work has brought me a shifted perspective and much needed insight, as well as facilitating a change within the system towards more love, understanding, and peace…” -Kate Temple-West

“My heart! My spirit! Alison [Aitabé] has been for me a wise and intuitive guide and a powerful and loving companion as I journey into deeper and deeper knowing and loving of myself. I can think of no more important work than what she is doing, what I have been doing with her, and I am immensely grateful.” – Jeff Golden

Clients often feel a palpable shift after just one session. Multiple sessions allow layers of patterns to be seen, understood, and cleared. Family Constellations allow us to become ourselves more fully!

Family Constellation Retreat with Alison Fornés and Nadia Khan Kimmie.

Ancestral Connection

One of the most valuable results of constellation work is that people establish a new, living connection with their ancestors. As people living in a western, colonial paradigm, we have lost contact with our ancestors and with the earth. Through Family Constellations, we reconnect with our ancestors and the earth as kin.

Ancestral Connection Through Family Constellations

What to Expect at Your Session

A FC session can be in person or online, in a group or individually. At every session, you will be asked to share briefly about your issue/question, and to identify your intention for the session. After sharing, we will begin the process of mapping and “tuning in” to your issue. There are no special skills or pre-requisites required in order to experience or benefit from a Family Constellation.

EXCHANGE: $180 per session. Plan 2 hours for your session. Payment plans available upon request.

Schedule a Family Constellation with Aitabé (Alison Fornés)



“Alison is incredibly intuitive and wise in identifying critical places within us, within our history, within our families, where we are stuck or pained or limited or hopeful, the most important places we need movement and openness to be our full selves, and in bringing some breath and light to them. She has a wide variety of techniques she draws from in any given moment, based on what she senses and hears from someone about what is up for them — dialogue, guided meditation, journaling, body movement. Alison provides a deep and loving presence and ability to touch in with what is really true and necessary for someone to explore in the moment and in their life.” -Jeff Golden

“Alison sees into you. Her ability as a healer is profound, personal, and so incredibly intimate as her entire being witnesses in empathy…she uses the field and through her embodiment, seems to transcend it.” -Anayza Stewart

“Alison’s facilitation of systemic constellations have provided incredible insights. I had hit a wall in thinking about new strategies and approaches for a challenge I was facing. In the course of 30 minutes I was able to “see” patterns, issues and avenues that I would never have understood on my own.” -Madeline Typadis-Snow

“To say that working with Alison is paradigm shifting would be an understatement: it’s paradigm exploding! This work opens realms of connection, healing, and truth that I’ve never imagined I could access…” -Jessica Simkovic


Family Constellation work with Alison Fornés (Aitabé) is an educational and informational process. These sessions are not intended to replace the relationship that exists between a client and his/her/their physician. Always consult with your physician, psychiatrist, psychotherapist or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any health program. 

Any benefits or claims are based on personal experience with clients. Your participation is entirely at your own risk.

Schedule a Family Constellation Session with Alison