Talk:Family Constellations

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Someone sounds very pissed off...i.e., the author of most of this article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:11, 9 June 2016 (UTC)

I removed references to two articles: * Article on Bert Hellinger and his method and Article on the workings of the method. The article about Hellinger should be on the Bert Hellinger page. Hellinger has withdrawn from involvement with the associations of Family Constellations practitioners. Personal criticisms against him are not applicable to this approach. The second article contains false and unsubstantiated inuendo, e.g. "semi-cult." It is not a credible piece of journalism. Dan booth Cohen, April 14, 2007 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dan Booth Cohen (talkcontribs) April 14, 2007.

The first link is not only about Bert Hellinger but about Family Constellations. You think the second link is false and not credible but it is only your opinion, the link represent some people view. In your revert [1] you also remove critics and add another external link. Akkeron 10:15, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

You write, "the first link is not only about Bert Hellinger." Perhaps, but the criticisms are almost exclusively devoted to Hellinger himself, not the method. At the bottom of the article is a statement signed by 150 practitioners of the Systemic Constellation method where they state: "Hellinger has increasingly distanced himself from his original systemic work....Many of his statements and procedures are to be regarded explicitly as incompatible with the fundamental premises of systemic therapy....Constellation work "beyond Hellinger" should be developed further as a therapeutic instrument, but the close connection with his name is not to be maintained any longer today."

The leading professionals in the field of Systemic and Family Constellations have explicitly disavowed their association with Bert Hellinger. He no longer attends professional conferences or training programs devoted to the Family Constellation method.

Therefore, I assert that the criticisms contained in the first linked article are not properly included on this page.

Regarding the second article, the author makes statements such as "a new form of potentially dangerous type of psychotherapy," "semi-cult," and "the method is clandestinely spreading all around the country," However, if you read the body of the article none of these statements are explained or supported. Can you point to anything in the text that substantiates "semi-cult" or "clandestinely?"

DanBoothCohen 21:40, 8 June 2007 (UTC)DanBoothCohen


i am a casual user of wikipedia, and i do not know how comment or changes are properly made, but i found the terms 'pseudo-scientific' and 'former biologist' re: sheldrake prejudicial and not impartial. it sounds like whoever wrote this had a chip on their shoulder, and is one of a bunch of so called scientific fundamentalists. i have read a *lot* of Sheldrake, and while his claims are controversial, and should be marked as such, his books are filled with tested and evidence based claims. in fact so much of them are larded up with constant studies, it's hard to read the book for the information. I can see that he's fighting against a Taliban that's just not listening. And won't listen. He is not a former biologist. He got his PhD from Cambridge and taught there. (talk) 06:06, 15 September 2014 (UTC)Andy Couturier

It's Wikipedia's policy to reflect the scientific consensus - see WP:FRINGE - and that is that Sheldrake is gravely mistaken. It is not Wikipedia's policy to try and second-guess whether that consensus is correct or stems from "a Taliban that's just not listening". Pinkbeast (talk) 12:00, 15 September 2014 (UTC)


Removed last criticism on the page. Appeared to be based more on supposition rather than any legitimate criticism. And additionally, it was not cited properly. There are plenty of legitimate and recorded instances whereby new and revolutionary sessions of psychotherapy (e.g Logotherapy) can have profound effects in single sessions. RogerThatOne72 (talk) 15:08, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I added a bit to the Criticisms section. Is there any basis for the assertion that FC therapy isn't amenable to empirical testing, relative to other modalities like psychoanalysis, CBT, DBT, etc.? MichaelJWood (talk) 08:43, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

I removed the sentence in the first section about quantum quackery. The article cited is itself unsourced (other than a link to a definition), and has no cited author. Further, the wording of the sentence indicates clear bias. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Interesting1234 (talkcontribs) 18:34, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

I've given the explanation in my edit summaries, WP:PSCI. The sourced article has an author (Carroll), and is sourced itself. Also see WP:PARITY. vzaak (talk) 19:20, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
The sourced article does not mention an author. Unless you mean the copyright at the bottom? A website called "Skeptics Dictionary," with a tagline "A collection of strange beliefs, amusing depictions, and dangerous delusions" is not a credible, peer-reviewed source. Further, the specific sentence you are citing, "Physicists call this quantum quackery, as there is no good reason to believe that there are quantum effects at the biological level," is not cited (other than linking to a definition). Which physicists? A list of sources at the bottom is not a citation. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Interesting1234 (talkcontribs) 19:48, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
The Skeptic's Dictionary is cited in WP, especially for obscure fringe topics, e.g. sungazing. Also see WP:PARITY. vzaak (talk) 20:32, 26 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, Carroll's website is published in parallel by Wiley as this book. It's a reliable source for a skeptical view. Alexbrn talk|contribs|COI 20:49, 26 September 2013 (UTC)


I see the Systemic Constellations page was taken down. Given that Systemic Constellations is commonly used (often as a synonym) and that this is in essence now the "page" for Systemic Constellations, can we add it to the Page Title in parenthesis (eg. Family Constellations (Systemic Constellations)) as an alternate name? It might also be good to create a redirect to this page for those searching for Systemic Constellations, which some will also spell "Systemic Constellation". I don't know how to do these two actions, or I'd do them myself. Thanks. Snailwiki (talk) 23:35, 22 January 2016 (UTC) ... Update: I think I got a redirect page to work from "Systemic Constellations" to this page. In looking around at formatting, I may be incorrect about alternative names in parenthesis after the Page Title. Snailwiki (talk) 00:11, 23 January 2016 (UTC)


This is looking like edit warring, but not by not the "woo-woo side. By continuing to revert to older versions and not evaluating each edit for their merit you loose credibility as a Wikipedia editor. I made 12 different edits with comments about what and why. To revert to something before them and just say "Back to non-woo version. Sorry if I missed any non-FRINGE edits" (Pinkbeast) is not acceptable and certainly not discerning. I took the time to do some research and do those edits. The least you can do is consider them carefully and collaborate to make the page better. Snailwiki (talk) 18:31, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

Here's the quick summary of how to handle Fringe material according to Wiki - see WP:FRINGE -, which seems to be the issue here:

"Fringe theory in a nutshell: To maintain a neutral point of view, an idea that is not broadly supported by scholarship in its field must not be given undue weight in an article about a mainstream idea. More extensive treatment should be reserved for an article about the idea, which must meet the test of notability. Additionally, when the subject of an article is the minority viewpoint itself, the proper contextual relationship between minority and majority viewpoints must be clear."

Since this is an article about the idea, the first sentence doesn't generally apply. On topics like "morphic fields" it might apply, and I tried to handle this in my edits by showing that there have been other explanations asserted, some more scientific and some more alternative. By adding other references in my edits I was trying to show how this topic does meet notability. By removing them, you bias the evaluation that it isn't notable.

I saw the back and forth, fringe and skeptic, and I understand the viewpoints. I was trying to find a middle ground by adding information, context, and references. And with each edit, purposefully done separately, I explained the purpose. Let's find a mutually agreeable solution here. Snailwiki (talk) 20:19, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

I will begin re-asserting my edits with reasoning explained for each below. Please note that this takes time, so be considerate and collaborative in your responses. Thank you.

  1. 1 Added alternate names. Particularly useful since the Systemic Constellations page was removed and redirect to this page. These names are commonly used, as will be seen in edit #2.

Snailwiki (talk) 20:21, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

  1. 2 Added information distinguishing between different names. This explains how the different names are used.

Snailwiki (talk) 21:54, 29 January 2016 (UTC)

If you stop making edits suggesting quackery works, you'll have less trouble. You will find that WP:FRINGE is consistently applied to prohibit edits that say quackery works. Pinkbeast (talk) 01:14, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Adding alternative names (the above edits) does not "suggest quackery works". I am adding information about this topic. As I continue to reintroduce my edits, I will keep you suggestion in mind and not reinforce that "quackery works". I do think it is fine to add information about the topic of this article that fleshes out the topic. As long as the statements about it not being in line with main stream psychology are still in there, I think we've established that this is a FRINGE topic. I'd appreciate it if you take a little more time in assessing my changes, as I am trying to follow the guidelines and add something useful. We don't need to like, approve of, of believe a methodology to add to a Wiki article about something. The information is still valuable and noteworthy.Snailwiki (talk) 01:24, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Which is why I left the alternative names in. Conversely, I see you're back removing "supposedly"s.

I thought "supposedly attempts" is redundant. It either supposedly does something or it attempts to do something. In this case they actually attempt to do something (whether it works or not, which is qualified elsewhere), so I removed "supposedly". Snailwiki (talk) 01:41, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

All these woo articles get an endless stream of SPAs (this one included) who are desperate to edit the article to suggest that it works. We're not exactly new to this kind of thing, and a series of platitudes about only wanting to improve it is not going to make us not notice when you go back to suggesting it works. Pinkbeast (talk) 01:29, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

So you are okay with edits I make that don't asset it works? My second edit above was about alternative names that are used. How does that suggest it works? ... Well, as I write, I see Edward321 has joined in, removing more edits. Rather than waste my time with trying to add more edits, I'll try something else. Snailwiki (talk) 01:38, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

Okay. Here are the 12 edits I made on January 17, 2016. Please let me know why each of these is unacceptable to you, or restore them. I really am not trying to convince anyone that this works. I was adding information and improving the quality of the writing as explained below. Let's see where there is common ground with these proposed edits. Thanks.

1. Added Systemic Constellations and Systemic Family Constellations as alternate names.

2. Added a second paragraph about the use of the different names.

3. Moved Cohen reference from 1st paragraph to 1st paragraph in Conceptual basis section where it is more appropriate, and combine sentences in 1st paragraph for better readability to focus first paragraph on the description. Removed "supposedly" as an incorrect or redundant word; they actual do attempt this.

4. Added a third paragraph about the origin from the now gone Systemic Constellations page.

5. Added second sentence in now 4th paragraph with a description of the claimed intended purpose and a reference.

6. Moved "Practioners claim ... & Row.</ref>" up to the section on intended purpose where it fits better, and uncapitalize "Systemic".

7. Added a fifth paragraph about possible effects and included references. Since whether or not it works seems to be an issue for some editors, I was offering some sources for this. It's fine with me if you want to qualify this as "possible effects" or "claimed effects" or whatever, but the information is still accurate (they are claimed) and useful for those wanting to read about the topic.

8. Moved "Positive outcomes ...}}</ref>" to end of 5th paragraph about possible effects as this we where this is being talked about. I prefer writing where each paragraph has a coherent topic or point.

9. Added a new start to 6th paragraph about possible explanations used by various practioners.

10. Modified the "quantum quackery" comment to correct the meaning. In the referred article the "quantum quackery" comment is about the use of physics to explain something at a biological level. It refers to that explanation of how it works not the method.

11. Added a wiki link to "family systems therapy" page.

12. Remove "supposedly" from "Emphasis is placed..." bullet in Method. Here again the word is incorrect or redundant; they actually do aim to do something. Also added information about representative perception and a reference for this.

Snailwiki (talk) 02:46, 30 January 2016 (UTC)

This is a bit of a mess to reply to; easier with the proposed text. But as a potted summary, the alternative names, who cares? I'm not in favour of removal of "supposedly"; edits from SPAs on this page are always at pains to blur over the fact that it's bogus. More generally, referring to the revert I did, I notice you carefully move the observation that it's quantum quackery down under 5 paragraphs of the lead, which a naive reader might then take as saying that it actually works, given the flood of citations from various other quacks. This is not sensible. Pinkbeast (talk) 16:35, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Unsupported opinions[edit]

Hello Friends,

Some versions of the text is clearly unsupported with a negative bias. "The method has been described by physicists" what physicists and where? Some links were dead and needed update. How is this a problem? Restoring a bias version without reading the balanced text seems like vandalism to me. I am more than happy to engage in constructive improvements to the text. Anupapa (talk) 18:01, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

From the cited source "Physicists call this quantum quackery". So your objection appears completely without foundation. Alexbrn (talk) 18:17, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

Hello Alexbrn, and thank you for your cooperation. The source article provides no support at all about which physicist and where - therefore it is unsupported hearsay. Also the dead links and the general balance of the text was not neutral. I am happy to do more research. My main objection however is the hostile style in any text. The world is a rough enough place why not be a bit more gentle at least here. Anupapa (talk) 18:39, 8 February 2016 (UTC)

...says the aggressive edit warrior. The text is supported by the source, which is of high quality. Wikipedia reflects what good sources say. Alexbrn (talk) 21:17, 8 February 2016 (UTC)
Note that your assessment of the source's veracity is completely irrelevant. If it is reliable, and it is verifiable, we include it. See WP:VNT. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it.

I suppose you guys are in fight mode day in and day out. People are the way they are, and maybe there needs to be a measure of unavoidable harshness in your replies. "the source's veracity is completely irrelevant" is a statement that could do with some reflection perhaps. Anupapa (talk) 09:44, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

There is an element of truth in this, in that yes, Wikipedia is under const ant attack by promoters of quackery and crank ideas. The point remains sound: this is pure quantum flapdoodle. Guy (Help!) 10:24, 9 February 2016 (UTC)
I gave careful consideration to my words before I posted them. You may notice a difference between what I said ("Your assessment of the source's accuracy is irrelevant.") versus the way you characterized it ("The source's accuracy is irrelevant."). I also gave you a link to the accepted standard for inclusion of information in WP right after I said it. I know that what I said could be taken to a ridiculous extreme, however it does accurately reflect our standards here. I strongly suggest that you read WP:VNT and familiarize yourself with the 'why' as well as the 'how' of our policy on verifiability. That it, after all, the purpose of the essay I linked. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:08, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Hello All, there could be a little more to this if one wanted to take the trouble and investigate beyond rigid guidelines and trigger happy fingers. Although I am happy to admit sometimes rigid guidelines are a practical way to do business. The deeper issue however is that one's behaviour can influence those in the same room or in the same social orbit, sometimes in amazingly subtle ways. This may have nothing to do with quantum mechanics indeed, yet the effect is fascinating. So harsh, judgemental, impatient - I already know for sure which side is up arrogance may not be the most creative or informative way to communicate. After all the main game is contributing to a more humane and joyful world. Anupapa (talk) 15:28, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

After all the main game is contributing to a more humane and joyful world. No. In fact, the main game is contributing to a better encyclopedia. Please focus on that in general, and on the accurate (by way of verifiability) portrayal of the subject of this article. Ruminations about the shortcomings of editors who do not agree with you are not appropriate here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 16:01, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Indeed the world is full of people who may miss the forest for the tree. Anupapa (talk) 22:35, 9 February 2016 (UTC) By the way "not caring" and "trying to convince oneself that one does not care" are not the same thing. We do in fact care. Anupapa (talk) 22:47, 9 February 2016 (UTC)

Regarding the first part: If you're here to right great wrongs, you're on the wrong website. Regarding the second: Purple. Because aliens don't wear hats. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 14:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Oh yes my friend I do know that you can take a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. Anupapa (talk) 15:40, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Source quality[edit]

Dear Alexbrn, please explain your objection to my previous edit about social resonance.Anupapa (talk) 09:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

We don't use primary sources for health claims like this, and we don't bomb the lede with novel information. The WP:LEDE must summarize the article body. Alexbrn (talk) 09:46, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
Another Family Constellations SPA? What a surprise. Pinkbeast (talk) 18:45, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Dear Pinkbeast, no doubt there is some joy to be had in being a fascist dictator so do not be mistaken in believing that I would think you will change your mind just by me explaining what the difference is between "encouraging the subject to accept the factual reality of the past" and "encouraging the subject to encounter and accept the factual reality of the past". For the benefit of those who may wish to know, in better quality constellation sessions the issue of acceptance is preceded by an encounter with representatives of the past. With other words the past is made to kind of come alive, like in a theatre play, to be encountered. (Like someone representing your insane now dead father, who has abused you in the past and you standing there in front of that representative encountering him.) This is a critical difference for without such a step the process of acceptance remains a blend instruction, never penetrating to the visceral level. Best wishes to all. Anupapa (talk) 22:36, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Did you just call him a fascist dictator? MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 23:02, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

I feel warmly towards Pinkbeast and you guys and appreciate the work you are doing. Anupapa (talk) 23:15, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

So you say, but you implicitly called another editor a fascist dictator, which is not only a personal attack but also invokes Godwin's law (and Mike Godwin is a former Wikimedia Foundation general counsel). You need to stop trying to "balance" this reality-based article with nonsense. Guy (Help!) 23:53, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi Guy, and thanks for the link. Indeed "don't mention the war! I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it all right." True, and it is also fascinating how deep the vein of dictatorial tendencies run in the human spirit John Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton. In any case the point is to somehow give justice to and provide good information about this constellation subject. Like you guys I have little time for pseudo-scientific nonsense in a rational discussion. By all means throw out the bathwater but let's see if we can keep the baby. Anupapa (talk) 12:00, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I feel warmly towards Pinkbeast and you guys and appreciate the work you are doing. You have a very funny —and possibly sanctionable- way of showing it. Take some advice: accusations of bias are in a fuzzy area between legitimate debate and personal attacks, so they don't often draw much attention. But accusations of fascism (unless a person calls themselves a fascist, or the content being discussed is fascism) are 100% personal attacks. You should knock it off completely and stick to discussing the content. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:02, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Alright MjolnirPants I will take the advice. Please tell me what is the problem with "The seeker then either sits down and observes or becomes an active player on the floor." Anupapa (talk) 18:43, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

I never raised an objection to that phrase, nor was that phrase the only thing you changed in the reverted edit. Furthermore, Alexbrn already explained his objections to that edit, both in his edit summary and here. You're being disingenuous. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:59, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi again MjolnirPants, if it is not my shirt why would I put it on? Therefore I am disregarding the being disingenuous part. So since there is no objection to that phrase I will put it back. Best wishes Anupapa (talk) 19:24, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Good luck with that, the page has been admin locked. By the way, I reverted your correction to the sourcing because, as the edit summary says, the sources doesn't support the text. The text said that the original form of this diverged significantly from from conventional forms of therapy. The source said that the original form didn't address the concept of trauma. That's apples and oranges, right there. Now, I have no doubt that the original form diverges significantly from conventional forms of therapy, and I'm not opposed to the article saying so. But it's worth noting that the current form diverges as well, so the original text was the more accurate. Saying only that the original form diverged from normal therapy implies that the current form doesn't diverge, which is false. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:33, 11 February 2016 (UTC)


I have protected this article for two weeks due to the edit war. Guy (Help!) 19:39, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

That should be enough time to hash out any differences here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:54, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Look guys I have been more than happy to discuss this and come to a good result. The source above appeared to demonstrate that newer forms of constellation and trends are emerging. Current constellation practices to a significant extent are not what Hellinger originally designed. This is demonstrated by but also goes beyond issues of understanding and dealing with trauma in constellations. Maybe indeed a better way can be found to express this on the page however 2 weeks suspension, is it really the way forward? I thought we were slowly moving towards some improved version. Anupapa (talk) 20:15, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

The source above appeared to demonstrate that newer forms of constellation and trends are emerging. But that is not what the source actually says, so what it implies is best left out of the article.
I thought we were slowly moving towards some improved version. We are, but I'm afraid you can lay claim to very little credit for that. Mostly, that's due to Guy and Alexbrn. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:03, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Ok fellows I am happy that we are talking. Credit and blame somehow has a hollow ring to me. Needing to hit people over the head that I understand. So the issue I have is this: effecting human consciousness is a tricky thing in my experience. I agree with most of the article and appreciate the push to get rid of pseudo-scientific quantum quackery or general nonsense. Indeed constellation diverges from conventional forms of psychotherapy. Significantly perhaps.

In my view live encounter with representatives of the past (or of any other aspect of human experience) is what potentially provides the voltage needed to penetrate to the visceral level. Without such emotional encounter things tend to remain theoretical and basically of little use in engineering a genuine shift. This I find is the main issue with most conventional approaches.

I also find disarming that in later years Hellinger openly admitted his limitations and did not insist on being the final statement. From time to time his approach was indeed dictatorial and unfortunately this did resonate with people who were drawn to that style of facilitation. In fact the most harmful aspect in all this was not the pseudo-science but the arbitrary approach of many facilitators.

Having said all that there is a certain genius in allowing spontaneous, intuitive, uncensored human interactions to take place in a well contained and safe setting. This not only has the potential to move and release chronically held emotions and reveal hidden dynamics but most importantly lead to a kind of deeply felt recognition.

In the past ten years or so many eminent facilitators have moved away from the original Hellinger model. Merging Somatic Experiencing and Constellation for instance is one of those developments. My interest on WP is to simply provide some info about current trends. Reading the present text one could have the impression that there is only one semi lunatic version. Maybe a new section - Current Trends? Best wishes Anupapa (talk) 08:18, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

This is not the venue for a debate about the topic - what we need to do is to have an article which will reflect accepted knowledge on this topic as found in high-quality sources while also (as this is a WP:FRINGE topic) making sure its relationship (if any) to mainstream thinking is made clear. The start and end of nearly all of this activity is the sources. Are you proposing there's a source we should be using? If so, what? Alexbrn (talk) 08:57, 12 February 2016 (UTC)
If you have reliable independent sources for what you term the non-lunatic version then feel free to present them. We have ample sources for the lunatic version, obviously. Guy (Help!) 09:00, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Ok, sounds good. I will work on this for a while before getting back. Anupapa (talk) 09:43, 12 February 2016 (UTC)

Hello All, So far the best relevant source I found is the "Family and Systemic Constellations Resources Network" quoting Ethics, morality and constellations facilitation by Vivian Broughton so I am proposing to reference the following addition to them.

Contents [hide] 1 Conceptual basis 2 The method 3 Current developments 4 References 5 Further reading

Current Trends in Family Systems Constellation[1]

Many current facilitators distance themselves from Hellinger's occasionally authoritarian style of facilitation. They also question whether morphic resonance is an appropriate and valid hypothesis to explain some of the intuitive perceptions, reconciliations and healing witnessed in constellation sessions. [2]Whilst adhering to the basic method of representative selection and intuitive interactions the underlying theory and style of practice has started to incorporate better accepted and mainstream Gestalt, Humanistic, Bioenergetic and Somatic Experiencing modalities.Anupapa (talk) 15:44, 15 February 2016 (UTC)


The "Family and Systemic Constellations Resources Network" is not a reliable independent source. The Australian document does not mention the article subject, you have applied your own inference from that source. Guy (Help!) 16:23, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for your feedback, however it is not clear to me why that source is considered to be not reliable. Their blog "Ethics, morality and constellations facilitation" by vivian broughton seems to be supporting my assertions. Also articles on that site seem to be fully in favour of scientific research. Anupapa (talk) 17:01, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

The source is a pro-family-constellations website. Even if it's written by licensed PhDs in psychiatry or professional psychologists, it's inherently biased towards the subject. Besides, lots of anti-scientific ideas purport to be pro-science. Look at the Discovery Institute, for instance. Simply calling for research and claiming to be pro-science doesn't make a source reliable. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 17:09, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for your assistance and reply. As discussed earlier basically or roughly speaking there are two schools of family systemic constellations. The one adhering to the original way Hellinger has developed and practised it (even though in later years he himself opened up to the necessity of further evolution) and the second more flexible, more open and gentler approach distancing itself from some of Hellinger's more authoritarian and overly spiritualistic ways and explanations. The source I used is obviously engaged in Family Constellations however clearly seems to belong to the second category, encouraging the wider, more rational and scientific approach. Vivian Broughton's article in particular seems to demonstrate this. My intention is to find a way to simply demonstrate this division between the two schools. Could you please read at least the excerpt from Vivian Broughton. Anupapa (talk) 18:40, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

That source discusses some controversy within the movement, but it doesn't draw a clear distinction between 'original' and 'modern' methods of practice. If you're looking for sources to show that there is a modern school that leans towards a more systemic, falsifiable approach, then a pro-family-constellation source would be fine for that, so long as the claims that the modern school is more 'scientific' are attributed to that source, and not stated in wikivoice. This source doesn't do that, but if what you say about this division is true, there probably is a source that does. Find one, and when the lock expires you can add that specific claim to the article with my support. An objective source would be best, of course, but if a primary source is all the exists, I think it's enough. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 18:51, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
There may be some "in universe" spat going on, but we would need independent sources to know this had sufficient weight to be worthy of inclusion in WP. Alexbrn (talk) 18:53, 15 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure about that. I mean, if he can find a source which is considered definitive within the movement that straight up says "There are traditionalists, and then there are modernists and the two differ in these respects..." I think that would be enough to establish that there are two camps. Whether one of them is more scientific or not would absolutely need to be addressed by independent, credible sources. Whether one of them claims to be more scientific, though, doesn't really require the same weight, IMHO. So long as it's made clear that this is a claim, similar to the claims of doing science the Discovery Institute makes. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:26, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

Ok guys, I appreciate your assistance and contributions. It is true that so far I did not find a source that clearly says the words - there are two camps, except perhaps in some Facebook chats** and Youtube interviews ( ) and in the fact that Broughton, Ruppert and others started not to use the name Family Constellation to describe their work. So for the time being in the lede after the 3rd paragraph this is what I am thinking of inserting:

There is an emerging school of facilitators who distance themselves from Hellinger's originally somewhat authoritarian style of facilitation (1) and prefer greater clarity in the explanations of trauma. (2)


Facebook transcript**

Alemka Dauskardt I also do not think that to discuss their work here would be "beneficial" to all as you say, but if you and others believe otherwise...maybe you should check, though, with the convenor of this group if that falls within the group guidelines first. All the best!

Ashani Ariana Hello Alemka, and again I respectfully disagree. The issue here is their ideas, observations and general contributions to the constellation process and not whether they personally wish to be part of this group. I would also find it extremely surprising if there was a general desire to stifle debate, information and learning here on this forum. I will also need to draw attention to the fact that what I actually said was "potentially beneficial" a less categorical statement. On balance and to my surprise the quoted blog clearly touched some emotional charge that in the spirit of Hellinger's work would be worthy of reflection and exploration. Warmly.

Faye-Anne Mukkala-Johnson I do a lot of what might be called Identity work under the banner of systemic constellations. I have not studied under Franz nor Vivian but under Bert and Sophie. The rich tapestry that the field allows is for me all part of the constellation process. I understand that Rupert is trying to distance himself from Hellinger primarily to "create" a format that is his. My own work developed as a natural outcome of Hellinger and is never limited to the model he proposes. Anupapa (talk) 21:27, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

And once again neither of these can be used. Did you read the sourcing policy? Guy (Help!) 23:27, 15 February 2016 (UTC)

How about an edit like this:

Family Constellations diverges significantly from conventional forms of cognitive, behaviour and psychodynamic psychotherapy. The method has been described by physicists as quantum quackery, and its founder Bert Hellinger incorporates the pseudoscientific idea of morphic resonance into his explanation of it. There is also criticism of the authoritarian style adopted by some facilitators who are following the original Hellinger model. [3] Positive outcomes from the therapy have been attributed to conventional explanations such as suggestion and empathy.[2]


Anupapa (talk) 19:45, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

How about no. You seem unable to understand our sourcing criteria. I am moderately encouraged that you do at least realise that morphic resonance is bollocks - that puts you one step ahead of our resident Nobel laureate, sadly. Guy (Help!) 23:52, 19 February 2016 (UTC)

Belief or otherwise in morphic resonance is such a small part of this picture that it is hardly worth discussing. A silly focus. I will look for more constipated neutral sources. p.s. thanks for motivating me to look into this subject deeper. Anupapa (talk) 21:27, 20 February 2016 (UTC)

Inserting fourth paragraph in lede:

Practitioners claim that present-day problems and difficulties may be influenced by traumas suffered in previous generations of the family, even if those affected now are unaware of the original event in the past. Hellinger referred to the relation between present and past problems that are not caused by direct personal experience as Systemic entanglements, said to occur when unresolved trauma has afflicted a family through an event such as murder, suicide, death of a mother in childbirth, early death of a parent or sibling, war, natural disaster, emigration, or abuse.[3] The psychiatrist Iván Böszörményi-Nagy referred to this phenomenon as Invisible Loyalties.[4]

There has been criticism of some facilitators who have taken Hellinger’s at times authoritarian facilitation style to heart, and have developed into authoritarian and directive facilitators, forgetting, that the client really is and must always be understood as the best authority on himself, even if much of his ‘knowing’ is not fully conscious. Constellation Work however became more differentiated in the last 15 years. Several different schools emerged, some with a clear Humanistic style and sensitivity of facilitation.[1] Anupapa (talk) 09:04, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

It does not matter how many times you propose byronevents as a source, it will never be usable. Guy (Help!) 10:12, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

What on earth is the problem with byronevents? To me it looks like a huge selection of all sorts of information. Why is it considered not neutral? And why is that study I referenced is not neutral to you? Anupapa (talk) 13:15, 23 February 2016 (UTC) "... if he can find a source which is considered definitive within the movement that straight up says "There are traditionalists, and then there are modernists and the two differ in these respects..." I think that would be enough to establish that there are two camps." MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 19:26, 15 February 2016 (UTC) Anupapa (talk) 09:01, 24 February 2016 (UTC)


Section break[edit]

@Anupapa: Yes, I said that. however, you have yet to find a source which meets even the loosest definition of RS (as I should not have had to mention, as that applies to all sources we use) and states that in clear terms. The sources aren't good enough because it is an event listing site that seems to also host some kind of blog. Notice that this blog is unattributed and undated. We have no idea who wrote it or why or what their qualifications are. For all we know, it's some rando who once heard of Family Constellations and decided to make some crap up about it to make it look like there's some community when there isn't. And —I say again- you haven't found a source which clearly describes two factions. You found some non-RS sources who imply there are two factions, and some non-RS sources who assume there are two factions. You haven't yet found a single RS who states there are two factions and gives even the slightest bit of info about how they differ. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 13:44, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi Mjolnir and thanks for the feedback. I will agree with your observations however the link I have referenced this time by following the Counselling link on that site does in fact talk about several different schools down the page, that have emerged in the last 15 years. Indeed I have no idea who the authors are but it looks like some kind of general reference material and it seems to be balanced. Anupapa (talk) 14:54, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

I explained to you above why that site is not acceptable. You need to find a source which meets at least the bare minimum of standards set forth at WP:RS to make this claim, and even then, if anyone finds any information to contradict it, it can be removed on the basis of the source not being independent. If you then want to make the claim that one school is in fact more systemic and scientific, you will need to find an independent source which meets all of the standards for a generally reliable source at WP:RS which states this.
There seems to be another issue you haven't considered: Namely the notability of the information. Just because something is true doesn't mean it's notable. For instance, it's true (and I can prove, using sources which would pass RS) that I invented a new sorting algorithm that works extremely fast and doesn't require much memory. But neither I nor the algorithm are notable, therefore, there is no mention of this anywhere on Wikipedia. Likewise, it may be true that there are different schools of though within the Family Constellations movement, but your difficulty finding sources strongly suggests that it's not notable enough to mention here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:26, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Anupapa: if you suggest byronevents once more, I think we're entitled to ban you from this topic. It is not a valid source. Period. We will not use that site as a source in this article, or anywhere else. Understand? Guy (Help!) 16:07, 24 February 2016 (UTC)


MjolnirPants: Thank you for your reasonable explanation.
Guy: You can relax big bad wolf. Things are not as they appear to be. Why would I bang my head against a brick wall? At the end of the day I think MjolnirPants is right; maybe the issue is not even notable. We will skin this cat in an other way. Thank you all for your contributions.

ps. just a final word - maybe valued as a point of view, but if you guys consider and therefore skepdic unbiased than I will have nothing more to add. Anupapa (talk) 20:21, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

I for one, consider Skepdic to be unbiased in the sense that it fairly evaluates such claims, giving them them a similar kind of scrutiny they would face were those making them to attempt to publish them in scientific journals. One could argue that they approach such claims with the intent of debunking them, but of course, all scientists approach all new claims (including their own) with the intent of debunking them. That's how science works, and it's why they call it "falsifiability," not "verifiability".
That being said, Skepdic and other skeptical sources often subject such claims to a far lower level of scrutiny than they would receive if submitted for publication in scientific journals. They only examine the broad strokes of such claims, and do not bother to tear apart the minutiae the way a properly scientific treatment would proscribe. So if you're going to argue that the skeptical sources are biased against non-mainstream claims, you'd best be prepared to explain why people haven't picked apart and critiqued every single minute detail of this subject, the way they do to mainstream scientific claims. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:49, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Once again thank you MjolnirPants for your considered reply. I do not wish to labour the point too much as clearly I am up against greater forces here. I do find skepdic a useful source of critique, but in all fairness at times they mix reasonable and wilfully uninformed to the point of being completely hostile, and thus loosing credibility. Take this example from Family Constellations: ""His therapeutic technique is popular throughout Europe, and has been growing into a worldwide phenomenon. One reason for the growth is that there are very few requirements for someone to become a "facilitator" and most places around the world don't require that these folks have extensive training or be licensed therapists."" absolutely factual and true. It is also true that they are sailing close to the wind when they even mention the word quantum in a psychotherapeutic context. Yet it is totally unreasonable to ignore the more subtle aspects of human social connectedness and influences. ""The existence of these "family constellations" is questionable, but the way in which they are accessed and "disentangled" in therapy sessions is truly bizarre."" Now this is a totally uninformed and hostile statement, based on a biased article by Florian Burkhardt - Griffith College, Dublin "My article is about the worldwide spread (including to Ireland) of a new form of potentially dangerous type of psychotherapy. It has reached Ireland from Germany via the UK where it is already a huge business. The new development is that followers of this semi-cult want to apply it to politics and other social areas." The dishonesty of that article is to ignore the fact that any medical or therapeutic intervention can be potentially dangerous. It is also dishonest, biased and hostile by Skepdic to associate this statement from Albrecht Mahr with pseudo-science and quantum quackery: "Or, as Albrecht Mahr puts it: We are inflicting on ourselves what we reject, fight, and destroy. And the practice of compassion, loving kindness, and perceiving the human being in the opponent are the intelligent expression of our very own self-interest."

The following Skepdic statement however is utterly uninformed, unsupported, untrue and wilfully so, for they obviously have no or extremely limited first hand experience. "In simple terms, the therapy seems no different from many others that aim at getting people to think about their problem in a way that will help them deal with it effectively. The client is led to believe certain metaphysical things and these beliefs are said to positively affect the client."

Having said all this my objective on Wiki was to simply attempt to provide a better balanced article. I do accept the importance of the RS principle, however I do not see this applied in the Skepdic case. At the end of the day you guys care about Wiki and I appreciate the challenges that you are facing, but at least on this occasion the article is falling short of balance.

ps. One more observation about mixing ignorance and credibility destroying arrogance " If you think beliefs in a "soul" and "morphic resonance" are nonsense, this therapy is not going to work for you. I guarantee it." Skepdic

Anupapa (talk) 11:25, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

Valid theories do not require belief. That's religion you're thinking of. Guy (Help!) 15:00, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

If we defend the indefensible our credibility may end up on the line. Skepdic's amazing arrogance and factual error is demonstrated by the guarantee that not believing in nonsense, soul or morphic resonance will render the constellation process useless. What a total and absolute bias, based on prejudice and wilful ignorance. Should we reflect on this?

Anupapa (talk) 19:46, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

The following Skepdic statement however is utterly uninformed, unsupported, untrue and wilfully so...See, here's the problem: You're completely wrong, and it's your own ignorance of the greater world of psychiatry which is to blame. I'd say this was sheer hypocrisy, but I'm sure you think you're right. Except you're not. The quote expresses a judgement call which aligns perfectly with the evidence. I've been digging into this subject since I first showed up here, and quite literally everything I've found says "this is BS, and its successes are due to the fact that simply attempting a therapy is a therapeutic act." And no, this isn't coming from a die-hard debunker. I'm perfectly happy to defend fringe ideas when they are unfairly attacked, as evidenced by my participation in the Paleo diet debacle that recently went down. Hell, you can see evidence of it above, where I disagreed with someone over what kind of source you need to establish that there are different sub groups in family constellations. I know for a fact that the world is not black and white, and there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in my philosophy. But part of that admission of shades of gray requires the admission that some shades are pretty damn dark (family constellations) and others are pretty damn light (skepdic). Sorry to burst your bubble, but that's just how it is. Disagreeing with you isn't "ignorance," in this case, it's competence. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 21:36, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

MjolnirPants I appreciate your openness at least to discuss the matter. Telling me that I am wrong may not make it so. And here is the challenge: indeed you may have been digging in those safe places where there are no mirrors but you sure as hell have no experience of the actual subject. And even if you did you would need extensive experience to arrive at a balanced view. Pure logic may be enough, except you do not seem to have access to pure logic at this time. I for one am an absolute sceptic, but that "judgment call" you mentioned cannot possibly align with the evidence because you and Skepdic have no access to the evidence, and have no wish to have access to the evidence. You actually rely on partial and uninformed judgements.

Please note this is not to say that incompetence, confusion and bunkum theories have not been present in Family Constellation practices. Yet to say that if you don't believe in bunkum theories the method cannot work is a wilful and silly distortion, confirming bias. At its best (and I admit there is such a thing as at its worst) constellation work is about visceral experience and not about belief. Finally would you agree that my own ignorance of the greater world of psychiatry could be an assumption? lol. Anupapa (talk) 10:29, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

ps. reading sources like this I do understand why you guys come to your conclusions. Yet the method has something important to offer and may deserve better balance. Anupapa (talk) 12:08, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Pure logic may be enough, except you do not seem to have access to pure logic at this time. And here we get to the crux of it. I must be wrong, I must be biased, because I disagree with you. You have offered no evidence of the effectiveness of this subject, you have offered no counter to any of the arguments against it, you merely malign the competence of anyone who disagrees. You say first that skepdic is ignorant because... Well, because you say so. Now, you say I am irrational in supporting their view because... Well, again, because you say so. You're digging yourself a hole here which is going to end up being used to justify a topic ban against you (something Guy has already warned you about). If your fellow Wikipedians cannot trust you to edit this article neutrally and without bias, we will have little choice but to stop you from editing it. I don't think anyone wants that, so take my advice: drop this debate. You've proven yourself passingly good at listening to other thus far, but continuing down this road will undo all of the trust you've earned thus far. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 15:05, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Look good friend, I value your advice but it came too late. Obviously I have no intention to attempt any edit of that article again. You misunderstood me. I don't insist that you are biased, what I do say is that Skepdic on this occasion is wilfully ignorant. I really don't care that much about people agreeing or otherwise with me. The fact is that you guys do not have the info. Actually I don't even blame you for that for you are not in the position to get the info. I even accept that so far I may not have provided RS according to Wiki standards. So in passing I stated what is obvious, at least to me, "if you don't believe in bunkum theories the method cannot work" is a wilful and silly distortion, confirming bias. Once again I appreciate you engagement, don't really value threats, and to me all of this was simply part of a day's work and a bit of learning about Wiki. Best wishes to all of you. Anupapa (talk) 19:39, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Obviously I have no intention to attempt any edit of that article again. Then I should point out that you have no business on this talk page. The only discussion allowed here is about edits to the article, and while the occasional tangent can be (and should be) forgiven, if you don't plan on editing the article, you quite literally have nothing to discuss here. MjolnirPants Tell me all about it. 20:31, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Representatives of the past?[edit]

I don't think "supposedly" is tightly enough grouped with the representatives of the past; I think of "supposedly" as going with "reveal a previously unrecognized systemic dynamic that spans multiple generations in a given family", and once we've got to "accept the factual reality of the past" we have a perfectly reasonable thing one might actually do. Pinkbeast (talk) 16:57, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

Is this for real?[edit]

I always thought that Primal Scream Therapy was cretinous as could be, but this one really takes the biscuit. Are there any studies about the people who actually go for this nonsense (i.e. may we be dealing with yet another manifestation of the YAVIS syndrome?) (talk) 02:08, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Please confine yourself to comments more definitely related to improvements to the article. Pinkbeast (talk) 02:56, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Yes, it's for real; and yes, it's pretty cretinous. You should be aware that the purpose of this page is for discussing changes to the article, not for use as a general discussion forum about the subject of the article. You may feel free to use my talk page if you want to engage in a discussion about the subject. I know that at least a couple of editors watching this page also watch my talk page. To find my talk page, click on the text "Tell me all about it" in my signature → ᛗᛁᛟᛚᚾᛁᚱPants Tell me all about it. 02:58, 13 January 2018 (UTC)


This article has no scientific criticism of its pseudoscientific claims and assumptions, other than a short item in the lead. The lead is a summary of the article, and is not the place to put information appearing for the first (and only) time in the article. The main body needs to have this material expanded upon. RobP (talk) 18:35, 7 March 2018 (UTC)