Center for Ancestral Blueprints
The Center for Ancestral Blueprints (CAB) accelerates embodied, systemic movements of truth and reconciliation on behalf of past, present, and future generations. CAB welcomes collaborations committed to de-authorizing whiteness.
CAB invites visibility of the influence of family and ancestry in individuals, families, groups, organizations, and nations. Projects rooted in experiential learning and expanding capacities include:
- An Embodied Dialogue with the Internalized Colonizer
- BOB + BART (family & organizational systemic approach to leadership and change)
- CAB Publishing: Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor
- Family Matters Immersion Program
- Making Love Visible
Here’s where to read more about Systemic & Family Constellations, learn about Lisa’s first book (2009), Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul, and check out Upcoming Events.
Systemic Family Constellations
Systemic Family Constellations are an experiential learning based group modality developed by German philosopher, former Catholic priest, and psychotherapist, Bert Hellinger. The constellation process reveals the influence of generational histories in ways that our Western-trained minds find challenging to access. It promotes visibility and consciousness of our shared humanity, including our tendencies to be constricted by unhealed loss and trauma experienced by our ancestors.
For more information and a wealth of resources about Systemic Family Constellations, visit Family Constellations West.
Lisa Iversen, MSW, LCSW
Founding Director of Center for Ancestral Blueprints
Lisa is attuned to the blessing of ancestral resonance in daily living and the relationship between individual and collective wellbeing. Her work with individuals and groups integrates ancestral prayers, embodied indigenous wisdom, trauma informed perspectives & practices, and systemic knowledge.
She has been facilitating Systemic and Family Constellations since 1999. “Becoming a constellations facilitator and teacher came naturally to me. As a psychotherapist I specialized in trauma, loss, and grief, with backgrounds in psychology, sociology, and social work. My work with individuals, families, and groups, intersected with a background in social justice and interests in history and politics. I was well-grounded by my own generational roots in farming and nurtured by lifelong spiritual practices and explorations.
“It didn’t take long for this approach to lead me to deeper engagement with and prioritizing of my own family and ancestors. Daily practices of ancestral meditations and prayers stewarded consciousness of my own generational history. Gratitude for a life made possible by my parents, grandparents, and all the generations before them who passed it on promoted humility. My Western-trained mind, inclined toward ruminating and trying to solve the problems of the past, evolved into greater ease and acceptance including of myself and others as we are. My family, ancestors, and life itself became both resource and teacher. Constellations provided a path to realizing how truth lives in the body. These daily practices have promoted living in a more embodied, connected-to-my whole-self way that includes the landscape of the soul of my family and ancestors, past, present, and future generations.” — excerpt from Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor: Essays on Life and Lineage by white Women, CAB Publishing.
Lisa received her Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington in 1992. Her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English, with a minor in Women’s Studies, is from the University of Minnesota (1986). She has been a practicing psychotherapist in the Pacific Northwest since 1993. She is the author of the book Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul (2009), writing about ancestry, psychotherapy, colonialism, slavery, and democracy. From 2008-2015 she co-hosted the radio show, “Life Conversations presents Ancestral Blueprints” with Atlanta-based host Adé Anifowose and Ombassa Sophera. Her work with organizations includes the following roles:
- founding principle in TalkWorks, a women-owned Emotional Intelligence coaching and organizational consulting group;
- co-creator of BOB+BART synthesis and applications with Dr. Kate Regan, President of Kairos Consulting Group;
- leadership coach; and
- shadow consultant.
While actively connected to her Minnesota roots, Lisa now creates home with her husband and their daughter in the Pacific Northwest. She is the founding director of the Center for Ancestral Blueprints (CAB).
See the Contact page for how to reach her.
“I do my best to shape the formats and schedules of my work around the needs and life stages of my own family, e.g., parenting, tending alongside my siblings to aging parents, etc. My life and work are strengthened by knowing that our shared humanity begins in family.
“The programs I develop and collaborations I welcome are rooted in response to expressed and sensed community needs. It’s an honor to be with people from all lineages, faith traditions, and lived histories, guiding processes of disentangling generational histories that frequently include trauma unprocessed and losses not yet grieved. Remembering resources that can only be found in our ancestral roots is an enormous privilege and blessing. How natural it is to reclaim how much we need each other.”
More on my background with constellations at: familyconstellationswest.com/about-lisa-iversen/.
Caryn is a lifelong resident of Washington state. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College, where she studied public policy, education, and archival conservation. She worked for three years as a writing consultant, including one as the administrative assistant to the director of the Writing Center of her alma mater. An avid crafter for much of her life, Caryn works as a Waldorf handwork teacher in addition to contributing her administrative and technological skills to the Center for Ancestral Blueprints. She lives with her partner in Snohomish, WA.
Caryn was introduced to systemic family constellations through her work with Lisa, and appreciates the embodied way of knowing that the constellation method offers, especially as a counter-balance to the scientific-rationalist epistemology so ingrained in American and western culture. She particularly values Lisa’s insights into the impact that slavery, genocide, and immigration have had in shaping the United States, a history alive in current affairs and daily life, and how that legacy must be addressed for the country to heal.