What is Family Matters?
The Family Matters Immersion Program is an annual offering that this year takes place over six sessions throughout the year. Designed by Lisa Iversen, the program is for those called to dive deeply into the knowing field, made especially visible by Systemic Family Constellations, with Lisa as their guide. This program offers an experiential path to ancestral support and blessing for living, loving, and working in greater balance of giving, receiving, and belonging in personal and professional life.
Who is the program for?
The Family Matters Learning Program is beneficial for:
- all those seeking integration of knowledge inspired by Systemic Family Constellations into their lives and practices;
- healing arts practitioners;
- aspiring and seasoned constellation practitioners;
- personal & organizational coaches, artists, writers, teachers, and historians;
- those ready to access the wellness and resource of family and ancestry;
- retirees seeking clarity and harmony; and
- those ready for greater embodiment, connection, freedom, and humility.
Requirements for program admission:
- Participation in at least three constellation workshops or individual sessions.
- Emotional maturity.
- “Good enough” personal and life stability.
- Ability to commit to the fullness of this learning program.
- Note: Participants may be interviewed for rightness of fit in the program.
Program Structure and Details
This year’s 18 day program structure includes:
- six 3-day weekends (Friday-Sunday)
- including a 3-day residential session at Aldermarsh Retreat Center on Whidbey Island, WA
- 180 minutes of individual in-person or phone consultation with Lisa
- conference calls supporting individual and group learning
- community workshop Saturdays ( June 1 & July 13 & August 17 )
- practice sessions in small groups or pairs in between group sessions
This unique combination of group learning and one-on-one time with Lisa provides an opportunity to receive support for acceleration and integration of unfolding truths, support for and modeling of a variety of ways to integrate the constellation method into one’s healing practices and life, and practical experience in how the field of ancestral wisdom is accessible in daily life.
Dates, Location, and Cost
For the 2019 year, the program dates are:
May 31-June 2
- August 16-18
- September 27-29 (Aldermarsh Retreat Center, South Whidbey Island, WA)
On those dates the schedule is:
- Fridays: 9:30am – 6pm
- Saturdays: 9:30am – 6pm
- Sundays: 10am – 5pm
- With the exception of September, with times and location given above
Family Matters is held in Bellingham, Washington (80 miles north of Seattle, 60 miles south of Vancouver, B.C.), except for September session on Whidbey Island at Aldermarsh Retreat Center. Closest airports are Bellingham, Seattle, Everett (WA), and Vancouver, B.C. Canada. Referrals to a range of accommodations are provided.
Program fee is $3,300. Participants are invited to design individualized payment plans, including monthly or quarterly payments. Accepted methods are check, cash, or credit card. A $300 deposit is required to confirm your place in the program.
The Family Matters program is limited to fourteen participants. Early application is encouraged. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an application form. Interviews will be conducted for rightness of fit with program when needed.
The deadline for applications is April 1, 2019. (No fooling.)
More about the Program
The Family Matters program provides participants with a solid groundwork in the principles of Systemic Family Constellations. This includes reclaiming and integrating indigenous wisdom with western knowledge*, honoring the balance of feminine and masculine wisdom, and reintegrating the human family in the larger web of nature.
The program offers a setting which understands, respects, and teaches about the influence of trauma in oneself and within the constellation field, inviting awareness of the influence of family relationships, including siblings relationships and the field’s effect on children, the resonance between individual, family, and collective relationship models, and consciousness regarding immigration, colonialism, and slavery.
The program also seeks to integrates constellation wisdom with ceremony, working with stone meditations, and ancestral prayer.
Participants will experience a unique combination of group and individualized learning, receiving support for acceleration and integration of unfolding truths, and compassionate, competence mentoring and guidance from Lisa Iversen.
The program aims to provide an introduction to the applications of Systemic Family Constellations in group and individual practice settings, and practical experience in how the field of ancestral wisdom is accessible in daily life.
The program offers a safe, supportive setting for aspiring Systemic Family Constellations practitioners to gain confidence in balance with humility.
Participants will receive a certificate of program completion at year’s end.
Lisa Iversen on why the program is called “Family Matters”
FAQ about the Family Matters Program
How is this program the same or different from other constellation focused learning programs?
No two learning programs are the same, so you will naturally learn things in this program you haven’t in other constellation oriented learning programs; likewise, you will learn things in other programs that you won’t learn in this one. While the principles of the constellation work are universal and the phenomenon is consistent, the various applications of the Systemic Constellation approach and diverse backgrounds of facilitators reveal that its wisdom flows through each facilitator in unique ways. The variation in how facilitators approach this work and integrate it into their existing knowledge base can be compared to the way two musicians create very different musical experiences based upon the same written piece of music.
There is not an established criteria in the constellation field regarding facilitator or trainer certification. The way in which each facilitator has learned and approaches the craft of facilitating constellations varies from person to person. The same is true for those who offer learning and training programs. learning how to facilitate constellations or integrate knowledge inspired by systemic family constellations into their lives or practices.
Time and again, Systemic Family Constellations reveal love’s truths: in the stillness and depth of the family and greater soul, there is no division. All that exists belongs. Yet our human tendency to focus on division and healing reveals blind love’s attachment to problems, exclusion of the perpetrator, and identification with the role of “healer.” Soul’s truths coexist with Americans’ shared inheritance: a country created out of disconnection from family through immigration, slavery and colonialism. Seeking belonging in work and fierce commitment to innocence are just some of the echoes of this legacy.
Daan Van Kampenhout, in a speech in Cologne, Germany, in May 2007, says: “Wherever the constellation work is taken, it will arrive in a place where people are dealing with the effects of collective trauma. And in each place, the local population tries to come to terms with what has happened, and has to find a place for the victims and the perpetrators of the past. These will be given a place either openly in the light or they will be hidden in the shadow zones.” (Excerpted from Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul).
Through embodied guidance, practical wisdom, experiential learning, ancestral prayers, and more, Family Matters welcomes visibility of these historical influences on the development and practice of constellation work in the United States. With gratitude for all, together we experience the universality of humanness: here’s to deepening our individual and collective humility together.
Do I have to be a constellation facilitator or aspiring one to be in this program? No!
No, you do not have to be an aspiring constellation facilitator in order to participate in the Family Matters program. Familial and ancestral resources and remembrance of belonging provides an irreplaceable resource for all aspects of life. I will also say that the constellation facilitators I am inclined to trust the most are those who know and prioritize their own families vs. any identification with role of “family constellation facilitator”.
Here’s to reclaiming how important family is for everyone. Check out the video above.
Can I do this program more than once?
Yes, you can do this program again even if you have done it before. Several have done so. Family is the gift that keeps on giving and teaching.
Does Family Matters offer teaching about the sibling relationship?
Yes; the sibling experience has much more influence in our ancestral blueprints than is often understood or acknowledged. Our own, our parents’, our grandparents’ lives as a sibling (or without one in the case of only children) is sometimes the family position that is having tremendous influence in love, work, and other parts of life. I welcome these images to come into visibility during this year together and look forward to guiding you into deeper clarity and compassion about brothers and sisters. Opening one’s heart to the ways in which we are loving or entangled with our siblings, or aunts and uncles, can be deeply illuminating and freeing, both personally and professionally.
I’ve heard a lot about the knowing field, can you say more about “not knowing”?
Participants in Family Matters often encounter the experience of “not knowing.” Allowing the space of “not knowing” is an essential, though sometimes uncomfortable, experience. How it is that one lives with this place is highly informative, both personally and if you are interested in integrating Systemic Family Constellations into your worklife.
Discernment of one’s relationship with the “not knowing” place is one of the learnings offered in this program. When is “not knowing” the right place to be in, in one’s life, or when facilitating a constellation, a kind of “hollow bone” place to be a vessel for truth to be revealed? When is “not knowing” a kind of denial of what one does know, an alliance with truth unseen or secrets, or a way of resisting claiming one’s gifts or knowledge – which is sometimes entangled with ancestors who were not free to express their own knowingness?
This yearlong program is a place for you to come into right relationship with these different kinds of “not knowing” with the intention that you will see yourself and others more clearly, including how Systemic Family Constellations might fit into your work life.
Will I be able to facilitate constellations at the end of this program?
Who the person is and all that they bring with them is the greatest variable in answering this question. The pace of integration of this knowledge and wisdom varies greatly from person to person.
No two therapists, coaches, healing arts or shamanic practitioners, learn, integrate, or facilitate Systemic Family Constellations in exactly the same way. Some drawn to this program are already facilitating or integrating Systemic Family Constellations into their work lives, others have experienced this phenomenological approach enough to know that the next step is studying with a seasoned teacher, perhaps without yet knowing what or how it would look to integrate it into their work lives.
Family Matters alumni integrate this immersion learning into their healing practices & workplaces with individuals and groups, into their family and relational webs, into their creative expressions, and into their place of belonging in nature’s web.
Reflections for healing practitioners drawn to Family Matters
Many who are drawn to helping professions come from family situations with well developed patterns of knowing how to give and express care while being challenged to receive, especially from one’s parents. It can be challenging to daily live from the place of receiving life how it is come to us, wisdom reinforced by Bert Hellinger’s Systemic Family Constellations, after decades of lived personal experiences in a family context where caretaking or entangled relational muscles have been repeatedly flexed.
Many healing practitioners also feel moved to become facilitators or integrate Systemic Family Constellations into their healing practices, sometimes without realizing that doing so too quickly can become another way of hiding from oneself, of maintaining a life pattern of a kind of giving that is out of balance with receiving. The constellation facilitator who lives with a kind of “good enough” self awareness to recognize how she shows up in the world – at home, at work, in constellation workshops, valuing becoming more at home with herself – gives a great gift to herself and to those with whom she lives and works.
Doing so creates a field of safety when working with others that they, too, have permission to show up with a depth of compassion and truth that we know is so profoundly healing in constellation circles. Each person in this program will be invited and supported to take steps toward embracing and integrating her or his own humanness, and unrecognized or unclaimed gifts and/as well as shadows.
* Indigenous wisdom, by definition, refers to wisdom that is grounded, rooted in a particular region, belonging to place. This wisdom lives in all people – not just in those with First Nations heritage. There can be a tendency in Western culture to either deny or romanticize First Nations heritage, particularly among people with primarily European ancestry. Both ways can be their own kind of trance. Without intending to do so, when those of us with European ancestry deify First Nations wisdom while in disconnection with European indigenous strength, this can be another kind of ‘taking’ in resonance with the original colonialism movement.
Offers a way to think systemically about family and the human experience. Many who choose some kind of immersion experience in this work report that it changes how they think about everything – it informs how they think about all aspects of life. It speaks to the broad application of the work and the way in which people are impacted by this program and others like it.