What is Family Matters?
The Family Matters Learning Immersion Program is an annual offering that this year takes place over five 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 a path to experience 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 practitioners;
- aspiring and seasoned constellation practitioners;
- personal and organizational coaches, artists, and teachers; and
- all those ready to embrace greater embodiment, connection, freedom, and humility.
Requirements for application:
- Participation in at least three constellation workshops or individual sessions.
- Ability to commit to the learning program.
- “Good enough” personal and life stability.
- Note: Participants may be interviewed for rightness of fit in the program.
Program Structure and Details
This year’s 16 day program structure includes:
- four 3-day weekends (Friday-Sunday)
- a 4-day residential retreat 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 2 & July 28)
- practice sessions in small groups or pairs in between the large group weekend 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
The program is held over four 3-day weekends (Fri-Sun), plus a 4-day (Thu-Sun) residential retreat in September.
For the 2018 year, the program dates are:
- September 27-30 (Thursday noon to Sunday noon, 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. Referrals to a range of accommodations are provided.
Program fee is $2,900, which includes lodging at Aldermarsh in September. 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 eighteen 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 March 15, 2018.
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.
* 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.
Lisa Iversen on why the program is called “Family Matters”
Reflections from Lisa on…
Balance with giving, receiving, and belonging 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. This yearlong program is intended to be a nurturing, compassionate place to experience ancestral support and blessing for learning how to live, love, and work with greater balance of giving, receiving, and belonging. Each person in this program will be invited and supported to take steps toward embracing and integrating her or his own humanness, unrecognized or unclaimed gifts, and shadows.
Feminine and indigenous wisdom and healing from colonialism I see an interconnection between feminine and indigenous wisdom: both are “local”. Feminine wisdom embodies ancient traditions of mothers and grandmothers being the ones raising small children. Historically this has meant being at home to do so. Whether or not a person is a parent, both women and men can draw great strength and blessing from these roots.
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.
This yearlong program invites coming into greater balance with feminine and masculine wisdom, reclaiming and integrating indigenous wisdom from ancestors of all lands, and stepping toward healing from colonialism and slavery. My strength as your teacher and guide comes in part from this learning program being grounded in Bellingham, Washington, where I live, love, work, and am a mother to our fourteen year old daughter.
Siblings 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.
Will I be able to facilitate constellations at the end of this program? The person of the facilitator 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 worklives, 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 worklives.
Family Matters alumni are integrating 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.
Answers to a few more FAQs:
- 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.
- No, you do not have to be an aspiring constellation facilitator in order to do this program. Here’s to reclaiming how important family is. Check out video above.
- Yes, you will learn things in this program that you haven’t in other constellation learning programs (for those who are or want to be using this modality in their work life in some way). Likewise, you will learn things in other programs that you won’t learn in this one. It’s the way of life and learning…isn’t it great!
Discernment of the “Not Knowing” Place Allowing the space of “not knowing” is an essential, though sometimes uncomfortable, place. 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 resistance to 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 fits into your worklife. Participants will receive a certificate of program completion at year’s end. Please also refer to the question, “What kind of background do the facilitators have?” in the Systemic and Family Constellations Common Questions section on this website.