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Top 14 Life-changing Family Constellations Books to Read NOW! (Bert Hellinger Books and more)
Now, since you are here on this page (thank you!), I guess that you have at least some idea what the family constellations method is, and you wish to learn more and deepen your knowledge on that subject. So, I would not go into great details on what this is and how it works. I think the founder of this system Bert Hellinger and his disciples will do a much better job at this task through their groundbreaking books and experience in this field. However, for the sake of clarity, I will do my best to give you a very short description based on my knowledge and first-hand experience with this self-development tool. To me, the family constellations is a life-changing method for revealing the unconscious behavioral patterns coming from the invisible bonds we create with our ancestors, as well as restoring the balance and harmony in our family system through love, respect, and taking personal responsibility. In other words, this method is extremely effective in cases where we are not able to stop doing things that we don’t want to do or when we are not able to do the things that we want to do. This is a very popular formula in this field since it showcases how powerful and strong these connections are, and how these patterns of behavior can be extremely difficult to break.
I need to warn you, though! Here’s what the family constellations is NOT! It is not blaming or judging our parents, grandparents or ancestors for our misfortunes. Blame and judgment is what gets us into trouble in the first place. The main goal of this system is to shift you towards understanding, acceptance, compassion, respect, love, inclusion, a sense of belonging, and inner peace.
So, if that piqued your interest, keep reading because the experts on this topic (starting from the founder himself) have some really juicy stuff to share that would completely change how you see the world and every single person in it! The jaw-dropping aha-moments are guaranteed!
The Best Bert Hellinger Books
Bert Hellinger is the founder of the family constellations system and it is only logical to dedicate the first part of this book suggestion list to him. Most of the volumes in this section contain actual transcripts from his work as a facilitator and a teacher. So, if you haven’t had a group family constellation session yet, this is your chance to peek inside and get a sense of the inner workings of this method.
This was the first book by Bert Hellinger I got since this is one of his most profound works covering lots of the most common topics in the realm of family constellations. The original title in German is “Ordnungen der Liebe” which loosely translates as “The Order of Love”. And that’s an important detail because the concept of order is an extremely important one in this methodology. Everyone in the family system has their exact position which has to be maintained for us to have a fulfilling and successful life.
For instance, if you are the second child in your family, your place is on the left of your older sibling – this is the order in which you were born. And here comes the second part of the title – love. We do lots of things out of unconditional love, including self-sabotage. And according to Hellinger, the unconditional love of a child can cause it to become entangled with a certain ancestor and thus sacrifice its own unique life path for the sake of that ancestor and to unconsciously follow their footsteps. And if these examples seem a bit confusing, no worries – in the book you will find exactly what they mean and everything will fall in its place (well, that’s a great family constellations-related pun!). This volume consists of the exact sessions Hellinger performed in his professional path and you will take a peek at what happens during a family constellation séance. Also, throughout these rounds in short lectures on various topics, you will learn lots of interesting info on the mechanics of these invisible entanglements – how and why they happen and what their consequences are in our lifetime.
This is the second most influential Bert Hellinger book I have come across and it is a natural succession from my first suggestion. The original title goes as “Erfolge im Leben. Erfolge im Berug”. As you can see, there is a pattern here – the English subtitle is “Orders of Success” and again – that’s in direct relation to the main principle of maintaining the correct order and the correct place we all should be in our family system.
That is how we can achieve the success that we desire, but more importantly – the success in congruence with our own unique life path, not the one of a parent, a grandparent or an ancestor even further back in our lineage. This is where true fulfillment and happiness comes from – doing the work that we were meant to do instead of living someone else’s life. Here’s a formula that is quintessential for the family constellations method that can shed some light on what it means to be unconsciously entangled with someone in our family – if you are doing the things that you don’t want to do or if you are not doing the things that you want to do. If your automatic and autopilot behavior falls into these two categories and you are not having a successful and fulfilling life, then definitely grab this book and see what the root cause might be! You might be quite surprised! As opposed to the previous book suggestion, “Success in Life” does not contain any family constellation session transcripts – it is a concise guide packed with indispensable information how our family ties influence our ability or inability to succeed in life and in our personal relationships.
This is another great book on the topic of success through the lenses of the family constellations method and its founder Bert Hellinger. The original German title goes by the name of “Themenbegozene Unternehmensberatung”. If the previous suggestion was a little more general in terms of having overall satisfaction and fulfillment in life, this one deals much more specifically with our professional and entrepreneurial development.
Yes, don’t be surprised – pretty much everything in our lives is a reflection of our relationships with our parents and ancestors – whether they are positive or not so positive. This book would be especially beneficial to those of you who have a business (or you want to start one), and those who are very serious about advancing in their career. The energetic support we can receive from our lineage by bringing our family system in order and in harmony is immense! Working with the family constellations methodology will have a transforming effect on your life, including your professional development and business endeavors. Remember, if you have reoccurring events and unfortunate experiences in your life, the root cause may lie somewhere within the invisible bonds we create with our ancestors. Hence, one of the best tools for resolving these challenges is this one developed by Bert Hellinger. Again, this book contains only condensed information and pieces of wisdom from the founder of this method (unlike “Love’s Own Truths” which has transcripts of actual family constellations sessions performed by Hellinger himself).
As I mentioned previously, every area of our lives is affected by the bonds we have with our parents and grandparents. Yes, this also includes our wellbeing and predispositions. Fortunately, in most cases by bringing our system in order, including the excluded members, and achieving harmony, our energetic and physical bodies react positively as well! That’s how powerful this method is!
However, please read this Bert Hellinger book for the purpose of acquiring knowledge and understanding how these family ties and mechanics operate. Should you have any issues and discomforts, please work with a licensed professional! Do not try using this system on your own without the help and guidance of an experienced and certified facilitator! Also, remember, (and this is coming from my personal experience with the method) the family constellations work as a trigger. What you would most likely experience is having some interesting events unfold so that you can find the right type of solutions for your problem at hand. Yes, miracles also might happen after your session. However, be also prepared that some miracles happen in a very discreet and mundane way. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Don’t let the word “pedagogy” fool you! This excellent book is not just for parents or parents-to-be, it is for everybody. And there are two main reasons for this. First, we all have been kids and our childhood experiences still affect us to this day (and they would probably do for our whole life). This is where the family constellations tool does a great job – resolving some of these traumatic experiences and thus improving our life here and now.
Second, there is one huge viewpoint change with regards to parenting that happened when I started working with this self-development method. According to Hellinger and the system he created, we don’t raise our children – we raise ourselves. Our kids will copy and learn from our behavior, not what we say. This also reminds me of the famous quote from Carl Gustav Jung: “You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.” So, if you are even a bit interested in the topic of dealing with our inner child, this book is definitely for you! If you believe that all children are born good, and the so called “negative traits” that we develop are the result of emotional pain we experience along the way, then keep reading!
Family Constellations Books by Other Authors
Here in this section you will find lots of amazing volumes from other authors in the realm of family constellations and topics covering similar concepts and ideas. Some of the authors are direct Bert Hellinger students who got their knowledge for the founder of the system himself and had been working for many years under his supervision. On the other hand, you have other amazing family constellation facilitators coming from other schools and branches of this system who are much more suited to the Western style of communicating these life-changing and transforming ideas! I am sure you are going to love these must-read book suggestions!
Sometimes other authors can do a great job at taking another person’s concept and reframe it in a beautiful and more understandable way. This is because everyone is wired in a different way and we may need to hear certain ideas with various words, described by various people and their unique way of communicating. And this book is especially valuable because it had been approved by Bert Hellinger himself (you can read his words in the foreword).
As for the topic of this work, it is one of the most essential ones – family conflicts. As you go down the rabbit hole of the family constellations realm, you will find that pretty much everything in our lives stems from our family ties and the invisible bonds with our ancestors – how we see and experience the world, how we communicate with others, and what actions we take (or we are unable to take), and so on. So, by resolving these family conflicts and bringing back our system into harmony (by moving from pain, anger and resentment towards love, acceptance, and respect), we basically change our lives and our existence to the very core!
As I mentioned in the previous book suggestion, we need the same ideas to be re-framed and reiterated by different people with their unique communication style and wording. And I think this is the perfect example! This book is probably the most popular one on the topic of family constellations and how our unconscious ties with our ancestors affect our behavior in life.
The author Mark Wolynn is the director of The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco and he does a great job at explaining these intricate concepts developed by Bert Hellinger. Drawing from his immense 25+ years of experience, the author brings this precious knowledge to everyone, so that we can identify the root cause of the problem and bring our family system into balance and harmony. As his motto goes: “It didn’t start with you…but it can end with you.” Brilliant!
This book might be regarded as a little bit more advanced on this topic and it is geared mostly towards professional facilitators and therapists. The author Bertold Ulsamer is a German psychologist and a NLP specialist who has been practicing the family constellations method for many years. Now he is more into the field of teaching others how to use this powerful transformative tool and become skillful practitioners.
In other words, this book would be a bit more suitable to those who wish to go deeper into this realm and upgrade their knowledge and expertise. So, if you are an aspiring systematic family constellation facilitator, a coach or if your work revolves around any kind of therapy, this manual will give you a lot of useful information how to do more for your clients. As the author states: “This book is a response to many practical questions of therapists and coaches.”
I really like to direct your focus onto the subtitle of this awesome book which goes like this: “Understanding the ties that bind us and the path to freedom”. I think that the title and the subtitle perfectly capture the essence of this self-development method. Achieving personal freedom to follow our own unique path in life by using the most powerful tools known to mankind – love, understanding, acceptance, and respect.
This is what any family constellation session (with the help of the facilitator) strives to do. So, I would really like to point out that the process of unbinding ourselves from these invisible bonds with our parents, grandparents, and ancestors is not cutting ties with them. It is not removing them from our lives and blaming them for our misfortunes. It is exactly the opposite – through love, respect, and compassion towards our family system and ourselves, we set ourselves free from the unconscious behavior and self-sabotage that runs our life on autopilot. It is also very interesting to know that the author is a disciple of the famous spiritual teacher Osho. Svagito Liebermeister is also a psychotherapist, a certified psychologist, and a family constellations facilitator – a training he received directly from the founder of the system Bert Hellinger. So, it is safe to say that the author brings us the best of both words – Eastern spirituality and a more Western type of professional education in the field of therapy. And that’s awesome!
Let’s get back to the Western interpretation of the system, shall we? And when I say “Western” I mean mainly the way these concepts are communicated. Yes, the family constellations method can be filled with intricate terms and ideas which may not be that easy to grasp at first. So, it is best to have multiple authors and practitioners bringing this precious knowledge into the world using various communication styles and wording.
And this is a great example of a book by an American author who is a direct disciple of the aforementioned Mark Wolynn (the director of The Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco). Well, the publishing company Hay House has been doing a great job at this process – delivering ancient knowledge and intricate concepts in an easy to understand manner so that it is applicable in everyday life. That is one of the reasons why I include this work in this list. Marine Sélénée brilliantly achieves these goals with a step-by-step formula filled with actionable steps for you to take even before you book your first family constellation session. These include extremely important and beneficial exercises such as: recognizing the repetitive patterns in your family system; transformational inner child work; letting go and re-writing your limiting beliefs; detangling from traumatic bonds; reconciling with the past and integrating in to achieve wholeness, and many more. This is definitely a must-read to get you started in this life-changing process!
OK, let’s get back to the original source of this methodology, at least in its modern version – Germany. I think it is always a good idea to draw knowledge and wisdom from the origins of any kind of system. In this case, this is the German school of family constellations and its founder Bert Hellinger. So, the author of this excellent book is Indra Torsten Preiss, a direct disciple of Bertold Ulsamer (the author of “The Art and Practice of Family Constellations” mentioned previously).
Preiss also practiced as a facilitator right under the supervision of Hellinger himself. So, we can safely say that this work is a reflection of the original concepts and viewpoints of the founder of this therapeutic tool and his immediate students and followers. Now, is this book for beginners and constellations enthusiasts or professionals who wish to deepen their knowledge? According to Preiss, it is both. His work includes powerful real-life cases which serve as the perfect examples of how the mechanics of our ancestral bonding works and how it affects our unconscious behavior. You will learn a lot more on the most important areas of our existence and how the can be improved immensely through this groundbreaking transformational inner work. Restoring balance and harmony in your family system will positively spill through everything in your life – relationships, finances, wellbeing, happiness and joy, career advancement, etc.
This is another great book by the aforementioned author and experienced family constellations facilitator Indra Torsten Preiss. Now, the previous volume was a more general in terms of explaining how this tool works and how it can positively affect your life. This one, however, is a more focused work on the topic of relationships and how we utilize the family constellations method to improve our intimate connections with the people we love.
This area of our lives is where the bonding with our ancestors can be seen much more clearly. And thus, out of loyalty and love for our family members, we tend to repeat certain behavioral patterns with regards to choosing certain partners or how we interact with them on a regular basis. If these patterns negatively interfere with your connection with your significant other, this is the right book for you! This work will teach you how to identify these entanglements, to set yourself free from the nonconstructive behavioral models, reconcile with the past, and “heal and transform your relationship from within”! And all of this will happen with love, gratitude, and respect towards the people who brought us to life – our parents, grandparents, and every ancestor further back in our lineage!
This is another great read on this topic written by the French psychologist and psychotherapist Anne Ancelin Schützenberger. In this book you will find countless real life examples of how these invisible bonds we create with our ancestors impact our lives here and now. These stories are drawn from her own long and productive work as a psychotherapist.
However, what I really like about this work is one important element of the family constellations method that I haven’t mentioned up to this point – crafting a genogram (also called genosociogram). The genogram is a kind of a family tree that we create for our family system but it is much more complicated than that. The genosociogram includes your partners, parents, grandparents, and ancestors as far back as possible, as well as important events and the emotional relationships between these people. This way you will illuminate these invisible connections with your forefathers and foremothers, bring the unconscious behavioral patterns into light, and gather the strength to choose a different path in harmony with your own unique life mission. I guess the genogram should be the topic of a whole different article since this is an extremely important and beneficial tool for improving every area of our lives. And that is one of the main reasons why I include this book here in this list – it will give you an idea how these mechanics operate, so that you can feel inspired to do the same for your lineage.
And last but definitely not least, here’s one extremely important and illuminating book I would suggest anyone read at least once in their lifetime. I hope this work gathers more popularity in the Western world as it is popular in Europe (and I guess in Canada as well). This volume written by the self-development coach Lise Bourbeau deals with one very important and essential topic which is also closely related to the family constellations method – the childhood traumas that we experience when we are very young and how they shape our reality and our unconscious behavior.
The author divides these wounds into five major ones as follow: rejection, abandonment, humiliation, betrayal, and injustice. These traumas are also accompanied with their masks or the coping mechanisms that we develop to deal with these painful experiences which are as follow: the feeing mask, the addict mask, the masochist mask, the controller mask, and the rigid mask. Now, how is that connected to the family constellations? Well, the tool developed by Bert Hellinger is one of the best ones in dealing with these traumatic wounds which speeds the process of recovery and emotional healing. We not only inherit these inclinations from our ancestors, but also we intentionally choose to be born in a particular family in order for us to work on these issues and restore the balance and harmony in our bodies, minds, and souls through the family system. In other words, most family constellations facilitators and coaches intensively work with the ideas laid out in this awesome work by Lise Bourbeau which come from her years of practice and observations. I personally have read the book twice so far, but I definitely intend on re-reading it in the future to check my progress and see if I missed anything important. Yes, we do tend to absorb certain information and ideas to the extent of our current spiritual and emotional level. And as we expand and grow, we are able to integrate more and learn more from the exact same books by just re-reading them again and again. I am sure you have experienced this in your life as well and you know exactly what I mean. 🙂
WOW, you read this article way to the bottom! You ARE serious about changing and transforming your life for the better! Yes, everything in our lives is a perfect reflection of our inner world, and the more we work on ourselves, the more our existence and our experiences shift and improve.
So, here’s another list of amazing self-discovery must-reads on the topic of Human Design you can definitely check out! Now that we have worked on the parts of our unconscious behavior that sabotage us, it is time to learn more about who we really are what we came here to do through our natural talents, skills, and inborn abilities! This where Human Design shines bright!