Bert Hellinger is considered to be one of the most innovative and influential therapists in the world of psychotherapy. He has synthesized years of training and experience with many modalities into the approach he developed called Family Constellations. He pioneered a way of disentangling the current members of a family from the unresolved issues of previous generations, so that love can flow from one generation to the next.
The major influences in his life included first and foremost, his parents, whose Catholic faith shielded him from the distortions of National Socialism. At 17 years old he was drafted into the German army and experienced combat, capture and imprisonment as a prisoner of war of the Allies.
At age 20 he became a Jesuit priest, spending 16 of his 25 years in the priesthood as the headmaster of a missionary school for the Zulu in South Africa. During his time in South Africa, he was exposed to the interracial ecumenical training in group dynamics led by the Anglican ministry. Their approach to dialogue, phenomenology and individual experience influenced his later work. After leaving the religious order amicably, he pursued training in psychoanalysis, Gestalt Therapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming. He trained with Arthur Janov, Virginia Satir and Milton Erickson. Extrapolating various aspects of all his major influences, Bert has created the Family Constellation approach to healing the family field. Through keen observation, he saw certain patterns emerge that he called “The Orders of Love”. His work continued evolving with the unfoldment of “Movements of the Soul” and “Movement of the Spirit-Mind.”
Bert Hellinger departed from his earthly existence on September 19, 2019. He will be greatly missed. His contributions to this work has changed many lives.