Systemic Family Constellations

Systemic family constellations can be of help in the solution of emotional manipulation, or narcissistic abuse, both for identifying the manipulator, man or woman, and for working on specific events.

It often happens that manipulators, cowards as they are, are hidden behind other people. They could wear a mask, or they could camouflage, or they could even mingle with the crowds.

Specific events, which have particularly upset or wounded us, need to be faced, accepted, understood, analyzed, and reappraised. Our mind may have magnified the problem. Returning it to a physical space, with our feet on the ground, focusing on emotions and bodily sensations, helps to reconnect with the reality of things and with ourselves.

Systemic constellations use a spatial language in order to bring to light the relationships and the dynamics of a social system. A family is a particular social system. Through this method, emotional, affective and cognitive learning is stimulated.

Family constellations were invented in the 1980s, in the United States, by a family therapist named Virginia Satir, who asked her patients to create a sculpture of their own family.

Modern systemic family constellations can be performed in the following three main ways, and always under the supervision and coordination of an expert facilitator.

  • On a table, also on a floor or on a board, in individual form or in group, through the use and the relative positioning of blocks or figures of different color and size, which represent material entities, such as people and components of the family group, but also intangible items, such as emotions or problems. This technique produces a low emotional involvement.
  • With external representatives, who are outside the family context and are not involved in the events. In this case, constellations can take place in an open form, that is people are aware of what they represent, or in a hidden form, that is people do not know which item they are representing. In the hidden form, they cause a medium emotional involvement, while in the open form there is a high emotional involvement.
  • With the real members of the family that you want to analyze. In this situation, the emotional involvement is very high.

There are four basic ordered principles in family constellations:

  1. Everyone has the same right to be a member of the family system;
  2. An older child takes precedence over a younger child;
  3. The current family takes precedence over the family of origin;
  4. Anyone, who provides a greater contribution, takes precedence over a person with less contribution.

The first principle guarantees the existence of the family system. The second principle ensures growth and propagation. The third principle regulates the flow of energy, the immune strength and the health of the family system. The fourth principle relates to the maturity of the family members through an assessment of their individual skills.

The fact that the principles should be followed in the indicated order means that the existence of the family is the most important factor. For instance, if a family member is excluded, or is removed or is forgotten or, even, is abused, then the family itself is disintegrated. Its very existence is questioned and it makes no sense to consider the next principles.

You may need also to include absent individuals, or dead persons, in the family group and to remember that parents give while children take. Inverting these principles means to literally destroy a family.

Because of the empathy, which develops during a constellation, observers can feel a high emotional involvement too.

If there are animals, for instance dogs and cats, in the family group, they should be represented in the constellation. Moreover, the technique of the family constellation could be helpful in the understanding and in the solution of anomalous behaviors of pets. Family events transfer, and have consequences, also to them.

If you suffer, or have suffered, from emotional manipulation, or narcissistic abuse, reading these rules on the good health of a family group has surely helped you to clarify some of your personal situations, which remained obscure so far, and has provided you with the answers to many of your questions that were pending.

Treasure these principles and apply them to your new family.

Namastè  🙂

Paola Morgese, PMP
Civil Hydraulic Engineer
M.S. Sanitary and Environmental Engineering

Huemann M., Eskerod P., Ringhofer C., 2016, Rethink! Project Stakeholder Management, Project Management Institute, USA

Translation of the Italian blog post: Paola Morgese, Le costellazioni familiari sistemiche





The Bach Flowers for Animals of Federica

Narcissistic abuse, or emotional manipulation, is a real trauma, both for the victims and for their pets.
They too have the need and the right of being helped to face and to overcome this upsetting event with natural remedies.

Let us know them better.

Today it is the turn of the Bach Flowers for Animals of Federica.

Federica Roano is a dog trainer and a consultant in Bach Flowers for people (BFRP) and for animals (BFRAP). She works on the resolution of behavioral problems of animals through the use of Bach Flowers, and for the personal growth of the owner and of the pet with the analysis of the relationship that links them together.

Question: “How, when and why have you become fond of this natural remedy?”.

Answer: “I knew of their existence in a book about dog training. Although their use had been just mentioned in a case study, I was immediately attracted by these remedies. A few days later, I started my own training and there a path begun that is still to be completely explored!”.

Question: “What are its main benefits for our animals?”.

Answer: “The close relationship with one’s own pet affects its emotions, making the animal as the mirror of the emotions of the owner and bringing to light the most hidden emotions of the owner. The anomalous behaviors of animals (what we call “behavioral problems”) contain unresolved situations, pains and fears of the owners, which they send back to us through a behavior of their own species.
Through the observation of the problems of your pet, you can recognize yourself and your difficulties in the animal. In the majority of the cases, all the parties that are involved in the relationship take the Bach Flowers.
The quality of life significantly improves for the whole family: a dog that is aggressive, anxious, and hyperactive, that chases its tail, or that is afraid of people or of other dogs (these are just a few examples of the behavioral issues that we can treat with the flowers), for sure lives moods that are unpleasant (then keeping the pet away from serenity), and it makes more difficult the management for the owners. Why live badly a relationship, which could be wonderful?”.

Question: “What simple use could you suggest us for the emotional balance of our family pets?”.

Answer: “One of the best known remedies is the Rescue Remedy and it is used in case of emergency, during or after a shocking event that has disturbed our pet.

It can be used both for emotional shocks:

  • To help a dog to recover from the fear of an aggression by another dog;
  • If the animal has been run over;
  • If a puppy has a negative experience with something that, on the contrary, should become familiar, for instance people or other dogs, cars, bicycles, veterinarian, etc.;
  • If the pet is afraid of fireworks;
  • If it loses a loved one;

and for physical shocks:

  • Insect bites;
  • Burns;
  • Sudden collision;
  • Bites of other animals that created a trauma but not a laceration;
  • Muscle pains due to stress excess of the affected area;
  • Skin abrasions.

Rescue Remedy is one of the few remedies that has this double and so explicit effect. In fact, normally, the Bach flowers are used exclusively to balance emotions while, for health problems, you have to undergo a medical examination”.

Question: “What is your personal message for people, who want to break free from manipulation?”.

Answer: “I believe that no one else has expressed the concept of freedom better than Bach: “Our true desires, the longings of our true self, must not be confused with aspirations and desires of other people, which are so often set up in our mind (or consciousness, which is another word for stating the same thing). We should not pay any attention to the interpretation that the world gives to our actions. Only our soul and the care that we have for it are responsible for our good; we can be sure that there is only a sin, that is not to obey the dictates of one’s own divinity. This is the sin against God and against our fellow creatures”.

Thanks Federica!

In 2000, I met the Bach flowers for the first time on an agility ground. A veterinarian used to give them to her dog before the competitions. Later, I discovered that they were a natural remedy also for human use. I gathered information about them and attended a course on the subject just for personal purpose. It is an alternative medicine developed by the British physician Edward Bach (1886 – 1936) and based on 38 remedies derived from flowers and chosen according to the different personalities, to the kind of character, and the emotional state of the patient. The rescue remedy is formed by five flowers: cherry plum, clematis, impatiens, rock rose and star of Bethlehem. People, who know it, usually have the habit to always bring it with themselves. In case of need, it is easy to take the drops at once in any place and circumstance, and it is reassuring to know that they act immediately and effectively.

Namastè  🙂

Paola Morgese, PMP
Civil Hydraulic Engineer
M.S. Sanitary and Environmental Engineering

Translation of the Italian blog post: Paola Morgese, I fiori di Bach per animali di Federica


How modern Corporate Social Responsibility meets Social Sustainability

According to the 2011 understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility developed by the European Commission, CSR is defined as: “the responsibility of enterprises for their impacts on society”. Furthermore this document states that: “Respect for applicable legislation, and for collective agreements between social partners, is a prerequisite for meeting that responsibility. To fully meet their corporate social responsibility, enterprises should have in place a process to integrate social, environmental, ethical, human rights and consumer concerns into their business operations and core strategy in close collaboration with their stakeholders, with the aim of:

  • maximising the creation of shared value for their owners/shareholders and for their other stakeholders and society at large;
  • identifying, preventing and mitigating their possible adverse impacts”.

Hence, modern CSR meets social sustainability in the following ways. It:

  • Measures benefits created by social responsibility in addition to those calculated with traditional financial measurement;
  • Creates a future-proof business;
  • Increases enterprise competitiveness;
  • Provides a better management of risks and opportunities;
  • Complies with industrial, social and legislative expectations;
  • Fulfils stakeholder expectations;
  • Builds consumer awareness;
  • Is based on sustainability reports and case studies;
  • Develops a holistic business case, business plan and operation plan;
  • Identifies short, medium, and long term targets;
  • Promotes transparent, clear and credible communication;
  • Reduces conflicts, while building trust and engagement;
  • Acts on human resources, supply chain, community and environment;
  • Is normal everyday work and is not a new burden on companies;
  • Is transferring personal ethics and values in business;
  • Is dynamic, practical, flexible and adaptable;
  • Is open to continuous learning, active listening, and creativity;
  • Refers to international guidelines.

Corporate Social Responsibility and the way you measure it must be aligned with the company culture, policy, vision and strategy.

Innovation and competitiveness are no longer about developing a new product, process or result. They are also about developing a new business model that is sustainable both for companies and society in the long term.

Paola Morgese, PMP
Civil Hydraulic Engineer
M.S. Sanitary and Environmental Engineering

European Commission Website