... “Ruth Cohn, the famous American therapist, came to Germany at that time and offered a workshop for psychotherapists. I was not a psychotherapist, but a good friend got me into the workshop. Ruth Cohn spoke about Gestalt therapy, but nobody had ever heard of that. She offered to demonstrate this for us and asked: “Who would like to come to the hot seat?” The hot seat is the chair for the client with whom the therapist works. And on the hot seat it can get really hot.
“I sat down on it as the first person in Germany and Ruth Cohn did wonderful work with me. With her help I looked into my future. It became very clear that I would leave the priesthood and my order and that I would marry. She let me go around the group and tell everybody: “I will leave.” This was very moving for me. The decision was made.”
Friday, September 5th, 8.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.
Some words from Bert Hellinger’s writings
“A heart is pure when it is open to everything as it is, and which agrees with what is without wanting to change or improve it.
A blessing is pure if it is given without intention – as the sun warms and bestows light on everything.
A life is pure when it agrees to everything belonging to this life and then unfolds, develops what it receives, transfers what it learns and then takes itself back in order to make room at the appropriate time for the life which comes after it.
A religion is pure which rests in its own presence, remains pure for itself in acts of devotion without goal, waiting in a state of surrender.
We become pure if we take and leave everything in its own time and if we yield to every influence until we are indistinguishably one with everything in our innermost essence.
A pure human being is simply present in the presence of everything.”
Saturday, September 6th , 9.00 a.m. – 12.30 p.m.
“Going with Spirit”
Some more words from Bert Hellinger’s writings
“We make a distinction between spirit and matter; or rather, we tend to forget spirit while focusing on matter. This is a somewhat strange attitude because the force that enlivens matter is not created by matter; instead it creates matter. This force is mysterious. We can make deductions about it because we experience its effects, but ultimately we have no idea where it originates, what the source of its power is, and especially where it is leading.
We do know that the material world is organized according to natural laws and governing principles which are not themselves material but which rule the medium of matter. This is even true for animated matter – for all forms of life in their immense variety.
What is this force that moves and directs matter? What is this power that orders and combines, that creates astonishing symbioses which cannot be understood by chance or adaptation alone? In animated matter, in the various forms of life, it is the soul.
The soul does not simply react to external occurrences or attractions, it creates a movement from within. Not only can you observe the inner directedness, the soul-based guidance, of every living being in every individual moment, you can also notice the work of a larger soul that attunes several different living organisms to each other. This larger soul also follows laws and principles that do not originate from itself. Otherwise it would not have to follow these laws.
What, then, is the power that governs the soul? What is the power that stands above the natural laws, determines them, but itself is not subject to their rule? I call this power spirit. We have only a limited knowledge of spirit’s all-pervading and all-forming essence. But there is one characteristic of spirit, above all others, that for us captures its essential nature. We experience spirit as infinitely creative.”
Bert Hellinger is one of the most well-known and influential psychotherapists of this century. Similar to Carl Jung, he pioneered a marriage between classical psychology and spiritual context.
Out of the vast body of his work, Bert Hellinger’s most famous contribution is the Family Constellation Therapy. This ground-breaking method works with the existence of a natural order within our family and kinship, and skilfully addresses how to resolve any life negative ways these relationships impact our present lives. The fundamentals of Family Constellation Therapy have been used around the globe to bring clarity and healing for ten thousands of people as well as organizations and other social systems.
Dr. Hellinger began his academic studies in the 1940s, where he majored in philosophy, Catholic theology and education. Following his studies, he was ordained into priesthood and moved to South Africa in 1953, where he served as both a teacher in a Catholic missionary school and parish priest. Driven by his interest in psychotherapy, Bert Hellinger laid down his priest robe in the 1970s and from that time on has focused his efforts in this field. He has written or been the subject of 45 books and his work has been translated into 42 languages. At the age of 82, Dr. Hellinger continues to tirelessly travel and teach around the world.
- Love’s Hidden Symmetry: What makes Love Work in Relationships
Zeig, Tucker & Theisen (May 1998)
- Acknowledging What Is: Conversations With Bert Hellinger
(Paperback) Zeig, Tucker & Theisen (September 1999)
- Peace Begins in the Soul: Family Constellations in the Service of Reconciliation (Paperback)
- No Waves without the Ocean: Experiences and Thoughts
(Paperback) Carl Auer International (April 28, 2006)
- On Life & Other Paradoxes: Aphorisms and Little Stories from Bert Hellinger
(Hardcover) Zeig, Tucker & Theisen (July 2002)