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I have participated in two Workshops (and one personal constellation) with Amelia Trotter.

I had some reservations about participating because of unsatisfactory contact with psychological professionals in the past which had left me with a cynical view of the efficacy of such work in leading to real personal change in the real world. A friend who had contact with Amelia recommended I try this regardless of my previous experiences.

My understandable expectations of the Family Constellation Workshops were that I would feel deeply uncomfortable being introduced to a series of strangers whom I was expected to be able to explore deep, quite intimate family issues within the group setting. I would like to stress that this was not my experience and that in fact (although I am a very shy person even) I was quickly very comfortable in the setting and within the group. My experience is that personal barriers melted very quickly under the common intent and obvious sincerity of those involved. Although it is completely counterintuitive, the main experience both times of working in these groups that Amelia led was one of fun. This is of course not the raison d’être for the workshops.

My experience of the Constellation work was that it was grounded, although it often led into areas that I wouldn't have considered if I had been trying to understand the problems that were presented. Amelia's training seems to have provided her with a grasp of the more relevant points that come up in this quite intuitive work, allowing her to lead an inquiry that usually produces (within a relatively short period of time) a definition of the major factors involved.

The experience of having the members of the group acting out roles from my family was surprising, as those involved grasped the characters with very little direction and stayed in the role of those given allowing a curious space to arise, where a window into the past is created. I suppose it would be similar to having your biography acted out before you. The characters are not the originals but you recognise the roles. There is a power in experiencing this with a group of people that I don't wish to try to convey, beyond saying that you feel supported and safe.

I went along with the work initially up to a point with no expectation that what I was doing was more than role-playing and with all the goodwill in the world I didn't expect it to have a significant effect in my outer life. My experience was the opposite.

In family relationships I had suffered for years with no real hope of change, change quickly occurred, I would explain it like this, during the work I took myself out of my everyday situation and placed myself in a situation where I become more conscious of the factors surrounding family dynamics than just being aware of the roles I play, I become aware of how power worked in my family relationships and how I reacted in a set way to set patterns.

Afterwards I went about my everyday life and forgot most of the things that had been raised but when the issues arose in my outer life once again that had been explored I was forewarned and forearmed, this was not through conscious effort I would like to stress, I was able to react from a more conscious position quite naturally and the previous roles were no longer available, consequently my experience and my relationships changed markedly and in a satisfying way.

I thoroughly recommend the work if you feel it is appropriate for you, it is specific to families and not all issues in life can be addressed through it. I thoroughly recommend Amelia to you as someone who in my experience is well qualified to lead others into and through this work.

Guy (23 March 2012)
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