Constellation Wednesdays

New developments in our field

We invite you to join us as experienced facilitators share exciting new edges and developments in the discipline of Systemic Constellations.

Our field is growing in leaps and bounds, and we have learned much in the collective practice and exploration of this powerful work.

We hope that in the sharing lives will be enriched and the collective knowledge will evolve this work even further. This exchange of knowledge and experience traditionally has occurred at our NASC conferences.  Our most recent one was this past November. However, there were many invited presenters, who were not able to deliver their presentations due to Covid circumstances. It was these unfortunate circumstances, which have inspired the creation of this forum.

Meetings are set for Wednesday evenings, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm EST.





Where:    Zoom

Constellation Wednesdays are hosted by Samvedam Randles, Dipl. Psych. LMHC at the Inner Arts Institute, INC.

Cost:    There is no fee for these events.

A suggested donation of $ 15 would be welcome to cover costs.


October 5th, 2022 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Shame The Existential Threat
By Jonathan Hooten, PhD, SEP

Shame is universal in human experience and is fundamental in its effect on individuals, families, groups, and societies. Shame is one of the main influences on disconnecting from the True Self and the creation of a False Self. Because shame only occurs in the context of relationship (we are shamed by other people), shame needs to be healed in the presence of a non-judgmental other or others. Individual counselling, group processes and constellation groups can all provide this healing environment.

Because toxic shame is one of the most difficult and excruciatingly painful feeling states that can be experienced, most people find ways to avoid that state with the result that shame is often the ‘elephant in the room.’ As facilitators, we need to address our own shame dynamics in order to be present with the shame in others and to not reinjure, or re-shame, them.

The presentation will include an introduction to healthy (functional) and toxic (chronic) shame with experiential demonstrations, mini-constellations, and issue driven full constellations.

Aspects of toxic shame that will be presented include:

• Neurophysiology of shame and its relationship to the freeze (‘feigned death’) or immobility response and unresolved trauma,
• Language of shame,
• Developmental wounds and the creation of the false self,
• Coupling of shame with unacceptable emotions and behaviors,
• Defenses and strategies to protect against feeling shame,
• Victim-perpetrator dynamics,
• Conscience of belonging and systemic aspects including transgenerational shame, sexism, racism, and institutional and other exclusionary dynamics.

Jonathan Hooton, PhD, SEP has extensive professional training and experience over the last seventeen years in Family and Systemic Constellations, having taken professional trainings with the founder Bert Hellinger and other international facilitators including Francesca Mason Boring, Jane Peterson, Mark Wolynn, and Sneh Victoria Schnabel. He has been teaching this approach for 13 years, teaching a 20 day trauma-responsive facilitator training. He presented an integrated approach to working with ancestral and individual trauma at the North American Systemic Constellations Conference in November 2015. He is a board member of NASC. Jonathan lives with his wife Martha in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and has 3 daughters and 6 living grandchildren.

November 9th, 2022 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm EST

Hellinger’s Sciencia
Bert’s Basics and Beyond

By Rafael Ruiz

1. I plan an introduction of how Hellinger’s basics are not rules to follow. They have to be forgotten and yet they must have a place in our hearts.
2. I will comment on several concepts that I consider basic: Acknowledging what is, recognizing the knowing field, representation, the orders of love, the different consciences, the phenomenological approach and others.
3. We will explore these basics in an exercise and may go in break out groups to discuss what each of us may think essential.
4. We will have reports from some groups
5. Concluding comments and check out.

Rafael Ruiz is a psychologist from Queretaro, Mexico. He has done graduate work in union theological seminary and in the Universidad Autonoma de Queretaro where he taught until his retirement in 2011. He trained in constellation work with Carol Duduch and with Bert Hellinger in 7 intensive seminars in Mexico City and later also with Francesca Masson-Boring in Maryland. He belongs to ISCA since 2015, member of NASC's board since July 2019. He has offered constellation workshops since 2003 and now also online. Presently, he is Vice President and founder of the Asociacion Mexican de Constelaciones Familias y Sistemicas.

December 7th, 2022 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

A structural constellation process:
Enoughness vs. Helplessness

An experiential workshop, stepping into wounding and wholeness for seasoned facilitators.
By Elmar Dornberger

When representing, we step into places like the client, a bystander, an unknown family member etc. In Structural Constellations, we step into given and very specific places like the goal, the finances, happiness, etc. At times we move those positions and at other times we don’t in order to really experience the tension between these places and things.

Enoughness is not a material place, it is an emotional, experiential, maybe spiritual place.
It is a place beyond trauma, a place where we are okay just the way we are. It can be a tremendous resource for a client that is deeply stuck and for a facilitator who has to be able to shift from one state of being into another in a matter of minutes or even seconds.

We can visit and gain strength from this place whenever we need to, no matter if we go into a session, meet challenging family members or visit the dentist.

We can help clients get into that place of enoughness when they feel lost or at the bottom, or even get them out of a trauma place (with caution).

This concept was shared with me by the late Michael Blumenstein with whom I had the pleasure of working for a number of years before his passing. A couple of years later I turned it into a constellation process which I would like to share. So please join me for this presentation.

Elmar Dornberger lives in Boulder, CO were he works with individuals and organizations and occasionally holds trainings. He started his constellation journey in 1998, has trained with Bert Hellinger, Sneh Victoria Schnabel, Berthold Ulsamer, Dan van Kampenhut, Gunthard Weber, Jan Jacob Stam, Heinz Stark, Michael Blumenstein and others and studied organizational constellations in Groningen, Holland in 2004. In 2012, he published an article about Liminal constellations, followed by a podcast interview with Michael Reddy. He has been a presenter at many conferences, including the annual Internal Family Systems Conference (IFS) in 2019. He can be reached at

To view or review any of our past Constellation Wednesdays events, please register to receive access to our online archive!