The Transformative Power of Systemic Work

Have you ever felt like you were dealing with issues or patterns that didn’t originate with you? Anxiety, depression, chronic pain, troubled relationships – sometimes the root cause of our struggles stems not from our own experiences, but from traumas passed down generationally through our family systems.

Systemic work is a powerful approach to getting to the core of these inherited burdens and breaking free from dysfunction.

“Imagine all the systems to which you belong, behind you like a Peacocks tail”

What is Systemic Work?

Systemic work focuses on the connections and dynamics within relationships, rather than viewing individuals in isolation. Based on family systems therapy and family constellations, systemic work sees present issues and symptoms as rooted in disturbances within larger family, ancestral, and social systems.

Instead of focusing on individual psychology, systemic practitioners focus on intergenerational connections, traumatic events, secret bonds, and underlying loyalties that shape us unconsciously. The goal is to bring awareness to these hidden forces and dynamics in order to resolve long-standing issues.

Common techniques used in systemic work include:

  • Constellations – Representing family systems with stand-ins to reveal unseen dynamics
  • Genograms – Mapping out family history over generations
  • Systemic questioning – Inquiry to uncover core relational patterns
  • Rituals and ceremonies – Methods for acknowledging past traumas and releasing old bonds

Inherited Family Trauma

In his book It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, therapist Mark Wolynn explains how events from previous generations can profoundly influence our health, relationships, and lives today.

Even if we have no conscious knowledge of past traumas like displacement, loss, addiction, abuse, war, and genocide in our family history, this distress can live on through epigenetic changes and ingrained emotional responses. Symptoms like anxiety, depression, disease, relationship troubles, and phobias often have roots in inherited family trauma.

Healing Through Awareness

The first step in addressing inherited trauma is becoming aware of it. Exploring your family history back through previous generations can uncover critical events, secrets, and experiences that left an imprint.

Hidden loyalty binds, destructive relationship patterns, feelings of exclusion, and unconscious drives to compensate for ancestors’ unresolved suffering often pass down through generations. Systemic therapy provides the tools to bring these dynamics to light.

Transforming Burdens into Gifts

Once past traumas are acknowledged and their energetic hold is released, their negative power transforms. By honoring their sacrifice and learning the lessons, our ancestors’ unresolved pain can become a force for empowerment and wholeness.

Systemic rituals allow us to reconnect with and show gratitude towards excluded members of our family system. As we shed light on the shadows, unconscious loyalties fade and symptoms resolve.

The cycles and burdens of the past remain alive in all of us. Through systemic work, we can end the intergenerational transmission of trauma and step into our unique potential unfettered by inherited burdens. The work begins with awareness.