Hard times, healing times: a Systemic Constellation resource list

Hard and healing experiences: a Systemic Constellation resource list

This post is a growing resource for real-life examples which illuminate trauma and healing by.  I hope it may illustrate the principles of Systemic Constellations work (aka Family Constellation Therapy) of how trauma shapes lives, and how healing is possible. Some are uplifting tales of healing and reconciliation with extreme perpetrators. Others are painful stories of families shaped by torture, totalitarianism and other extreme events. These shine light in dark places but don’t necessarily have happy endings.

In order to bring healing to this strange planet full of mad people, there are hard things we have to face up to and to understand. Doing so offers insight and understanding and deepens our own resourcefulness to create change. But if you are in a fragile frame of mind, some of these items are not light bed-time reading. If that is you, then my strong suggestion is not to click those links because even the review articles are hard to read. I don’t want  – I seriously don’t want – anyone to be re-traumatised by reading these. Other stories are uplifting and touching, but still refer to dark events.

The list is not systematic, just what I come across. Additions are very welcome.

(1) Book: Motherland: Growing Up With the Holocaust by Rita Goldberg

Book review:   http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/mar/15/trauma-second-generation-holocaust-survivors

(2) Book: The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin’s Russia by Orlando Figes

Book review:  http://www.theguardian.com/books/2007/oct/21/historybooks.features1

A poignant account family bonds laid bare by the terrible stresses which totalitarianism in the Soviet Union placed on individuals’ loyalty.

(3) A documentary – Camp 14: Total Control Zone Production year: 2012 Runtime: 104 mins Directors: Marc Wiese
and a book – Escape from Camp 14: One Man’s Remarkable Odyssey From North Korea to Freedom in the West by Blaine Harden

about Shin Dong-hyuk, the remarkable North Korean prison camp escaper.

Review:  http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/sep/19/north-korea-prison-camp-14-documentary

(Added 2015: I understand that Shin Dong-hyuk invented some aspects of his narrative. From  what I’ve read, these are not significant against the overall impact on his overall story – he was in the camp, many terrible things did happen, he did escape. From what I’ve read, it seems to be too harsh a judgement to require High Court standards of evidence from someone so traumatised and for whom lying would have been an everyday survival skill.)

(4) Newspaper article: Images of reconciliation in Rwanda

Photo feature: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/04/06/magazine/06-pieter-hugo-rwanda-portraits.html?_r=0

Thanks to Steve Vinay Gunther in the ConstellationTalk Yahoo Group for pointing this out.

(5) Newspaper interview: Michelle Knight, recovering from imprisonment by a kidnap-rapist

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/10/michelle-knight-ariel-castro-how-i-survived

(6) Newspaper interview: “Keeping Mummy’s memory alive”; how Benjamin Brooks-Dutton helps his young son to feel the presence of his mother who died in a freak accident

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/may/10/keeping-mummys-memory-alive

(7) The descendant of a German SS killer seeks out a survivor of a massacre conducted by his uncle. BBC website article “My SS family: German meets survivors of Italy WW2 massacre

 

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