Bert Hellinger is the founder of the theory of family constellations and in idealizing the study on the subject, he noted the existence of three fundamental principles existing in the family system, namely: Belong, Order and Balance.


Below, our collaborator Marcos Antonio Ferreira de Castro explains each one in a simple way.


1) BELONGING - Everyone born in a family has his or her place and the same right to belong as others. This is a prime necessity that involves everyone because no one can be excluded. Being born into a family gives you the right to belong to it. The soul does not tolerate exclusions, distances, or even forgetfulness. Everyone must be recognized because everyone is a part and any exclusion has serious consequences for the system. Other members will necessarily repeat the behavior of the deleted one. And why does this repetition occur? The answer is simple: repeating the behavior of the excluded is an act of love! Because of this Systemic Loyalty we see so many repetitions in family systems.


The need to belong goes back to the early days. This is how homo sapiens stood out from other species. The need to belong to the group and the cooperation among the group members ensured the survival of the species. Effectively belonging to the "family clan" was a matter of life and death.

Imagine that in a family someone committed suicide. The next generation, even for the sake of protection, does not comment on this fact, tries to hide it, and thus excludes the one who committed such an act. What happens later? The system is pressured by this exclusion until another member, for the sake of this system and as a way of demonstrating that everyone is a member, performs the same act or does not allow himself to be a winner in life.


All of this is due to a "great love", an invisible loyalty to the source system that is not moving towards the solution; on the contrary, it ends up perpetuating the pain. When you repeat the behavior, the person is saying internally, “Because I love you and because you are a part, I do just like you. I see how hard it was and do the same so you remain with a place of honor in my heart. You will always be with us. ”


Even though no one had talked about suicide in the family, the same pain returned in this system. There is a greater awareness that surrounds everyone and which, as said, does not allow any kind of exclusion. What would be in this case the conduct that is likely to bring healing, peace, reconciliation? Those who remain need to “look” at everyone in the system and say, “I see you and give everyone a place in my heart. What you did, at the price it cost you, was not in vain. All of you, like me, are part and have a place. Thank you!"


This awareness that binds us to family or certain groups throughout life, as stated, is linked to the very idea of ​​survival. We feel belonging when we act exactly according to the rules of the group. And we are threatened with bonding when we deviate from the conditions set by the group. In other words, we feel innocent when we act in line with the group model. And from another north, we experience guilt if we deviate from the standards at work in this group.


It is a great challenge to override group norms while still belonging. But this attitude of seeking new horizons is also responsible for growth and evolution. Therefore, it is possible to succeed in doing something different as long as the respectful eye remains among all. In humility and in honor of all who belong, I am allowed to do something different. And the whole system grows!



2)  HIERARCHY - There is an order throughout the system, whether family or organizational. The one who came before takes precedence and each has its own function. It is time (chronological criterion) that sets the priority in the bonds built throughout life. This means that predecessors take precedence over successors. I bring an example to illustrate: The couple's relationship takes precedence over the relationship with their children. Parents have joined the system before and so will always be considered large in relation to their children, as children receive what both parents have taken with each other as a couple. It is respect for order. Then also among the children there is an order of precedence and each one performs a function within the system. There will certainly be conflict when, for example, a younger child wishes to take the place of the older child. Moreover, it will be very difficult for this child to accomplish his task because he is not in his place of strength!


The Family Constellation shows that there is a prior order and it must be respected, as it determines its role within the system. Human relationships have a great chance of success when in tune with this all-encompassing and all-encompassing order. Therefore, love alone is not enough. You must comply with this Order.

Bert Hellinger discusses order in a poem:


Love fills in what order encompasses.

Love is the water, order is the jar.

The order gathers,

Love flows.

Order and love work together.

As a beautiful song obeys the harmonies,

love obeys the order.

And how hard it is for the ear to get used to

to dissonances, even if they are explained,

It is difficult for the soul to get used to love without order.

Some treat this order

as if she were an opinion

that they can have or change at will.

However, it is pre-established to us.

She acts even if we don't understand her.

It is not invented, but discovered.

We got it,

as to the sense and the soul, by their effects. [1]



3) BALANCE - Here we speak of balance between those in the same hierarchy line, for example, members of the same generation of the family system. This is because between parents and children the dynamics are different. Parents are the ones who gave us life. And that is big and valuable. The compensation that children can offer is to move on, to pass on this greatness, whether by building their own families, raising their children, or fulfilling themselves professionally.


Between spouses there is no hierarchy, as both come together in the system. This relationship, to be successful, must respect the balance between giving and taking / receiving. Respect for balance brings harmony. In the legal field we are talking about a true system of checks and balances, weights and balances, which are adjusted through fair compensation and that experience peace when giving and receiving are presented in an equivalent manner. The "key" lies in the way this compensation is performed.


Imagine that one spouse surprises the other with great joy. The spouse who received this gift is pressured to do something too. And so it does. And when it's going to compensate, it does something even bigger, which transfers the "pressure" to the other spouse to continue this chain of "positive compensation." So the relationship grows! And when do any of them do something that causes pain to the other? Also in this dynamic compensation is a measure that is imposed. But instead of doing something even crueler, the spouse does a "minor evil" that balances the relationship. Relationships permeate this balance between "credits" and "debts."


The compensations that arise from the transgression of these laws are very varied: demotivation, depression, illness without apparent cause, failure in working life, relationship problems, feelings of guilt, revenge, grudge, among many other symptoms. With the Family Constellations it is possible to get to the origin of the problem and in this way the person achieves, by himself, his freedom and dignity; He takes only what belongs to him and sets out for the next step on the road to personal and professional success.


[1] HELLINGER, Bert. In the center we feel lightness: conferences and stories. 2. ed. Trad. Newton de Araujo Queiroz. Sao Paulo: Cultrix, 2006, p. 89.


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