The Hellinger Institute of Northern California
Mark Wolynn, Director


"A person's greatness is that which makes him/her equal to others"                                                         --Bert Hellinger

Widely regarded as one of the most influential and effective family therapists in the world today, Hellinger acknowledges several important influences on his life and work: his parents, whose faith immunized him against accepting Hitler's National Socialism; his 20 years spent as a priest and missionary with the South African Zulus; and his participation in interracial, ecumenical training in group dynamics led by Anglican clergy. After leaving the priesthood, he immersed himself in the study of the major forms of psychotherapy, including Psychoanalysis, Gestalt Therapy, Primal Therapy, Transactional Analysis and Family Systems Therapy, out of which, Family Constellation Work evolved. To learn more about Bert Hellinger, please visit his Web site.


Identifying what he terms, "the Orders of Love," Hellinger observed that certain governing principles must be respected for the love in the family to flow in a healthy way. And that when these orders are disturbed, for example, when a child tries to take on the fate of a parent, suffering and unhappiness ensue.

Hellinger found that each member in our family holds a special place and has an equal right to belong to the family system. This applies equally to stillborn and aborted babies, as well as to the failures and perpetrators in our family who may have been rejected for reasons of immorality, criminal misconduct or abuse. If any member of the family is disrespected, forgotten, excluded, or disregarded in some way, someone in a later generation may repeat his or her fate by sharing a similar misfortune. Only when we acknowledge and honor the difficult fates of those who've preceded us, can the "Orders of Love" be reestablished and the chain of tragic destinies be broken.

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