Family Constellation


You may have come to this website because of something you struggle with in your life.  You might have been wrestling with these issues for a while, even worked with a counsellor or a therapist and yet they continue to affect your life.

What is a Family Constellation?

In addition to focusing on ourselves and our current struggle, there is great insight to be gained from opening our minds and hearts to a bigger picture.  By including our families and our ancestors using the Constellation method, we have a chance to go deeper into who we are and to understand how their stories impact our lives today.

How Does a Family Constellation Work?

When you choose to work through an issue – either during a workshop or a one-to-one session, I will help you to define your aim or your intention for the piece of work. Then we will create in the here and now the ‘living map’ that is a constellation. Participants or placeholders (mats or small objects) are set up to “represent” parts of yourself, members of your family or other aspects of the issue.

By witnessing or taking part in this “living” representation, a new picture starts to unfold: a new way of looking at events and people. It is often very different from the usual family story. Events that formed the history of the family are given their true weight and significance. Sometimes the connections with people who have never really had their place in the family history become surprisingly supportive, deep, and moving. Other times it becomes clear you need to step back from the traumatic past events and focus on creating a safer place for yourself to heal in the present.

“Forgiveness is when we give up the hope of having had a better past”

How Does This Way of Working Help?

Rather than just describing someone as ‘cold’ or ‘he was never there’ or ‘she was an alcoholic’, the larger story can reveal itself, as the constellation gives you the courage to look with an open heart. When our families haven’t had a chance to come to terms with their history, the effects are carried down the generations, creating difficulties with loving and living. The strategies we developed to cope with this turn out to hurt us and those around us, and prevent us from being who we long to be.

In the constellation deep feelings can find their true place with the people who originally experienced them or they can be lovingly released. When this happens there is less need to hang on to those feelings (e.g. depression, rage, weakness, failure or terror, or a sense of not belonging). Hanging on to these feelings and experiences may have been an attempt to keep someone who was excluded from your family system in your heart.

You then gain strength, energy and clarity to find the next step on your path, and hopefully feel surer of your place in the world.

Family Constellations and Mindfulness Practice. One-day workshops in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Dear friends and constellators,

We hope this finds you well as can be.

These times present different challenges for each of us. Whatever you may be facing at the moment, we are glad to continue to offer this wonderfully resourcing work for you, knowing now how powerful it is in the online forum.

"I'm amazed by how powerful this work has been on zoom" - Christine, constellations student, life coach and trainer.

Please read on for more information about our upcoming dates and how to book.

Online Systemic Constellations and Mindfulness with Sheila

Both for seasoned constellators and for those new to the work, participating in constellations online is profound. We experience the power of the field beyond physical boundaries, and lean into our embodied knowing, even through screens.

Issue holders receive the equivalent of a one-to-one session with Sheila, with the additional benefit of having others present to represent and give feedback as elements of their system, and find personal work amplified by the power of the witnessing circle.

Those participating as representatives and witnesses experience startling resonances with their own systems and are often deeply moved, finding their perception opened by the work.

When working online, the quality of presence is our strongest ally. Sheila has spent many years deepening into mindfulness within the Buddhist tradition. When holding online workshops, Sheila invites us into this presence together.

Students and practitioners of this work may be particularly keen to see how systemic constellations translate into an online forum, as the emerging future of work looks likely to include a significant degree of time online.

We are pleased to announce new dates for Sheila's Systemic Constellations and Mindfulness workshops, both in person here in Stroud and online for the rest of this year.
To book please email putting the date of the workshop you would like to attend in the subject line.

Stroud 2022 Dates

Monday 11 July
Monday 19 September
Monday 17 October
Monday 21 November
Monday 12 December

Online 2022 Dates

Wednesday 28 September
Wednesday 30 November

Place and Time

All events take place in a spacious, airy venue in central Stroud (or online where stated above) from 9am - 5.30pm. Further information provided on booking.
In person-workshops are conducted in a covid-safe environment. If covid guidelines change the workshop will be moved online.

About the Work

Family Constellations offer a healing methodology that allows us to gain insight into ourselves and our current struggles through opening our minds and hearts to a bigger picture. By including our families, systems, and our ancestors using the constellation method, we have an opportunity to go deeper into who we are and to find new, more supportive movements in relation to our families and bigger systems. This approach can help to shift patterns and issues that we have been stuck with for a long time.

About Sheila McCarthy-Dodd

Sheila is a director and faculty member for the UK Centre for Systemic Constellations.
She has trained and worked extensively in Systemic and Family Constellations since 1996 and leads regular family constellation workshops in Ireland and the UK. She has a well-established therapy practice in Gloucestershire for individuals, couples and supervision. She works extensively as a trainer including facilitating Relational Supervision training with Severn Talking Therapy in Bristol and Malta.


There are four issue holder places at each workshop. Issue holders have the opportunity to look at a specific issue in their own lives with the constellator.
Another way to participate in the workshop is as a representative. There is much to be gained from representing in and witnessing other people's constellations, both in terms of learning about the work and in making connections with our own personal work.


"There was such a deep connection. Thank you for providing us with this level of depth and protection." Claire, Therapist
"This was my first time attending a constellations workshop and I've been amazed by the power and the intimacy. Especially as the workshop was conducted online. Really stunning!" - Sue, Psychotherapist and Counsellor
£120 issue holder
£70 representative
We look forward to welcoming those of you who would like to join us!

Family Work

You may need support as a carer and family living with someone who experiences mental health difficulties or any other long term health issue. This may involve meeting individually or as a group, with Karl and Annie.

Find out more

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