How Systemic Constellation Work (SCW) came to Canada
Systemic Constellation Work is found world-wide. Started in Germany by its founder, Bert Hellinger, Family Constellation Work (as it was originally called) is ever-evolving and like a tree, has many branches.
Hellinger Canada is the name used by Dr. Eddy Beltran when he started a group in Ottawa, ON in the late 90s. In a parallel process to the development of Hellinger-Canada in Ottawa, constellation groups and trainings were happening in Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and other centers. Wonderful facilitators and trainers from Europe, the US, and Latin America, such as Carola Castillo, Mark Wolyn, Suzi Tucker, Sneh Victoria Schnabel, Francesca Mason Boring, have demonstrated that the Knowing Field is infinitely creative and calls each facilitator/trainer to take the teachings of Hellinger, combine it with other teachings (trauma work, shamanism, organizational development, etc) and with their own gifts, in order to offer the work in a unique way.
The seed for the original vision for Hellinger Canada — that it be a Canada-wide movement — is blossoming. Hellinger Canada is now a network connecting these communities.
“There are times in our lives when we just cannot do it alone. In 1996 I knew for sure I could not do it alone. Bert (Hellinger) gave me life again. The impact was so dramatic that it has changed me for the rest of my life. It was clear that the gift I had received was a gift to be shared with my family, my community, my country.” Eddy Beltran
Bert Hellinger was brought to the US to do workshops in several locations starting in the late 1990s. In 1998, Dr. Eddy Beltran, from Ottawa, Canada attended a workshop by Hellinger in the US entitled “Healing at the Highest Level – Embracing Grief.” This was a life-changing meeting for Eddy. With Hellinger’s encouragement and Eddy’s desire to give back what he had received from Hellinger, Eddy started Hellinger Canada. He began to facilitate open monthly meetings in Ottawa, which continue to this day.
Hellinger Canada invited Bert Hellinger to Ottawa to give workshops in 2000 and in 2004. After Hellinger’s first visit to Ottawa he said he would only come back to Canada if there was a “big” reason to come here. The “Pathways to Reconciliation” conference showed there was (and is) work to do to heal First Nations and White relations, and this is one of the important tasks for Hellinger Canada. Hellinger Canada regularly brought Claudia Mengel, an experienced Family Constellation Work trainer from Germany, to teach the foundations of Hellinger’s work and train facilitators here in Canada. These several trainings contributed greatly to the development of Hellinger Canada.
In 2009, organized by Judy Young Melanson, Hellinger Canada brought Carola Castillo (founder and director Hellinger Institute of Venezuela and co-founder of the Hellinger Institute of Western Pennsylvannia) to Ottawa and she offered a facilitator training to participants from Ottawa, Toronto, Guelph, and Quebec.
In 2008, a small group from Ottawa supported Rosalba Stocco in Guelph to begin SCW in her area. Thirty-six people attended this first gathering, and the group continues to meet monthly. In 2011, Rosalba (under the direction of Claire Khudai Dagenais) has started a two-year training program for facilitators.
In 2010, having taken the training in Ottawa with Carola Castillo, Julijana Curasev, Ubavka Cecez, Milka Cecez and Marina Toledo started HellingerToronto. They have been meeting monthly as well as offering trainings with Carola Castilo and John Payne.In 2012, Marina Toledo branched out and founded the Hellinger Family Constellations Institute, offering monthly workshops, individual sessions and trainings on Family Constellations. Since April 2014, Julijana Curasev branched out from Hellinger Toronto and founded Toronto Family Constellations offering workshops and trainings.
In 2011, Judy Melanson moved to New Brunswick and began to offer SCW in Moncton, NB, Halifax, NS and St. Johns, Newfoundland.
Montreal and Quebec
In 2005, a French Trainer, Gilles Placet , came to Montreal to offer the first Training in Family Constellations in the area. Participants, around 15 of them, took part in three levels of Training. For the trainees, this opened the door to explore Bert Hellinger’s approach further.
Claire Khudai Dagenais decided a year or so later to take part in the U.S.A International Conference on Family Constellations in North Carolina. There, she met with many trainers who had being offering this work in the Americas and Europe. She decided to ask Suzi Tucker, Sneh Victoria Schnabel and Mark Wolynn, to come to Montreal to offer Workshops.
They generously accepted. Out of the beautiful work and support they offered, an innovative Training Program was born in 2009. It offered six levels of three days each with facilitators such as Sneh Victoria Schnabel, Suzi Tucker, Mark Wolynn, Francesca Mason Boring and Claire Khudai Dagenais The first group of trainees has graduated and a second program has begun. Judy Smith, Jacob and Sieglinde Schneider are now also Trainers in the Montreal Training program. The program is also open to practicing facilitaors who wish to continue learning about SCW. They all contribute to sharing this approach in wonderful ways in this part of the world.