8 Examples of Unhealthy Transgenerational Bonds (and the method to resolve them)

In Systemic Constellations by Emily Waymire

In Systemic Constellations we refer to unhealthy or trauma bonds as “entanglements” due to their unconscious and seemingly sticky nature.  An entanglement and its destructive consequences happen when a member of the family wants to leave the system, is dying, or has a painful situation. A later member, usually a child, will unconsciously try to step in to prevent this. Or they may try to make up for the guilty actions of the earlier member or follow them into death or illness to be with them. Although all entanglements are based on a very deep love and loyalty within the system, people with this form of trauma bonding are unaware of the larger consequences.

Examples of entanglements that are brought to light and resolved in Systemic Constellations might include the following:

  • A woman develops Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Her mother died when she was nine and she always longed to be with her.
  • A man consistently fails in business. He is making up for his grandfather’s guilt for creating his family fortune through slaves.
  • A woman feels incapable to lead a life with purpose and meaning. She had aborted 2 children and never grieved the loss.
  • A man is unable to marry or find satisfaction in relationship. He is still bonded to an earlier partner who he betrayed and left.
  • A man is dying of AIDS. He is representing the victims of the war that his grandfather fought in.
  • A man is addicted to porn. He longs for his mother who was raped and unable to bond with him.
  • A couple can no longer connect. They are experiencing the relationship of their adopted daughter and her biological parents who gave her up for adoption.
  • A woman is unable to get pregnant. Her mother had many miscarriages. And her grandmother lost 2 children in an accident she blamed herself for.

Constellations are used for a large spectrum of issues from illness to career choices to couples and parenting. But they are specifically necessary for issues that have been worked on with no resolution. If therapies and healing that have focused on your family of origin are getting limited results it’s time to look at the bigger picture. Constellators use phrases such as “where is your love going”, “where are you looking”, “who are you looking at” as we uncover the hidden loyalties bonding you to your family history.

In this way we also uncover and amplify strengths, gifts, talents, support and connection.