“This is a thoughtful and intellectually stimulating book…”
according to Barbara Lloyd McMichael in her Bookmonger review column, The News Tribune, Tacoma, Washington
Review below is by Francesca Mason Boring, Indigenous Constellations Facilitator and author of Feather Medicine and Coyote Dance.
Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul by Lisa Iversen provides an interesting and provocative examination of topics in a text which is a contribution to the community of constellation facilitators, as well as those interested in collective trauma, and the impact of group conscience. As a facilitator of constellation and psychotherapist, Lisa Iversen examines ‘the relationship between psychotherapy, truth, ancestry, tribe, and democracy’.
Providing a good framework for a general audience, Lisa introduces basic concepts which flow through constellations. The format of the book is dynamic with sidebars throughout, containing observations and summaries from participants in constellations. Through a series of interviews and commentary Lisa looks at the issue of immigration, the history of slavery, the implications of the election of Barack Obama, and the systemic dismissal of indigenous cultures in America and throughout the world. Interviews in Ancestral Blueprints include African American, Native American and numerous political voices.
Although there is a focus on the American experience, there is keen relevance for Australian and Canadian facilitators and populations. Lisa’s study of the systemic effect of global colonialism in family and social systems heightens awareness; those issues which are often invisible in the collective conscious are openly discussed, and thus made visible. Behind the interesting perspectives is the provocative question, “Should facilitators have a good working knowledge about the history of the populations with which they work?”
In a chapter on “Roots and Routines” Lisa outlines a series of exercises with which one can integrate family systems constellation concepts and support a sense of connection to ancestry. The book is an engaging teacher for those unfamiliar with constellation work, and a thought provoking vehicle for seasoned facilitators, inviting consideration of the American Amnesia and the painful legacy of immigration which impacts so many family systems world-wide.
A soulful summary of the creative process of a sculpture representing the flow of family is shared by Niza Cornelia Nicola, constellation facilitator from Freiburg, Germany. In describing her intimate experience in carving a lineage of women Cornelia writes, “And then there are all our female ancestors, who built, by their lives and destinies, the Cathedral of Life. They were and are gates, where life comes to us. They are embodied in our living family members.”
“They are also our heritage in our DNA and the movement in our souls. Our souls are touched by all their successes, which are gifts to us, who live now. Our souls also resonate with their unfinished work, their burdens. It is now our time to embrace the gifts and deal with the burdens.”
Since receiving her Masters in Social Work in 1992, Lisa has been a practicing psychotherapist. Her expertise includes trauma recovery, loss and grief, and working with disenfranchised populations. Since 1998 she has worked multiple times with Bert Hellinger, Sneh Victoria Schnabel, Daan van Kampenhout, and many other internationally recognized teachers in the Systemic Constellations field. She attended Germany’s First International Training Intensive for English speakers in 2001 and Germany’s Second Conference on Spirituality & Constellation Work. Lisa has been integrating constellation wisdom into her psychotherapy practice, teaching, and leading circles rooted in ancestral resonance since 1999. She lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her husband, daughter, and Border Collie puppy.
Francesca can be reached at www.allmyrelationsconstellations.com.