Background of systemic modeling
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Background of systemic modeling.

This article focuses on the origin of new innovative technology of decision-making in management. This technology helps to avoid many irretrievable mistakes within a short time: address issues related to recruitment, increase sales, settle disputes between owners and partners, find best business development options, see extensive and real picture of the company, project or investments state. Detect hidden impact factors where they cannot be predicted by means of usual statistical techniques and methods.

    We will talk about A. V. Zelinsky’s method of energoinformational modeling of complicated systems – a brand new approach in organizational consulting, important for business owners and top management.

    The method of systemic constellations is the base of energoinformational modeling of complicated systems.
Currently, the method of systemic constellations is rapidly and steadily gaining ground among CIS countries. Many people have already heard about it or even took part in constellation groups.
Nevertheless, we would like to first talk about the origin of method – this will give us a better picture of the distance covered by the method and its practical experience lying in the foundation of systemic constellations method.

It all started with a person who liked to play. While playing children's games the future worldwide famous psychotherapist Jacob Levy Moreno (1892-1974) understood that the game involving decorations and support of likeminded people helps experience something that does not exist in reality. You can check how much you fit the role you took on yourself; you should not only play it “at the back of your mind” but also “aloud” – using the whole body.

     As a student studying psychiatry in Austria, Moreno liked watching children play in parks of Vienna. After starting medical practice, he was eager to start playing with patients. They played episodes of their life and evoked negative emotions. Such games helped them express things unsaid, do things they could not do before, and be who they wanted to be. In the game patients learned to live differently. After this kind of “fun time” the way of healing started.
     Thus, “playful” Moreno became the founder of such psychotherapeutic method as “psychodrama”.
The core of psychodrama is to have the person play out the situation he thinks to be problematic, and try different ways out. He may not play himself; it can be a husband, a child, a boss – any person he has issues with. Such impersonation teaches how to look at the conflict through the eyes of the opponent. Psychodrama is usually played in groups from 6 to 20 persons. The group should strictly adhere to the rule of confidentiality and nonevaluation.
In 1950s, Virginia Satir have supplemented psychodrama with the method of family reconstruction using substituents. She used people, who are not part of the collision in real life, as the drama “actors.” In addition to the substituents method V. Satir implemented systemic approach in psychodrama.

Systemic approach. Management theory was much influenced by “general systems theory,” where any organization is a system, which should be regarded as a specific entirety consisted of interdependent parts contributing to the performance of the entire system. Manager should see the whole organization, all its parts interacting with each other and external world.                 
It should be taken into account that any managerial influence on any component of organization results in multiple and often unexpected consequences.
The main difficulty of management practice lies in the fact that modern organizations are inhomogeneous, they are so to say sociotechnical systems. Each such system includes a number of subsystems coordinated hierarchically (subordination) and “horizontally” (coordination).
Previous schools mainly focused on the management process itself, while systemic approach indicated that the object of management is not less, if not more, complicated. Both management and its object possess logic, laws and are systemic by nature. Therefore, effective management should consider them and be able to use it.

     Systemic approach is a specific thinking pattern in relation to theoretic and practical issues of management. It reinforced connections of management theory with other sciences and research fields.
We may say that already back then Satir carried out what we now call systemic constellations using above-mentioned tools.
Let us talk briefly about Virginia. American psychologist. Born in Wisconsin (1916-1988). Received Bachelor Degree in the University of Wisconsin. In 1942 received Master Degree in psychology. Worked as private psychotherapist.
Later she developed a special approach to the analysis of her clients’ personality. “Family map” was an integral part of the approach – recording and analyzing important events in the family life during at least three previous generations.
Her own map is also quite interesting. Virginia’s paternal and maternal family line were German emigrants and both of her grandmothers ventured upon a courageous and risky path – married proletarians against the will of their bourgeois prosperous families.
Satir’s career as a family therapist started in 1951, when she began consulting conflicting married couple. Since that time, she has worked with thousands of such couples, allowing her to hone her therapeutic techniques and formulate an innovative concept of family relations therapy.  
         Satir believed that our family mainly defines our behavior and attitude. Family is a system that seeks balance. To maintain the balance family members are bound to play certain roles, follow a system of restrictions or unrealistic expectations (in this case the needs of family members are in conflict with each other, which leads to violations).      
The main target of Satir’s psychotherapy is personal growth because she often said that every person has potential for such growth and psychotherapy can only stimulate it.

     In the beginning of the year 1972, she met Richard Bandler and this laid the foundation of her cooperation with NLP founders. The book “Reframing. Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Transformation of Meaning.” published in 1982 may be considered a collection of the main patterns of reframing and conversations used by Virginia Satir during appointments with families and individual clients.

 Satir’s ideas were picked up by Austrian psychoanalyst Bert Hellinger. He was born in 1925. His first education was religious. First, he found himself in South Africa as a missionary, then he had to abandon his orders and come back to Germany in 1969. In South Africa he started working with group dynamics, then he learned psychoanalysis, primary therapy from Arthur Janov in USA, transactional analysis, Erickson hypnosis, NLP, body-oriented school, gestalt therapy, constellations after Virginia Satir, procedural therapy etc.

By combining script-analysis, primary and family therapy Hellinger has developed his own form of family constellations. He also found many previously unknown structures and patterns. In 80-s his authorial method of Systemic constellations was crystallized.

B. Hellinger continues to view family as a system. With this point of view, the problems in a family are the result of failures in operation of family system. One important aspect of the method is almost complete refusal to participate in constellation of people for whom this constellation is performed. A family, family line is a system that complies with certain laws, certain order. Violation of these laws results in loss of love and consequently to the conflicts, divorces, inability to create family, illnesses, early deaths and accidents among family members.

         Driving force of life; special energy stream coming from the origin of family line. It has a unique feature of flowing only forward, just like a river. As the result of violations the river, sort of, reverses, comes to a halt, so to say. The result is a life full of difficulties, problems, and illness.

         In principle, Hellinger performed only one small miracle: he made the phenomenologic approach the basis of psychodrama/constellations having abandoned aprioristic theoretic dogmas.

This step turned the method from being unpopular and a bit mysterious psychotherapeutic technique into powerful tool of practical solution of various problems and collisions people face in their life (usually when interacting with other people).

      In summary, the method of systemic constellations has been developed in the late 1970s – early 1980s by German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger and was initially used only to deal with family systems.

 Since early 1980s until late 1990s, B. Hellinger and his followers had been involved in approbation and development of new method. In 1993, Hellinger’s follower Gunthard Weber took family constellations work experience and applied it to organizations. He suggested that interior mechanism in the family systems should work in organizations as well. In 1993, G. Weber’s book on systemic organizational constellations was published. Since that time, this method began to widely spread throughout world.

     Organizational constellations are constellations performed for a group of people joined not by family relations but as members of one group. For example, for employees of a company.
However, it is not an alternative name for a team building. Constellations may be used within the team building format but only as one of the methods. The purpose of team building is to unite a group of people into a “fighting” entity for maximum effective work of this team on a range of tasks. This “range of tasks” is of top-priority where the group is adjusted accordingly.
          Early 1990s may be considered to be the date of birth of organizational constellations course. In Austria, two business consultants invited Bert Hellinger to take part in a project for one international company. The work was impressive, however, less emotional than Family constellations.
          That time Bert Hellinger was involved in other researches and did not pay much attention to systemic work subject in organizations. He asked Gunthard Weber to continue with the work on this approach. Weber decided to put his hand on a new field and gained outstanding and impressive results. Later he kept developing this approach so he is justly considered to be the “father” of organizational constellations.
     In 1998, the first congress was held where the first best practices in this approach were presented. Initially, therapists were dealing with systemic business consulting. Their professional focus was psychological and social dynamics rather than correction of business processes and finding efficiency resources. Later, issues of organizational context and its mixing and interaction with family context, phenomenon of collective conscience in organizations as well as other themes were investigated.
         Around that time a University professor Matthias Varga von Kibed first delivered a presentation on theory of Organizational Constellations and Constellations types. As the result, the notion of Structural Constellation was introduced. He regarded constellation as “nonverbal” language used by systems and groups in communication. It was suggested to view method of constellations as “grammar” of this language.
         In a sense, we are witnessing the birth of the method. Many researches are still to come. Many phenomena require statistical analysis. There was a research organized by Milan University, Italy. The processes of 24 big companies were investigated by means of constellation. Constellations were performed in six rooms simultaneously. The results of all six independent constellations were quite similar. It was amazing, especially because marketing specialists invited for the experiment had never dealt with the constellations before and never heard about systemic approach.
        When system is investigated through space, the truth and discoveries are manifested by constellation rather than consultant. The constellator and the client “follow the constellation”, perceiving the images as they are, without interpretations if possible. Moreover, client’s insights and decisions often come directly from the image of the constellation.
         Since 2003, the method of organizational constellations has been actively developed in Ukraine by one of the best masters of NLP in Ukraine and CIS, Zelinsky Alexander Vasilievich.  
His unconventional approaches in construction of systems models combined with phenomenologic approach and Hellinger’s method have opened new possibilities of organizational constellations. This new method is referred as the method of energoinformational modeling of complicated systems.
         As the author himself says, “My approach: move from general, reconstructing detailed pictures of intertwinement secrets, understanding these pictures in their entirety, allow new choices to appear. The main task is to move the person from specifics of his request to demonstration of his fundamental nature. This will let him change his reality based on a fresh approach to the situation.”
         This unique method provides the possibility to see the system for yourself from the outside, become an observer of people, their actions, motives and even thoughts, relations with each other; unravel hidden motives and intentions.        
          For example, you may unexpectedly find that the cause of the crisis is just one of the consequences, so you will see completely different, hidden picture. Moreover, you will not be asked to share the details of your difficulties with anyone. You are given an opportunity to work with the mechanism, find connections and consistent patterns of the system, while keeping personal issues to yourself. The next stage will include environmentally careful introduction of changes to your system, which are necessary for positive development in the future, may even include reconstruction. That is why manager should take part in this work as the leader who knows ultimate goals of organization. Moreover, real power is at your discretion during this process.
         The most stunning thing about the method is the rate and visibility of the problems solution. The success strategy and failure reasons can be found within half an hour. Find the solution in difficult and unpredictable situations within few hours. During one day, you can obtain extensive and real picture of the company, project or investments state, unravel hidden impact factors, move to a new level of knowledge, eliminate distortions and failure in the structure operation and receive information on the prospects of development. This operation level follows the requirements and speed of modern life when time and information are the main advantage.
Author – Anna Isaeva, “Provodnik” systemic modelling center

1. Gunthard Weber, Practice of family constellation: Systemic solutions after Bert Hellinger. – M.: International institute of consulting and systemic solutions, High school of psychology, 2004.  
2. B. Hellinger. The source has no need to ask the ways. М.: Institute of consulting and systemic solutions, High school of psychology, 2005.
3. Practice of family constellation: Systemic solutions after Bert Hellinger (collected works, content by – G. Weber) – М.: Institute of consulting and systemic solutions, High school of psychology, 2004.   
4. Jan Jacob Stamm. Organizational systemic constellations method book. М.: Institute of consulting and systemic solutions, 2006.
5. Jan Jacob Stamm. Fields of Connections. М.: Institute of consulting and systemic solutions, 2008.
6. Invisible Dynamics. Systemic Constellations in Organisations and in Business. Klaus P. Horn and Regine Brick /Carl Auer International (April 28, 2005).
7. N. Е. Revskaya. Psychology of management. Summary of lectures.— St. Petersburg.: Alfa Publishing House, 2001.—240 p.
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