Why did Kunta Kinte refuse to have his name changed?
May 31st, 2016

In our workshops Kelly and I usually begin with a round of introductions, using a particular format that was shown us by our teachers, Peter and Jamy Faust.  It goes like this: “I am Charles Albert Cogliandro; I am the son of Augustino Bruno Cogliandro, and I am the son of Dorothy Ann Dippert Cogliandro.”  We model this by going first, taking our time, and internally presencing our father and mother as we say their names.  We let ourselves feel how we are not only telling the group who we are as individuals, but at the same time representing our parents in the group in their absence.  We are the flesh and blood, living embodiments of our parents.  It also reminds us that as we were given our names by our parents, they were each named by their parents as well.  Over the years of performing this short ritual, I have come to feel dedicated to presenting them well. After everyone in the group has introduced themselves this way, I usually  Read more...

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The Overlapping Fields of Consciousness in a Constellation
April 1st, 2016

I share the following thoughts at the close of each of my drumming groups:  We are all part of something much greater than ourselves; we are all connected to each other and to everything there is through the invisible threads of a great web; and our thoughts, words and actions resonate the filaments of the web and affect, in subtle ways we may not understand, the great universal field of consciousness.

There are many ways I’ve been influenced by the West African drumming music I have studied for almost 25 years.  One of the primary skills I’ve developed is the ability to hear the multiple simultaneous rhythms played by the djembe and dunun drums in a piece of music, and how they create the rich orchestration of the whole.  This ability has proven valuable in the facilitation of constellation healing work.  When a person sets up a constellation, they are invoking and engaging with various levels of consciousness simultaneously.  As the  Read more...

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How Constellations and Therapy Differ
February 29th, 2016

There is tremendous, life-changing possibility in Family Constellations healing.  Some people have asked us how it differs from psychotherapy.  There are numerous differences, but I want to share one of the primary ways a constellation uniquely offers healing.

In psychotherapy the focus is mainly on a person’s behaviors, thoughts, moods and feelings and what new skills and resources can be developed by that person to create positive change.  Through many different possible approaches, a therapist supports the client to work through or solve a problem and create more well-being and personal satisfaction, whether that be in relationships, career, spirituality, or health.  This will likely involve examining the individual’s strengths and weaknesses in various areas, and helping that person cultivate different habits and outlooks to cope with challenges in new ways. From the outset, the Family Constellations method holds the individual  Read more...

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Community Constellation for the Healing of Gun Violence
January 31st, 2016

On Monday, January 18th, 2016- King Day- we offered a Community Constellation for the Healing of Gun Violence in our society.  We gathered at The Heal Center in Sandy Springs at roughly the same time similar constellations were being offered in 13 other cities across the U.S.  Our deep appreciation goes to Roz Zollinger and Michael Zollinger at The Heal Center for generously allowing us to use your large, beautiful classroom for this event.

Kelly and I began by evoking the presence of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King by reading quotes from each of them, which are at the end of this article.  We acknowledged the people in all the other cities across the U.S. who were also participating.  We reminded everyone present of the potentially intense nature of the energies we would be invoking, that we were trusting them with their own responsibility for self-care, and what to do (ask for help) if triggered or overwhelmed. After sharing  Read more...

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I Don't Fit in My Family
December 30th, 2015

I recently worked with Henry, a client who has been frustrated most of his life by feeling like an outsider in his family.  There has always seemed to be a mismatch between Henry’s values and outlook on life, and the values of his multi-generational, large extended family.  He’s been healthy and successful in his life and marriage, but the sense of disconnection with those he grew up with has been painful and pervasive.  He has felt annoyance with what he’s perceived as the family placing too much importance on maintaining a good image in the world, regardless of what is really happening behind the scenes.  Henry feels it’s more important to be authentic and truthful, and not worry about what others think of him.  He’s also struggled with feeling pressure from family members to participate more in family events, even in one instance when he was expected to attend a family gathering in Tennessee when his wife was having heart  Read more...

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