Do it yourself: The „blocking element” – problem as the key to the solution

Preliminary remark

The method of systemic self-integration understands trauma as an “introject”. This means that a long-gone trauma is still effective today because it is stored in the body. In the constellation, this is shown by the fact that the trauma is in one’s own space, as if it belonged to one’s own identity here and today. Trauma therapy then means checking whether a known trauma is still in your own space here and now, and removing it from that space.

If the known trauma has been removed in this way and there is still a problem, it could be due to a stored unknown or unconscious trauma. This perspective
enables a new format: problem as the key to the solution. The problem can be used to make the client aware of an unconscious trauma and then to treat it. This can be traumatic experiences from one’s own biography, but also traumas that have been taken over from the family system: transgenerational trauma.

Basic assumption

If we assume that every client basically has a self-part that can solve the own problems, then we can conclude the other way round: if a problem arises, then the client is not connected to this self-part because an introject prevents – „blocks“ – them. In order to be able to determine, name and delimit this “blocking element” (BE) more precisely, the following procedure is recommended.

Instructions for “Do it Yourself”

Below you will find instructions on how to do a constellation yourself. As props you need: a stool (e.g. Ikea), two chairs each with a nice round cushion (e.g. meditation cushion), a heavy and a light pebble, a scarf and, if possible, a screen.

Since violent feelings can arise, I strongly recommend firstly not to deal with violent trauma without professional support and secondly that a person you trust (assistant) accompanies you even with “banal” traumas!

Please give me feedback (to, both in the case of positive reactions and any unpleasant reactions!


Constellation picture

You name a problem, and you set up representatives for your true self (“TS” that can solve this problem) and your child self and a stool for what blocks your connection to this TS, and you add yourself to it.

Usually the BE is in the middle, your self-parts and you stand around the BE and you feel little connection to your self-parts.


You can decide to use a scarf to indicate a border for your “room” and to put the stool (BE) outside this room.
You usually feel much better afterwards. Sometimes you “miss” the BE!

What’s behind the BE?

Next you “test” the place of the BE by standing in its place and paying attention to the feelings and images that arise in you. You pay attention to everything that comes up – take your time. Sometimes the image immediately emerges of a trauma that you or your family have experienced, combined with very violent feelings. Or at first only a feeling or a belief appears which blocked your connection to the self. Then you try to find out the “source” of that feeling or belief. Where do these elements (beliefs, feelings) belong? Is there a matching event in your own biography – or in the family system? Usually a traumatic situation arises now.

Name the trauma

Now you can name the BE as a trauma of your own or an inherited trauma.
This is often associated with violent feelings. The insight, however, that this event is long over (“dead as a doornail”) or belongs to mother’s or father’s system is very relieving.

First distancing from the trauma

You go back and can now say about the trauma: “You are the trauma ( of my mother, the 12 year old (your name)) and I am me! I am complete without you! You are (20, 60) years ago and I live here and today!“

Trauma as an introject

After the trauma that is the cause of the current problem has been discovered in the manner described, you can once again feel what it feels like when this trauma is in your identity space. Most of the time it feels very familiar to you, sometimes even as indispensable! As if it gave you identity and security! At the same time – probably through the first distancing – you now experience it as disturbing.

Remove the trauma introject

Now you have the opportunity to decide whether this trauma is HERE AND TODAY part of your identity – or not. You name the trauma and put it out of your room with the words: “With all due respect for mother – or: my own – fate, you do not belong in my room HERE AND TODAY!“

After that you will already feel a better connection to your self-parts.

Relief from the trauma feelings

Violent feelings were associated with this trauma, whether it was one’s own – or someone else’s pain, fear of death, powerlessness, despair, perhaps also anger and shame. Do you know these feelings, as if they are part of your identity HERE AND TODAY? Then you can now symbolically let these feelings “flow” into a heavy stone and put back on the stool that which does not belong to you HERE AND TODAY (trauma). You can symbolically breathe back or cough back what of these feelings may still be “stored” in your body, in your cells.

First approach to the self-parts

If possible, place a screen between you and the trauma as a privacy screen to get closer to your self-parts. Do you know that your TS can delimit itself without feeling guilty, which has its value in itself, regardless of what it does? If not, then maybe you have adopted your family’s point of view (“glasses”) that could not appreciate you? Then imagine that you symbolically take off these “glasses” and feel what it feels like when you become one with yourself – instead of identifying yourself with the trauma from back then? Most of the time it feels very good. In order to deepen this self-connection, it is now necessary that you make a precise distinction between what you are HERE AND TODAY – and what does not belong to you. The demarcation ritual is suitable for this.

Differentiation from trauma

Imagine the trauma coming towards you to take the place in your room as usual – or an assistant takes on this role – and you stop the trauma before it reaches your limit.
Maybe that feels strange, inappropriate, forbidden? Then make it clear to yourself: You have the right to do so! You have the strength to do it! That would be something like a “healthy defensive reflex”!
In order to include your vocal power in this demarcation, you can combine a (tiger) scream with it, the louder the better.

Second approach to the self-parts

After this demarcation, you may feel that the connection to your TS has become much better. So connected with your TS you can now connect with your child self (“inner child”). Imagine how it would feel if you said to him, “The bad thing is long gone (20, 60 years). And you are completely innocent of it! And I no longer allow yourself to be burdened by a trauma that is long past – or someone else’s! If they have experienced devaluation, shame or hurt, you can say to them: “Even if this confused family did not notice: You are absolutely right! I no longer allow you to be devalued, hurt, embarrassed or overwhelmed! I no longer trust you to other people. From today YOU are number one for me – not my partner, not my job, not my children – YOU ARE!” And then feel how it feels when you take your inner child (represented by a pillow) in your arms.

Counter demarcation

a) If you have mistakenly recorded the trauma as an introject in your room, then it is helpful to feel physically that it does not belong to your identity HERE AND TODAY. To do this, you go symbolically into the “room” of the trauma and imagine that someone stops you with the sentence: “That is not you, it does not belong to you here and today!” (An assistant could do that.) Usually you need this two or three times.

b) Perhaps you know that you like to deal with past problems – and thus waste a lot of time and energy. It can be helpful if you imagine yourself – or experience physically with the help of an assistant: “What is over is over! There’s no going back!“

Accept fate

Imagine someone – or actually the assistant – hands you a (lighter) stone with the words: “Fate brings beautiful and painful things – e.g. a trauma. Even what is painful is not “bad”, it is a challenge. If you accept this, then you can grow from it. But if you feel sorry for yourself, resent “fate” and take on the “victim role”, then it makes you weak. You probably know both, and now you can make up your mind again!“

Steps into the HERE AND NOW

You leave the past behind you. You take your self-parts and what belongs to you with you and then you take “seven steps” through a door into the HERE AND NOW – and you close the door to the past behind you.

Ero Langlotz, March 22, 2018

1) To clarify, some specific examples of a problem, and the BE that turned out to be an inherited trauma.

Fear of loss. BE: the fate of the Jewish grandmother. She lost her home, property and part of the family.

Divorce, bullying. BE: the trauma of a very beloved aunt. She suffered from epilepsy, was abandoned by her first husband and humiliated by her second husband.

Lack of success. BE a trauma to the parents: five years before the client was born, they lost all property to a bomb.

Inhibition to speak in front of others. BE: a very beloved aunt who, as a result of a brain trauma, could only stammer and was therefore hidden from the family.


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