Interview Aud Marit Viken Esbensen
In preparation of this year's gathering of the International Systemic Constellations Association, I'm doing short interviews with systemic coaches, trainers, presenters, and frontrunners in the constellations field.
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So I'm here today with Aud Marit Esbensen, a Norwegian name.
So, the first question is always around: How do you explain family constellations? It seems to be a thing that we all have in common –a hard time explaining it. So I'm very curious what it means for you and how you would do that?
How I would explain it? Yeah, as you said, it's a challenge, because it's not well known. But actually, somehow we do it everyday ourselves. We can go into a house and we feel "Oh, I don't like being here" or we meet a person, maybe for the first time in our life and we really like being with that person. So it's those senses we use in our everyday life and maybe don't think about it. We use them in our work systematically in working with systems. So, I thought a lot about that because we sense so much in our everyday life without thinking about it. So it's very good to use this in a systematic way and constellations is a very good way of using our own senses to seeing systems. If we talk about systems, it can be family systems, an inner system in ourselves, or it can be organisations, for example. And then we see [this]: Constellations is how things are in relation to each other. It's a spatial relationship. So, for example, if you want to set up how a family functions, or, if we have some challenge with our family or with our relationship with the family, we can set up representatives, and we see how they place themselves in the spatial place we work [in]. For some strange reason, which we don't really know much about, is that, when we are [a] representative of something or someone, we pick up their feelings, movements –we might want to move away– or words come up. And that is the, [what] can you say, call it a mystery, or..? But that's what we work with. I don't know if it's a good explanation, but right now that's my explanation.
Allright, so you were also talking about these relationships that are within the system. And so I'm also quite interested in how you feel connected to the wider community of constellation workers, trainers, coaches, and what you have?
Yes, I really like this community because we work in a very respectful way, which is so important to stress. That we don't find "Oh, it's your fault [or] it's his fault". It's with a huge respect for the whole system and everyone in it. And that is what I really like about this work, and also, which is in this community. It's also [about] meeting people. They are colleagues! You know, you're a colleague and we can discuss [things with] and ask questions and supervised, because we need that, and I also think it's very important to have an international network.
And so I happened to know that you are in the ISCA as well, in the board, right?
Yes, the International Systemic Constellations Association. Right now it was a bit difficult to remember. It's an international organisation association.
And do you feel connected through that as well, like having a role in there?
Yes! Very much. And because we have every second year, there's a gathering. This year it's in Opatija in Croatia. We also have a monthly discussion on the internet on zoom, which is really good. We have a webpage, a page on facebook, where we can discuss. Networking through ISCA is very good. I think it's very good –and that's my opinion– that it's international, so you get to meet people from all over the world if you want to, [whether it's] on the internet or via the gatherings. I think it's important and I'm also involved in that we build sort of a core curriculum, that people should really know of if they're trying to be constellators. But it's the core, you know, it has to be flexible around that. And it's a very open-minded association.
So, that maybe also taps into my other question, which is around this: If you look at the community and how it has evolved, what would you actually invite the community to be more like or to be maybe a little bit less like? What would you invite people towards within the community? I hear about this core curriculum. There's apparently something there that would be nice to have more of than there is now, so I'm really curious!
I think it's to share. To share knowledge and be open for other people. I think that's very important. That we can discuss openly with each other and share knowledge. And don't be so closed. And not this "I have the answer" or "This person has the right way" because it's such a fantastic way of working. You can use it in organisations. I have done that because I have my background as an economist and I've done research on women who start their own business. And actually in the 90s, I learned something I used. It was moving, using papers. Still. It was called force-field analysis. I thought, when I learned constellations, I knew "Oh, that's what I was doing!" Right. Because it was constellations, you can constellate with paper. Yeah.
So if there's one thing you're very excited about, internationally speaking, what kind of trends are moving there? What would that be? What are you [excited about]?
It's the diversity. I love the diversity! And, well, through ISCA and this intensive, I experience that it's respectful. How the people are finding their own expression doing constellations. I think that's extremely important, but also that we have the core training that we really know. And also going to supervision groups, because we need to be supervised. I'm in a group. We meet three times a year and it's an inter-European group. We work hard with ourselves. Like we do in this intensive.
It's a lot of fun, but it's also hard work!
It is. It is! Well, I think that's it. We're in Kochel at the moment by the way, so the viewers know. Thank you very much.
See you later!