ISCA interview with Guni Baxa
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.
Okay, so I'm here with Guni Baxa. You've been working in the field of systemic work already for almost 40 years.
So you're "the eldest one" actually I've been speaking to so far.
Congratulations on that one! So the first question I have around the constellations work is this: There seems to be something about "how to define it". Everyone you're asking, it seems to be one thing we have in common and we're having a hard time explaining it. So I'm curious, what constellations work means to you personally? And also, how you would actually explain it to someone else? So it's a big question but...
Yes, it's a really big question. I see it as an approach wherein we can explore our issues on a different level than the rational and thinking one. So, more experiencing something, and then, the whole systemic worldview comes in. And, for family constellations work, a lot of it was brought out by Bert Hellinger with his kind of working. And also by Virginia Satir with her family reconstruction. The difficulty really is how to explain it, because you bring an inside structure, an inside image a person has or an organisation has, you make it visible. You can maybe hear about it and you can sense it. So, you bring out what maybe is inside while you cannot see the structure inside. For me, what's very different from talking is that you see many relationships at the same time. Words can only verbalise things one after the other, while in a constellation, you see it immediately. So, it's more of a three dimensional approach to something that with words is normally two dimensional.
Great! So, there's quite a big community now of international constellators, systemic workers, coaches, and trainers. So I'm quite curious how you're connected to the field. How connected do you feel? You've been around for a while, so?
In the starting, in the pioneering time, I engaged myself a lot in networking, in being on the board of the former EIG and then in the founding situations of ISCA and then in the founding situations of Infosyon, in developing standards, and all this stuff. So, my interest was really to give it a position in the field of psychotherapy, but not only psychotherapy. How to connect –again on a deeper level– with the world, with nature, with human beings, with animals, with plants, with whatever! Nowadays, I did withdraw from most of the organisations, but I still feel very connected. I feel connected with the field. I do not know now all the people who work with it. It's incredible! I mean, in 30 years it really spread out. The connections in the moment I like a lot is working in other countries. So, to really explore. I think, I like to explore these things. To really explore: How can constellations work contribute to the culture of different countries? What do you have to be aware of, for example, of not colonising again? So, going to Australia and not colonising like the white people are still doing in Australia. Also in China: How can you be in dialogue with the culture and with the people so that it really contributes to their culture and to what they need. At the moment, that's the most interesting part for me in constellations work.
So, if there's one thing that you'd like to invite other constellators, maybe starting ones or maybe already experienced ones, what would you like them to explore more or like to maybe do a little bit less of? If there's something from your perspective, from your position, what is something that you would say: "Maybe, that's something to explore together"?
To explore together is really to let go of beliefs. Especially by Bert Hellinger, quite many beliefs were manifested. And they are still in the field. And sometimes, I think: "Ow, open it, open it, open it!" Be open with your heart! What is really contributing to something and when you are imposing it, something from yourself on the constellation. And sometimes I'm sure, I do it too. But this is then my shadow! But this is what I really feel: to encourage the ones who start to learn to work with constellations, to find their own way to facilitate, that is really coming out of the essence of this person and not so much from outside "Oh, you have to do this and you have to do that". And at the same time, it's good they train some gloves. So, it's not that they should not learn the basics. But I think the goal of each one is to really find their own way, where they feel "Yeah, that's what I can give to the world".
And so, if you look around in the constellations world, there's a lot going on, like you were saying as well. It has diversified quite a bit. Is there something that you're particularly excited about at the moment? Where you see like, and this is the last question by the way, "Ah, wow, that's really like an interesting direction"?
Yes, I see the direction that I'm going in the moment too: How to integrate the very old –from indigenous cultures, from shamanic cultures– how to integrate their healing traditions –and of course I think they are incredible – so that is a kind of connecting constellations with more ritual work. And the other point is: How to approach collective themes? Like Jan Jacob with societal themes and collective themes. How can we open and how do we already open up the constellations field to go beyond family sometimes? To integrate and also, not only the collective dimension, also integrate the universal, maybe we can say, integrate the spiritual dimension.
Allright, thank you Guni!
Thanks for the interview!