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Acknowledging What Is: Conversations with Bert Hellinger [Paperback]

Bert Hellinger , Gabriele Ten Heovel
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jan 1999
Considered one of the most innovative psychotherapists in the world today, Bert Hellinger has garnered the attention of the international therapy community, as well as the segment of the lay community interested in recovering sources of healing and wholeness. In Acknowledging What Is, Hellinger sheds light on his unique use of family constellations to reveal hidden - often destructive - family dynamics and to activate healing resources. Hellinger also speaks freely and frankly about his observations of the forces at work in family systems and the controversy that surrounds some of those observations. In this probing interview, Gabriele ten Hovel brings to her conversations with Bert Hellinger a journalist's skepticism. In her voice is the sense of wonderment that many may have who do not understand how such an approach can work or who have only heard about statements attributed to Hellinger. And there are times when we hold our breath, poised to be outraged by his answers and explanations. Instead, the tough questions are met by equally tough answers - and in the spaces between question and answer the formidable power of the family constellation begins to unfold. This book provides an opportunity for Bert Hellinger to lay to rest some misunderstandings, to clarify his thinking on entanglement and resolution, to describe what he means by the 'movements of the soul'. In the end, though, the book also provides an opportunity for readers to open their hearts and minds to the power of the family constellation. Born out of the most humble therapeutic stance, that of respectful observation, this approach makes contact with the deepest levels of family engagement and disengagement. Sit in as the logical minded journalist and the 'caretaker of the soul' consider the human condition together. You may take away little gems or find that your perspective goes through a major shift - either way, these 'conversations with Bert Hellinger' will energize your thinking. Described as the ultimate empiricist, Bert Hellinger acknowledges several important influences on his life and work: his parents, whose faith immunized him against accepting Hitler's National Socialism; his 25 years as a priest, particularly as a missionary to the Zulu; and his participation in interracial, ecumenical training in group dynamics. However, it was in Hellinger's later training in family therapy that he first encountered the family constellations that have become the hallmark of his therapeutic work.

Product details

  • Paperback: 162 pages
  • Publisher: Zeig, Tucker & Theisen Inc. (1 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1891944320
  • ISBN-13: 978-1891944321
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 389,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the words of the founder 4 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bert Hellinger shares the key concepts of his work through an interview. The conversational flow means that the reader needs to follow the questions that are being asked, which might be different from one's natural flow of questioning. The succinctness and clarity of his responses makes the message easy to grasp, and reading an interview does make the essence of the message more accessible in that it is untainted by our reaction to or projections onto an interviewee, based on looks, gesture and tone of voice. Easy read to get some of the basic language and history of the family constellations work.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars life changing 11 Feb 2012
Amazing book that speaks the truth at a deep level and for me the only way forward it too at what happened behind you in the past and to your whole family and acknowledge what is! Went onto constellations training and just fab!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars gets more interesting the more times you read it 20 Dec 2000
By A Customer - Published on
This very straightforward book tackles many controversial subjects in psychotherapy with empirical wisdom: what helps people and what doesn't. Bert Hellinger does not seem to be concerned with anything else, and his practice reflects that simplicity and directness. The questions asked by the interviewer are often the very ones the reader wants to ask. This family constellation work is worth much more investigation.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars revolutionary and beyond therapy 11 Nov 2003
By D. Gold - Published on
A wonderful book for those who have seen Bert Hellinger in action, and even for those who haven't . For those of us who have witnessed the integrity he brings into the art of helping people it is a book filled with the knowledge and insight he has gained experientially while working with family systems and setting up constellations. For those new to his breathtaking work it is full of things to spark one's interest and inform.
Do not dismiss this work. It is quite simply the beginning of something unbelievably profound and soul-enriching. It is in fact about working with the movements of the soul.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars How to really make progresses and help ourself 22 Sep 2004
By Elena - Published on
Read the book impartially and look for the thing in your life that you do not know where they come from- why there's always been difficulties in relationships, secrets and neglected families members- then you will undestand what is Hellinger doing, which is much more "positive" than labelling people' problems. Read it over and read it again after some time, this book deserves unprejudiced attention.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Adequate introduction to family constellations but can be done better 11 July 2008
By H.E. - Published on
This introduction to Bert Hellinger's work consists of interviews of him with a political scientists. The way Hellinger's family constellations unfold, they usually support more conservative positions regarding sexuality and labor division in family, so there is some interesting tension between the liberal interviewer and the wise old man Hellinger. It also becomes clear that Hellinger treats spirituality as something quite earthly and this-worldly, amounting mostly to facing life's challenges.

The biggest minus of the book is absence of diagrams of the constellations that are described. For this reason, I suggest getting 'Love's Hidden Symmetry' or 'Love's Own Truths' instead. But this is definitely an okay book too.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book, effective therapy 28 April 2005
By Maria - Published on
The book is accessible and a good introductio nto family cinstellations. The therapy is effective and has its roots in phenomenological psychotherapy as well as in traditional folk ways.
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