4th International Congress for Family and Human Systems Constellations:

Passion and Responsibility

In the Heart of Conflict - Constellations with Families, Organizations, Ethnic Groups, Nations

30 April - 3 May 2003, Congress Centrum Wuerzburg

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The ideas of individual people and groups, be they therapists, scientists, pastors, teachers, leading figures in economics or politics, can only move anything for the community of man in a small or large way if they are sincerely and deeply linked with the needs of all men.

The experiences of 11 September 2001 have shown us all how necessary recognition and acknowledgment of our own commitments and limits is and at the same time how necessary it is "to see with the eyes of the enemy", in the personal, family, religious field or in the field of social policy. Our awareness and spirit seems gradually to be growing in this respect, whilst simultaneously we experience the destructive power of blind hate and the consequences of speechlessness in many parts of the world as a result of blame that remains unacknowledged or cannot be experienced.

The rich international experience of constellation work - in particular from Bert Hellinger's incessant and intensive work abroad - strongly confirms that all over the world options are being sought to heal the injuries resulting from war and persecution. This holds in particular for the host country of this congress, Germany, in which the consequences of National Socialism, 40 years of division, dissolution of the GDR and reunification of two completely different parts of Germany still have a lasting effect.

Using constellations and many other methods from therapy, education, social life, conflict resolution, politics and spiritual practice, the 4th International Congress for Family and Human Systems Constellations will attempt to enable us to take on passionate responsibility for what is going on in our world, whether it affects our own most personal interests or transcends them, and whether it happens in Africa, North or South America, Australia, Asia or Europe.

The 3 topics of the congress

1. Peace and reconciliation work in constellations, constellations in acute conflict between larger groups:
Inter-religious, ethnic and other national and international conflicts, represented by participants from Israel and Palestine, Ireland and Africa. The possibilities and limits of so-called "political constellations" in these contexts.
The German-German past, overcoming the consequences of the GDR-regime and the Stasi methods in Eastern and Western Germany.

2. State of the art of constellations in organizations and structural constellations

3. Basics, new developments and interesting themes of constellation work in the therapeutic and non-therapeutic field:
Foundation seminars for beginners, the art of constellations for advanced students, particularly difficult cases, extreme and dangerous situations in constellations. Dealing with strong destructive emotions. Careful learning of constellation work. Dream work. New insights into psychosis. Working with children. Research.

Schedule of the Congress

Day 1: Wednesday, 30 April 2003

Bert Hellinger works live with constellations
The founder of constellation work will work with individuals and representatives of projects involved with ethnic, racial, religious or national conflict. He will demonstrate the most recent state of his meanwhile internationally tried and tested work, including the possibilities and limits of so-called "political constellations"

Evening: On the art of constellation
"What I've always wanted to know and say?" - Bert Hellinger and colleagues answer the questions of speakers and participants

Day 2 - 4: Thursday, 1 May to Saturday, 3 May 2003

Lectures and workshops on the 3 topics of the congress:

  • Peace and reconciliation work
  • Organization and structural constellations
  • Current developments and the engrossing subjects of constellation work

Congress-Fete in the congress tent,
with Johnny Lamprecht, 1000 drums and his international fellows.

Large group experience on day 4: "Passion and Responsibility"
includes the whole audience in a common process of "Passoin an Responsibility" faciliated by Harisson Owen (see below in main speakers list), a large group experience which activates all participants (expected 1600-2000) to become not simply consumers but creators of what they consider important and precious in the framework of the conference focus. Part of that focus is a radical inclusiveness of possibly all all factors involved in a given conflict, the looking through our enemy´s eyes and the natural desire to contribute in a meaningful way not only for our personal wellbeing but in larger context. It is our intention that the conference - given the present world situation - encourages people to not merely witness good or grand ideas but to translate them into real and satisfying steps not only in their personal lives but also in their families and communities.

To conclude the congress: Lecture by Bert Hellinger

Accompanying the congress:

Exhibition "The wounds of silence"
by Yolande Mukagasana, Ruanda (congress speaker) in cooperation with "Ärzte ohne Grenzen" (Doctors beyond boundaries)
In memory of the genocide in Ruanda, portraits and interviews with survivors. Photographs by Alain Kazinierakis

Main speakers at the congress:

Prof. Sami Adwan, Professor of Education at Bethlehem University (Palestine), former PLO activist imprisoned in Israel, very committed reformer of Palestinian school books in favor of the historical truth of Israeli-Palestinian history. Together with Dan Bar-On he founded PRIME, the "Peace Research Institute in the Middle East" and conducts cooperative projects with committed Israeli and Palestinian colleagues under extremely difficult conditions. Sami Adwan and Dan Bar-On will present PRIME using their own personal experience as an example and including constellation work, with which they are already well acquainted.

Prof. Dan Bar-On, Professor of Psychology at Ben Gurion University (Israel), has occupied himself intensively with the psychological consequences of the holocaust for survivors and the descendants of the culprits. He developed "To Reflect and Trust" (TRT), a dialogue model for coping with trauma and conflict, and founded PRIME (see above) together with the Palestinian Sami Adwan. He is the author of several books, including The Burden of Silence - Interviews with the Descendants of Nazi-Culprits and The "others" within ourselves - Dialogue as a model for coping with intercultural conflict.

Prof. Johan Galtung, Norwegian peace researcher and bearer of the Alternative Nobel Prize, founder of "Transcend", an innovative organization for the transformation of conflict, also consulted by the UNO, together with Transcend Peace University, a differentiated online education and training program. The rich experiences of J. Galtung, an extremely creative unconventional thinker, in the various regions of conflict over the past 40 years are summarized in Searching for Peace: The Road to Transcend.

Silvia Grohs-Martin, Jewish acress from Austria, survivor of Auschwitz and Ravensbrueck. She was one of the most celebrated performers at the famous "Schouwburg" in Amsterdam when she was deported to a concentration camp. Fifty years later she has just started to speak and write about her experiences, which are documented in her book "Silvie" (2000). She lives now in Los Angeles and cooperates with Steven Spielberg´s "Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation" which bears witness to the Nazi persecution.

Elias J. Jabbour, Shefar'Am, Israel, Christian Palestinian, founder of the House of Hope, the first Arabian Peace Center in Israel. E. Jabbour is one of the few recognized authorities of the "Sulha", a traditional Palestinian conflict resolution and conciliation procedure for heavy crimes up to and including murder in ethnic communities. Sulha has its roots mainly in North African Beduin traditions, incorporates Islamic and Christian elements and has great significance as a far-reaching universal method of conflict resolution over and above its well-proven potential over centuries in the region.

Willigis Jäger, Benedictine and Zen master, long-term head of the Meditation House St. Benedict in Wuerzburg, teaches contemplation and Zen meditation and has been working on depth psychology, modern natural science and Christianity experienced from a mystical viewpoint for many years. As one of the main speakers he spoke on "Evil - the dark side of God" at the last congress in 2001, this time his subject is "Peace begins in the heart - strategies for survival from spirituality". Author of books including Search for truth and The wave is the sea

Tommy McKearney and Billy Mitchel, Northern Ireland, former members and underground activists of the enemy organizations IRA (Irish Republican Army) and UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force) After long prison sentences in the same high security prison, they founded the initiative "The Other View", a forum that lends space and tolerance to contradicting opinions in order to get a new view on an over 300 year old history of conflict, at the same time disillusioning and encouraging.

Felicia Langer, Tuebingen, Israeli lawyer, bearer of the Alternative Nobel Prize, who has intensively promoted the rights of Palestinians before Israeli Military Courts for more than 3 decades. Books include Quo vadis Israel? The new Intifada of the Palestinians and Bridge of Dreams, an Israeli goes to Germany

Prof. Erwin Laszlo, co-founder of the Club of Rome and President of the Club of Budapest, which is mainly devoted to peace and understanding between generations. Systemic philosopher and field theoretician who with the so-called "fifth field" describes an integrative field of consciousness and quantum with far-reaching practical consequences, not only for constellation work. Author of many books, including Cosmic Creativity and The Fifth Field, Matter, Spirit and Vision of the new Sciences

Dr. Peter Levine, Lyons Colorado, author of Waking the Tiger describing Somatic Experiencing, a groundbreaking approach to understanding and healing trauma on an individual level and also in larger societal groups. President of the Foundation for Human Enrichment his work is internationally recognised as one of the most important trauma healing approaches.

Yolande Mukagasana, member of the Tutsi and nurse from Ruanda. After the murder of her husband, her children and almost all her relatives during the genocide between the Tutsi and the Hutu in Ruanda she began to seek out surviving victims and "give them back their faces". She has written books about it (so far only in French): La mort ne veux pas de moi (Death doesn't want me), Les blessures de la silence (The wounds of silence) and N'ai pas peur de savoir (Don't be afraid of knowing). The accompanying exhibition "The wounds of silence" provides insight into her experiences.

Claude AnShin Thomas, Vietnam war veteran, struggling for many years with severe physical and mental after-effects. Degrees in Fine Arts/English, Management, Kung Fu master, Rock musician. Disciple of Vietnamese Zen master Tich Nhat Hanh in Plum Village, ordained Zen priest by Roshi Bernie Glassman. Founder of the Zaltho Foundation for non-violent transformation of the long-term effects of war and violence. Practises Bearing Witness on group pilgrimages to places of former violence and destruction (Auschwitz, the Balkans, Hiroshima and many others), leads street retreats, lectures on how to understand and to overcome long-term and transgenerational effects of personal and social trauma.

Harisson Owen has over the last 25 years created the "Open Space" large group approach, highly effective to activate the solution oriented self organising capacities in groups based on a natural spiritual tendency to bridge, connect and creatively unite opposing and diverse positions. Open Space has proved effective all over the world in the mostdifferent and in the most difficult contexts and is by now recognised as one of the most valuable large group approaches. Among other books author of Spirit, Development and Leadership in Organisations. Leadership Is. Expanding Our Now: The Story of Open Space Technology. Open Space Technology, a User´s Guide. Tales from Open Space.

  • Call for Papers
    We are looking forward to numerous offers! Those who wish to contribute to the above topics are requested to submit a short, clear summary to the organizers by 31.07.2002.
  • Call for Clients
    We would particularly like to invite people to work with Bert Hellinger who are occupied in conflict resolution, peace and reconciliation work personally and professionally. This is addressed to individuals and groups from this field who can enrich the constellation work by means of their own approaches and are themselves looking for resolutions to their personal and professional concerns with the help of constellations.

Speakers at Workshops and Lectures - among others:

Sami Adwan, Palestine - Friedrich Asslaender, Wuerzburg - Alfred Austermann, Gersfeld - Dan Bar-On, Israel - Heide and Hans Baitinger, Nuernberg - Hunter Beaumont, Munich - Gabrielle Bellino, Stuttgart - Tiiu Bolzmann, Agrentina - Heinrich Breuer, Cologne - Horst Broemer, Berlin - Wolf Buentig, Zist - Timothy and Cynthia Cunningham, USA - Wilfried De Philipp, Munich - Wolfgang Deusser, Darmstadt - Heribert Doering-Meyjer, Karlsruhe - Diana Drexler, Wiesloch - Barbara and Eberhard Eberspaecher, Esslingen - Christine Erb, Munich - Siegfried Essen, Austria - Marianne Francke-Griksch, Munich - Ursula Franke, Munich - Johan Galtung, Norway - Sylvia Gómez, Spain - Reinhard Grosser, Dresden - Gerda Gottwik, Nuernberg - Stephan Hausner, Anger - Bert Hellinger, Ainring - Harald Hohnen, Berlin - Dagmar and Friedrich Ingwersen, Odenburg - Elias Jabbour, Israel - Willigis Jaeger, Wuerzburg - Anngwyn St. Just, Lyons, USA - Michaela Kaden, Berlin - Dan van Kampenhout, Amsterdam - Peter Kreisz, Pforzheim - Ilse Kutschera, Munich - Felicia Langer, Tuebingen - Robert Langlotz, Munich - Erwin Laszlo, Italy - Guni Leila-Baxa, Austria - Wolfgang Lenk, Berlin - Eva Madelung, Munich - Albrecht Mahr, Wuerzburg - Silvia Grohs-Martin, Los Angeles - Tommy McKearny, Northern Ireland - Claudia Mengel, Bergisch Gladbach - Hans-Peter Milling, Ludwigsburg - Billy Mitchel, Northern Ireland - Yolande Mukagasana, Ruanda - Wilfried Nelles, Marmagen - Michael Knorr, Framersheim - Johannes Neuhauser, Linz - Jane Peterson, Oregon, Portland/USA - Stephan Potting, Engelskirchen - Jirina Prekop, Lindau - Sylvia Ostertag, Seeg - Karl-Heinz Rauscher, Kimratshofen - Franz Ruppert, Munich - Erika Schaefer, Munich - Victoria Sneh Schnabel, Freiburg - Guenter Schricker, Munich - Insa Sparrer, Munich - Heinz Stark Bremen - Katharina Stresius, Aachen - Claude AnShin Thomas - Bertold and Gabriele Ulsamer, Freiburg - Matthias Varga v. Kibéd, Munich - Gerhard Walper, Frankfurt - Gunthard Weber, Wiesloch - Michael Weber, Berlin - Dietrich Weth, Frankfurt


Congress language:
German and English with simultaneous translation for the main presentations and workshops with more than 150 participants. Translation help in smaller workshops.

Congress location:
Congress Centrum, Am Congress Centrum, D-97070 Wuerzburg
Congress tent on the Talavera in the direct vicinity of the Congress Centrum

Congress dates:
0900 hrs on Wednesday April 30 2003 to 1700 hrs on Saturday May 3 2003.

before 30 April 2003 € 450,-

Organization and information:
Institut für Systemaufstellungen Wuerzburg
Dr. med. Albrecht Mahr and Brigitte Mahr
Mittlerer Dallenbergweg 37 a
D-97082 Wuerzburg
Tel: 0049 931 7840100
Fax: 0049 931 7840101

You may only register in writing by post, fax or email stating your full name and address plus telephone, fax and email address. The respective congress fee has to be paid by direct transfer. We would like to request all foreign participants to transfer the total fees including bank fees to the following account:
Sparkasse Mainfranken Wuerzburg
Account No. 41 45 14 85
Routing code: 790 500 00
SWIFT-address: BAYLA DE 77

Please make sure that the total congress fees are remitted to the congress account. All bank fees will be charged to the participant. Your participation can only be confirmed after receipt of the congress fee or the direct debit order.

An administration fee of € 50,- will be charged for cancellations made before 15 March 2003. This provision is valid from receipt of written confirmation of participation. After that date the total congress fee will only be reimbursed (minus the administration fee) if an applicant from the waiting list can fill your place.

Accommodation in and around Wuerzburg:
For information please apply to the
Congress & Tourismus-Centrum
Wuerzburg Palais / Am Congress Centrum
D-97070 Wuerzburg
Tel: 0049 931 372335
Fax: 0049 931 373652
We advise you to book accommodation as far in advance as possible.

Congress Hotel:
Hotel Maritim
Pleichertorstr. 5
D-97070 Wuerzburg
Tel: 0049 931 30530
Fax: 0049 931 3053900