The Heart of Things

Understanding Trauma - Working with Constellations

Published 2013.


"Unresolved personal and systemic family trauma is at the very heart of our difficulties in life. It is at the heart of who we are, and who we aren't, and of what our life can be - and what it isn't, and what it cannot ever be." 


In this, Vivian's second book, she focuses on trauma, particularly early attachment, symbiotic trauma and the transgenerational entanglement with the traumas of others earlier in the family system. Her work is based on the theoretical developments of Professor Franz Ruppert, to which she brings her own thinking and her long experience as a psychotherapist. Symbiotic trauma, the trauma that occurs at the very earliest time of our life, has an untold, and essentially untellable influence on our lives... untellable quite simply because it happens at the pre-verbal and pre-thinking time of life. Such early trauma has a profound influence on our existence, our ability to bear later traumatic events, and to be in good loving relationship.


Vivian's particular interest is in sharing her experiences and thinking on the practice of the therapist/constellations facilitator. She continues her study of the constellations process, working with the particular form devised by Professor Ruppert for working with the intra-psychic splits that occur as a result of trauma. In this, as in her first book, In the Presence of Many, she pays detailed attention to the skill and discipline of working with trauma and  with the constellations process.

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