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Saturday, Nov. 18, 2006
Alternative therapy assists on a galaxy of levels
By ANGELA JEFFS
Eight people are sitting in a circle in a meeting room in central Tokyo. One by one they are asked to share a personal problem, choosing one of those present to represent themselves, and the facilitators then positioning the rest of the group as family members or associates so that behavioral and ancestral patterns can be identified.
Those facilitating the process are Lifeforce therapists and partners Hari Tahil and Petya Lowe, and this is the first time they have brought the work of German psychologist Bert Hellenger to Japan.
"Hellenger calls his work Family Constellations," explains Tahil. "I prefer the term Systemic Constellations because I see its value going beyond family relationships, into those of the working environment and the corporate world."
Tahil came here from London (where he was buying, renovating and selling houses) for two weeks in 1988 and basically never went back. To be honest, he says, he hated Japan, but didn't want to go back with a bad impression. "So I stayed."
Lowe was far better settled. "I had come three years before and was working at an English school just around the corner from here in Omotesando. That's where I met Hari."
When Lowe first introduced him to the energy work reiki, which she had found through an ad in a magazine, Tahil initially thought it was something to do with karate.
"I'd studied EST in the U.K. but found that all talking didn't work for clients," he recalls. "The reiki attunement was so powerful that I burst into tears and ran away."
Eighteen years later, Tahil offers a wide range of complementary therapies, including hypno-psychotherapy, body-work and energy healing, and teaches many channeled energy classes, including those from the Spiritual Unfoldment Network (SUN).
He also writes on reproductive health, and for the National Cancer Center in Tokyo. Like her husband, Lowe is a SUN teacher, a craniosacral therapist and a qualified hypnotherapist.
In addition, she is a Sekhem and Seichim master and teacher, trained directly by the founder of the Sekhem system of healing. "Also Hari and I are among the few non-Japanese to be offering the original Usui reiki system as preserved in Japan."
The couple work together and individually, both in Japan and abroad. Tahil, for example, is due to go soon to Singapore to give a brief explanation and demonstration of Family Constellations.
They first came across Hellenger's work in 2000. "He was coming here every year, and when he began to facilitate training, we did a couple of modules. But then we lost touch, assuming he had stopped coming. After all, he is 80 this year."
They began a yearlong training conducted in the U.K. "We were coming and going every other month," says Lowe. But she and Tahil heard that Hellenger was coming last May. "We did one workshop with him here, and another in Hong Kong. Now we're fully qualified, with his blessing."
While they recognize the importance of working with family members -- which is where Family Constellations has starred in the past -- Tahil regards its value in business as "intriguing."
He says: "Companies often lose sight of a clients' needs in creating and marketing a product. They can use Systemic Constellations to establish just how successful a product is going to be."
In Germany, he exemplifies, a company wanted to launch a fabric embedded with lawn seed, so that grass could be grown anywhere. In a Constellations exercise, those playing the roles of the public turned their backs. When checked out, the product turned out to be a front for the Mafia to launder money.
"When I tried Constellations here with a company that had a fast turnover in its female staff, it was systematically revealed that a male executive was pushing too hard. Now he doesn't feel the need to micro-manage anymore."
Lowe say that the work is magical. "It does not, cannot lie. We can even do the work with small children, using dolls to represent family members.
"I remember one very troubled little girl piling her family representatives on top of her. Poor thing."
For the next Family Constellations workshop on Sunday, Dec. 3, a maximum of 12 participants are invited to sign up. The invitation to present problems, however, will be on a first-come-first-served basis.
"In September, we were able to facilitate everyone," recalls Lowe. (A man having trouble moving forward in his life. A woman not getting on with her son. Another feeling that she and her family were too easily taken advantage of.)
"By the end we were all pretty satisfied." To understand more about this unique form of therapy, there will be a Circle of Light Presentation and mini-workshop (about three hours long) Sunday evening (Nov. 19) from 6:15 p.m. at Museum in Ogikubo.
Lifeforces: www.lifeforces.orgZ; Tahil: phone (03) 3472-1714; E-mail email@example.com; Lowe: phone (03) 3357-2067 or E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Circle of Light: www.naturalhealingcenter.com/creative/circle_of_light.htm