Systems Constellations

Do you sometimes feel confused or stuck in your work or in your relationships with colleagues and wonder what’s going on beneath the surface? Or maybe you’re facing difficult decisions, challenges, or conflict in your team, church or organisation and wonder how best as a leader to find your place in order to bring about effective change and and a flow of new energy, vision and commitment? 

Systems Constellations is an approach that enables you to look below the surface at the hidden dynamics that may be operating in the relationship and organisational systems in which you belong and work. It is a very respectful and inclusive approach to people and issues, and powerful in shifting perspective, and providing ‘penny-dropping’ moments that really change inner perception. A constellation is a way of spatially mapping systems by using people, floor markers or table top items to represent elements or people in the system being explored.

Systems Constellations are particularly useful in:

  • understanding yourself as a leader through exploring the systems of belonging that have shaped you (family, education, profession, faith/church) and the ways in which these resource or hinder you in life and leadership
  • understanding what it means for you to find your place as a resilient and confident leader in your team or organisation
  • addressing team dynamics and seemingly stuck situations 
  • clarifying purpose and vision

I am a trained practitioner and facilitator in Systems Constellations. 

I offer: 

  • 1:1 sessions with leaders and clergy to facilitate understanding and development in work, ministry and leadership.
  • day workshops for leaders and ministers who want to explore a particular issue in a supportive group setting where other group members participate as representatives in the constellations
  • individually tailored workshops for leadership teams to explore team dynamics/decisions/vision-building etc.

Click here for a useful article on how Systems Constellations work, and the principles and applications. (Sarah Cornally – System Dynamics in Business and Organisations.)

Click here for further information and training in Systems Constellations.

Systems Leadership


We are shaped by the systems to which we belong and have belonged in the past (family, education, church, work), but we also shape the systems in which we live and work. As a leader in an organisation or church, it is vital that the systems we create to get things done are the most creative and efficient that they can be. They also need to be affirming and creative for those who inhabit them. Collaboration isn’t ‘a lot of people doing what I want’, but a genuine working together with others to build vision and the ways in which that vision or purpose can best be achieved. This creates ‘buy-in’ and a sense of commitment from everyone involved, and the results achieved are much more imaginative, productive, and enduring. Inevitably, such a process also creates vulnerabilities and anxieties, especially for the leader or leadership group, in holding the anxiety of not knowing all the answers from the outset, but allowing them to emerge through the process. Recent research has shown that the most effective leaders draw on a systemic perspective, contain anxiety, and can build a good container for the process (Deborah Rowland, Still Moving: How to Lead Mindful Change, 2017).


Being supported through this process, either as an individual leader or together as a team, can facilitate you in mapping and sustaining collaborative working for the benefit of both the task to be done, but also the people doing it! 


I offer consultancy and facilitation for leaders/teams/organisations looking to improve their systemic and collaborative working. This can be in ongoing consultancy or one-off specially designed workshops.


I co-lead training workshops in Systems Leadership for leaders and leadership teams in church or business contexts. 


I have trained to Masters level with the Tavistock Clinic (University of East London, 2000-02) in Organisational Consultancy and Systems Leadership. My experience of consulting to organisations and teams includes in Local Government, NHS Mental Health services, Youth Charities merger, and in church contexts including Deanery re-organisation, for a Cathedral Chapter, and  facilitating the establishment of the Yorkshire Regional Training Partnership (2006/7).


Reflective Practice

Being a leader in a church or an organisation can be a lonely business, with the inherent dangers of isolation and burn out. It can also be difficult to find safe spaces in which to talk about the anxieties and uncertainties you face, the difficult people you have to deal with, or just needing a sounding board to try out new approaches and ideas. Learning to be more present to yourself and to others, as well as to the task and purpose of the team or organisation is a process you have to travel. There are no short cuts to becoming a more integrated, authentic and resilient person and leader. It can’t be learnt simply as an academic or theoretical exercise, however helpful theory may be! Being accompanied in this process is key, whether on a 1:1 basis or in a small confidential facilitated peer group. 

I offer facilitated reflective practice in:

  • 1:1 supervision sessions
  • small confidential peer groups for 6 to 8 people on a monthly basis for a contracted period of time. One of the benefits of reflective practice groups is the additional learning about group process and learning from one another’s experience.

Different approaches are used to aid reflection, including Systems Constellations.

Trauma & Resilience

Being a resilient leader doesn’t mean just gritting your teeth and toughing it out! Resilience is the capacity to ‘bounce back’ in the face of challenging situations and set backs. Recent research on how trauma affects our brains and bodies has helped us to gain a much better understanding of why some people seem to be more resilient than others in response to difficult or potentially traumatic events or experiences. We are all shaped by our early experiences in our family systems of being cared for and nurtured by our parents. Good experiences in this context will have helped us to understand and regulate our emotions, and how to recognise and respond well to the emotions of others. This creates the capacity to be present to ourselves and to others. Resilience is built through good resourcing – inner resources that we can draw on from early nurturing experiences, resourcing relationships that are supportive and encouraging in the present, and through self-care and reflecting on experience.

I offer 

  • 1:1 sessions  
  • bespoke workshops or training sessions for your team/organisation using a systemic approach to building resilience in leadership and becoming a resilient community or team. 

I am currently a team member in a three year research project on Trauma and Tragedy in Congregations. “The purpose of the project is to resource churches to respond in a healthy way to the impact of tragedies, local and global , through training ordinands and clergy in good practice, careful reflection, and personal resilience.”