The Hidden Relationship Between Consultant and Client

The Constellations methodology – a window to hidden dynamics

“The unconscious of one human being can react upon that of another without passing through the conscious.” – Sigmund Freud

In any given consulting situation, much happens in the unconscious relationship between consultant and client. As the quote above states, this may happen without the two sides aware consciously of it. This ‘unconscious interaction’ affects all that happens on the conscious level between consultant and client.

When tension arises in a consulting process, communication suffers. This can reach a point where the two sides deem the consultation unhelpful and possibly a waste of time and resources.

And so, an attempt to resolve a tension that, in essence, is in direct relationship with the original reason for the consultation, ends with no solution found. The result of this, would probably be, that both sides will blame one another for lack of cooperation, unwillingness, or inability to work for a resolution. And the original reason for the process will continue with its negative influence.

To understand how this tension appears in what seemingly was a benign wish to help resolve something, we need to look at the phenomena of what is called ‘Transference and Counter-Transference’ or ‘Parallel processes’ or ‘Field Phenomena’.

All these terms try to explain the same kind of occurrence: A certain dynamic or situation that occurs in one place, re-occurs in another.  

In the Freudian psychoanalytic view, this can be interpreted that the relationship that was, originally, between child and parent re-occurs between client and therapist. In psychotherapy, ‘Parallel Process’, is when a relationship between client and therapist re-occurs in the relationship between therapist and supervisor, and in Systemic Constellations’ – ‘Field Occurrence’, is when a whole situation that includes interpersonal dynamics and that happens outside the consulting room, possibly in a different time frame, re-appears in the consulting room, in the ‘here and now’, and is most notedly observed in the tension between consultant and client.

All these suggest that the consultant and client’s relationship is influenced, ongoingly, by a dynamic that is other then their own personal and professional selves, and as Freud says: “…without passing through the conscious”.

If we could only open a window, or a door, into this unconscious realm and not only see what goes on there, but in some way have the ability to directly interact with it, we will have the key to bring resolutions to the tensions that occur on the conscious level.

This is where the ‘Representative Phenomena’, originated in the Constellations method, is extremely valuable, and is really, the best answer to these kinds of situations.

Working with ‘Representatives’ as in the Systemic Constellations processes, gives us the ability to interact on more than one level simultaneously. It allows is to ‘feel’ into a situation and find, in many cases, the origin of the different unconscious influences that impact a given situation. When this occurs, we can find out what needs to happen to promote a resolution not just for the consultant – client relationship but also for the original issue that the client came with in the first place.

ReMind is a Constellations based consultancy, bringing solutions to where unconscious and hidden dynamics are at large.