September 1, 2014

The First Monday circle in Bellingham takes place on Monday, Sept. 8, 7:30pm, Fairhaven Library this month. There is no circle on Labor Day. The monthly Vancouver circle is now on First Tuesday — in September this is September 2, at 7pm, at Heartquest Healing Collective.  Thanks and be well!  ~~ Lisa

Dear Friends, 

Una O’Connell is a rare gem.

A few highlights: 25 years experience in education (as teacher, principal, systemic therapist)…trained at NY’s Bert Hellinger Institute in 2001/2…fluent in four languages…on teaching faculty for Brazil’s two year training in Systemic Pedagogy…lives in England…(and last but not least) mother to two grown daughters.

Her workshops are filled with embodied, systemic based, wise, practical learning that participants can use and adapt in multiple settings, whether with children or adults, in a classroom, home, therapy session, or constellation workshop.

In her words,  “My interest lies in a systemic view of the classroom: the unconscious loyalty that children feel towards their families and how failure to recognise and acknowledge these bonds can inhibit learning – both academically and socially.”

Una is warm, modest, funny, smart, and wise.  No offense to Mary Poppins, but I would pick Una over Mary for someone to go into every home and classroom and spread her systemic, warm hearted wisdom everywhere.

These offerings are designed for both those who work/live with and care about children and all who carry with them imprints of family and school loyalties. Detailed descriptions are below.

I look forward to being with you and Una, and may our time together have a good effect on children,


The Invisible Landscape of Bullying:

Vulnerability, Protection, Belonging, and Power    

Friday,  September 12, 2014  Bellingham, WA

Longing to Belong:

Walking the Path Between Home and School  

Saturday &: Sunday, September 13-14, 2014  Seattle, WA

with England’s Una O’Connell




Friday Session with Una in Bellingham: 9am-6pm

Bullying is a worldwide problem, with websites, books, plays, films, newspaper articles and discussion forums dedicated to the subject. Most articles counsel the victims of bullying, with less attention paid to those who bully. Victims evoke our sympathy. Perpetrators elicit reactions of discomfort and aversion.

A bully generally feels like a victim. The furthest thing from being the victim is to become the perpetrator. Bullying behavior is an effort to cover up the bully’s own vulnerability.‘  (says Michael Harmann, MSW, in his interview for ) ‘The Bully’s Perspective and Why it Matters’ by Ann Pietrangelo.

Embodied, systemic perspective is the foundation of this daylong session,  supporting participants to:

— experientially recognize what bullying can teach us about vulnerability, protection, belonging, and power;

— consciously attend to participants’ experience of bullying and its influence from ancestral history;

— promote restoration of belonging and inclusion where exclusion has existed surrounding bullying experiences; and

— provide embodied, practical ways of tending to and supporting children around this complex issue.

Weekend Session with Una in Seattle: Sat (1-6pm) and Sun (9am-6pm)

We are more alike than we are different. We may not all be parents, but we are all children to our own parents, and we have all negotiated the often challenging landscape of our schooldays.  Family is our first place of belonging, school is a significant second. The messages surrounding how we see our strengths and limitations operate invisibly and powerfully, often influencing us in unexpected ways.

This workshop invites participants to tend systemically to the complex intersection of family and school landscapes, addressing questions such as:

What are the messages or beliefs you learned in school that continue to influence how you see yourself, others, the world?

How do your experiences of learning in and out of school, together with the influence of learning and education in your ancestry, influence your life and work?

As teachers, administrators, therapists, how do we recognize and cherish a child’s loyalty to family? How do we avoid the temptation to insert ourselves as surrogate parents?

As parents, how do we set boundaries for our children whilst acknowledging and nurturing their unbound devotion to their family systems?

As constellation facilitators, how do we tend to the influence of school/learning environment experiences and become attentive to how these histories intersect with family belonging in the lives of those with whom we work?

How, as adults, can we be good role models to children, whether they are our own or whether they belong to others?

In both offerings, constellation facilitators, teachers, therapists, parents, and others who care about or spend time with children will experience and learn practical and embodied systemic exercises developed by Una during her twenty five plus years working with children in elementary schools and from the Systemic Family Constellations field since training at NY’s Bert Hellinger Institute in 2001.  

For registration details and to learn more about Unago to:

 Una O’Connell in the Pacific Northwest


Internalized Colonizer Series concluded May 3, 2014

Visit An Embodied Conversation with the Internalized Colonizer to learn about this series that invites us to discover, experience, and integrate hidden and rejected aspects of colonialism that live in each of us.


Family Matters Learning Program

Visit Family Matters to learn about this year long learning program for those called to integrate wisdom from Systemic Family Constellations (SFC) more deeply into their personal and/or professional lives, with Lisa Iversen. The 2014 Family Matters Program began March 14, 2014.

Header Image: Pictographs at Newspaper Rock, Indian Creek Historic State Park, Moab, Utah. Photographer: David Hiser, National Archives.