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Family constellation for burnout - quick and profound help

Family constellations are a unique and quick way to reveal and resolve the causes of burnout. Often one or two system & family constellations help to reveal the main entanglements.

In a system or family constellation, the causes, deep-seated causes and connections of burnout become visible. This realization is the essential step towards getting well again quickly. 

Constellations can be of great help, especially when it comes to burnout issues. People who experience burnout often don't understand exactly why they are losing their energy and how they can regain it. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. The more clearly you can see where the cables on your own battery are wired in such a way that you are slowly running empty, the quicker you can fix this. 

Burnout - Why it is important to find the causes

How can a family constellation help to release blockages?

In a family constellation or system constellation, individuals stand for family members, employees or topics (e.g. money, job, success) and are placed in the room by the client in a way that feels right. The topic that you set up with these so-called "representatives" becomes visible with all its relationships. You understand the true connections lying beneath the visible and see solutions that you and the representatives perceive as authentic and truthful.

System & Family constellation for burnout -
Formats & Offers

Family constellation in the groupe

  • Open Constallation Evening - A 3-hour evening seminar in which 2 constellations are carried out. The evening is suitable to get to know the method and me without obligation. Whoever can personally work on their topics becomes apparent that evening.

    You can find all details and dates here

Family constellation as an Individual Session​

  • Familiy constellation as an individual session - Similar processes take place in an individual session as in a group constellation. The difference lies in a quiet, intimate atmosphere and the opportunity to let the processes take effect without external influences. 

    You can find more details about an individual session here

  • Accompanying coaching - If you would like to be accompanied in the integration and processing of the family constellation, you are welcome to arrange this after the constellation.  


Here you can find out more about the method of system and family constellations. 

Your request

Call me (0170 831 46 19) or write to me.

I will be happy to answer your questions or we can arrange an appointment. 

Thank you for your message! I will get back to you shortly.

What is a system/family constellation?

You can find the process, how it works and frequently asked questions about family constellations here.


Would you like to experience family constellations live? Then visit one of the open constellation evenings , to get to know me and the method. 

For burnout, is a family constellation better than an individual or group session?

​That depends a lot on you. When it comes to burnout, most clients prefer an individual session because we can take a lot of time in an intimate setting to get to the bottom of the causes. If you are familiar with family constellations and your gut feeling feels more comfortable with a group, then of course your concerns have a place there too. – If you are unsure about what is right for you, please give me a call or write to me and we discuss this on the phone. 

What is burnout?

You can think of burnout like a battery that you continually drain more power from than you put back into it every day or on weekends. As a result, the battery level continuously drops to new lows and you become more and more tired, more jaded, more distant, less interested in life and sometimes have physical symptoms of exhaustion. 


If there is too much pressure, the weakest link in a chain breaks. It's the same with humans. Everyone has individual signs on a physical and psychological level that become noticeable when there is too much stress. If we don't listen to these signals, they will become louder or more symptoms will appear. 


With burnout, the additional problem is that although the physical and emotional symptoms increase, certain beliefs and behavior patterns prevent you from finding a way out. It is comparable to an addiction (here, e.g. the addiction of "having to do everything", "having to please", "not being allowed to make a mistake"‚ "being the perfect mother", ...) that you cannot let go of, until it is not clear what the underlying issue is to which this addiction relates (see also "What are common causes behind burnout?").


Burnout is a process: It starts gradually and only when the battery and the symptoms are at a point where you can hardly stand them anymore do you have the chance to get out and start looking for the deeper causes. Admitting to yourself that things cannot continue like this is difficult and is the first step towards healing. 


I hope that everyone affected can pull the ripcord at an early stage and reflect on how things can move forward.

"Burnout is like blowing a fuse,
which ensures survival." 

(Matthias Burisch)

For burnout, is a family constellation better than an individual or group session?

​That depends a lot on you. When it comes to burnout, most clients prefer an individual session because we can take a lot of time in an intimate setting to get to the bottom of the causes. If you are familiar with family constellations and your gut feeling feels more comfortable with a group, then of course your concerns have a place there too. – If you are unsure about what is right for you, please give me a call or write to me and we discuss this on the phone. 

Am I burnout?

Just asking yourself this question is a sign that you are probably in burnout - or well on the way to it. Here I link a burnout self-test. The test is the most common and oldest burnout test (invented by Maslach & Jackson). It does not replace a complete diagnosis and can only serve as an indicator: 




You can also check whether you have some of the warning signs from the burnout phase model according to Burisch recognize. 

What are typical symptoms of burnout? 

The signs can be varied. Therefore, only a few typical ones are listed here. 

Emotional warning signs of burnout are:

  • Constantly circling thoughts 

  • Nervousness, inner restlessness

  • Feeling of anxiety, fear of failure

  • Increased susceptibility to errors

  • Concentration problems

  • Emptiness in the head

  • Irritability

  • Social withdrawal from friends

  • Things that used to be fun are no longer enjoyable.

  • Consuming alcohol and medications to calm you down

  • Do less exercise than desired

Typical physical warning signs are: 

  • Difficulty falling asleep

  • Muscle tension, often in the neck area / herniated discs

  • Headaches and back pain

  • Tinnitus / sudden hearing loss

  • Nervous tics 

  • Chronic fatigue/apathy

  • Digestive problems/stomach pain

  • Changed eating habits

  • Chest tightness/high blood pressure

  • Decreased sexual interest

  • Frequent colds that are slow to go away

Further symptoms and signs are also shown in the description of the typical ones Phases of burnout. It's a process that will get progressively worse if nothing is done about it. 

How does burnout work? - The 7 stages of burnout

Since burnout usually burns out a little at first and then more and more, it is typical for the illness to go through several phases. The psychologist Matthias Burisch divides burnout into:seven phases of inner exhaustion.*  These phases include many typical symptoms of burnout in detail. 

1.  Warning symptoms of the initial phase


  • Outstanding commitment

  • Denial of your own needs

  • Hyperactivity

  • Fatigue

  • Lack of energy

  • Not being able to switch off

  • Not having enough sleep

  • Feeling like you never have time


2.  Emotional reactions/blaming


Some people relate their reactions more to themselves: 

  • Depression

  • Self-pity

  • Vague fear

  • Reduced emotional resilience

  • Feeling of numbness

Other people are more likely to project their innermost being onto others: 

  • Aggression

  • Irritability 

  • Blaming

  • Accusations

  • Negativism

  • Restlessness

  • Mistrust


3.  Mental degradation


  • Decrease in mental performance

  • Poor concentration and memory

  • Inaccuracy

  • Disorganization

  • Loss of motivation, reduced initiative, working to the book

  • Decreased creativity

  • Tendency to think in black and white


4. Flattening


  • Emotional indifference

  • Avoiding contacts you used to like

  • Giving up hobbies and leisure activities


5. Psychosomatic reactions


All stress-related physical symptoms (see e.g. here).

6. Despair


  • Hopelessness (“I can’t do that anyway.”)

  • Negative attitude towards life

  • Futility

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • existential despair


7. Withdrawal

  • Loss of empathy

  • Longer reaction times for everyday tasks

  • Not answering phone calls/emails

  • Hardly any strength left to approach or engage with work

  • Increase in private problems

The longer we don't listen to these warning signals, the louder and more massive they will become. It is as if the body and the psyche are deliberately “braking you down” when you are running towards an abyss. 

In family constellations we look for the “good intention” of the symptoms. Instead of suppressing it with medication, we invite you to help us identify the cause of the issue. We can usually even thank the symptoms afterwards and dismiss them lovingly. 

If you have discovered some of the warning signs in yourself, then I would be happy to help you look at them together and find your way back to an energetic, joyful and fulfilled life. -  You can have an individual session here book. 

* The burnout syndrome. Internal exhaustion theory. (Burisch, 2006), p. 24-34

What helps with burnout?

Do you think you are suffering from burnout? The first step should be a medical evaluation, as it can never be ruled out that the symptoms do not have a purely physical cause. After that, treatment concepts are usually aligned along the 4 “E”s (according to Hillert/Marwitz): 


  • "Erkennen" Recognize: The most important step is to admit and recognize that you are stuck in a burnout spiral. A lot has been gained with this. 


  • "Entlastung" Discharge: Depending on the progress of the burnout, your own batteries must first be recharged. To do this, it is helpful to interrupt as many circuits as possible that have put a strain on the battery (e.g. temporary sick leave at work). 


  • "Erholen" Recreation: Mindfully looking at what is good for you now is an essential step in recharging your batteries. It often doesn't take that long until the battery is out of the red zone again.


  • "Enttäuschen" Disillusionment: The last 'E' is about understanding why you got burned out. This is where the family constellation comes into play. It can help very quickly to uncover the dynamics and background. If further support is desired, I also offer systemic coaching. However, family constellations can also be supplemented by other forms of therapy, e.g. behavioral therapy, talk therapy according to Rogers or hypnotherapy.  

How can I recover quickly from burnout?

If you understand all burnout symptoms as an indication that something is not right in your life, the quickest way to recover is to understand the cause and to be able to make new and healthier decisions for yourself based on the findings. If thinking had already brought about the realization, then you usually wouldn't be at the point you are at right now. 

Therefore, my experience is that cognitive offerings usually take a long time to get to the essence. The family constellation is more suitable because it makes unknown patterns, the underlying motivations and connections visible, understandable and tangible.

You can find out more about the methodology of family constellations here

How can I help someone suffering from burnout?

  • Those affected are usually the last to notice burnout

One of the pitfalls of the disease is that those affected usually realize very late in which unhealthy dynamics they are caught up in. It is usually visible to those close to you much earlier that someone is revealing themselves too much and changing. This is not easy for family, friends and good colleagues to endure. Instead of well-intentioned advice (which the person concerned usually already tells themselves and cannot implement anyway due to the dynamics), it is recommended to give feedback on what changes you have noticed in the person and explain this with concrete examples. This helps those affected by burnout to correct their self-image, as part of the illness is that one trivializes one's own situation. 

  • Burnout is an illness and not a personality trait

Burnout is still sometimes taboo. People are hesitant to share that they are suffering from burnout. It is sometimes interpreted as a personal weakness. However, that's not it. You wouldn't judge someone who broke a leg or got severe pneumonia. Once these illnesses have healed, you will see the person no differently than before the leg was broken. They help someone by seeing burnout as something comparable: a temporary illness. 

  • Go into conversation

Sometimes it is difficult to estimate what is good for a person. It's easy to assume that the person 'just needs to have fun again'. But even nice things (e.g. going out for a drink together) can sometimes be too early and tiring. I compare it to the fact that you wouldn't want to go water skiing with a fever of 40 degrees. The day would be very strenuous and would not contribute to recovery. People with burnout can feel the same way. What is never wrong is to carefully and respectfully find out how you are feeling and ask how you can provide support if necessary. 

Family constellations find the cause behind burnout - an example

How do you get from the symptoms to the cause of burnout - an explanatory model on 4 levels. Below is a short introduction with an accompanying example:

1. The behavior

From the observable behavior you can clearly see that someone is overexerting themselves, exerting themselves excessively and cannot maintain an energy balance. Telling this person to stop the behavior is usually futile. The person feels internal pressure, fear or obligation to continue the behavior. Well-intentioned advice often remains fruitless.

Example: Karin (head of department, 46 years old) has difficulty delegating work and does many tasks herself. She says that she doesn't want to put too much strain on her team. But it is also important to her to complete all tasks on time and with good quality. That's why she often works on Sunday afternoons and stays later in the evenings so that everything is done. 

Karin is becoming more and more tired, has difficulty concentrating and has frequent migraines on weekends. As she feels more and more stressed, she reads books on "Effective Leadership", "Self-Management", "Time Management" and takes a yoga class to help her relax. 

2. The values


The behavior that led to burnout is often justified by a positive value system. In this you give yourself values that make it understandable that you exploit yourself. People usually hold on to these values for a very long time and do not realize that there are often solutions in which one can maintain the values and at the same time take new, easier paths. 


Karin wants to be “a good boss” who is valued by her employees. She once had a boss who forced everyone to work overtime. She definitely doesn't want to be like that and she's proud of it. The young employees in your department should enjoy their lives. She is also a person who sticks to her promises and always wants to meet the demands placed on her. 

3. Childlike strategies


Behind the values there are often behaviors from childhood that made the situation at that time easier for us. For example, children often try to relieve their parents of a lot of the burden. 


Karin's parents are severely traumatized and emotionally unavailable. Karin doesn't want to burden her any further with her own needs and spares her parents as much as she can by being a 'sweet child'. She is happy when her parents praise her for how independent she is as a young girl and how she always helps out. Two of Karin’s childlike strategies become visible here: 

  • "I don't want to burden my parents (later employees)."

  • "I do everything in my power to ensure that my parents (later my superiors) are happy and that I don't disappoint them."

This is presented in a very abbreviated form and is only intended to show an idea of such connections. In some cases, the entanglements go beyond the parental level. 


4. The hidden pain


At the root of the problem are often strong hidden feelings (sadness, fear, anger, pain) that you didn't want to feel. 


As a child, Karin - like every normal child - has the need to receive attention, love and security from her parents. When Karin realized early on that she was only receiving this minimally, she started being there for her parents and stabilizing them. Everything in the hope that they will be so healthy that the parents will then be able to be there for Karin and give her everything that she so longingly wants. 

The sadness, anger and pain that she only received all of this in very small doses is still with her today and she has covered it up for years with her "rescue program". The slogan to her inner child is: "First I save mom and dad and then we get what we need. For that long you just have to function and put your needs aside." She also has the attitude: "If I do a lot for my parents, then I get a little thanks for my services. That's not the 'unconditional love' or attention that I want and I won't be satisfied with the way I am Talents - But it's better than nothing and keeps me alive. That's why my rescue program is vital for me."


There are of course many other programs and entanglements that can be behind burnout, e.g.:

  • Sister loses her younger brother to cancer: She becomes a doctor and vows that she will do everything so that no child has to lose their child/sibling again and endure the pain of grief. It is your own grief that is still stuck. 

  • Father sees his son as his own father, whom he rejects: The son becomes very successful and hopes that if he just tries hard enough, the father will one day be proud of him.

  • The mother loses her first child to a stillbirth. The mother cannot get over the loss. The next-born son must (unconsciously) replace the mother's lost child and feels obliged to free her (and later everyone else) from her grief and reach out. Plus, it never felt right to be the firstborn. This confusion and entanglement with the older sibling has a major impact on the son's life. 

These are just a few very brief examples. In the family constellation we explore these connections and go to the levels in which this accumulated sadness, anger and fear can be experienced and released. The adult can lovingly turn to the inner child and give it what it has wanted for so long - then it no longer has to be looked for outside. 

What are your entanglements and family dynamics? In a family constellation they come into contact with this and learn to resolve stressful situations and strengthen the feeling of loving connection.  - Feel free to arrange an appointment with me. 

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