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An Embodied Relational and Trauma-Responsive Approach

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

This 21 day training is for those participants wanting to learn about facilitating constellations in either a group or one-on-one process, constellation facilitators who want to deepen their facilitation skills and personal growth, and for those who want to pursue their own personal growth. The emphasis in this training is on experiential processes:

I hear and I forget. I see and I believe. I DO and I understand.
Kung Fu Tzu (Confucius)

There are many similarities between working with an individual and with a group. The initial focus will be on the participant’s own embodied processes and on understanding and experiencing the role of presence and co-regulation on the human nervous system in the creation of safety, first in one-on-one situations and then in group processes, and in resolving trauma in the individual and in the family system. The training will incrementally broaden perceptual and relational skills from working with an individual to working with groups. It is by experiencing and understanding our own embodied processes and nervous system adaptations that we are able to recognize and relate to those processes in the people who come for our help. It is in the context of safety, that trauma, whether personal or generational, is most effectively healed.

But we all know that gentleness always requires deep-seated strength and security.
Only the insecure become aggressive.

Thomas Moore in the introduction to Education and the Soul by John Miller

Particular attention will be paid to creating a safe space from the student’s and client’s perspective, encouraging an inner groundedness, presence and gentleness in the student facilitator, recognizing unresolved trauma in oneself and in others to avoid retraumatizing, and attending to and healing one’s own unresolved issues.

It is a universal health and integrative energy that drives the process towards resolution and not the solution-focused intentional cleverness of a facilitator.
Johannes B. Schmidt, Inner Navigation

The training will also encourage an attitude of ‘not-knowing’ and ‘not-doing’; of being able to hold the tension within the constellation process and within oneself; of not having an agenda for a particular resolution, indeed of any resolution.


. . . one has to live the knowledge in order to know it.
Leanne Simpson, Dancing On Our Turtle’s Back

The training will provide an experiential understanding of the foundational principles of Bert Hellinger’s Family and Systemic Constellations:

  • Orders of Love,
  • Orders of Helping,
  • Levels of Conscience,
  • Guilt and innocence,
  • The Knowing Field,
  • Life and death,
  • Fate and destiny,
  • Victim-perpetrator dynamics,
  • Family and relational dynamics,
  • Types of feelings,
  • Illness as an expression of ancestral entanglement,
  • Dreams.

Topics will also include recognition of, and working with, transgenerational, family and personal:

  • Shock, complex and developmental trauma,
  • Inhibited grief,
  • Toxic shame and shunning.

Recent advances in attachment and neuroscience will be addressed and include personal awareness of:

  • Attachment or bonding ruptures,
  • Infant and child development, 
  • The autonomic nervous system in safety (social engagement) and survival states (fight/flight/freeze/fold),
  • Self-, auto- and co-regulation.

The course will focus on the development of facilitator and personal skills:

  • Cultivating presence, a felt sense and embodied self-awareness,
  • Being authentic and respectful of self and others’ energetic boundaries,
  • Holding the space of self, client, family system, ancestral, and participant fields,
  • Attending to and developing both global and focused perception,
  • Maintaining a stance of ‘not-knowing’ and ‘not-doing,’ holding anxiety and uncertainty, and letting go of a particular outcome,
  • Recognizing states of arousal, overwhelm, and disconnection in self and others, and
  • Attending to personal issues, healing unresolved traumas and releasing ancestral burdens.

There will be opportunites for all participants to have their own issues addressed in both small group and large group constellations.

You can download the Introduction to the course manual here.


There is now a massive literature which covers many aspects of the Family and Systemic Constellations field. I am recommending the following books which will give you a feel for the course.

Dan Booth Cohen, 2009, I Carry Your Heart in My Heart: Family Constellations in Prisons, Heidelberg: Carl Auer Verlag.
Alan Fogel, 2009, Body Sense: the Science and Practice of Embodied Self-Awareness, New York: W.W. Norton & Company.
Bert Hellinger, 1998, Love’s Hidden Symmetry: What Makes Love Work in Relationships, Phoenix, AZ: Zeig, Tucker & Co.
Bert Hellinger, 2006, No Waves Without the Ocean: Experiences and Thoughts, Heidelberg, Germany: Carl-Auer.
Jonathan Hooton, 2016, Trauma in the Individual and Family Fields,, The Knowing Field, Issue #27, January.
Peter Levine, 2009, In An Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness, North Atlantic Books, Berkley, CA.
J. Edward Lynch, 2005, “The Stance of the Facilitator” in Messengers of Healing, J. Edward Lynch & Suzi Tucker, eds., Phoenix, AZ : Zeig, Tucker & Co.
Parker Palmer, 2007, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life, San Francisco: Jossey Bass.  
Johannes B. Schmidt, 2006, Inner Navigation: Trauma Healing and Constellation Process Work as Navigational Tools for the Evolution of Your True Self, Aptitude-Academy, Hamburg, Germany.
Jakob Robert Schneider, 2006, Family Constellations: Basic Principles and Procedures, Heidelberg, Germany: Carl-Auer.
Mark Wolynn, 2016, It Didn’t Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle, New York: Viking.
The Knowing Field: International Constellations Journal,


Friday 10th – Sunday 12th January 2025
Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd February 2025
Friday 4th – Sunday 6th April 2025
Friday 6th – Sunday 8th June 2025
Friday 5th – Sunday 7th September 2025
Friday 24th – Sunday 26th October 2025
Friday 5th – Sunday 7th December 2025

9 AM – 5 PM each day

#2 10865 96 Street NW,
Edmonton, Alberta, T5H 2K2

$3500 ($3600 through PayPal) for the full 21 day training
(equivalent to $500 per module)

$3255 ($3350 through PayPal) by 15th November 2024
(equivalent to $465 per module)

$250 ($260 through PayPal) deposit to hold your place

Refunds, less $250, available until 30th November 2024

Note: all prices are in Canadian dollars. GST is included in the price.
Payment by cash, cheque, email transfer, PayPal.

You can pay by credit card through PayPal.  You don’t need an account.  Go to the Services page on this website to pay through PayPal.

Contact Jonathan Hooton:
Phone: 1 (780) 426-1508

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Jonathan Hooton, PhD, SEP, PhC

Jonathan, retired board member of the North American Systemic Constellations, has extensive professional training and experience over the last sixteen years in Family and Systemic Constellations, having taken professional trainings with the founder Bert Hellinger and other international facilitators including Francesca Mason Boring, Jane Peterson, Mark Wolynn, and Sneh Victoria Schnabel. He has been teaching this system for eleven years and presented an integrated approach to working with ancestral and individual trauma at the North American Systemic Constellations Conference in November 2015. His work is grounded in body-centred therapies including Somatic Experiencing (SE) trauma therapy , Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP), Pre- and Peri-Natal Development, Specialized Kinesiology, and Soul-Counseling. He facilitates frequent Family Constellations workshops, and teaches personal development and self-awareness classes using these modalities. He has a private practice seeing individuals, couples and families facing relationship, trauma, depression, anxiety, suicide, grief, life-purpose, disconnection and identity issues.


I am a Canadian author who was very fortunate to take a year-long facilitator training in Family Constellations with Jonathan Hooton. The experience has been life-changing — not only in the everyday but in my working life as a literary artist. I now wait, as I have been taught, for things to emerge instead of pushing the river. We all learned, “The field provides.” As a result I have been rewarded with brand-new insights for my novel-in-progress. It has moved from a place of stuck-ness to a place of beautiful flow. What a gift! Thank you Jonathan!
Martha Brooks

Jonathan is a teacher with extensive knowledge in his field, and unfailing integrity in his relationships. He embodies what he teaches in his own behaviour as a teacher and a facilitator. He is generous in sharing what he has learned, frank about the limits of his knowledge, open to learning in the moment, and scrupulous about taking responsibility for his mistakes. The trauma sensitive approach he brings to family constellations is timely and highly valuable, and his down-to-earth and pragmatic approach to matters of the soul is bracing and refreshing. I felt safe and supported in following a course which was a bit of a stretch for me.
N. B.

My first introduction to Family Constellation was at a workshop that Jonathan was Facilitating in October 2016. The profound and instantaneous healing that I received through Jonathan’s innate ability, sincere compassion, knowledge, and his knowing of the healing field during this workshop catapulted me into taking his Facilitator Training Course starting in March 2017. The wealth of learning and healing throughout the Facilitator Training was invaluable, and I am forever grateful! Thank-You Jonathan!
Colleen Kirkley

Don’t worry if you never decide to do this for a living. You will learn more about yourself, the people you come from, and your place in the world, than any amount of thinking or reading can offer.
J. Stumph

As a facilitator of almost 30,000 participants, I have a high bar for facilitators working in the realm of groups, trauma, psychotherapy, etc. Immediately, I was put at ease as Jonathan walks the talk and ensures a respectful, safe learning environment where all parts of me were welcome. He is extremely well-read as well so I feel fully capable of putting my new skills into immediate practice for my clients.
Karen Goodfellow, Master Therapeutic Counsellor, Registered Counselling Supervisor (or MTC, RCS)

More than in any other coaching program, I learned effective and gentle ways to evoke awareness and insights that create a felt sense of safety for the client. In a safer, more profound way that supports client nervous system regulation and system co-regulation, I learned to explore below the surface of what is being said or demonstrated. Then, if their nervous system became overwhelmed I was able to support the client to orient back to safety. I practiced titration and witnessed from a coach standpoint how important it is to support the client with this trauma sensitive approach. With a felt sense of safety the client system gains new insights and meaning so that new understanding emerges, conflicts resolve and the system/team develops.

This training has greatly improved my observation, sensory and perceptual abilities, and hence my ability to speak the truth from my observations. I more easily take in vast amounts of information, sort through relevant information quickly, stay present to what’s happening in my client’s system/team and feel what’s happening inside me, including my thoughts, emotions, judgments and sensations. I more confidently and calmly state an observation or truth so that may open up the system, shifting assumptions, meaning-making processes and behaviours, to support growth. My presence with my client/team system and its truths revealed is significantly stronger.

Coaching supervision in this training was the best I received in any coach training so far. Thank you to Jonathan and my cohort for co-creating this space of safety, honour, integration and personal and professional growth.
Marguerite LeBlanc, Certified Team & Systems Coach and Professional Certified Coach