The below is an extract from: Unraveling Family Secrets. Bert Hellinger interviewed on Family Constellations, By Humberto del Pozo in Santiago de Chile, September 1999.
I have seen you require very little information from the client before asking him to set up his Family Constellation. Is that enough? How come?
Yes, for the perception is helped most by asking only for the most essential information, and for that to be done just prior to the constellation, not earlier.
The essential questions are:
1. Who belongs to the family?
2. Are there any stillborn members of the family, or any who have died early? Has there been any special fate in the family, for example someone with a disability?
3. Was one of the parents or grandparents engaged, or married before, or in a significant prior relationship?
Any further questioning usually hinders openness to the phenomenological information which emerges. This is true both for the therapist as well as the representatives. This is also the reason why the therapist declines any prior conversations with the client or extensive questionnaires. In addition, it is best if the client remains silent during the constellation, and that the representatives refrain from asking the client any questions.