HEALING your MONEY BAGGAGE
Fairlady|January/February 2022
DO YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH MONEY? IT MIGHT NOT BE ALL YOUR FAULT – THERE MAY BE OTHER FACTORS AT WORK THAT YOU’RE NOT AWARE OF. MONEY CONSTELLATIONS CAN HELP UNCOVER THESE FACTORS AND, ONCE YOU UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY COME FROM, YOU CAN START TO HEAL YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH MONEY. I TRIED IT OUT.
CHARIS TORRANCE

I often find myself writing about money, but no matter how many experts I interview about how one should manage one’s money, I still make the same mistakes.

Joanne Miller of Money Constellations (money constellations.co.za) compares it to someone trying to lose weight. ‘You can give them an eating and workout plan, but if you aren’t addressing the underlying reasons that are causing their overeating, you’ll struggle to change those ingrained habits,’ she says. For those like me who, even though they know better, still slip into the same bad money patterns, she recommends an alternative therapy that asks you to take a deeper look at your money habits.

‘I know it’s a bit awkward at first. We’re not often asked to check in with ourselves, especially when it comes to money,’ Joanne says. ‘But give it 15 minutes and you’ll get the hang of it.’

She invited me to take part in a one-on-one money constellation session, which is how I found myself standing in a sitting room with a doll in my hand trying to let my gut tell me where to place ‘myself’. You’re probably thinking, ‘How will this help her with her money troubles?’ I was wondering the same thing.

WHAT IS A MONEY CONSTELLATION?

Joanne began her career specialising in investments, after graduating with a BCom Honours in Financial Analysis and Portfolio Management and an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning. In 2002, she started InvestmentWise, a financial wellness company. Although she has a corporate background, Joanne has always been open to personal growth and what some may call alternative therapies.

‘I decided to do a family constellation course to understand my own family patterns and how they have influenced me and my life,’ she says.

The course was a light-bulb moment for her. ‘Money was always an issue in our family home,’ she says. ‘Now, as an adult, I find myself being extra careful with money and scared of not having enough.’

The constellation process made her see how her money habits are a reaction to her upbringing.

Family constellation therapy has surged in popularity in South Africa (in fact, we wrote about it in FAIRLADY – in the September/ October 2021 issue). Developed by controversial German psycho­ therapist Bert Hellinger, this approach looks at how the family system influences our behaviour.

‘After taking part in a foun­ dational training course in family constellations, it became clear to me: so much of what I saw in my financial wellness training, as well as what I see in how my friends and I deal with money, comes from our parents and broader family system,’ Joanne says.

For her, it was the part of her financial wellness training that had always been missing: the emotional and subconscious side of our money habits. She decided to do the advanced family constellation training course, training with Tanja Meyburgh of African Constellations. Combining that with her back­ ground in money and experience in financial wellness training, she began offering money constellation consultations in 2017. And she has been amazed by the improvement she has seen in her clients.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

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