Workshop & interview dates will be determined once all study participants are enrolled.


Portland, Oregon USA


Jane Peterson, PhD 
Human Systems Institute Inc 



RESEARCH QUESTION: Does a systemic constellation provide positive value to intimate partners' experiences of relationship difficulties?

SYSTEMIC CONSTELLATION WORK is a process that allows couples to quickly discover how transgenerational patterns and other important relationship dynamics, say for example with ex-partners or children, may be affecting your current intimate partnership. In a short time, the constellation will show you what entanglements may be preventing your relationship from working well, and point to steps you can take to begin to change those dynamics.

If you are considering participating in this research study, this site has the eligibility information and sign up form to enable you to decide whether or not you wish to join the study. Once you complete the form linked to the "Register Now" button, you will be contacted after a few days by one of the researchers or research assistants.

The study consists of comparing interview results concerning relationship satisfaction of the partners in a couple, and exploring what the value of a systemic constellation is for couples who may be experiencing some dissatisfaction with their relationship.

There are three parts to the study that you will participate directly in. Each couple will partake of two interviews with the researcher. Each of the two interviews consists of three parts:

  1. Completing the "Dyadic Adjustment Scale" questionnaire - a 32 question multiple-choice questionnaire.
  2. A face-to-face interview with the researcher (possibly via WebEx if necessary) with 9 open-ended questions.
  3. The Story of Important Events in Your Relationship learning activity.

There will be two groups of participants: A "Constellation Between" group and an "Interviews First" group, each consisting of up to twelve couples. Each group will receive the same interviews and participate in a constellation workshop, only the order of events will differ.

  • For the "Constellation Between" group: I will interview you first, then you will be invited to participate in a weekend constellation workshop, then approximately 3-4 weeks later, we will repeat the interview - parts 1 and 3 of the interview remain the same, part 2 has a different set of questions.
  • For the "Interviews First" group, I will interview you first, then wait 3-4 weeks, then repeat the interview. After that you will be invited to participate in a weekend constellation workshop.

We will schedule both the weekend workshops and your interviews once all study participants are enrolled.

All U.S. workshops will be facilitated by Jane Peterson, PhD, an international trainer in the constellation work and the lead researcher for this study. Please feel free to contact Jane at any time if you have questions about the study. Her contact information is included below.

Please be aware if you reply to this message by email or via this Constant Contact website there is a small, although remote, chance that a third party (e.g., hacker) could intercept information, especially during transmission.  Our phone line in the US, 503.293.0338 is secure and you may leave us a brief message indicating your desire to participate in the study at that number.

The two principle researchers in this study are: 
M. Jane Peterson, PhD., post-doctoral Fellow with the Institute for Social Innovation of Fielding Graduate University
Fabrice Berna, MD, PhD, psychiatrist at the Psychiatry Department of the University Hospital of Strasbourg.

Potential study participants will be asked the questions described in the exclusion or inclusion criteria listed below.

To be included in this study, you must be able to answer “yes” to each of the following questions.

  1. Have you and your partner lived together for at least one complete calendar year?
  2. Are you and your spouse/partner both at least 21 years of age?
  3. Are you willing to allow participation of research assistants in the constellation workshop?
  4. Are you and your spouse/partner willing and able to participate in both interview sessions and a one-day workshop?
  5. Are you and your spouse/partner willing and able to participate in this study knowing that the one-day constellation workshops will take place in Portland, Oregon USA.
  6. Is your partner completely wiling to participate with you in this study? (Please note that before you are allowed to participate in the study, the researcher will ask both of you directly whether or not your participation is completely voluntary.
  7. Have you read the eligibility criteria above and agree that you are mentally healthy and not currently in an abusive or violent relationship with your spouse/partner?

1. Evidence of serious mental illness or domestic abuse or violence. Participants will be asked to verify that they are reasonably mentally healthy and have no current restraining orders for domestic violence. As this is an exploratory study and not an on-going therapeutic situation, it is felt to be in the couples’ best interest to not participate in this study and to seek qualified therapeutic support if domestic violence is an issue.  Cases of domestic violence that are brought to the researchers’ attention will be advised to seek appropriate counseling and referred to a local agency that provides effective treatment for troubled families.  Please note that according to Oregon State law physical violence in front of children or to children or elders is illegal and descriptions of such in the course of answering this questionnaire may be reported to appropriate authorities by researchers in the USA.

2. One partner does not desire to participate. Couples where one member wants to participate and the other member does not want to participate will also be excluded.

3. Couples who have been cohabitating for less than one complete year are excluded, as are couples where one partner is younger than 21 years of age.

Study participants will be fully advised of the procedures and their rights as study participants.  In addition two approximately one-hour each interviews, you will be invited to participate in a constellation workshop that will be video-taped to facilitate analysis of the data in the study.  Additional audio and digital recordings will be made of interviews before and/or after the constellation. These materials will be kept confidential.  

Participation in the study is FREE

Portland area participants who travel more than 20 miles outside of the Portland, Oregon city limits to participate will be given a mileage reimbursement for their travel. 

If this interests you and you meet the criteria for the study, click the REGISTER NOW! button below.

If you have further questions, please contact Jane Peterson at 503-293-0338 or jpeterson@email.fielding.edu or humansystems@comcast.net