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25 Years of Reconstructions

The Experiential Healing Center celebrating their 20 anniversary of facilitating Family Reconstructions in June of 2023. We are honored and humbled to reach this milestone or working with the many Reconstruction Stars over the years.  Since beginning these daylong Reconstructions in 1998, we have had adults, adolescents and couples immerse themselves in this trans-formative process and EHC.

In honor of all of them, EHC is offering to do a Reconstruction with someone that otherwise would not be able to participate in such a process.  We have extended an invitation to a graduate of the Salvation Army Renewal Center to be our 20 anniversary Reconstruction Star. We would like to have her community and fellow groups members attend and support her.

In order to do ALL of this, we need your help.  We are asking for scholarship donations to support the reconstruction star and her community participate in the phenomenal experience.

See below for ways to get involved or to check out the history of reconstructions if you are curious! 

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Help support the scholarship fund

If you’ve been to a recon, heard people talk about them or are inspired by the History of Family Reconstructions below, you know how much effort goes into one of these things and how life changing they are for everyone present.   Seriously this is good, life affirming stuff.   But it is an expensive undertaking.   Please consider making a donation of any amount to support the scholarship fund using the button below or calling the main office.    

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History of Family Reconstructions

The family reconstruction process as we know it today is a therapeutic intervention first developed by Virginia Satir in the 1960s. In its classical form, a family counselor guides a person in dramatically reenacting significant family life events from the past. The purpose of these reenactments is to gain a deeper insight into how unresolved issues from one’s family of origin impact oneself and one’s families in the present.


The family reconstruction model heavily incorporates psychodrama or role-playing, which was first pioneered by Jacob L. Moreno (1889–1974).   While a student at the University of Vienna in 1913-14, Moreno gathered a group of prostitutes as a way of discussing the social stigma and other problems they faced, starting what might be called the first "support group".  From experiences like that, and as inspired by psychoanalysts such as Wilhelm Reich and Freud, Moreno began to develop psychodrama which focused on the present and future through the use of interpersonal relations. Techniques such as mirroring the behavior of the protagonist or “star” and role reversal are used to help participants better understand their own behavior and feelings, as well as the behavior and feelings of others.


In 1978, Sharon Wegscheider-Cruse who was a protegee of Virginia Satir formed Onsite where she and other practitioners adapted and expanded upon the family reconstruction idea as an active and dramatic tool to help people reclaim freedom of choice and self-worth, and addressed not only what happens to addicts and alcoholics but also what happens to their loved ones. The early programs and trainings at Onsite focused on the effects of addiction and codependency on families and the family recovery process and helped people break the power of compulsive behaviors, revive their self-esteem and develop relationship skills.


At the Experiential Healing Center over the past two decades, Kent Fisher and Michelle Rappaport have further expanded the model from Onsite to focus on the somatic integration of experiences and healing that comes from the body within.  Reconstructions employ sculptures, guided imagery, role-playing, props, humor and music.  Facilitators and “stars” work together to re-frame current thinking in order to promote a bigger picture of reality, to re-awaken and re-order the emotional and passionate parts of the self, to increase self-worth, to break the power of compulsive behavior in order to provide freedom of choice, and to develop safe and useful relationship skills. Shame reduction and self-esteem building always happens.  The gifts are priceless. 

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