Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
Parts work refers to a type of therapy that acknowledges the complex and multi-faceted nature of the human mind. All people have an inner world that is made of up "parts", like our wounded inner child or our harsh inner critic, and together these parts form an inner system. Each part holds emotions, perceptions, and belief systems that affect behavior and emotional well-being, and at times they conflict with each other or act in unhelpful ways. Parts work can address the conflicts between these different parts of self that, when left unresolved, can undermine the healing process and keep us stuck in unhelpful patterns of thinking and behavior.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a popular therapeutic approach that focuses on parts work. It identifies three major categories of parts: exiles, managers, and firefighters. Exiles carry the burdens of past traumatic and distressing experiences, including the painful emotions and memories. When these wounded parts are triggered, other protective parts can "take over" in an attempt to help bring stability to the system. Managers are protective parts that work to stay in control of vulnerable feelings, perhaps through perfectionism or overworking, or by manifesting as a relentless inner critic. Firefighters are protective parts that “act out” to reduce emotional distress, often through problematic behaviors such as substance abuse or self-harm. The goal of IFS therapy is to strengthen the Self, the confident and compassionate core inside each individual, and to build awareness and understanding of the other parts of the internal system.
Integrative Somatic Parts Work
I have trained in Integrative Somatic Parts Work, which blends Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) with a somatic therapy approach. In addition to holding their own unique emotions and beliefs, different parts can also show up as tension, ease, or other sensations in the body. In somatic parts work, body-based somatic tools are incorporated into therapy as clients learn to recognize different parts of their inner world in order to bring more harmony to their physical and emotional well-being.
To learn more about IFS, please visit the IFS Institute website: IFS-Institute.com
If you are interested in parts work and you live in Claremont, Upland, Pomona, La Verne, San Dimas, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, or one of the other surrounding cities in the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire, contact me to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation and learn more about how I can help.