No Bad Parts and the Importance of the Internal Family Systems Model
When I started my healing journey decades ago, I always thought I would “get there,” ie. be done with the triggers, feel good again all the time, feel safe and secure within myself. But, as healing often goes, this was not the case. I continue to feel triggered and get off balance and out of center at times and I don’t even know why! However, the methodology I’m about to share with you has helped a LOT!
In 2010, I was introduced to what was called “parts work.”
This work helped me begin identifying different parts of myself, usually younger parts, that had feelings, thoughts or experiences that would get triggered at various times throughout my day. Any one of my parts could jump in the drivers seat of my life, without my even realizing it, and start running the show. Think the scared child, the insecure youth, the angry youth, etc.
I learned how to listen to these parts and love them unconditionally. Though, I still was feeling triggered and out of control in a lot of ways in my reactions to myself and life.
About six or seven years ago, I started to hear about this therapy method called ” Internal Family Systems (IFS),” but I didn’t know what it was about.
Turns out, its whole premise is learning about our various “parts” in our “internal family system.” You see, we all have an external family system, in one shape or another, and we all have an internal family system, how we deal with ourselves and our various parts.
Now, don’t get freaked out. I’m sure you can recall many times where you thought or expressed: “Well, a part of me wants to do this and another part of me doesn’t,” or “A part of me feels this way and anther part of me feels that way.”
These are our parts at play in our internal family system!
Over the past nearly five years I’ve been working with a great trauma therapist who utilizes IFS in her therapy along with EMDR and attachment theory. Since then, I’ve learned more about how to work with my parts and understand them. In addition, I joined an Authentic Communication Group, which taught me more and started reading books on IFS and how to work with my parts more concertedly.
This has given me a ton of freedom in myself, in my personal experience of myself, life and others and provided me with a great deal of relief from feeling “run” by the old versions of these various parts within myself that were just stuck in old roles or carrying old burdens they didn’t need to carry anymore.
The whole premise of IFS is to be “Self led,” which means that my Whole Self is the one leading the ship. This Whole Self then works with the parts of my internal family system to help unburden them from past roles and help them take on new roles, which frees both them and me up to be more Self led.
It is really powerful work.
Just like when I finished life coaches training in 2012 and thought, “everyone needs to do a life coaches training,” I feel the same way about IFS. Everyone needs to start working with and healing their parts. This will bring a more peaceful world for all!
Dr. Richard Schwartz is the psychologist who created the framework for IFS and came out with a new book in the past two years called No Bad Parts .
I highly recommend this book as a resource for learning more about IFS and how to use the method in your everyday life. Not a replacement for therapy, reading this book can give you the info about IFS, then you can in the meantime seek out a therapist or coach trained in IFS to support you in doing the real time work with your parts!
Click here for info about the book and to learn more about this important methodology.
Thanks for healing and take care.
p.s. Listen to the new music coming out. This one may really resonate after reading this blog post
p.p.s. Need more resources? Head over to the coaching page for ways you can continue your healing journey.
*The name of the elder was changed to protect her privacy.