BASIC PREMISES OF PARTS WORK
l. We are multifaceted beings with many different aspects of our personality, and these aspects are often in conflict.
2. The personality is the organization of the individual's distinguishing character traits, attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, feeling states, behaviors, and habits. Each individual has a variety of personality states (e.g. loving parent, angry antagonist, playful child). Each personality state has a consistent way of perceiving things, as well as corresponding beliefs, values, behaviors, feeling states, and goals. We each have multiple personality states.
3. Personality states (parts) come into being and develop through the following ways:
a). They emerge during different developmental stages (i.e., child, preadolescent, teen, young adult, etc.).
b). Parts develop during times of trauma. For example, a woman developed a harsh Inner Critic and Perfectionist as a child, as a result of seeing her older brother severely punished for not following rules and not measuring up to the father's expectations. Her Inner Critic "protected" her by attacking and criticizing her before her father did.
c) Parts develop through identification with cultural icons/archetypes. For example, a woman might identify with the selfless giver. A man might identify with the competent, decisive protector.
d) Parts develop through reinforcement by the family, peers, the school system, religion, and the culture (e.g. the martyr, the jock, the teacher, the cool dude, the sexy siren ).
4. We tend to become overly identified with certain parts, and these parts dominate our perceptions, decisions, and behavior. As a result, our personality lacks balance.
5. If we fail to be aware of certain parts, those parts go underground, become unconscious and disowned. Those parts then effect our behavior and decisions covertly. This is when we say, for example, "I don't know why I said that (or did that). That's not like me." The disowned /repressed part starts rebelling and acting out.
6. Each part has its own strengths, skills and goals which can contribute to the functioning of the whole person. Identifying the part's positive intention is important.
7. The Aware Ego has the ability to listen objectively and understand each of the parts. It can facilitate negotiation between the parts, so that each part can be heard, and their needs and concerns can be considered.
BENEFITS OF PARTS WORK
1. It allows the client to access the trauma and resources associated with the part.
2. Parts work can unstick a sabotaging part from blocking the healing. It helps reconnect the sabotaging part to its positive intentions/goals for the Complete Self and creates a basis for changing dysfunctional behaviors.
3. It helps the client develop a Witness, or Aware Ego, that does not judge, but simply observes what is. This objective part can then make choices based on what it observes and knows about all the parts, rather than one dominant part running the show.
4. Parts work helps create more mature, enlightened parts. Parts become more patient and democratic. They are more willing to compromise and cooperate with other parts.
5. It helps develop a good, nurturing parent for the arrested developmental parts. A healthy triad can then develop.
Vulnerable Child Aware Protector
(has ability to connect deeply) (sets boundaries, assertive action)
(supportive, compassionate, understanding, good advocate)
6. Parts work helps create balance within the personality, because there's more awareness and more conscious choice-making. Rather than a particular part running the show, the Complete Self is more in charge of its multifaceted parts.
EXAMPLES OF INNER PARTS OR SUBPERSONALITIES
The Development Stages
Inner adolescent or teen
Inner parent--could be good parent or wicked parent
Any age of development during which major trauma occurred
Future self--evolved, enlightened
Examples of Subpersonalities
Inner critic Inner advocate
The Pusher/Pleaser/Perfectionist The Mellow One/the Lazy One The Protector/Controller The Vulnerable One/the Whimp
The Hero The Saboteur
The Power Brokers (seek power, ambition, The Unambitious One
money, are pushy, selfish)
The dark energies (the 7 deadly sins--pride The light energies--generosity, compass-lust, anger, gluttony, envy, sloth, covetousness) ion, love, humility, selflessness, etc.
The Disciplinarian The Slothful One
Examples of Greek Gods and Goddesses
Athena--wisdom, strategist, problem solver, friendships with men
Hera--wife, commitment-maker, fidelity
Demeter--nurturer, mother, generosity
Artemis--competitor, sister, feminist, successful goal setter, independent
Hestia--wise woman, maiden aunt, spiritual, enjoys solitude
Aphrodite--beauty, passionate lover, creativity, sensual, enjoys pleasure
Persephone--vulnerable maiden, receptive, lives in world of dreams and imagination, potential psychic abilities
Zeus--patriarchal, executive, power seeking, takes decisive action, alliance-maker
Poseidon--emotional, instinctive, loyal, the wild man, domineering, intense
Apollo--successful goal setter, clarity of thinking, confident, upholder of law and order, emotionally distant
Hermes--communicator, guide, trickster, impulsive, lack of limits, has difficulty growing up
Ares--warrior, the protector, lover, extroverted, emotionally expressive, dislikes rules
Hades--detached emotionally, rich inner world, introverted, the invisible man
Dionysus--mystic, wanderer, ecstatic lover, sensory pleasures
Hephaestus--skillful craftsman, inventor, creative, introverted, peacemaker
THE STEPS OF WORKING WITH A PART
(based on Voice Dialogue, a process developed by Hal Stone and Sidra Winkelman)
l. Identify the part to be interviewed. A simple way to do this is to ask, "I know that you have that goal, but could there be a part of you that disagrees?"
2. Have the client's part move to a physical location different from the Complete Self, or carry on an interview in Active Imagination having the client imagine dialoging with the part.
3. Facilitate the interview using the list of interview questions. (Page 4)
4. Have the part speak in the first person "I" and refer to the Complete Self or other parts as "he/she", in order to distinguish the part and to make it available to be witnessed by the Aware Ego. While working with the Lazy One, for example, a male client speaks about the Pusher. "He never gives me a break. I'd love to go fishing, but he goes into the office on weekends."
5. Take adequate time for the part to express itself. Make sure that you, as facilitator, remain nonjudgmental. Stay aware that the part has a positive intention in service of the Complete Self.
6. Observe changes in the energy patterns (body posture, energy, voice tone, etc.) of the subpersonality. Also be aware of the intrusion of other subpersonalities (a dominate part can easily overtake a disowned part, e.g., a Pusher can intrude on the work of the Mellow One. Ask that part to leave for the duration of the work with the disowned/undeveloped part.
7. When you are ready to end the interview, thank the part for it's cooperation and for it's positive intention in contributing to the welfare of the Complete Self.
8. Instruct the client to physically move to the seat of the Complete Self. Help them summarize from the Aware Ego what they learned about the part interviewed. Help them remain nonjudgmental and objective, if possible.
Contraindications: There must be an Aware Ego capable of reflecting on this process in order for this to be beneficial and/or to work at all. People suffering from Schizophrenia and people with Dissociative Identity Disorder are not good candidates for this technique.
INTERVIEW QUESTIONS FOR THE INNER PART
1. How do you want (client's name) to be different?
2. How do you disagree with _____?
3. What decisions do you want _____ to make?
4. What do you appreciate about _____?
5. What are your concerns about _____? What are your fears?
6. What are your hopes for ______?
7. What do you value? What's important to you?
8. What is your purpose? What are you trying to accomplish in ____'s life?
9. When did you come into ______'s life? (the earliest time)
10. How have you contributed to ______'s life?
11. How do you communicate with ______?
12. How do you signal your distress, your concerns, your disagreement, etc.? (Perhaps with (a) particular thoughts, (b) moods, e.g., anxiety or depression, or with (c) sensations, e.g., the feeling in the gut).
13. What do you think about ______ coming to counseling? What do you think about _______ doing acupressure/energy work?
14. How do you feel about negotiating with / sharing power with / making compromises with ______?
At the end of interview, briefly summarize how this part has positively contributed to the client's life. Always end the interview by respectfully thanking them for expressing their views.
APPLICATION OF ENERGY PSYCHOLOGY TO PARTS WORK
l. If a part is sabotaging the effectiveness of Energy Psychology (EP) methods, it is helpful to muscle test each part to see if it's willing to cooperate with the healing. If not, proceed with Psychological Reversals (PRs). For example, "Even though my Controller is blocking my healing, I choose to love and accept myself anyway, and I choose not to judge my Controller". Sometimes, identifying and clearing all PRs (saftey, permission, willingness, possibility, etc.), is sufficient to proceed with the healing method, without doing more in-depth Voice Dialogue.
2. The particular part has been identified, interviewed, and is willing to cooperate in the treatment.
3. The therapist picks an EP technique that he/she is familiar with. The most appropriate technique may be chosen through muscle testing.
4. The therapist can work directly with the part, utilizing an appropriate EP technique. This is the most common intervention.
5. The Adult/Nurturing Parent part administers the EP treatment to the Wounded Child part. Imagery is utilized so that the Adult part can image the traumatized Wounded Child part, while applying the EP technique. For example, the client holds the heart and solar plexus chakras while imaging holding the Wounded Child. This technique encourages the client to develop a strong Nurturing Parent part of the personality.
6. The therapist works with the blocking part's positive intention for the system. The blocking part is encouraged to find new ways to carry out it's positive intention. For example, The Controller/Protector blocks the use of EP interventions for the Wounded Child. The therapist points out that the Wounded Child can feel less threatened and more protected after experiencing the comfort of the EP technique. Additionally, this makes the job of the Controller/Protector easier. An agreement is made to use the EP technique on some specific target to demonstrate it's effectiveness.
6. The therapist calls in a negotiator part, such as the Aware Ego, to allow for compromise between two or more parts that have been blocking therapeutic movement. The positive intentions of the parts are addressed and acceptable methods are developed which addresses the positive intentions of the parts involved. This can be done with a "conference table" visualization, or another format.
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Jim Lane, Ph.D. & Cheryl Cross, M.C.
4700 South Mill Avenue, Suite l
Tempe, Arizona 85282 U.S.A.
(tel)01 480-897-6261 (fax)01 480-897-6284
Added Jan 1, 1999
| Jim Lane
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