We like to think that we are of one mind, that we make decisions and then act on them. But there are so many situations that refute this comfortable notion. We procrastinate, we are indecisive, we judge ourselves and then defend against out own judgments, we have “mixed feelings,” we vacillate. If we really listen inside, we can often hear arguments going on between different parts of us. Inner conflict is a major factor in the human psyche. Even experiences like depression or anxiety or low self-esteem, that don’t look like inner conflict at first glance, are often rooted in it.
IFS has a way of understanding inner conflict that illuminates its systems dynamics in a powerful way, as two parts that are polarized. This means that the parts are opposed to each other. They are not only feeling and acting in ways that are opposites of each other, like parts that feel happy vs. sad. They are not only fighting each other, like eating vs. dieting. They are each convinced that they must take an extreme stand in order to deal with the destructive actions of the other part.
Imagine that you have two sailors on a sail boat, each of whom is concerned about the boat overturning. One of the them is leaning out very far on one side of the boat using a rope to hold himself in that position. He believes that he must lean out so far in order to counteract the other sailor who is leaning out equally far in the opposite direction. He believes he must be so extreme to keep the boat from capsizing, as does the other sailor. And tragically, they are both right. If either one were to give up his extreme stance and move in to the center of the boat, it would capsize.
This Course teaches how to recognize and work with polarization, how to have constructive dialogue between polarized parts, and how to create inner harmony and cooperation in place of inner conflict.
To learn more about the course click here.
Prerequisite: Basic IFS Course, and most people will have also taken the Exile Course.
See the current schedule of courses.