A Social Movement for the Great Turning

 A free presentation by Jay Earley and Michael Goldstein
A Social Movement for the Great Turning
Thursday, April 25, 2019

Our world is in the midst of a planetary crisis leading to a historical transformation. The severity of problems we are confronting is staggering. But it is not chance that all these things are happening at this time in history. We have come to the end of a historical era, and our old ways of doing business are no longer working.

For the last 3 or 4 hundred years, the world has adopted a worldview based on science, rational thought, technology, and competition for power. We have treated the natural world as a machine to be analyzed and controlled. The tremendous explosion of our technical power, our population, and our ability to exploit the earth has brought a whole new set of issues which our industrial worldview can’t comprehend. Our current lifestyle of material consumption and personal ambition has also outlived its day and is now contributing to the problems and dangers we face.

Our collective psyche is erupting with signs and portents of a new way of being that will transform society. We have hints that it will be built on a foundation of cooperation, interconnectedness, and an interest in the inner life, and that it will involve cultural diversity, social justice, human scale institutions, and reverence for the earth.

This transformation has been called the Great Turning, and it is the most important thing that is happening on the planet, though it is invisible to most people. We believe that the world needs to nurture a social movement for the Great Turning, for whole-system, life-affirming transformation—creating a broad, diverse coalition of groups, organizations, individuals, and movements that work together for the over-arching goal for society.

The beginnings of this movement already exist and are growing, but we need much greater involvement and the movement needs to be organized to work together for this larger goal. It also needs to birth small groups that are created to be part of the movement. These will involve not only political action but also consciousness raising and education (about the current state of the world, the prospect for transformation, the evolutionary perspective, spiritual aspects of the new society, and more), capacity development (such as leadership, productive conversations, collaboration, etc.), group bonding, mutual support for finding one’s personal/life purpose contribution, and preparation for action when the time comes.

Michael and Jay will discuss the parameters of such a movement. We will solicit your ideas on the best approach for this movement and how you might participate.

Thursday, April 25, 2019
Free
7-9 pm, doors open at 6:30
At the Pachamama Alliance Office
1009 General Kennedy Ave., San Francisco, CA

RSVP at https://connect.pachamama.org/node/2007

Click here to read an essay on this.

Working Through Avoidance of IFS Work

You might decide that you want to do an exercise in my Self-Therapy book or you might want to do an IFS session on yourself, but you don’t follow through.

If you are stuck in this way, it would be helpful to explore what is going on inside you. Why might you want to do something and then not carry through?

Often this happens because a hidden protector doesn’t really want to do the exercise or session. In other words, even though a part of you has decided that working on yourself would be beneficial, another part of you is balking. This might be a protector that is afraid that if you follow through with an exercise, you will encounter strong emotions that you can’t handle. Or it might be a protector that doesn’t think you will benefit from this work and so doesn’t want to bother.

This avoidant protector is clearly in control (since you aren’t doing the exercises), even though it may be unconscious.

The best way to handle this situation is to commit to doing a session in which you work with this avoidant protector. In this session, check inside for a felt sense of not wanting to do the exercises.

You may even feel resistant to the session you are engaged in right now.

You might want to get up and leave, or you might tell yourself that you don’t have time, or you might feel generally uncomfortable.

Tune in to that feeling of resistance. It might feel like stubbornness or annoyance or defiance. You might sense apathy or anxiety. Whatever it is, this feeling will give you access to the avoidant part. Then continue through the IFS steps to get to know this part.

See what you can discover about why this part doesn’t want you to do the work and what it is afraid would happen if it allowed you to. Then see if you can reassure this protector that its fears won’t come true, just like you might reassure a concerned part. For example, you might explain that you aren’t going to dive into overwhelmingly painful emotions, and you won’t allow any dangerous parts to take over. Assure it that you will stay in Self while you become acquainted with your parts.

For this reassurance to be effective, you may need to develop a trusting relationship with the avoidant protector.

However, even one short session with an avoidant protector can make a big difference in your willingness to do the work. If you do such a session but your avoidance doesn’t change, it is possible that there is more than one avoidant protector.

Do another session in which you check for others and work with them. Since you are avoiding doing sessions, it may be difficult to do even this session on the avoidant protector. You might keep making excuses instead of doing it.

One way to make this session happen is to schedule it with a partner. If someone else is counting on you to be there, it makes it harder to avoid. Or you could do this session with an IFS therapist, who might help you get at deeper issues behind your avoidance.

Self-Therapy

 

New Date: IFS Basic Course Starts April 16

Introduction to IFSThis course is the beginning of learning IFS. It teaches you how to access Self and work with protectors. It teaches you how to work on yourself using IFS and how to do peer IFS counseling with other people in the class. Therapists and coaches also take the class to learn about IFS, though it is not professional training in IFS.

The course is experiential; it includes practicing IFS sessions for homework in pairs, group exercises, and demonstration IFS sessions with volunteers from the class.

I have postponed the beginning of the course until April 16 to allow more people to enroll.

For more information, click http://personal-growth-programs.com/ifs-courses/basic-course

Tuesdays
April 16 – May 21 (6 classes)
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Cost: $300, $250 if paid by April 10
Click here to enroll

March 26: IFS Introductory Seminar

This free introductory seminar will introduce IFS and give you a taste of working on yourself using this approach. It will include experiential exercises and a demonstration IFS session. You can ask me questions about the model and about the upcoming Basic IFS Class.

The IFS Idea

IFS is based on the idea that the psyche consists of sub-personalities, called parts, which make up a Introduction to IFSkind of inner system. Parts often get into conflicts with each other and act in dysfunctional ways in an attempt to protect us from pain. All of this happens largely outside our awareness, and when we do see what is happening, we frequently try to banish the parts that are causing the difficulties. Yet this is hardly ever solves the problem.

IFS, on the other hand, teaches us to relate to our parts with openness, curiosity, and compassion, not judgment, which allows each part to reveal its hidden agenda and the pain it defends against. This paves the way for healing and transformation, which can be accomplished by following the detailed IFS procedure.

The psyche is largely organized to protect itself from pain, which is why IFS makes a distinction between parts that are in pain and parts that protect us from it. Protectors are parts that handle the external world and protect against vulnerability and pain. Exiles are young child parts that are in pain from the past. Protectors try to arrange our lives so that people can’t hurt our exiles, and when this does happen, protectors shut us down emotionally to keep us from feeling the pain. This noble effort doesn’t really work; the suffering still leaks through at odd moments. Furthermore, the defenses instituted by protectors make us relate to the world in problematic ways, or they blunt our aliveness or rob us of important capacities.

IFS is able to transform the psyche by relying on the healing power of our true Self or spiritual center, which has these important qualities–connectedness, curiosity, compassion, and calmness.

The seminar will be recorded, so once you are enrolled, you will receive an email afterwards with a link to the recording.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019
4:30-6:30 pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Free
Click here to enroll

Advanced IFS Classes: New Monday Class

A new Monday Class is starting f0r my Advanced IFS Classes where you learn intermediate to advanced techniques and understandings that go beyond what I teach in the Basic IFS Course. Therapists also have a chance for advanced training and consultation on IFS. I have taught these classes for many years and they have been very successful.

Format. The classes meet twice a month for two hours by video-conference. Each class includes teaching, lots of sharing and discussion, demonstration IFS sessions where I work with a volunteer from the class, and experiential group exercises. You pair up with each other between classes to practice doing IFS sessions with each other. This is a very important part of the class, and people tell me how much they get from working with each other.

Click here for more information on the Advanced IFS Classes.

Each class is limited to 8 participants, so we have a small cohesive group (especially since we can see each other by video-conference), where people feel safe to be vulnerable. The texts for the classes are my books Self-TherapySelf-Therapy, Vol. 2 and Self-Therapy, Vol. 3.

Professionals. Some classes are for therapists and coaches (and other helping professionals) and some are for everyone. These classes are approved by the Center for Self-Leadership for IFS CE credit.

Prerequisite. In order to qualify for the class, you must have taken my Basic IFS Course or equivalent, and I recommend that you also have taken my IFS Exiles Course or equivalent.

New Class
Second and Fourth Mondays of each month
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)

Click here to learn about the other Advanced Classes.

To enroll, email me at earley.jay@gmail.com to set up a short call.

March 13: Drop-In Interactive/IFS Group

Drop In IFS Interactive GroupThis drop-in group is designed to give you an idea of how Interactive/IFS Groups operate, and also to give you a group experience that can be powerful learning in itself. 

In a Drop-In Interactive Group, you can be totally honest about your feelings. Everyone is encouraged to share their moment-to-moment experience with the group. It’s a big risk but very exciting!

A small group of people meets to practice awareness, honesty, and connection. Using IFS (Internal Family Systems Therapy), we practice speaking for our parts rather than as our parts. This means being in Self (a calm, caring place) and talking about how a part of you is reacting in the moment, as opposed to dumping your feelings on other people. This helps you to communicate in a more effective manner, and it also makes the group safe for everyone.

I facilitate the group, helping you to tune into what you are experiencing and speak your truth. You may tell others honestly and directly how you are feeling toward them. We create an atmosphere of caring and trust so that this can be done in a safe, connected way. You also have a chance to get honest feedback from people on how they are responding to you.

The group meets by videoconference, so we can all see each other.

Wednesday, March 13 
10am – 12 noon pacific time
(1-3 pm eastern, 6-8 pm UK)
Click here to enroll

I lead three Interactive/IFS Groups, some of which have openings now.
Click here for more information about them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Exile Is in Charge of Reparenting and Retrieval

In the IFS model, in both the reparenting and retrieval steps, we always check to see what the exile needs or wants. This guides us in deciding exactly how to do the reparenting or retrieval. Exile in Charge of Reparenting

It isn’t a good idea to assume that you know what she needs. You can suggest options to the exile that she might not think of, but don’t you decide what she needs without checking with her.

She knows best. You may be very surprised to discover what she wants. The exile can sense more truly than you what would be most healing for her.

In addition, it is healing for the exile to be in charge of what happens to her. In the original childhood situation, it was just the opposite. She had no say in how she was treated, even though it caused her considerable pain.

This leads most exiles to feel powerless and helpless.

Now you can redress this by having her be in control. This will empower her and help her feel safe.

 

After You Have Obtained Permission to Work with an Exile

When you want to work with an exile, the first thing you do is to obtain permission from the target protector, are you free to work with the exile?

That depends on whether there are other protectors that feel this exile is dangerous. Often you can simply move on to working with the exile, but it would be wise to deal with any additional resistance now. Otherwise, these protectors will repeatedly interrupt your work with the exile.

Therefore, if it seems called for, ask if there are any other protectors that don’t want you to access the exile. Usually they will step forward, and you can ask about their fears and reassure them, just as you did with the primary protector. This will usually clear the way for uninterrupted work with the exile.

However, sometimes protectors pop up later. While you are working with the exile, if a protector feels threatened by the pain that is coming up from the exile, it may reactivate to block that pain. You may get sleepy or distracted. You may go into your head or get angry. Use your parts-detecting ability to recognize when such a protector has been triggered. If it is the same protector that has already given you permission, ask what happened in your work with the exile to make it change its mind. Usually it’s because the pain of the exile started to emerge in an intense way. Find out what it is afraid of now and reassure it about that fear.

If it is a new protector that you haven’t gotten permission from or haven’t worked with before, you may need to spend some time with this protector, getting to know it and its positive intent. Then ask its permission to go on with your work with the exile.

Sometimes, if an exile’s pain is threatening to overwhelm you, a protector will keep jumping in to stop this from happening, and no amount of reassurance will work. Then you must negotiate with the exile about unblending even before you ask the protector for permission. Once the protector sees that the exile has agreed not to flood you, it will probably give the go-ahead.

Metabolizing Childhood Experiences

Whenever you endure a painful or difficult experience, it must be fully processed and metabolized for your psyche to stay healthy. You must fully feel the experience, make sense of it, and integrate it into your notion of who you are in a way that doesn’t leave you with a negative, inaccurate view of yourself. Even experiences in adult life must be metabolized in this way. For example, suppose you lose your spouse to cancer. You need to feel the grief and other emotions that it brings up, think it through, discuss it with friends, and work through any guilt or self-blame that you feel. This will occur repeatedly over many months until you have come to terms with it.

Experiences

Threatening or Traumatic Experience

A threatening or traumatic experience puts your body into a fight-or-flight stress reaction. For example, suppose you are threatened with a gun by a robber. Your body goes into hyper-alertness and fear. Later, when you talk through what happened and feel the fear, this will help your body to complete its physiological response and return to a normal relaxed state.

Difficult Experience

A difficult experience can also make you feel bad about yourself or mistrust people. For example, suppose you are fired from your job for poor work performance. This makes you feel incompetent and, after stewing over it for a while, you come to believe that the world is unfair. You need to take the time to think this through with outside support and figure out what, if anything, you did poorly and how much of this resulted from office politics. This will help you integrate the experience into your psyche and sense of self, and learn from your mistakes without taking on a negative view of yourself.

Problematic Experience

When you have a problematic experience as an adult, you usually have the resources to metabolize it properly. You know how to articulate the problem, you are intellectually and emotionally mature, and you may have support from friends, family, or a therapist. As a child, you often don’t have the resources to metabolize difficult incidents. You can’t do it on your own, so you need a great deal of sensitive support from your parents or other adults. The more painful and traumatic an experience, the more you need support to be able to metabolize it. And this support often isn’t available, either because your parents don’t realize you need it or because they don’t have the capacity to provide it. Or, worst of all, because your parents were the source of the traumatic incident.

Burden for the Exile

An experience that isn’t metabolized creates a burden for the exile that experienced it. In order to heal that child part and help release its burden, the memory must be re-experienced and processed to completion. Having the experience witnessed by the Self is an important aspect of this.

NEW! IFS Exiles Course: Starts February 12

There has been so much interest in my Exiles Class that the current class, which is full, is already started, and I will be offering a second Exiles Class in February.

In this course, you learn how to

  • safely access young wounded parts (exiles)
  • how to stay in Self, how to develop a healing relationship with your exiles
  • how to unburden the pain and negative beliefs of exiles so they are transformed

This enables you to do a complete IFS session with yourself or a partner. You learn how to facilitate a partner who is working on themselves.

The prerequisite for this course is the IFS Basic Course or equivalent.

If you aren’t sure if you qualify, contact me.

Tuesdays
12:30-2:30 pm pacific time
(3:30-5:30 pm eastern, 8:30-10:30 pm UK)
February 12 – March 19 (6 classes)
Cost: $300, $250 if you enroll by February 6
Click here to enroll