Witnessing the Childhood Origin of an Exile’s Pain

Once you have permission and have gotten to know an exile, ask her to show you what happened in childhood to cause her pain. Once the exile shows you the memory, ask her to fill in as much of the details as she wants. She may do this through images or tell you what happened, or you may sense it in some other way. Be there for the exile as a compassionate witness. She may show you very painful experiences, so it is crucial that you receive them with deep caring and respect for her and what she went through. For the most part, allow her to lead the way by showing you what she wants you to know of what happened to her. Exiles want to be witnessed and understood.

There are two primary aspects to any memory—what happened and how that made the exile feel. Make sure she shows you both, if possible. If she only shows you what happened, ask her how that made her feel. If you only get feelings, prompt her to tell you what happened to cause those feelings.

Stay with the exile as she gradually reveals more and more about the memory. Let the information unfold at whatever speed she is ready for. It may take some time for all the details of the memory to come forth. As this is happening, your contact with the exile will also become deeper, allowing more to emerge. Often at first you see the childhood situation and have some sense of how it made her feel, but as you stay with the experience, her feelings become much clearer, and the depth of her pain becomes apparent.

The more fully the pain is felt by her and witnessed by you, the deeper the healing can go.

This is an excerpt from my book Self-Therapy.

Self-Therapy

IFS Exiles Course Starts June 29 2020

In the IFS Exiles 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, and
  • 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.

Mondays
June 29 – Aug. 3 (6 meetings)
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Cost: $300, $250 if enrolled by June 23
Click here to enroll.

IFS Intro Webinar and IFS Basic Course

Webinar: Introduction to IFSBasic IFS Course

Tuesday June 9, 2020
Bonnie Weiss, LCSW
10:00 a.m. – 12;00 p.m.  pacific time (1:00-3:00 pm eastern, 6-8 pm UK)
Free
Click here to enroll.

IFS understands that the psyche is made up of sub-personalities, called parts, which make up a kind 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 rarely works. 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 these parts by relying on the healing power of our true Self or spiritual center, which is connected, curious, compassionate, and calm.

This free introductory webinar will introduce IFS and give you a taste of working on yourself with this approach. You can ask me questions about the model and about the upcoming Basic IFS Class.

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

Tuesday June 9, 2020
10:00 a.m. – 12;00 p.m.  pacific time (1:00-3:00 pm eastern, 6-8 pm UK)
Free
Click here to enroll.

If you can’t attend, you can still enroll, and afterwards you will receive a link to a recording of the webinar.

The Basic IFS Course will follow this, starting June 16 at the same time and run for 6 weeks. See below.


Basic IFS Course

Bonnie Weiss, MA LCSW

This course will teach you how to use Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) to resolve psychological issues and heal underlying pain from the past, to enhance your self-confidence and well-being. IFS is a powerful, user friendly method of psychotherapy and personal growth work. IFS is a recognized, proven method for individual psychotherapy with a robust training program and thousands of certified therapists. It will help transform stuck parts of yourself into inner resources of strength, love, and freedom.

This course teaches you how to access Self (that core aspect of you that can heal your parts) and work with protectors (parts that defend us from pain and danger). It is the most basic course on IFS. 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.

The text for the course is Self-Therapy, by Jay Earley, PhD

The course will be taught by videoconference, so we can see each other, which enhances the group connection, making it safe for you to be open and vulnerable in class. Each class is recorded, so you can watch the recording of any class you miss.

Tuesdays
June 16 – July 21 (6 meetings)
10:00 am – 12:00 pm pacific time (1:00 – 3:00 pm eastern, 6-8 pm UK)
Cost: $300, $250 if enrolled by June 10, 2020
Click here to enroll

Personal Growth Group

This Personal Growth Group is based on IFS Capacity Work.

Format

  • The group meets by videoconference, so we all can see each other.
  • Each meeting is recorded, so if you miss one, you can watch the recording.
  • Cost: $120/month.
  • Limited to 8 people.

You are paired up with a group member for homework between each group meeting. I assign homework each time for the pairings. The pairings rotate, so you get to know each person at a deeper level.

Schedule

  • The group meets twice a month, the second and fourth Thursdays.
  • 12 noon – 2pm pacific time (3-5 pm eastern, 8-10 pm UK)
  • Starts Thursday, June 11

Getting Started

You talk with me for a free pre-group interview to see if the group is a good fit for you. You can try out the group for a month and then decide whether to continue.

For more information or a free pre-group interview, email me at earley.jay@gmail.com.

Enrollment

  • Once you have completed the pre-group interview and have decided to join a group, you enroll by paying for the first two meetings, which is $120.
  • Venmo is an app that allow you to pay easily. Just send the money to Jay-Earley.
  • It doesn’t work outside the U.S., so if you are outside the U.S., you may pay using PayPal. Send to earley.jay@gmail.com.

Webinar: Intro to IFS Capacity Work

This introductory webinar shows how IFS and Capacity Work can be combined to enhance your personal growth.

Thursday, June 4
12 noon – 2 pm pacific time (3-5 pm eastern, 8-10 pm UK)
Free
Click here for more information or to enroll

This webinar will be followed by the Personal Growth Group.

* * *

IFS
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) is superb at resolving psychological issues and healing underlying pain from the past, to enhance your self-confidence and well-being. IFS is a powerful, user friendly method of psychotherapy and personal growth work. IFS is a recognized, proven method for individual psychotherapy with a robust training program and thousands of certified therapists. It helps transform stuck parts of yourself into inner resources of strength, love, and freedom.

Capacity Work
Capacity Work focuses on the healthy capacities you would like to have to live your life more fully, joyfully, and effectively. Here are some of the capacities you can develop:

IFS Capacities
To help your IFS work be even more effective.

  • Self-Compassion
  • Inner Curiosity
  • Respect for Parts
  • Patience
  • Mindfulness
  • Focus
  • Connectedness

Communication Capacities
To help you communicate better, especially in conflicts.

  • Trigger Awareness
  • Problem Ownership
  • Challenge
  • Influence
  • Curiosity

Life Purpose Capacities
To help you find and actualize your life purpose or calling.

  • Life Purpose Awareness
  • Passion
  • Creativity
  • Courage
  • Self-confidence
  • Work Confidence

Interpersonal Capacities
To help you with your interpersonal interactions and relationships

  • Intimacy
  • Self-support
  • Limit-setting
  • Autonomy
  • Assertiveness
  • Cooperation
  • Authenticity
  • Sensitivity
  • Trust
  • Appreciation
  • Forgiveness
  • Strength
  • Integrity
  • Caring
  • Social Confidence

Spiritual Capacities
To help you with spiritual openness and development

  • Presence
  • Love
  • Joy
  • Inner Support
  • Peace
  • Spaciousness
  • Surrender
  • Freedom

Aliveness Capacities
To help you be more vibrant

  • Aliveness,
  • Sensuality,
  • Openness,
  • Playfulness,
  • Spontaneity,
  • Self-esteem,
  • Ease

Other Capacities
Agency, Discipline, Self-care, Conscious Consumption, Self-forgiveness, Decisiveness

You work on developing each capacity by

  • Doing IFS work on the parts of you that get in the way of the capacity
  • Cultivating the capacity through understanding, role playing, and guided meditations
  • Practicing the capacity in your life with support and accountability

 

 

 

 

Two Kinds of IFS Protectors

As you explore the positive intent of the IFS protectors, you will discover that they protect in one of two ways.

  1. External Protection.
    Some protectors try to keep an exile from being harmed by other people. These protectors see the exile as vulnerable and unable to protect itself. For example, an angry protector might want to be strong to keep people from attacking you. Consequently, they will take whatever actions they think are necessary to keep people from harming an exile, even if that isn’t necessary anymore.
  1. Internal Protection.
    Some protectors try to protect you from feeling the emotion an exile carries, such as an intellectualizer that keeps you in your head to numb emotional pain. These protectors close you down or distract you to block out the pain or trauma that the exile feels. Or they may try to provide you with comfort or pleasure or self-esteem, to override the exile’s suffering.

Both types are protecting exiles, but they have two different relationships with the exile.

Protectors of the first type care about the exile and want the best for it, so they try to protect it from the world.

Protectors of the second type think that the exile is dangerous because it might flood you with pain, so they judge it and push it away.

IFS Basic Course: Starts May 18

Introduction to IFS

This course will teach you how to use Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) to resolve psychological issues and heal underlying pain from the past, to enhance your self-confidence and well-being.

IFS is a powerful, user friendly method of psychotherapy and personal growth work. IFS is a recognized, proven method for individual psychotherapy with a robust training program and thousands of certified therapists. It will help transform stuck parts of yourself into inner resources of strength, love, and freedom.

This course teaches you how to access Self (that core aspect of you that can heal your parts) and work with protectors (parts that defend us from pain and danger). It is the most basic course on IFS. 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.

The text for the course is my book, Self-Therapy.

The course will be taught by videoconference, so we can see each other, which enhances the group connection, making it safe for you to be open and vulnerable in class. Each class is recorded, so you can watch the recording of any class you miss.

Mondays
May 18 – June 22 (6 meetings)
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Cost: $300, $250 if enrolled by May 12
Click here to enroll

 

Webinar: Introduction to IFS

Fall 2018 Introduction to IFS

This free introductory webinar, Monday May 11, 2020, will introduce IFS and give you a taste of working on yourself with this approach.

IFS understands that the psyche is made up of sub-personalities, called parts, which make up a kind 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 rarely works.

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 these parts by relying on the healing power of our true Self or spiritual center, which is connected, curious, compassionate, and calm.

This free introductory webinar will introduce IFS and give you a taste of working on yourself with this approach. You can ask me questions about the model and about the upcoming Basic IFS Class.

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

Monday, May 11
4:30-6:30 pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Free
Click here to enroll.

The Basic IFS Course will follow this, starting May 18 at the same time and run for 6 weeks.

The Origins of the IFS Self

What are The Origins of the IFS Self?

Even though IFS focuses on our parts, human beings are not simply a collection of parts. We are so much more than that. Our true Self is mature and loving and has the capacity to heal and integrate our parts.

In the early days of the development of IFS, Richard Schwartz was learning the model through feedback from his therapy clients. He had learned about parts, and when he worked with a client, he would often ask a protector to step aside so they could go deeper with a piece of work. Then another protector would emerge, and he would help the client to get that one to relax, too.

This would continue until eventually a different kind of presence would emerge. Dick would ask his clients what part that was, and they would say, “Well, it’s not a part exactly. It has a different quality to it. It doesn’t feel like all my other parts.” Then he would say, “Well, if it’s not a part, what is it?” And they would answer, “Well, I don’t know, it’s just me. It’s who I really am.” When the clients expanded on what they meant, they would usually say something like, “When my parts have all stepped aside, what is left is me.” And once this “me” was accessed, the therapy would flow effortlessly because now the person’s energy was freed up. It felt like a surfer who was in “the zone,” catching a wave and riding it smoothly and easily.

And so Dick learned about the Self.  This was wonderfully transformative, and a deeper level of the power of IFS was unleashed.

IFS Basic Course Starts February 17

This course will teach you how to use Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) to resolve psychological issues and heal underlying pain from the past, to enhance your self-confidence and well-being. IFS is a powerful, user friendly method of psychotherapy and personal growth work. IFS is a recognized, proven method for individual psychotherapy with a robust training program and thousands of certified therapists. It will help transform stuck parts of yourself into inner resources of strength, love, and freedom.

This course teaches you how to access Self (that core aspect of you that can heal your parts) and work with protectors (parts that defend us from pain and danger). It is the most basic course on IFS. 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.

The text for the course is my book, Self-Therapy.

The course will be taught by videoconference, so we can see each other, which enhances the group connection, making it safe for you to be open and vulnerable in class. Each class is recorded, so you can watch the recording of any class you miss.

Mondays
Feb. 17 – March 23 (6 meetings)
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Cost: $300, $250 if enrolled by Feb. 11
Click here to enroll

Polarization in IFS

When two parts are polarized, it means they are opposed to each other.Polarization in IFS

They are attempting to act in opposite ways, such as staying versus going or working versus relaxing. They form a polarity. However, polarization is more than just a polarity; polarized parts are also fighting against each other’s goals. For example, a part that wants to eat a lot would be actively fighting against the dieting that comes from another part. Furthermore, each polarized part is convinced that it must take an extreme stand in order to counter the destructive actions of the other part.

Even though polarized parts may be extreme, they often hold an energy or quality that is important for you. For example, one common kind of polarization is between a part that wants to connect with people and a part that wants to be assertive, both of which are valuable qualities. Another widespread polarization is between the energies of safety/order and autonomy/freedom.

You don’t want to erase or diminish the positive energy of either polarized part. You want to have access to each one’s energy in a non-extreme form.

In resolving polarization, you aren’t looking to just find a bland compromise between the parts or a negotiated settlement that is purely intellectual. The goal is to have your parts appreciate each other’s strengths and good intentions, work through their extreme protective roles, and learn to cooperate with each other. This gives you much greater access to your creativity and power and also makes it possible for you to come up with an innovative solution to the inner conflict that is satisfying to both parts. When the Self can hold space for two polarized parts to work together, a dynamic, transformative process results.

For more information, see Self-Therapy, Vol. 2, chapters 4 and 5, or Resolving Inner Conflict.

Self-Therapy-Vol-2