New Date: Transforming Your Inner Critic using IFS Course

I have pushed back the starting date for the Inner Critic Course in order to allow more people to enroll. It will now start on Oct. 16.

In the Inner Critic Course you will:

  • Develop the grounding and strength to separate from your Critic’s message so you have room to breathe and find your center again.
  • Learn about the seven types of Inner Critic parts and which ones are problematic for you.
  • Discover that your Inner Critic is actually trying to help and protect you (even though it actually causes trouble).
  • Use IFS to transform your Critic and heal your Criticized Child to support your self-esteem and confidence.
  • Develop your Inner Champion to support you to be yourself and feel good about yourself.

Freedom from you Inner CriticFor more information on the Inner Critic, click here, or read the book Freedom from Your Inner Critic.


This Inner Critic Course consists of live sessions by videoconference where you get to interact with Jay and a small number of other participants. Since we can see each other, it allows us to really create connection and trust in the group. We will teach you how to do this powerful inner work and demonstrate it using live IFS sessions with volunteers from the class.

You will also be paired up each week with someone from the class to practice doing an IFS session on yourself with your partner witnessing and helping you.

2017 Course Dates

Mondays 4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 eastern)
Oct. 16, 23, 30, Nov. 13, 20, Dec. 4
Cost: $300, $250 if you enroll by October 9
Click here for more information or to enroll


The Inner Critic and the Criticized Child

Critized ChildWhenever we are being attacked or judged by an Inner Critic part, there is always a second part of us that is receiving this attack and feeling hurt, depressed, or worthless.

We call this part the Criticized Child. This is an exile who believes the attack and feels ashamed or guilty, bad, or inadequate. Many people, at first, don’t make a distinction between the Critic and the Criticized Child, but doing so is crucial to unraveling this difficult issue.

There are always two parts involved. One part attacks us, and a second part feels attacked.

For example, suppose your Critic sneers at you and tells you that you’re so shy that you’re a loser and no one likes you. The sneering Critic feels harsh, judgmental, and dismissive toward you.

There is a second part of you (the Criticized Child) that believes this attack and feels rejected, ashamed, and worthless. You will need to work with both parts, but in very different ways.

The Inner Critic is an IFS protector that is trying to protect you by attacking you, as strange as that sounds. The Criticized Child is an IFS exile who already feels bad about itself, and the attacks from your Inner Critic make it feel worse.

If you haven’t already, you can take a quiz to learn which Inner Critic is more trouble for you.

In a 9 week on-line course learn how to Transform Your Inner Critic using IFS and Self-Therapy Journey

Telephone Course: Transforming Your Inner Critic Using IFS

The Inner Critic is the part of you that judges you, pushes you, and undermines your self-confidence.

It can make you feel worthless, ashamed, guilty, depressed, or inadequate. Actually, you probably have more than one Inner Critic part, each of which judges you for something different or in a different way. Bonnie Weiss and I have studied how to best work with these difficult parts using IFS in order to transform them into inner allies.

Transforming your Inner CriticThese Inner Critic parts aren’t quite what they seem to be. They are actually trying to help and protect you even though their effect is to harm you. In this course, you will learn how to work with your Inner Critics using IFS to make friends with them and then transform them. You will learn about other parts that arise along with the Inner Critic:

  • The Criticized Child, which is hurt by the Critic
  • The Inner Defender, which fights the Critic
  • The Inner Rebel, which defies the Critic.

You will learn about the seven types of Inner Critic parts and discover which ones are the most harmful to you—the Taskmaster, Perfectionist, Inner Controller, Underminer, Guilt Tripper, Conformist, and Destroyer.

You will learn how to discover the exiles (wounded inner child parts) that are being protected by your Inner Critic and how to heal them in order to free up your Critic from its judgmental job. You will discover how to develop your Inner Champion, which is the healthy part of you that can support and encourage you in the face of Inner Critic attacks.

The course will include reading, lecture, discussion, group exercises, and homework where you practice IFS work in pairs with other people from the class.

Tuesdays, May 5 – June 9 (6 two-hour classes)
4:30-6:30PM pacific time (7:30-9:30PM eastern)
Cost: $250

Each class will be recorded so you can listen to any that you miss.

Click here to enroll.

For more information attend the Inner Critic webinar this Tuesday (see above), or click here to get the replay of a longer webinar on IFS and the Inner Critic.

Unblending from an Inner Critic

At any given moment, you are either in Self or you blended with a part—a protector or exile. When you are judging yourself, you are blended with an Inner Critic part. When you are feeling bad about yourself, you are blended with a Criticized Child part. In fact, you are often blended with both the Critic and the Criticized Child at the same time.

You can only work successfully with an Inner Critic if you aren’t blended with it or the Criticized Child. When you unblend from a Critic, it doesn’t mean that the self-judgment disappears or you stop feeling bad about yourself. It means that you aren’t completely taken over by these feelings. You have some space inside that is separate from them. You don’t fully buy into the idea that you are inadequate. You can see that this is just a part of you that is attacking you rather than believing it is the truth about you. For example, if your Inner Critic says that you are a loser and will never find love in your life, you recognize that this is simply an attack from this part of you. It isn’t the truth.

Though you may still feel sad or ashamed, when you are unblended with the Criticized Child, you aren’t dominate by these feelings. You have a place in you (Self) that is feeling solid and OK. From this place you can view these feelings and understand these attacks and work with them. You may feel hurt to hear this message that you are a loser, and you may feel some hopelessness about your love life, but that isn’t all you feel. You reside in a place that is deeper than those emotions, a place of calmness and curiosity.  This is not the final solution to your Inner Critic problem. It is just a preliminary step that gives you enough space to deal with the problem.

Inner Critic Exercise

I encourage you to try out this simple exercise to get more in touch with your Inner Critic. Please respond and let me know how it works for you.

Exercise: Identifying the Critic and Criticized Child
Remember a recent time when you felt bad about yourself—when you felt ashamed, depressed, hopeless, or discouraged.
What situation were you in at the time?

What did you feel emotionally?


Take a moment to sense what that felt like in your body. Did you feel heavy in your heart? Collapsed in your chest? Weighted down? Crunched down or small? Teary?


Those are the feelings of the Criticized Child as that part of you receives the attack from your Inner Critic.

Think back to any thoughts or inner messages that happened just before those feelings came up or while you were feeling them. Which of them were judgmental or attacking messages from your Inner Critic, which may have caused those painful feelings? Write down those messages.




How to Begin Inner Critic Work

Mindy writes:
When you begin the inner critic work…because it’s so complex, are you able to begin through exploration and then filter out the parts, or should you just start with being curious about one specific part, like the criticized child! It seems very complicated and a little overwhelming! Just wondering how to even begin this work?!?!?

My response:
Usually the best place to start is with the Inner Critic part. For example, you might hear verbal judgments from your Critic or see an image of it as a harsh schoolmarm. Then you need to unblend from it and get to know it. Sometimes you might be  feeling the Criticized Child strongly, for example, feeling depressed, hopeless, or ashamed. Then you can start there. In either case, the first step is to unblend from both the Critic and the Criticized Child, so you are in Self and therefore can get to know the Critic in a helpful way.

It is useful to know about the rest of the Inner Critic cluster because these parts often come up when you are trying to work with the Critic. You might hear a part that starts arguing with the Critic. That is the Inner Defender. Or you might realize that you want to get rid of the Critic. In this case, you are blended with an angry concerned part. You need to ask these parts to step aside so you are in Self. For more details on unblending, see chapters 5 and 6 in my book Self-Therapy. Even though this book doesn’t focus on the Inner Critic, it shows how to work with any protector using IFS. (Our upcoming book on the Inner Critic will spell this out for Critic protectors.)

Then you get to know the Critic and find out its positive intent for you. This is covered in chapter 7.
Good luck.

I welcome further responses from Mindy or anyone else to this post.