I’ve always enjoyed talking with people about their interests. Learning about what sparks their curiosity and passion for life. And as a mental health therapist, I get to nurture that passion by talking with people for hours on any given day, learning about their histories, struggles, and joys. My love for wellness and internal family systems therapy (IFS) pair very well together in my work with clients and in my personal life. What is considered a type of therapy treatment (IFS) is also a way of living, and can be weaved into the thread of everyday life. I decided to bring this awareness to the community by creating That Wellness Podcast with Natalie Deering, where I discuss various wellness topics from a personal level and from the perspectives of those I interview. Below is some basic information regarding IFS.
- IFS belief: We are all multiple beings. We are ourselves and we have parts. There are no bad parts. All parts are welcome. Ex. A part of me wants to go to sleep and another part of me wants to keep watching a Netflix show.
- Protector parts: These parts try to protect us from intense emotions, negative beliefs, sensations, etc. They are categorized as managers and firefighters.
- Manager protectors: These parts are proactive, they say “never again will I be caught off guard”, they plan, control, strive, criticize, worry, and care for others. They get things done, they often look good to others, but often it leaves you feeling exhausted.
- Firefighter protectors: These parts are reactive. They put out emotional fires when managers fail to keep them down. They act fast. They work hard to protect vulnerable parts but they can have messy and unpleasant consequences. They soothe, numb, and distract.
- Exiles: These parts are vulnerable parts of our personality. Often young and scared, they can carry shame, rage, panic, terror, grief, loneliness, and dependency. They carry memories of our childhood where we felt abused, neglected, shamed. They also carry negative beliefs such as “I’m worthless” or “I’m not good enough”.
- One of the goals of IFS therapy is to help the exiled parts release their burdens so they work in harmony with other parts, and therefore the protector parts no longer have to be stuck in their extreme roles.
- Self Energy: with a capitol S, is what exists within everyone. Self is not a part. It is the source of light, wisdom, and healing. This light within you has never been damaged or abused, it cannot be destroyed. It carries the energies of the 8 C’s.
- 8 C’s: Calm, curiosity, connectedness, compassion, courage, clarity, confidence, and creativity. I also like to add playfulness, choice, presence, etc.
I invite you to join me as we connect together with a curiosity for wellness, life, and IFS.