All the notes were taken directly from the source mentioned.
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I was particularly drawn to Carl Rogers and Fritz Perls.
IFS invites therapists to relate to every level of the human system intrapsychic, familial, communal, cultural, and social with ecologically sensitive concepts and methods that focus on understanding and respecting the network of relationships among members.
Changes in one aspect of any system, they said, could have unforeseen, unintended, and often powerful consequences in connected systems.
Changes in one aspect of any system, they said, could have unforeseen, unintended, and often powerful consequences in connected systems. In addition, systems would try to maintain homeostasis.
Families just needed clear boundaries, including rules about who interacted with whom and how, so that family members were not too close or too distant from each other.
Therapist reframed the harmful or mysterious behavior of the child as the child’s positive intent to protect the family.
There I learned about Murray Bowen and Virginia Satir, family therapists who challenged my biases by focusing on the experience of individuals within families.
In that Quinn had no sense of control over what her parts said or did, she described them as being autonomous. They had distinct voices, talked back, said funny things, and were willing to cite their motives.
In the 20th century, the subjective experience of psychic multiplicity, which we can think of as many inner personalities operating in one person, was widely considered pathological.
Although our limited vocabulary for distinguishing among our inner entities (at least in English) blocks us from being aware of the activity of this inner community, our ignorance does not stop the community from conducting its business.
Notably, they spoke of frequent, abrupt, and drastic shifts in their feelings, thoughts, and behaviors, as if some very different people were taking turns possessing them.
In this way, observing instead of avoiding their parts helped my clients find a new perspective on their inner experience.
The voices seemed to have reasons for being extreme.
Spent many sessions asking Quinn and other clients about their parts. What were they like? What did they want? How did they get along with one another? Which ones did the clients like and listen to, and which did they hate, fear, or ignore?
The more relevant family therapy concepts such as homeostasis, triangulation, and scapegoating looked in relation to their inner dynamics. Everything I’d learned from structural family therapy seemed to apply.
I was experimenting with the empty-chair technique from Gestalt therapy: The client sits in one chair facing another chair that is empty. Imagining a part in the empty chair, she talks to it.
What if destructive parts actually intended to help? What if they didn’t like the extreme roles they had been forced into?
What if, the more we lectured, drugged, and tried to banish or control parts like this one, the harder they would fight to protect our clients?
What if we could simply help these parts with their fears?
Such intense inner conflict frightened younger parts in my clients’ systems. Their fear set off more protectors who would dissociate or else distract clients by doing something impulsive like getting high, getting angry, getting physically sick, or picking someone up for sex.
Since I didn’t live with my clients, I didn’t want to be the central figure in their inner lives. Instead, I invited them to focus inside, talk to their parts, and tell me what was happening.
Their psyches were too full of chaos and conflict. So I tried having them engage in a non-coercive dialogue with just one part at a time. This, too, proved extremely difficult because as soon as they tried to talk with a target part, they felt angry, disgusted, or afraid, and their open, curious attitude went out the window.
When we try to have two people dialogue in a family, other family members often chime in, take sides, and escalate the conflict.
I had learned to make boundaries by asking interfering family members to relax, and sometimes even by asking them to move physically so the dialoging pair would not be distracted seeing them.
Sometimes we had to ask two or three voices not to interfere before the client could shift into a state
Developmental psychology and attachment theory.
I began to experiment with noticing parts in my body and asking them to step back
When my clients entered the Self-state they didn’t just witness their parts passively, they began to interact with them creatively, which seemed to heal them.
What do you want to say to this part now?
I realized I couldn’t teach them how to relate any better than this.
My job, therefore, was mainly to help clients remain in the Self-state.
Family therapists know they must connect with, reassure, and get permission from the family’s leery protectors before they can safely focus on vulnerability.
Psychodynamic therapists were absolutely right on certain topics: The past does affect the present profoundly; people are driven by unconscious phenomena, which is to say phenomena that remain out of awareness; emotion and the body are key to effective therapy; and, finally, the therapeutic relationship is also key, including both transference and countertransference processes.
We can enter the unconscious and interact with it directly, asking questions about the desires, distortions, and agendas of the inner system.
In response, our clients’ parts will answer clearly, take the client directly to crucial scenes from the past, and explain what is most important about their experience, removing the need for us to speculate, reframe, interpret, or instruct.
Now whenever I see signs, even subtle signs, of a somatic takeover, I encourage clients to stay with or even exaggerate that experience.
I have also learned that my relationship with clients is terribly important to our success, in part because it gives them a new relational experience of acceptance and compassion.
We can detect our parts as they react to a client (countertransference).
For this purpose, the language of parts helps because we do not have to say, I feel angry or afraid or impatient. Instead, we can say, A minute ago a part of me felt, and I will help that part so it doesn’t interfere.
1. Systems thinking encourages us to be ecologically sensitive. Resistance is the (often correct) response of protective parts to a potential threat (the therapist) to the system. Protectors deserve to be understood, appreciated, and comforted before the client tries to approach vulnerable parts. The job of protectors is to ensure that a proposed therapy will not make matters worse. This is their duty. They are more knowledgeable than the therapist about the delicate ecology of the client’s inner system and the possible negative consequences of going too fast. Protectors have a right to vet the therapist for competence and safety before letting her enter the inner system. To be worthy of a protector’s trust, we must lead from the Self.
2. Extreme protectors usually will not change until the system is less vulnerable. Consequently, we do not pressure protectors to change, even ones who are involved in destructive symptoms. Instead, we suggest that they can be liberated from their protective roles if they allow the client’s Self to help, and we invite them to consider what role they would prefer after the exiled part no longer needs protection. Then we ask them to permit the client’s Self to heal the part they protect. Finally, we ask if they are ready to move into new, preferred roles.
3. Restoring trust in the Self is the quickest route to improved leadership and inner harmony.
Therapist to talk directly to parts. This process is called direct access,
4. We invite clients to notice that parts have blended with the Self, or we help parts notice that the Self will be available when they separate or step back.
5. Protectors fear one another, which keeps them in extreme positions. Each part believes that relaxing will allow a polarized part to take over, with catastrophic consequences. Therefore in IFS we continually notice and attend to polarizations.
Once the Self is moderating and polarized parts finally make contact and realize they share a goal (the client’s safety), long-standing polarizations often melt away promptly.
IFS orients therapists to be respectful and non pathologizing. We all have parts, and parts, like people, are talented and resourceful but constrained by the traumatic events that generated extreme emotions and beliefs (burdens).
Phenomena such as internalization and introjection are viewed in IFS as burdens that can be released rather than as qualities of a part.
IFS therapists are always asking about the network of internal relationships in which parts are embedded and the extreme beliefs parts may carry.
IFS-based couple therapy in Toni Herbine-Blank’s book on the topic “Intimacy from the Inside Out”.
8. Finally, systems thinkers believe that living organisms have the capacity to self-heal.
This is most visible when our bodies bring various intricate healing strategies to bear on physical injury, but it is also true for emotional injury.
Systems thinking. Rather than analyzing an organism’s components which is now called reductionistic, mechanistic, or atomistic thinking systems thinking is wholistic, organismic, or ecological. Rather than asking What is this made of? systems thinkers ask, How do the components of this function as a pattern? and What is the larger context in which it operates, and how is it affected by that context? Rather than studying each part individually, they map relationships among a system’s parts and with its context.
As a result, rather than focusing on the qualities of each part, I was quickly intrigued by their relational patterns and how those patterns affected the larger system in which they were embedded.
A basic premise of IFS is that people have an innate drive toward and wisdom about their own health.
In such an atmosphere, people do not mind sacrificing some of their personal resources and goals for the greater good, because they feel valued for their personal qualities as well as for their contribution, and they care about one another’s well-being. They communicate well because they are sensitive and responsive to information flowing among members of the system.
A part is a personal quality or attribute, natural or acquired, esp. of an intellectual kind (as a constituent element of one’s mind or character)
When clients are uncomfortable with the word part or, more likely, with the concept that we have parts we can simply follow their word choice: aspect, thought, sub-personality, character, feeling, place, person,
In this book, we aim to help readers stay mindful that a part is not just an emotional state or a habitual thought pattern. Rather, parts are discrete, autonomous mental systems, each with their own idiosyncratic range of emotion, style of expression, abilities, desires, and views of the world. For example, a part who is angry can also feel hurt or scared. If we just see it as the angry part, we are likely to ignore its other feelings.
When we view a part as a child or teenager who is shy or angry in a certain context, we are more likely to be curious about who it would be in other circumstances than we are to believe it is defined by this one attribute.
One group tends to be highly protective, strategic, and interested in controlling the environment to keep things safe. In IFS we call the members of this group managers.
When these parts feel injured or outraged, managers will banish them for their own protection and the good of the whole system. We call them exiles.
Finally, a third group tries to stifle, anesthetize, or distract from the feelings of exiles, reacting powerfully and automatically, without concern for consequences, to their distress as well as to the over inhibition of managers. In IFS we call the members of this group firefighters because they fight the flames of exiled emotion.
Exiles are the parts who have been exploited, rejected, or abandoned in external relationships, and then subjected to negative judgments from other parts of the system.
In general, managers have no tolerance for fear, shamefulness, and emotional pain. To them, injured parts are defective, weak, threatening, and pitiful.
Like the abandoned children they are, exiles want care and love. As a result, they look for rescue and redemption, usually tapping someone who resembles the person who rejected them in the first place or even returning to the actual abuser.
Often exiles will pay virtually any price for even small amounts of acceptance, hope, or protection.
Women are often socialized to rely on a manager who is perfectionistic about appearance and behavior. This manager believes she must be perfect and please everyone or she will be abandoned and hurt. Many women are also socialized to rely heavily on a caretaking manager. Extreme caretaking parts push women to sacrifice their own needs continually for others, and will criticize a woman as selfish if she asserts herself.
And then there is the dependent manager, who tells the person he is a victim and keeps him appearing helpless, injured, and passive to ensure that other people will take care of him.
Success not only brings control over relationships and choices, but also serves to distract from (or compensate for) inner shaming, fear, sadness, and despair.
Other common managerial tools run the gamut from obsessions, compulsions, reclusiveness, passivity, numbing, emotional detachment, and the sense of unreality all the way to phobias, panic attacks, somatic complaints, depressive episodes, hyper vigilance, and nightmares.
Although the Self can be an observer, it is neither passive nor just a witness. Instead, once parts differentiate from the Self, it becomes an active, compassionate, collaborative leader.
Trying to change or heal one part without understanding its network of inner relationships often results in resistance at best and severe backlash at worst.
Self-acceptance is the ongoing process of welcoming all parts and banishing none.
The Self of IFS interacts with parts and is also transcendent. As an entity, it is available to hear competing perspectives, to nurture, and to problem-solve.
Dan Siegel has written in the last 20 years, including his 2012 book, The Developing Mind: How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are.)
The beginner’s mind is full of wonder.
We are born inquisitive, and we naturally continue to be curious when we are not busy judging.
Curiosity. In addition to containing many possibilities, the beginner’s mind is full of wonder.
Many people, especially those who have experienced trauma, feel constantly tense, like a tightly wound spring. This ongoing state of arousal predisposes them to overreact to challenging people and events.
The Self short-circuits this cycle by doing something completely unprecedented for the inner system: validating and comforting its exiles.
Bacteria and viruses interfere with healing in the body. Beliefs and overwhelming feeling states (burdens) interfere with healing in the psyche.
In a letter in 1950, Albert Einstein wrote: A human being is a part of the whole, called by us, Universe, a part limited in time and space.
Connectedness links with calm and confidence to echo something much bigger, sometimes called the divine.
Creativity Scientists, inventors, and artists often describe inspiration emerging fully formed after hours, days, or even months of conscious, rational puzzling and consideration.
We can tap into creativity once inner noise diminishes.
When manager parts who crowd our awareness are finally able to relax, we can suddenly problem-solve with spontaneous, out-of-the-box thinking that inspires more creativity as well as great pleasure and relief.
Of course, in addition to curiosity, calm, confidence, connectedness, clarity, creativity, courage, and compassion, the Self manifests many other qualities: for example, perspective, joy, patience, kindness, gratitude, persistence, equanimity, playfulness, and especially love.
Whereas empathy involves feeling with another person, compassion involves feeling for another person, which motivates concern and the desire to help.
Compassion uses reward circuitry whereas empathy (the experience of feeling with) uses pain circuitry.
T. S. Eliot wrote, We are distracted from distraction by distraction, filled with fancies and empty of meaning.
Extreme parts who appear irrationally self-destructive and aggressive are not what they appear to be. Instead, extreme parts have a rationale for their behavior and they feel driven to extremity by beliefs, emotions, and energies that enter our systems from trauma or attachment injury;
These beliefs, emotions, and energies can be inherited from family,
We call extreme beliefs, emotions, and energies that enter through direct life experience personal burdens. We call the ones that were absorbed from family, ethnic group, or culture legacy burdens.
Epigenetic studies are indicating a relationship between environmental stressors that induce a genetic change called methylation and conditions such as asthma, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
At the top of the list are worthlessness, unlovability, and being too much or too little.
Parts are forced into extreme roles in a few ways: They protect exiles proactively (managers) or reactively (firefighters), they polarize each other, and they are frozen in a frightening time in the past
Parts are not their burdens.
Legacy burdens develop in families and can back go many generations. Personal burdens develop in response to events that are personally traumatic.
Although removing the Self from the body seems to be a useful survival skill in terrifying moments, it also leaves a blanketing inner numbness, which, though relieving, is deadening.
The more embodied they are, the more their experiences and approach to life is illustrated in posture, gesture, voice, and facial expressions.
In the first step we empty our heads of expectations, ask our parts to step back, and embody our Selves. Next, we ask the client for permission to explore physical illness.
We guide the client to focus on a physical symptom, and then we are curious and listen, as we generally do with parts. We speak directly to the symptom as a part. If no parts are involved with the symptom, we guide the client to ask if any part has information about the symptom. We ask the client how he feels toward the symptom, and then we ask parts who hate or fear the symptom if they are influencing the client’s body or medical compliance. We guide the client to ask for parts who know how to heal the body, either generally or in this particular area.
[We call this a do-over. Instead of trying to undo the past, which is a common strategy of protective parts that always fails because it is based on trying to prevent a traumatic experience that has already occurred or deny that it happened, we invite the exile to direct a preferred scenario with a preferred outcome.]
Finally, full recovery may require other changes, including to diet, medication, environmental stressors, and medical compliance. And we should never ignore other promising avenues of healing such as meditation, massage, naturopathic health care, and acupuncture.
If we believe that people have the ability to deal effectively with their problems, we focus on discovering and changing whatever constrains their inborn abilities. If, on the other hand, we believe that people have problems because they lack something whether that something is a strong ego, a workable understanding of the problem, a nurturing parent or mate, skills training, or chemistry then we try to give clients what they lack with interpretations, information, teaching, directives, reframes, reparenting, or drugs. These constitute two very different approaches with clients. One is a collaborative, democratic partnership, which conveys confidence that clients have what it takes to be self-reliant and in relationship, the other is more of a hierarchical relationship in which clients are seen to be lacking or broken.
The IFS model asserts that we all have the inner resources we need. We assume that parts are constrained by systemic imbalances and burdens, and we believe that the client has the necessary resources (the Self) to release them and harmonize the inner system.
We also spell out IFS assumptions: Everyone has parts; parts live in a web of relationships, much like a family; parts can end up in constraining roles and need help; all parts are valuable; and everyone has, at their core, a Self with the ability to lead.
The experience of expecting to be rejected and humiliated but feeling accepted and valued instead is in itself emotionally corrective.
When we are Self-led we offer our most injured clients the opportunity to be close to someone who, seeing the pain underlying their abrasive behavior, can rebalance internally and remain a compassionate presence.
When we encounter a problem in therapy, it means that a part is probably interfering but we don’t know whose part it is: the client’s or ours.
A therapist who is invested in alleviating symptoms quickly will feel happy when a client is doing well but discouraged, defensive, and pessimistic when she is not doing well which will only feed the client’s pessimism and inner recriminations.
Most protectors will gladly stop their behavior once the part they protect has been healed and the system is less vulnerable.
Using all kinds of strategies to avoid acceptance and grief, including undoing (Let’s go back to before that happened and erase it), speculating (What if I had delayed by just 5 minutes?), reminiscing nostalgically (Things were better when), minimizing (That wasn’t so bad), and comparing (Others have it worse/better).
During early sessions we are most interested in the relationships within the client’s inner system: who is currently doing what to whom and why.
Gestalt therapy’s open-chair technique is one way of conducting direct access, but most often in IFS we don’t have to guide the client to move; we simply ask to talk to a part directly,
If we are confident in the model and curious about the client’s experience, the client’s managers will relax eventually and inner vision may develop.
Before moving to in-sight we often use direct access to talk to a client’s managerial parts about what we plan to do and how safe it will be, which gives managers the opportunity to check us out. Once we have their permission to proceed, we shift to in-sight.
As mentioned previously, researchers Singer and Klimecki (2014) explained that the act of feeling with can either involve a deep sense of resonance and connection (what we’re calling mature empathy), or it can tip into emotional overwhelm and cause social withdrawal (which they call emotion contagion and empathic distress). In contrast, feeling for (compassion) is associated with positive, other-oriented thoughts and feelings as well as prosocial behavior. Consequently, feeling for (compassion) develops internal stability, whereas feeling with (the continuum from empathic distress to mature empathy) has the potential to be internally destabilizing, depending (in IFS terms) on how internally differentiated parts are from the Self. Singer (personal communication, November 2017) also found that compassionate feeling for manifests in a different neural network (reward circuitry) than the empathic feeling with (pain circuitry) response.
In-sight involves the client’s Self communicating with the client’s parts internally, whereas direct access involves the therapist’s Self talking to the client’s parts directly while the client listens.
In IFS training we take six steps with protective parts, which are designated the 6Fs: find, focus, and flesh out followed by feel toward, befriend, and explore fears
our job is to ask not tell, so we guide the client in exploring her system and all that information unfolds organically.
Beginners in IFS are liable to make three mistakes when it comes to introducing the concept of parts (see Box 9.1). The first error involves talking about parts too eagerly and using too many words, which elicit caution in the client’s managers.
The second error is to be so tentative and inconsistent with the model’s language that the client’s managers sense danger and resist.
The third error involves anticipating that clients will find parts language silly or bizarre and communicate this unease, which also elicits caution in therapists’ managers.
it’s useful to keep summarizing what we hear:
If the client endorses our summary, we move on to choosing a target part by asking another question, Who needs your attention first?
LOCATING THE TARGET PART IN A SENSATION, FEELING, OR THOUGHT
There are many ways of perceiving and communing with parts. For some people inner communication includes visuals, sounds, and sensations;
How do you feel toward the [target] part?
Once we switch to direct access, the important question is not how the client feels toward the target part but how the therapist feels toward it, which (if we are Self-led) should be somewhere from curious to compassionate.
To avoid the exile going right back to a room where something bad happened, we suggest starting with the instruction, Put the part in a room or space that feels safe and comfortable.
As always, we explore the part’s concerns. The part may need to spend more time with the client’s Self to feel safe, it may need to know that the therapist isn’t judging, or another part may be interfering.
These include the client or the therapist suddenly getting sleepy, changing the subject, losing the image, expressing impatience with the pace of therapy, or expressing extreme views.
We check ourselves first. If we find that one of our parts has created a problem, we tell the client. If he has been aware of our part, he feels validated. But even if he hasn’t noticed our activated part he is likely to feel relieved that we are willing to be responsible for our parts and pleased that we are being honest. Clients feel reassured when we are transparent and take responsibility for our parts.
Nondirective Questions to Assess Whether the Client’s Self Is Present to Take Over â‘ What do you say in response to that? â‘ What needs to happen now? Why are you saying or doing this [extreme behavior]? What do you really want for [the client’s name]? What are you afraid would happen if you stopped doing or saying this? If [client’s name] were able to keep [the feared consequence named by the part] from happening so you could quit this job and do anything you wanted to do, what would that be? Would you like us to help you get into that new role?
Therapist sticks to three strategies: (1) observing and reassuring (see Box 10.3), (2) asking clarifying questions, and (3) asking hypothetical questions
If a protector disagrees that something good could happen, which is likely, we just validate its pessimism: I understand why you would feel that way given your experience.
The IFS model reminds us that everyone has a Self along with other, less hostile parts, and our role is first to do no harm, and second to facilitate the client’s Self in providing for her needs.
After we find and flesh out a target part, preferably a manager, we make sure that the client’s Self is available (feel toward) and then we facilitate the bond between the target part and the client’s Self (befriend) so we can learn about its motives (fears).
Once the client has a relationship with the target part and we know what drives its behavior, we make two essential offers: (1) We can address the part’s problem, which is the imperative to protect an exile and (2) we can provide credible help for that exile in the form of the Self.
In our experience, every client has polarized parts who maintain each other’s extremes.
For example, when a child is returned to safety, comforted, loved, and helped to understand and accept what happened, her Self will also stay available, and will respond to hurt parts inside with love, comfort, and acceptance.
it is important to differentiate protector polarities from protector exile relationships. We can do so easily with a simple, revealing question: Who do you protect? If the part says No one, it is an exile.
What does this part want you to know, feel, or sense about what happened when it experienced these feelings and picked up these beliefs?
Parts who have gotten stuck in time are trapped in a repeating loop that reinforces burdensome beliefs (I’m weak, I’m unlovable).
Some of these other parts worry that offering to help change the past is a sneaky way of denying what really happened. Here we can point out that the Self witnesses what actually did happen before offering to help the exile assert what should have happened.
The Self accepts an exile’s reality by witnessing its story, a process of connecting and giving love then. The Self offers the exile the chance to rescript its experience and assert what was deserved at the time.
Though burdens can embed so thoroughly they seem to the client to be in the body’s DNA, they are parasitic. If the exile does still have burdens, we ask where it carries them in or on its body (parts have their own bodies).
I was feeling so lost and desperate that I resorted to asking the client if she had any idea about what to do next, and her parts gave me the perfect next step. Clients’ systems have the wisdom to heal, and they taught me this model, so don’t be afraid to consult with them regarding next steps.
In IFS we address the needs of all the parts in a relational network because parts cannot change in isolation.
In IFS we aim to enter the client’s inner system without prejudice or agenda, leading when necessary but mostly following. We aim to be very ecologically sensitive.
Mistakes become opportunities for apology and repair.
Many therapists work too hard trying to provide whatever clients presumably lack, whether that is insight and good interpretations or a good-enough attachment figure.
A daily practice of being curious, trusting, and exerting less effort (doing less) delivers us to the wellspring of health in our clients and is highly rewarding.
When we act the expert in IFS therapy, we undermine our main therapeutic goal, which is for our clients’ parts to learn to trust and look to the client’s Self. As soon as the client’s Self is available, the therapist’s role is simply to help all parts differentiate and notice when parts blend.
Trainees in IFS are encouraged to work with their parts constantly.
Eastern spiritual traditions tell us that the teacher will be there when the student is ready.
If a machine breaks, they reasoned, we fix it by knowing what is broken, not how it broke.
Parents can abdicate their role, discredit their ability to lead, and forfeit their influence by being impulsive (e.g., violent), compulsive (e.g., substance dependence), biased (e.g., favoring one child over another), or overly passive (e.g., depression).
Effective leadership has many other aspects, including:
Ensuring that all family members receive the loving attention, information, and privacy
Creating an atmosphere in which concerns and feelings are not exiled so needs and differences can be expressed, mistakes admitted, problems recognized, and dreams shared.
Have, at least to some extent, a shared identity: a set of values and goals that is mutually derived and gives each member the sense of connectedness and direction.
Self-led leaders are sensitive to feedback from other systems in the environment, which they interpret without delay or bias, facilitating an open communication process as the family digests the feedback.
Helping parents think contextually is one of the primary jobs of family therapists.
These four leadership problems (abdication, polarization, discredit, and bias) can create problems in any system.
A number of terms have been used to describe relationships in well-functioning families: cohesive, flexible, effective communication, caring, supportive, cooperative, and low in conflict, to name a few all of which can be encapsulated within the dimension of harmony.
Our job, therefore, is to help them embody their Selves rather than providing advice or interpretations that aim to solve the couple’s problems.
Family members come to therapy speaking to each other from rigid, righteous parts who take coercive positions and are always ready to escalate with the other person’s protectors.
Rather than expecting the therapist or the intimate partner to be the good attachment figure for exiles, the person’s Self is the primary caretaker. This approach frees the other partner to be a secondary caretaker, a position of far more freedom and less dependence.
We, therefore, advocate doing IFS with these parts listening to them, understanding how they try to protect us, and ultimately convincing them that we can safely let go of legacy burdens.
With no sense of irony, managers shame in order to avoid being shamed, making the mind a monstrous echo chamber in which external shaming is reiterated as if it were factual information.
This is completely parallel to the inner systems of abuse survivors, whose managers hate vulnerability and whose vulnerable parts believe they deserve abuse.
Portugal, which had a massive drug problem, decriminalized all drugs in 2001. Instead of legal consequences, drug users were offered public health services. In response, overdose deaths in Portugal fell by 85%, reaching the lowest rate of drug mortality in Western Europe,
The Health Ministry of Portugal spends less than $10 per citizen per year, whereas the United States spends $10,000 per household, which means our drug policy has not only been lethal for thousands of Americans, it has cost the taxpayer more than $1 trillion, money that is obviously needed elsewhere.
The only real solution to destructive impulsivity and compulsivity is to heal the pain that motivates the behavior.
Being sleep-deprived, eating certain foods, or lacking exercise can make our parts feel lousy, which puts them at risk of being extreme and emotionally overwhelming.
Qualities described by the eight C-words (curiosity, calm, clarity, connectedness, confidence, courage, creativity, and compassion),
Injured, exiled parts long to be witnessed (understood and validated) and reinstated as valuable inner citizens just like injured people who have been shunned.
Overburdened protectors at both levels can lose trust in leadership, growing rigid and extreme even though they hate their roles.
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