Help Sheet for Self-Therapy | Self | Compassion

Help Sheet for the IFS Process

This is a summary of all the steps of the IFS procedure. It is meant to guide your steps while you are working on yourself or partnering with someone. 1. Getting to Know a Protector P1. Accessing a Part If the part is not activated, imagine yourself in a recent situation when the part was activated. Sense the part in your body or evoke an image of the part. P2. Unblending Target Part Check to see if you are charged up with the part’s emotions or caught up in its beliefs right now. If so, you are blended. Check to see how you feel toward the target part right now. If you can’t tell, you may be blended. If you are blended with the target part, here are some options for unblending.     Ask the part to separate from you so you can get to know it. Move back internally to separate from the part. See an image of the part at a distance from you or draw the part. Do a short centering/grounding meditation.

If the part doesn’t separate, ask what it is afraid would happen if it did. Explain to it the value of separating and reassure it about its fears. P3. Unblending Concerned Part Check to see how you feel toward the target part right now. If you feel compassionate, curious, and so on, you are in Self, so you can move on to P4.

and repeat. . check again to see how you feel toward the target part. or direct knowing. The part may answer in words.  If it isn’t willing to step aside.  If it still won’t.If you don’t. Developing a Trusting Relationship with a Protector You can foster trust by saying the following to the protector (if true):  I understand why you (do your role). emotions. and reassure it about its fears. then unblend the concerned part:  Ask the concerned part if it would be willing to step aside (or relax) just for now so you can get to know the target part from an open place. Discovering a Protector’s Role Invite the part to tell you about itself. P4.  I know you’ve been working very hard. make the concerned part the target part and work with it.  If it still won’t. images.  I appreciate your efforts on my behalf. body sensations. explain to it the value of stepping aside. Here are questions you can ask the part:  What do you feel?  What are you concerned about?  What is your role? What do you do to perform this role?  What do you hope to accomplish by playing this role?  What are you afraid would happen if you didn’t do this? P5. ask what it is afraid would happen if it did.  If it does.

Explain that there is a point -. ask the protector to show you the exile. . Explain that the protector can choose a new role in your psyche. If it won’t give permission. Explain that you will stay in Self and get to know the exile. ask what it is afraid would happen if you accessed the exile. Getting Permission to Work With an Exile If necessary.2. Possibilities are:  The exile has too much pain.  Consciously separate from the exile and return to Self. not dive into its pain. 3.  There isn’t any point in going into the pain.  Get an image of the exile at a distance from you.you can heal the exile. Ask its permission to get to know the exile. If the exile won’t contain its feelings:  Ask it what it is afraid would happen if it did.  The protector will have no role and therefore be eliminated.  Do a centering/grounding induction. Getting to Know an Exile E1: Accessing an Exile Sense it in your body or get an image of it E2: Unblending From an Exile If you are blended with an exile:  Ask the exile to contain its feelings so you can be there for it.

E4: Finding Out about an Exile Ask: What do you feel? What makes you feel so scared or hurt (or any other feeling)? E5: Developing a Trusting Relationship with an Exile Let the exile know that you want to hear its story. but you need to be separate to do that. Ask the exile how this made it feel. Check to see if the exile can sense you there and notice how if it is taking in your compassion. 5. Check to make sure the part has shown you everything it wants to be witnessed. unblend from any concerned parts. allow yourself to feel the exile’s pain E3: Unblending Concerned Parts Check how you feel toward the exile. 4. . After witnessing. They are usually afraid of your becoming overwhelmed by the exile’s pain or the exile taking over. Explain that you really want to witness its feelings and story. Conscious blending: If you can tolerate it. If you aren’t in Self or don’t feel compassion. Reparenting an Exile Bring yourself (as Self) into the childhood situation and ask the exile what it needs from you to heal it or change what happened. check to see if the exile believes that you understand how bad it was. Communicate to it that you feel compassion and caring toward it. Explain that you will stay in Self and not give the exile the power to take over. Accessing and Witnessing Childhood Origins Ask the exile to show you an image or a memory of when it learned to feel this way in childhood. then give that to the exile through your internal imagination.

8. notice what positive qualities or feelings arise in the exile. See if it now realizes that its role of protection is no longer necessary. How does the exile carry the burdens in or on its body? What would the exile like to release the burdens to? Light. Ask the exile if it wants to give up or release the burdens and if it is ready to do so. If necessary. You can bring it into some place in your present life. 6: Retrieving an Exile One of the things the exile may need is to be taken out of the childhood environment. Integration and Unburdening a Protector Introduce the transformed exile to the protector. fire. Once the burdens are gone. earth. If it doesn’t want to. ask why and work with that. your body. or an imaginary place. ask what it is afraid would happen if it let go of them. Then handle those fears.Check to see how the exile is responding to the reparenting. . Imagine yourself in the original trailhead and see if any parts become activated. If it can’t sense you or isn’t taking in your caring. water. Unburdening an Exile Name the burdens the exile is carrying—extreme feelings or beliefs. take it through an unburdening and notice what positive qualities arise. The protector can choose a new role in your psyche. wind. 7. or anything else.

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