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IFS Exercises: Reviewing Earlier Work

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 0:59
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In IFS, you have 2 Basic “inner parts” or Aspects as I call them, and 1 ‘higher part’ and 1 ‘lower’ part that are used in advanced work only. But– yeah, I’ll go there! Heck! I already have through my dream quests!

1.) Protectors/Managers/Parental Selves:
I call them Rays. These are aspects that try to influence your behavior from the outside to keep you safe, liked, connected, etc. They may emulate messages from your parents, teachers, society as a whole, or peers from your teen years, and when unhealthy, cause DEPRESSION & RAGE.

2.) Exiles/Vulnerables/Rejected Selves:
I call them Shadows. These are aspects of yourself that are considered to be too fragile or open or prone to rejection, etc. They often get hidden, cast aside, and for some powerfully repressed, often causing FEARS & ANXIETIES

3.) Higher Selves?? I call them Guides. What’s funny is how no psychologist or psychiatrist ever looked for these, they just kept popping up in the work and dreams of patients/clients. Whether ‘real’ from the spirit plane or just deeply sources of wellness we all have, Guides seem to have a knack for this kind of work and are great resources if you can ‘tap’ into them, causing PEACE & INSIGHT.

4.) Firefighters/Reactionaries: I call them Freakers. These tend to apply to those with a history of abuse or neglect.  They’re the aspects who revolve around distractions from pain and cause ADDICTIONS & COMPULSIONS, including self-harm and harming others.

EXERCISE: Think of 2 Rays you’ve already come to know.

MAJOR RAY: Military guy, looks and sounds like a serious Clancy Brown and showed up that way in several dreams.

Previous work:


~ How does Major Ray help you manage your life and interact with your world?
He considers himself a leader of the Rays, a “Strategic Defense Specialist.” His concerns are following rules, maintaining boundaries, assessing threats, and coming to a plan of attack when an enemy is upon us!

~ How does the Major relate to other people?
Warily! He looks at people in terms of “allies” and “enemies.” Things are more black and white to him than to others. He’s cut and dry, and when he ‘takes over,’ so am I.

~ What is his positive intent for you?
He wants to keep me from doing anything ‘stupid’ that will lose me resources, shelter, or safety. He wants me to be more careful of what I say and who I trust. He also wants to assist me to keep control and not ‘lose it’ emotionally, as he knows bad people just pounce on any signs of weakness .

~ What is he trying to protect you from?
Bad people, and myself from being too naive, trusting, and getting hurt– again.

~ How does the Major protect you from pain?
He seems to be a background ‘Watcher’ most of the time, but he seems to send me messages or warnings to pay attention about things. Sadly, I don’t think I listen to him very well, and I can understand his frustration with the rest of me.

~ Updates since last work?
Not much. Mostly I’m cocooning self-protectively until I’m stronger, and I know he approves of this.

IRMA: Busy domestic goddess, kind of like Bree from Desperate Housewives, only with black hair.

Previous work:


~ How does Irma help you manage your life and interact with your world?
She is the “Domestic Organization Manager,” and a direct contrast with my hoarder mother! She concerns herself with the upkeep of material possessions and living spaces,

~ How does Irma relate to other people?
She either avoids them, or she’s ‘bossy’ and a bit impatient and irritable. Anger came from dealing with mother who made us live in filth with crap piled literally to ceilings.

~ What is her positive intent for you?
She likes to make things nice for the other aspects. Nice things, nice atmosphere. Very helpful Ray!

~ What is she trying to protect you from?
The misery and squalor and chaos of my mother’s home in my later childhood, teens, and early adulthood.

~ How does Irma protect you from pain?
Through action. She demonstrates mastery over a small part of our shared world. We can live better than mother made us! Irma makes it okay to reach for more, to have better things, to care about pretty rooms and decorations for holidays and such.

~ Updates since last work?
Irma and I have become good friends. She helped me with Windy Firs to make a nice home, but her talents really came out in my 2 rooms here at the Ghost Lake house! I amazed myself with my/her talents. We really have a flair for this!

EXERCISE: Think of 2 Shadows you’ve already come to know.

MATT: The ginger and curly-haired 98 pound (actually less than that!) weakling, with freckles. Matt is from “doormat.”
Note: This is a Shadow that was healed and then crushed again…

Previous work:


~ What are Matt’s emotions?
He used to be scared of bullies in school, and would give in or give up, surrender, back down, etc.

~ What pains and fears does he carry?
He’s afraid of violence and being physically hurt. Also afraid of social retaliation (as with mean girls groups.)

~ What are his beliefs?
He used to think he was too weak to stand up to people and without social support/back-up.

~ At what point in childhood is he stuck?
Last time I saw him, he was around 13 or 14 years old.

~ What situations trigger Matt?

Being unfairly maligned in a group situation, being around angry men who look ready to get violent.

~ What Rays are summoned by him?

I don’t know! I’ll have to find out one day.

~ Updates since last work?

Matt sent the mean bully inner aspects on their way and stood up for ME to them. He’s sort of what I did for the Shadows I think, only he can apply that to people. Before the betrayal and divorce, I was in a good place as far as standing up for myself, but then I was beaten down again, and I think Matt got scared and sad. Its awful to re-hurt a healed Shadow!

ROSE: Self-sacrificial romantic. She gets deeply attached. Pretty and very feminine lady who wears pink skirts.

Previous work:


~ What are Rose’s emotions?
Quiet now. She was beside herself and even crazed over Gerick’s rejection of her before last spring, when she relented. Normally, she connects through romance and warm, deep feelings of love.

~ What pains and fears does she carry?
She doesn’t want to be alone and unloved, and she really freaked out there for awhile when all her worst fears (rejected after 25 years to ONLY person who reliably took care of her) came true. Total breakdown!

~ What are her beliefs?

She believes that love and patience can carry things through. She believes she’s lovable and can love. The divorce shattered those beliefs.

~ At what point in youth is she stuck?
Early 20s, I’d say… although sometimes she seems like a silly older teenager?

~ What situations trigger Rose?
Romantic relationships, and even some very close friendships.

~ What Rays are summoned by her?
Many defensive Rays that think we shouldn’t take chances that can hurt us (love means surrendering to another) and they wanted to really beat her down when she freaked out over being left. Therapy helped us not do that, and Rose gave up her love for Gerick as a gift to the rest of us.

~ Updates since last work?
She is not gone, despite stepping off tall building in dream. She still sometimes weeps over the end of our marriage at times, but less and less often. She’s accepted the truth, but it still hurts.


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