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Internal Family Systems is a therapeutic model that posits that every person has multiple internal parts or sub-personalities, and these parts interact with each other to form our personality. The IFS model suggests that we all have different parts that we may not be aware of or may not want to acknowledge, but they still play a significant role in our life experiences.

Internal Family System – Part

When our partner displays behaviors that seem out of character, we can assume that their internal parts are triggered, causing them to act in a way that is not aligned with their true self. In such situations, holding space for our partner and validating their feelings is helpful. Listening to this way means creating a safe emotional space for them to express their emotions without fear of being judged or rejected.

We can hold space for our partner’s broken parts by modeling curiosity and empathy towards their subpersonalities. We can ask questions and actively listen to understand their perspective rather than reacting to their behavior. When we approach our partner’s broken parts with curiosity, we can help them identify the root cause of their behavior, which can help them understand themselves better.

When we validate our partner’s emotions, we can help them feel seen and understood, creating a more profound connection. Holding space for our partner’s broken parts can help them feel heard and validated, which can be incredibly healing. Validating our partner’s emotions can also help them regulate their feelings, leading to a more peaceful and harmonious relationship.

It is crucial to recognize that our defensive responses towards our partner’s behaviors are not necessarily directed towards them but are often defensive responses towards our internal parts activated due to unhealed wounds. By acknowledging our inner parts and working to heal them, we can create differentiation within ourselves, which can help us become more self-aware and more present in our relationships.

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As a wounded healer, I understand using my own experiences of pain and healing to connect with and support my clients. I have gone through my struggles and have come out on the other side (and in some cases, things are still a work in progress) with a deep understanding of what it’s like to be in pain.

The Wounded Healer

The idea of the wounded healer is often associated with the work of psychologist Carl Jung, who believed that individuals who have faced their struggles and undergone a healing process could be particularly effective in helping others navigate similar struggles.

Being a wounded healer can be challenging because it requires a careful balance of vulnerability, transparency, and professional boundaries. It’s important to share one’s story to create a deeper level of empathy and understanding, but we must also remember that the therapeutic relationship focuses on the client’s needs.

Additionally, being a wounded healer requires a strong focus on self-care. I know I can only be effective in my work if I prioritize my emotional and physical health. This means setting boundaries and taking time to recharge and replenish my energy.

Despite the challenges, being a wounded healer is incredibly rewarding. By using my experiences to help others, I can create a deeper level of connection and understanding that can be transformative. And by being open and transparent, I can create a safe space for healing and growth.

If you’re a wounded healer like me, remember that experience can be valuable in helping others heal. Take care of yourself, set boundaries, and be open and honest with your clients. Your work can be gratifying, and you have the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives, despite being imperfect humans ourselves.

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Resistance isn’t a sign of something bad, it’s a sign of healing.

I’ve learned that struggle and resistance are often seen as negative things – signs that we’re on the wrong path or that something is going wrong. But I’ve realized that they can also indicate that things are working.

When we try to make changes in our lives, whether it’s in our relationships, our work, or our society as a whole, there will always be resistance. This is especially true when we’re challenging the status quo or trying to disrupt systems that have existed for a long time.

Resistance can take many forms. It might come from other people who don’t agree with our ideas or who are threatened by the changes we’re proposing. It might come from within ourselves as we struggle to break old habits or overcome self-doubt. It might come from external circumstances that make it difficult to move forward.

It might be a sign that we’re doing something right. But here’s the thing: resistance doesn’t mean we’re doing something wrong. When we push against resistance, we’re testing the limits of what’s possible. We’re challenging ourselves and others to think differently and to consider new perspectives. We’re creating space for growth and change.

Of course, this doesn’t mean we should always ignore the resistance and plow ahead. Sometimes resistance is a warning sign that we can adjust our approach or reconsider our goals. But when we’re confident in our vision and committed to our values, we can use resistance to help us stay on track.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of following external suggestions from others, especially when those suggestions seem to come from sources of authority or expertise. But we can remember that those sources may have agendas and biases and that our experiences and perspectives are just as valid or far better. The key is to stay focused on our intentions and make choices rooted in our values rather than getting derailed by externalities.

So if you’re facing resistance or struggling to change your life, take heart. Keep pushing, keep learning, and keep growing. The resistance will eventually give way, and you’ll emerge more robust and resilient on the other side. It might not be easy, but it’s a sign that you’re on the right track.

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