Internal Family System - example of parts work

February 15th, 2024
In: Anxiety

Internal Family System, developed by Richard Schwartz, a Marriage and Family Therapist, is a therapeutic approach that recognizes the presence of different parts within individuals, just like how different members exist within a family. The purpose of Internal Family System is to address and work with these various internal parts. In my therapy sessions with clients, I often utilize this approach to help them identify their internal parts and activate the Self, which serves as the leader of these internal family members (the parts).

The shame cycle explained.

Even the mention of shame brings up a desire to avoid even talking about it.  It is the worst feeling and experience. It can be experienced as a constant dull ache lurking to erupt if we give it any attention, to a sudden flash of heat and intense feeling of needing to disappear.  Shame is a relational experience. In other words, we are shamed by others and we develop internal shaming to prevent further experiences of shame, including shaming others.

Healing is not fixing

February 3rd, 2024
In: Trauma

Wounds, whether they are physical or emotional, can be quite painful. When it comes to physical wounds, we are often advised not to touch or disturb them. This is because we are concerned about the possibility of infection, bleeding, or making the wound worse.

Did You Know that Relational Repair is One Way?

February 1st, 2024

This is often hard to understand for a lot of the people I work with so in this post I am going to go through what we mean about repair in relationships.  Let’s start with acknowledging the kinds of things we need to repair in a relationship.  That might seem obvious, but let’s lay the foundation for this.  It starts with a communication or action by your partner that leaves you hurt, disappointed, let down, frustrated, and so on.  There may be things you have both said or done during a conflict that causes both to want attention to your hurt feelings. 

Boundaries with Others

January 28th, 2024

Are you getting burnt out by someone in your life? Do you feel resentment towards them? Are you exhausted? Do you feel guilty for not being able to maintain a lot of contact with them? Ask yourself this: Are you good at setting boundaries with others? Setting boundaries with others is a healthy way to preserve a relationship. When we constantly go beyond our limit with others we end up feeling resentful and wanting to avoid contact. We stay on the phone longer than we'd like, or spend money we don't have on them, or always go over to their house. 

The Truth About Depression and the "Just Be Happy" Myth

January 24th, 2024

Millions of people all over the world are affected by depression. However, despite its prevalence, misconceptions and misunderstandings about this condition persist, leading to ineffective and potentially harmful advice. One common myth is the notion that telling someone with depression to "just be happy" or to think positively will magically alleviate their symptoms. However, as mental health professionals and experts emphasize, the reality is far more complex.

The Always/Never Trap in Communication

January 14th, 2024

Many of us (myself included) have used the accusation you always__ or you never __  in arguments with loved ones.  This is an all too common response and if used consistently will erode trust and connection in an intimate relationship.  You have likely been given well-meaning advice about not using these words and how they damage communication.  However, how many of you are successful in doing that? 

You Don't Like Downtime, and You're Exhausted

Have you ever noticed that you don't like being alone? The thought of downtime or quiettime is overwhelming and you'll do anything you can to avoid it. Maybe you find you fill your space and time with work, friend, your kids...and when they're all busy, you still find places or spaces to be, so you don't have to be alone. This might mean a place like Costco, or it could just mean plugging in the vaccum so you can feel like you're doing something and you're avoiding any thoughts or emotions that might be felt in the quiet.


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