This piece is an exploration of the psychological concept of “parts.” According to the Internal Family Systems model, the mind is made up of myriad subpersonalities. In addition, Carl Jung’s idea of the Collective Unconscious suggests that beyond our individual unconscious, we possess ancestral memory and experience including archetypes such as “mother,” “teacher,” “hero,” and “villain.” It is often helpful in psychotherapy to tease out these complex, often contradictory parts of the self and bring them into consciousness in order to find new ways of relating internally.
The Voices in my head are cold, sticky, sharp-edged, toothy monsters. The Voices are nurturers, warm and enveloping, as they rock us gently, “shh shh, it’s alright.” The Voices are juiced up children cartwheeling in the yard and hungry children hiding in closets. Some are calm and others scream out urgently. Some use threats and some beg for peace.
Mortified: connecting with others to find relief from shameWhen I was 15, I wrote some pretty silly things in my diary (because I was 15). When I was 17, I went back through those entries and edited them, leaving critical comments about my intelligence and maturity as a 15 year old. Actually, a big chunk of the beginning of the diary is torn out because my 17 year old self was too disgusted with what she read. Reading through these entries the other day I was tempted to go back in and edit the edits with some fresh critical comments aimed at the 17 year old who was obviously being a jerk. Sometimes it’s hard to accept ourselves exactly how we are or how we were. It’s easy to judge, criticize, feel shame, and attempt to re-write history. But if I can’t be messy and immature in my diary, where can I be? [read more...]
Most of these posting are excerpts from my podcast A Therapist Walks Into a Bar and articles I've written for Psyched in San Francisco Magazine I credit my words with the teachings of many people in my life, from authors I've read to friends, family, colleagues, and clients. These words represent my interpretation and synthesis of the things I'm learning. Topics vary but inevitably come back to the same thing: building awareness around how we interact with ourselves and the world around us.