Just a few months ago in October I went to Sheffield to take the first block of Internal Family Systems training, a model developed by Dick Schwartz. I wasn't sure what to expect, and because I was reasonably familiar with the concepts of this 'parts' model, with 'protectors' and 'exiles' and a sense of 'self'. I've been in an ongoing training mode for many years now, and fell in love with Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, my main approach, and didn't think anything else would 'hit the spot' for me.
Well, what a delightful surprise when on day 1 I was very gently but powerfully introduced to my 'own' parts as I started to engage with 30 plus colleagues on a similar journey of discovery. The training was very safe in terms of the way it was conducted, and it gave us all room to bring ourselves as fully into the experience as we would allow. I was so impressed by the senstivity and 'permissions' needed from all our own internal parts before we would venture to our places of pain and trauma. By day 5 I was using the model in our practice triads and I had so many applications in my head to apply to current client work when I returned home to my private practice. I felt very nourished indeed.
I'm grateful to the IFS colleagues who gave their time to assist us 'novice' practitioners in this training. I'm now looking forward to February coming and block 2 of the training. In the meantime my 'parts' and me have been doing lots of personal work, with some very interesting outcomes.