In the Thawing Your Inner Family of Self program I've blended the most useful and effective techniques I have learned in my almost 30 years of clinical experience. This multi-media course has a dual purpose:
1. It is designed for those who want to overcome Family of Origin Issues such as growing up in a less-than-nurturing family such as abandonment issues, codependency, PTSD, dysfunctional relationships, low self-esteem, chronic depression, etc.
2. It is designed to teach other counselors and coaches these very powerful and effective techniques for helping their clients too. The program is also a great compliment to any helping process by providing structure and tools for use with clients.
I combined the classics with some of the newest, most powerful personal transformation technologies available today to create this interactive process for Overcoming Childhood Trauma, personal healing and development. These include Gestalt psychology, Ego-State therapy, Inner Family Systems Therapy, Precision Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Transactional Analysis, Inner Child work, Parts Integration, Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Schema Therapy, and many other models. This, of course, includes at the very core my own Iceberg Model.
Video and detailed information to orient the learner on the concept of ego states or parts-of-self.
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Audio Introduction to the "Meet Your Inner Family" Series. The video's have a relaxing motion background for those who don't like staring at a blank screen when listening to audios. If you would prefer, just get comfortable, close your eyes and follow along. You may want to take notes from time to time; if so, just pause the video.
For each of the following questions write as much as you can in your Journal. Use your intuition and instinct rather than your analytical mind. It helps to close your eyes relax, settle back, and just ask yourself each question – then wait for an intuitive response. Take your time, you can glean a wealth of information from this exercise!
This video describes the dynamics, magical thinking, and child-created ego states involved in a dysfunctional pattern of communication called "The Figure Eight." The next several lectures below provide tools for learning and practicing CBT skills to strengthen the Adult Ego State. Use them as needed, especially if your child-created ego states make it a habit to "drive your bus" by overwhelming the Adult Ego State.
Download this form to your computer to fill out electronically. You may send the completed version to your therapist or coach, print them out or 'print to a file'. Then you may reset the form by clicking the reset button.
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Simultaneous Incongruence is the experience of inner conflict and commotion created by ego states with competing goals. It is very difficult to sort out the issue with all the commotion in our inner world when we get triggered. We need a way to remain objective and not get pulled into the chaos and emotional turmoil as we attempt to heal.
Gestalt Therapy and NLP helps us sort it all out with the concept of Sequential Incongruence ~ the process of projecting the parts involved in a conflict or symptom to our outer world, spatially separates us from them so we can communicate. There conflict remains, but the commotion is quieted down as the parts involved are sorted out.
1. We literally want to open lines of communication between different parts of our brain that have previously not been well connected. In the self-psychologies the term for this disconnection is “fragmented self”. When one part of you communicates with another part of you, neuropathways in the brain are being utilized to do that. The more we engage in these dialogues, the more open and connected these pathways become. In some cases we are even establishing connections that did not exist. The therapeutic term for this is “Integration.” The neurobiology term is “neurogenesis” or brain growth.
In this task we will use the trust and rapport we have been developing to gain the cooperation of the parts involved in your Well-formed Outcome goal. Since the protector parts are, in psychoanalytic terms, defense mechanisms they cannot do anything but what they were created to do – i.e., defend and protect the current survival system.
If we ignore these “managing” parts; plowing forward to make changes to your survival system we are asking for and creating unnecessary resistance. Indeed, even in the best of circumstances we will encounter resistance – but it won’t be unnecessary. It will be in the form of concerns or objections by parts we have already taken the time to get to know.
Once permission to access is given and all manager parts (defense mechanisms) have stepped aside, we are now prepared to access the wounded part.
In this task we need to bring the wounded part to the front and center, while managers fade into the background. Don’t be surprised if a manager steps up, or a new manager steps out into your awareness…just ask them about their concern or objection, negotiate/reassure them, and ask them to stand aside.
To develop a healing connection it is important to send the wounded part your empathy and compassion, even if you find the part distasteful at first.
If you do find it difficult to have empathy for this part them ask the part that creates the lack of empathy to step out into the room and work with that part. Find out what it thinks and feels toward the vulnerable wounded part and work to reassure and get it to step aside just as with any other manager.
The Re-imprinting process opens the door to healing by going to the imprint experience or experiences, watching the imprint happen, then using NLP techniques such as visualization and perceptual positions to re-experience the imprint the way it “woulda, shoulda, coulda” been in the ideal scenario. This doesn’t take away what happened in the original experience, it simply adds another experience alongside of the original. Now the brain has a choice on which experience to go to when triggered…it may start in the old direction by habit, but with a little guidance in the beginning, it can go in the new direction.
This is the core
healing exercises, these can be very powerful and build on the work you have
already done. (Use the Retrieval & Emotional Release process here.)
In your Journal, make a list of each of the parts you have worked with in the process above. Record their new jobs, new resources, new beliefs, and new roles for the personality as a whole.
Develop a visualization of the family of self working together in these new ways and practice that visualization for a few minutes every day. (See generic Self-Actualization Meditation)
Don Carter, MSW, LCSW has been a psychotherapist for nearly three decades during which time he has been employed at several mental health agencies around Mid-Missouri. He has held positions from entry level up to manager of a chemical dependency program at a large hospital.
Don has authored
The middle of seven children, Don grew up on a farm with hard-working parents who had their own issues from childhood. The farm work lead to a scholarship to play football at the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1977-79. He followed that with a brief stint with the New Orleans Saints in 1980. That experience was cut short by a developing problem with alcohol and drugs. A series of childhood tragedies and bouts with addictions lead Don to his first encounter with the mental health system when he entered an inpatient treatment program at 29 years old.
Don found treatment and recovery such a profoundly gratifying experience that he returned to school, finished two degrees, became a licensed therapist and dedicated himself to helping others find their way out too. The Iceberg Model in his bestselling "Thawing the Iceberg Series" was a product of the years that followed. Don attributes most of the success of that series to his relationship with God. "I really feel I am living the plan He has for my life and carrying a message He wants me to carry."
Don's primary specialty areas include addictions, codependency, mood disorders, PTSD, and Adult/Child Syndrome. He also has specialized training in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Hypnotherapy. He is in private practice in the Jefferson City & Columbia area of Mid-Missouri.