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We think of ourselves as one person – The Self. We are actually made up of various parts, aspects or sub-personalities that have been developed from birth based upon all our experiences, both good and bad. Some of these parts were developed as a result of negative experiences to protect us from re-experiencing the emotional pain. These Protectors often create inner conflicts between our desire to achieve and a belief system that has been formulated (mostly from childhood) to hide emotional pain.

Example: Mary was raised by an over-protective mother who created an unrealistic fear for her concerning the dangers of the world. At this early age her subconscious mind developed a belief system that constant caution would keep her safe. As an adult, she has trouble making decisions and feels unsafe in a relationship. She also has a desire to live a full life however she’s constantly over cautious and feels in conflict.

These two parts: Protector from emotional pain / danger and Achiever – experience the world – are in conflict. She is confused and frozen.

Example: While in kindergarten John suffered a devastating embarrassment while standing in front of his class. At that moment, in his subconscious mind was born a part that protected him from embarrassment. So as an adult whenever he is in front of a group he suffers anxiety as a result. He doesn’t know why however he feels this discomfort which has held him back.

These two parts: Protector – devastating embarrassment and Achiever – public speaking are in conflict. He is confused and frozen.

How many people do you know suffer any of the following inner-conflicts, they want to: quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more, be more proactive, leave a relationship, find a new relationship, change jobs, stop procrastinating, make new friends, read more, give back, meditate, relax etc. But they always seem to sabotage these goals. The Protector is the part that sabotage the goals with the intent of keeping us safe from re-experiencing emotional pain. Most of the time it is holding us back.

Our internal systems or parts become organized around emotional pain in order to avoid additional pain.

Listen to the internal voices: inner critic – appearance – procrastinator – performance – addiction – excessive worrying – feeling of worthlessness – unworthiness – social fears – anger – sensitive feelings – loneliness – judgment – unhappy with life – victim – unhealthy cravings – high achiever – success etc.

I use client centered parts therapy when there’s an obvious inner conflict preventing you from achieving important goals so you can make the changes you desire, be the person you want to be.