IFS: Inner Parts Introduction

The Healing Room at Heartspace

Module Four - 60 minutes

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Inner Parts Introduction

Once you have completed (and perhaps repeated) Modules One & Two, you have familiarized yourself with the room, settled in, and explored its contents. You have found some initial resources, and developed and deepened a few more. Perhaps you have also done Modules Three & Four and learned additional skills which will help you in working with your parts. Now you will learn about your internal system of parts.

Instructions for Inner Parts Introduction

Take a deep breath.


Read Why Did I Do That: How You Make Sense and Why There is Hope for a very refreshing and easy introduction to your Self and System of Parts.


Take a deep breath.


Find the IFS wheel. It is a laminated circle that has a brief description of Self and the three main types of parts. Taking your time, look it over and notice how any of these seem familiar to you. You probably have experienced Self and each of the types of parts at different points in your life, and even different times in a single day.


Take a deep breath.


Find the book Parts Work and read pages 5-8; (Introduction to Parts Work), and page 29; (How Parts Develop).


Take a deep breath.


Find the Self-Therapy Cards in the mesh bag and take out cards 1A-E, 2A-G, & 5A-C. Look through these to get more of an idea of Parts, Self, Blending, Unblending, Concerned Parts (or Protectors) and the overall Inner System.


Take a deep breath.


Use the colored index cards to begin to catalogue each part you realize. You can give each one a name or title, which you can change at any time. You can also jot notes on the card about the things you know about that part.


Take a deep breath after each part is acknowledged by making a card for it.

Inner Active Cards

There is a box of cards called Inner Active Cards that have picture cards for various possible parts. It can be helpful to spread them out and look at them for ideas about your own parts.

Self & Parts: What Makes the Difference?

Find the Resources of the Self page on the bulletin board. It lists the 8 C's and 5 P's, qualities of the Self. These are what differentiates Self from parts. When you are self-present, you embody these qualities. When parts take over, called blending, you have less of these.


You have already read about the Self in pages 17-19 in Parts Work and p. 321 & 28-31 in Self-Therapy in Module One, and can refresh your knowledge by re-reading if you wish.


The Self is your innermost core being, like your soul. Often referred as higher self, or inner guide, or inner wisdom, the Self is capitalized in IFS to indicate it is different from the common cultural definition of self. The common cultural definition of self is more like your unique personality, what makes you different from everyone else. The IFS definition of Self is the same in everyone - it has these common qualities.


The Self is always there, has always been there. Hard things in life like traumas, scarcity, hardship, losses, difficult environments, etc. force parts to take over when there is not enough safety and resources for the Self to lead. Exiles take in the negative energy so as to preserve the Self. Protectors like Managers and Firefighters take on extreme thoughts, behaviors and feelings to keep the Exiles from blending and overwhelming the system.


All of this enables the Self to retain its purity and ability to later emerge and heal the system by connecting with burdened parts, witnessing them, and retrieving and unburdening Exiles.

Exiles: Hurt, Shame, Fear, Vulnerability

Take a deep breath.


Exiles are the parts of us that have taken in the extreme negative energy of hurt, shame, fear, vulnerability, powerlessness, despair, etc. - all the things that no one ever wants to feel. Read a brief bit about them on pages 25 & 26 in Self-Therapy.


Take a deep breath.


You may be aware of Exile parts in your system, and if you are, take this opportunity to make a separate colored index card for each of them, proving some kind of name for each and jotting a few notes about each on the index card.


Try not to judge or fear them. Speak to each one in your mind as you note them. Let them know you are aware of them and you will help them to heal. If you do and yourself judging or fearing them or having any reaction or feeling toward them than the 8C's or 5P's, you are blended with a protector.


Take a deep breath.


If you are blended with a protector, that is OK. That is what is supposed to happen. Protectors are tasked with pushing the Exiles away. See if you can get the protector to unblend (separate from you), so you can reassure the Exile and give the Exile some hope that it is not alone and there is an inner being (Self) that cares and wants to help.


Take a deep breath.

The Protectors: Managers & Firefighters

Take a deep breath.


Although Managers and Firefighters are both types of protectors, they have a very different character and style of protection. Managers are more proactive and try to prevent activation of Exiles by anticipating, avoiding, controlling, preventing. They are pro-active.

Firefighters by comparison are reactive. They will do anything to get attention away from the Exiles - often with no concern for collateral damage to you or other parts. They will distract, numb, excite, confuse, stimulate, and are often impulsive or addictive.


Read pages 22 & 23 in Self-Therapy to find out more about Protectors.


Take a deep breath.


You have read the laminated IFS wheel and read here about Managers & Firefighters. Identify the ones you have that you are most familiar with, make an index card for each one. Jot some notes about what you know about each one; what they do, what they think, how they feel, etc. You will have a chance in later modules to focus more specifically on your protectors. For now, let each one know as you make a card for them, that you understand they are trying to help and you appreciate their intentions. All parts have positive intentions.


Take a deep breath.

Parts Mapping - Arrange the Cards

As you make cards for each of the parts or after you have finished, arrange the cards on the desk or the floor in a way that makes sense to you. You are beginning to map your internal system. This can be called Parts Mapping. The arrangement can change over time as you find new parts, learn more about your system, or as your system evolves through healing. You can take a picture of your current parts map with your phone for future reference and for comparison with later versions of your parts map.


Some Healing Room users have placed their index card/parts onto a larger sheet of blank paper to represent the Self and being in a welcoming & loving system.


In future sessions, you may draw a parts map with materials in the desk, use post-it notes for parts and make a parts map on the wall, use available objects like fuzzy balls or marbles to represent parts and arrange them on the desk or floor.

Take Your Time/Repeat

All modules are intended to be done unhurried & at your own pace. The designated timeframes are really just a guess. If you don't finish the module you are doing in the allotted timeframe, just note where you left off and schedule another time where you can finish the module. It is also helpful to repeat modules and alter them for your own individual purposes.


Providing feedback in the private group blog at www.healingroom.space will help us make modifications in estimated time, and improve the overall experience of using The Healing Room.

Read On

Feel free to read more in any of the books referenced in your modules. Specific excerpts have been identified for quick reference and easy digestion within modules, but you are welcome to spend more time in these books to expand your knowledge and increase your understanding. Schedule additional time in The Healing Room to use the resources in whatever way makes sense to you.

Journal About What You Discover

There is scratch paper (recycled junk faxes on one side, blank on the other), writing pads, and sketch pads for you to use to make drawings and writing notes about your Healing Room experience. Take a moment at any time during your Modules, or at the end to do so.


You may also want to bring along your own private journal for this purpose.

Alternating Bilateral Stimulation

Remember, The Healing Room is set up with a stereo system that can provide audible Alternating Bilateral Stimulation (ABS) which is a component of EMDR therapy (Eye-Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing). The unique Alternating Bilateral Stimulation sample played continuously in The Healing Room is called Ocean Crossover and mimics ocean waves moving back and forth across the room at a gentle low volume in the background. It has a relaxing effect and supports the neural integration of new perspectives and healing of negatively charged memories, particularly when it is paired with specific tasks.


*Having the ABS playing at a volume loud enough to hear it, but low enough that it seems to fade into the background while you learn these skills, is optimal.