What is Parts Work?
Parts Work is a therapeutic technique born out of certain psychoanalytic traditions such as Jungian shadow work and Gestalt Psychology. The German word gestalt means “pattern” or “configuration.” Most people understand instinctively that their personality is not simply a random collection of features haphazardly thrown together, but rather a particular pattern of traits and experiences, unique to them and not the same as anybody else.
However, in the same way an auto mechanic might occasionally take an engine apart to make it work better, it can sometimes be helpful to examine our component parts individually, to better understand how they work together in the “whole” of our life.
We’re all made up of many different parts, some of which may even be diametrically opposed to each other. Each part has been necessary to survive different aspects and times in our lives, and each part has a positive intention, even if the effects of that part have become counterproductive or dysfunctional.
With curiosity and a sense of humor, we get to know these different parts and develop a greater appreciation for what they do for us (yes, even the parts we don’t like!) Ultimately, we learn to rest in our “Aware Ego,” where we begin to gently separate from our parts and make more conscious choices about which parts move into the driver’s seat, and when.
How does it work?
In conversation together, we’ll develop an understanding of what your dominant parts are, and which have been relegated to the back seat – or in some cases, hidden away completely. Most people already have a predisposition to thinking and speaking this way – saying things like, “There’s a part of me that wants X, but there’s another part of me that wants Y.”
I’ll help you step into one part at a time, and then I’ll engage in respectful conversation with each part. Parts yearn to be understood, and they often relish being given the spotlight for a little while. When we dialogue with them in this way, a flood of insight often comes.
After a Parts Work session there’s usually a feeling of being lighter or freer. It’s amazing what a tight grip parts can have on us – and how little awareness we often have around that. Once we begin the process of conscious communication with parts, that grip invariably loosens.
Who is it for?
Almost everyone benefits from Parts Work, because most of us have parts we’re not aware of, but that nonetheless impact our lives, sometimes profoundly.
This type of work is especially helpful for people who are feeling burned out, because burnout is almost always a sign that one part has been at the forefront for too long or too intensely. That part might be exhausted or ready to pass the reins on to another part.
There may also be a long-ignored, frustrated part who has decided to create an energy stoppage until it gets heard.
If you’ve ever said, “I just feel sick of myself,” you’re a great candidate for Parts Work.
Benefits of Parts Work:
The benefits of Parts Work are both subtle and dramatic. Here are some things you can expect to feel after doing Parts Work:
A radically new perspective around depression & anxiety
More enthusiasm for life
Profound and deeper self-understanding
Courage to initiate change
Greater sense of possibility
Better separation from your inner critic
New understanding of relationship patterns
Greater self-respect and self-love
I guide you in a Voice Dialogue session where you become more intimate with your different parts, and better understand how they show up in your life.
Parts Work is even more illuminating when done with others! My group workshops cost less than private sessions and can be even more deeply enriching. CONTACT ME to learn about upcoming workshops.