"All Parts Are Welcome"
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
We all have many "parts" of ourselves...We usually don't feel just one way about things, and that's part of being a human. We are complicated by nature! Being in therapy is an opportunity to get to know all the parts of ourselves, even the most "difficult" or distressing ones.
Therefore, at Creating Space Counseling and Wellness, we begin therapy with a radical invitation: All Parts Are Welcome.
Why Would I Want to Get to Know Them?
When people begin therapy, they often express embarrassment, shame and guilt about certain parts of themselves. As a way to avoid feeling those emotions, they don't want to think about or talk about certain events from the past or present, or their related feelings. This can be true about trauma from the past, it can be true about present day relationship patterns and behaviors. For example, some people don't want to disclose that they've experienced sexual abuse as children because they believe it was somehow their fault and/or they feel ashamed. Another example is when people are embarrassed about current abuse in a relationship or when people use alcohol or other substances. In these circumstances, it might be true that people experience shame or embarrassment, it may also be true that they don't want to talk about it because some parts of themselves don't want to change their situations.
Kids also have many parts of themselves and can be similarly reluctant to talk about anxieties, fears, and related behaviors like sleeping issues or homework refusal. Again, kids often want to avoid fear or embarrassment about their feelings and behaviors, and some parts also may not feel ready to change their behavior.
So why would we want to get to know all of our parts? Because even and especially our most difficult parts can help us to better understand ourselves and often hold the key to healing.
How It Works
What if we could acknowledge that there is a part of ourselves that really wants to stop emotionally eating (for example), but there is another strong part that enjoys it? Instead of denying that part...
What if we could talk to that part, to learn what it enjoys about eating? We could explore when this part first start coming around, make sense of how this part developed. We can find insight into what the purpose of this part is. Is it protecting you from something? Our most difficult parts usually are.
What if we could name whatever it was that part thought we needed protection from and learned alternative, healthier ways to cope with it? Maybe then our "difficult" part wouldn't need to protect us anymore. What if we could then get permission from these parts to let the rest of ourselves handle what we need to, to allow these difficult parts to "take a break" from their work? Maybe then they would relinquish its power, freeing us from its reign. This is what is happening when you come to a place when you feel that you are making progress, reaching your therapy goals and healing.
Welcoming all parts of yourself may be a radical act. But it is only through acknowledgment, acceptance and compassion that we can truly heal, to allow ourselves to be who we are, to connect with our best selves.
Call Creating Space Counseling and Wellness today to get started! 856-281-1664