If you have spent any time scrolling in the spiritual world, the psychology world, the psychotherapy world, or the psychedelics world, you have heard of the term parts work. In this blog, I am going to tell you a little about what parts work is and why we do it.

Parts Work is a way of thinking that has roots in many schools of thought: Gestalt Therapy, Internal Family Systems, and even Jungian Archetypal work.

While each school of thought has its own methodology, Parts Work, as we define it and use it in our therapy approach, is a therapeutic lens that assumes that each of us has many different parts to our minds and psyches.

Each of these parts has unique needs, wants, and beliefs and may be conscious or unconsciously playing out helping or harming us as we move through our days encountering different situations, triggers, and scenarios.

By bringing our awareness to these many different parts within us – giving each part a voice, learning what each part needs, wants, and fears is an integral reason we do parts work. Understanding when, how and why each part gets triggered – we are more able to lovingly integrate the many aspects within us to create more choice, expand our capacity to creatively problem solve, and to give us a greater sense of wholeness. Parts work also allows us to be less reactive and more responsive to our environment.

Parts work also helps us to recognize the patterns that we developed over time. It allows us to explore when and why those patterns were useful and how they continue to support us or hinder our growth.

Parts work – specifically getting to know the disowned and disavowed parts of us and then actively working to reclaim and integrate them into our conscious adult lives – is a critical skill we build in internal relational recovery work.

At Energy Tap we use the central nervous system (CNS) as the method for exploring your parts. we all have a CNS so we all have these functions in our system.

Here are some of the functions of your parts:

Attachment: These parts are concerned with ensuring that you are connected, these parts help you fall in love, create social relationships, help you to become a member of society by following the rules and they work to keep you alive because we are social creatures and your attach parts want to be social. These parts can also work against you, they often believe that you need others to survive, they can make you feel vulnerable and scared believing that you need others in order to feel loved and accepted. Your attach parts may believe that you were survival is contingent upon approval and validation. Often these parts present as childlike and feelings of vulnerability can take over the system.

Flight: These parts are very good at helping you escape. These parts can experience fear or the perception of a threat in your system. The way that they support you is often connected to your ability to use your imagination, creativity, they can keep you on the go, they are the parts of you that like to go to the gym, go for a walk, binge watch Netflix and in some cases over work. Oh these parts have a difficult time settling down, they are the parts of you that don’t like to get quiet and just be. Flight can often create a lot of hyperactivity in the system, others feel difficulty in connecting with you, they may experience you as unavailable or distant.

Fight: These parts are your greatest defenders. They are very good at creating boundaries for you. They experience anger in your system. They defend against the injustices in the world. These parts are designed to kill off the perceived threat and they can be hurtful to others in your life. These parts can be judgemental and they need to be in control. Others may experience these parts of you as defensive and argumentative.

Freeze: These parts are very good at creating harmony for others. These are the parts of you that know how to slow things down and give you space and time to process information. These parts experience anxiety in the system. They will create a sense of not knowing what to do, they feel confusion, they often experience anything that is new as a threat. These parts of you are very concerned with image, they work very hard to make sure that you are seen and perceived as socially acceptable. They work hard to ensure that you do the right thing in the world. They can also be seen as very calm and put together by others, however you experience them is very intense, they can create a lot of anxiety and panic in the system.

Submit: These parts are very good at shutting you down. When life becomes overwhelming these parts will take you to bed. These parts attempt to restore the system back to balance when everything has become too much or overwhelming. The system may experience depression and shame when these parts are active. These parts will take a lot of time to bring you back into balance. These parts of you know how to rest. Often they are experienced as resigned and unmotivated within the system. These parts can create disconnection from the social world and make us feel as though we are very alone, they can create a lot of sadness and grief within the system.

Deny it all: These parts of you help you go to work, get up and brush your teeth, just get on with it. These parts know how to deny your feelings, pretend nothing is happening and move forward. Denial is a very strong defense we all have and these parts push away what we don’t want to acknowledge.

Wisdom: This part of you is connected to the whole. Some say this part is connected to the large consciousness we all swim around in. This part of you is your intuition, your gut feelings. This part of you holds your compassion, care, curiosity, love, joy, empathy, and creativity to name a few. This part of you is the place within you that knows how to just be. This part is calm and centred and has all of the answers to the challenges that you face in life. We are born with this part of ourselves and we are conditioned out of believing in it.

We are raised into the externalization of wellbeing, we believe that something or someone outside of us holds the answers. There are no answers outside of us. We can get guidance and support from outside however the answers you seek lie within you.

At Energy Tap we have created a workshop called “Who’s at your table” it is designed to offer education, exploration and experiences of parts work. This workshop helps you to find your wisdom and use this aspect of yourself to create a deeper relationship with your parts. Many of us did not experience the support we craved as children, this workshop presents you with the tools you need to offer yourself the care and compassion you deserve.

The benefits of this investment will bring you closer to the internal world you have been seeking and create more compassion and love for yourself.

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