|Audio Summary||MP3, 48 kHz|
How does your relationship within yourself help you develop a deeper connection with your partner? How can you balance the skills of inner work with the skills required for a thriving relationship? By now you’re aware that there are all of these parts within us that shape who we are - both how we see ourselves, and how the world sees us. You have these parts, and your partner has these parts. The more that you and your partner can be the “leader” of your parts, and the more you can interact with each other from that place, the deeper your intimacy will become. Today’s guest, Toni Herbine-Blank, has created a practical way for you to do just that. She is the developer of Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) - which combines the wisdom of Internal Family Systems with Attachment Theory and state of the art couples therapy - to help you and your partner deepen your connection while making it more resilient. Internal Family Systems Recap: For an in depth discussion on the Internal Family Systems model, revisit episode #26 with IFS founder Dick Schwartz. Briefly, IFS outlines that we each contain a Self and many many parts. We have protective parts of our personality (managers and firefighters) which have developed to take on the role of protecting the more vulnerable parts of us (exiles). Exiles are often young parts of ourselves that have been wounded in relationship and have been pushed back and tucked away by the system in order to not get hurt again. Imagine a giant umbrella with two little feet sticking out from underneath. The umbrella is the protective system (sometimes called coping mechanisms, or defenses) covering up the little exiled ones from any harm. We do not get out of childhood without getting hurt. Whether you have experienced BIG T Traumas, or little t traumas, you, and everyone, have healing to do. We have all been wounded, even those with ideal childhoods, and our systems have responded by creating protective mechanisms. Children are brilliant at creating the defensive strategies- and now these ways of being are so tightly woven with who we think we are, and how we operate in relationship that they can go undetected. Why think in parts? Seeing ourselves through a parts lens begins to open us up to connection, awareness, and experience of core Self. Self is unwounded, ever-present, and an incredible healing resource. It is our heart space. Without parts languaging, we can get stuck between the protective system and the vulnerabilitieLihat Semua
s, leading to internal and external tension, stagnation, and cycling in ourselves and our relationships. Access to Self brings energy to a relationship from the inside out. A parts perspective also allows for differentiation between what you do and why you do it. As you learn more about your own internal system, you can begin to take responsibility for how you are showing up in your relationship without getting stuck in the shame and blame cycle that so often takes the energy and intimacy out of relationships. The You-Turn- The You-turn is at the heart of the Internal Family Systems model, and at the core of what develops vibrant intimate relationships. As so many of us know, it is so easy to focus on our partner when we are suffering. We blame them for what they are or are not doing, and hold onto it as though it is the cause of our hurt/grief/disconnection/discomfort. The You-turn is just this- it is a redirection of focus to the internal. Invite yourself to start looking inward with curiosity- what happens inside of you in response and reaction to your partner? Track internal cycles and sequences: By bringing curiosity towards the internal experience, we can begin to observe the unfolding of our interactions. Noticing in real-time what is happening internally slows us down enough to allow for many more options of interacting! To start learning to do this, begin by simply tracking what IS happening. Are you yelling? Withdrawing? Shutting down? Then begin to see these reactions as coming from parts of you. Bring in curiosity- what are these parts trying to protect? Developing this inner awareness takes practice, safety, and often benefits from the support of a therapist. Listening for needs: Many couples lose connection due to communication struggles. How are you using language? What kind of language are you using? Notice your patterns in speaking and in listening. How deeply are you listening to your partner? And what is getting in the way of really being able to listen carefully? As you ask these questions, begin to invite yourself to listen deeper, meaning listening for the underbelly of the conversation. Often the content is a variation on the theme of needs. Listen under the surface of what is being said for what needs you, or your partner, are expressing a desire for being met. Protection evokes protection: Often our conflicts arise from a protector to protector interaction. If you respond to your partner through speaking from a protective part,...