No Bad Parts is the title of one of Richard Schwartz’s latest books on Internal Family Systems (IFS), an approach to trauma healing. In the IFS model, inner “parts” of our psyche take on more extreme beliefs and roles in order to keep our system safe, particularly to protect other hurt parts that have been overwhelmed by traumatic events. In this model, these “protector” parts of a person are not bad or evil, no matter how extreme, harmful, destructive, or even horrific, their actions. Parts are naturally, inherently friendly and caring. They take on extreme and hurtful roles and behaviors so the overall mind-body system can feel safe, survive, and function.
When violence is happening between people, I see it as protector parts in them going to war, fighting to survive a trauma-filled environment from the past that becomes the present. From this perspective it’s not whole people who are being violent to each other. It’s the parts of people in conflict who have taken on extreme roles in order to survive traumatic experiences.
This understanding helps bring me back to understanding and compassion when parts of me start thinking a person or a group is wicked or evil because of what they are doing or saying.
If we can bring caring presence and empathic connection to those parts, and help the parts connect empathically with each other, reconciliation and healing can happen.
This is our way out of hell. This is how we create the more beautiful future we know with our hearts is possible. Do you want to join me in this?
I created the MYL app as a free resource for all to benefit from in times like these. I invite all to utilize this tool during this challenging time, it will help you navigate and learn how to bring caring presence and empathic connection to the parts within you and to others. You can download it here and begin today: https://mediateyourlifeapp.com/.