This is another aspect of my work exploring the different ego states or parts that exist within all of us. Often people struggle with an aspect of the self, a part that is nervous and afraid. This may be a younger child part inside, a part of the ego that never fully grew up, which now is hyper-sensitive to any form of criticism. Interestingly, many such people have a corresponding critical part. This part typically judges and shames the younger, more wounded sensitive child parts. But usually the inner critic is just a child or teenager pretending to be an adult to try to help the child survive an uncaring early family environment.
This 8-minute video explains well how childhood experiences shape the way our autonomic nervous system responds to threats in the world today so shaping our behaviours. This explains why there’s such an epidemic of anxiety and chronic illness.
Studies have shown that whilst these parts present as a whole ‘little person or scary person’ in the therapy room, inside an MRi scanner they show up as distinct neural networks within the brain. EMDR seems to have a unique capacity to differentiate and integrate such networks to achieve healing.
Together as an EMDR team we work to explore and integrate these separate parts within the psyche, to help all of your parts to heal and work in harmony rather than in conflict. This can often require patience and detective work but the results can be life changing. The goal is to help you grow the compassionate, caring, curious, creative, connected adult parts that we all possess to a greater or lesser degree.
For more see the Internal Family System (IFS) by Richard Schwartz. I recently led a workshop for therapists exploring ways of combining IFS therapy with EMDR.