Parts Psychology: A Trauma-Based, Self-State Therapy for Emotional Healing
Parts Psychology describes a new model of psychotherapy treatment that demonstrates the normalcy of the presence of parts, or subpersonalities, in all humans. A glance at patients’ inner worlds at first appears to show cases of multiple personality disorder (dissociative identity disorder). However, the 13 core chapters of cases studies actually illustrate that having unconscious parts (subpersonalities) is normal. Counseling of these patients involves the identification of each person’s internal parts as an essential aid to healing the emotional issues that brought them to therapy. Psychological problems that receive treatment include anger and rage, depression, anxiety, extreme jealousy, binge eating, bulimia, porn addition, lost love, career loss, low sexual desire, marital issues, sexual swinging, grief, and child abuse.The introductory and concluding chapters describe the theory that guides the work of parts psychology, and link it to ideas from the early 20th century (Morton Prince) and late 20th century (John and Helen Watkins, Richard C Schwartz). Although the book’s case studies aim for general readers in psychology, the theory chapters invite experienced therapists to do a close reading as they consider adding the framework to their own toolkits. The book utilizes an anthropological approach to understanding patients’ inner worlds in the sense that therapy is a process of discovery of each patient’s own world of parts rather than the world of the therapist imposed upon the patient. Most commonly, patients’ visualized images of their internal parts appear as obvious versions of themselves, varying in dress, facial expression, or body posture. Frequently, some internal images appear as child parts, and sometimes they appear in the form of the opposite gender. Less frequently, but commonly, internal parts may appear as animals, animated film characters, colors, geometric symbols, or natural phenomena such as clouds. Whatever the particular image a patient visualizes, it is only a symbol. The more important content of a part is its unique set of memories. Life experiences recorded in the memories are the subject matter for therapy. Adult issues always have to do with the painful or novel life experiences that created the problems in each person’s life. Successful therapy results from resolving issues founded in previous life experiences, particularly those of childhood.
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