You are stronger, more creative and more resourceful than you think you are.  You have the wisdom to make great choices for your life.  You will transform yourself through even the most challenging life transitions in ways you never thought possible.

Jeanne McLennan

RN, Master Certified Coach

Assisting you through planned and unexpected life transitions
When you are able to  support yourself in operating from your True Self, you possess an almost infinite capacity to grow and achieve what you are capable of.   - Pete Gerlach, MSW

Parts Work/Grieving


Personality Parts


Normal people are comprised of normal healthy “Personality Parts.”  In essence they want the best for us, although  at times we may hear their voices as harsh, judgmental or three-alarm warning bells.

Each
“Part” of our personality has a unique function and sees the world differently from the other Parts. Parts other than the True Self will, under tension or pressure, sometimes try to take over our thinking process. “Parts” cannot be eliminated, but when they get to know and trust True Self as a competent leader, they can be retrained/educated to work in harmony with our inner team.

There are three categories of Personality Parts: 
  1. Managers (who include True Self as our CEO,* and perhaps an Observer, Nurturer, Wise One, Spiritual One, etc.)  One of our Parts is an expert leader, and we call that Part our True Self.  When our True Self is leading, we experience that as “being in the flow,” effectively accomplishing what we want and being in sync with who we truly are.
  2. Inner Children (perhaps some of whom have experienced Abandonment, Fear, Guilt, Resentment, Hurt, Neglect, Shame)
  3. Guardians who typically exist to protect Inner Children (These may include an Inner Critic, Perfectionist, People Pleaser, Procrastinator, Rationalizer, Righteous One, Skeptic, etc.) They can be worked with to learn to trust True Self. Once that is accomplished, they can be invited to be a productive member of the inner family team.

When Parts interfere, we may experience it as conflicting inner voices, being blocked, procrastinating,doubts or we may even engage in self sabotage.  In a person who is for the most part whole, healthy and resourceful, the process of converting a Part from interfering to being helpful and supportive can be relatively straightforward.


Grieving and How it Relates to Transitions/Loss

Grief is a normal response to loss.  It is most often associated with the death of a loved one, but in fact is felt with many other losses as well.  Other losses that may trigger a grief response might be the loss of a job, a move away from your family or support system, divorce, retirement, empty nest, etc.  Some transitions may appear to be positive ones, but still require letting go of of the familiar and embracing the new.  These might include marriage, parenting, new work... In every transition, we must grieve the loss of what we are leaving behind in order to fully embrace the next part of our life journey.

Grief is signified by an internal process that includes physical, mental, emotional, behavioral, social and spiritual components.  It is a real and necessary process.  The intensity and the time it takes for us to grieve depends upon how great or small we perceive our loss to be.  It also depends on how dependent we were on the object of our loss for our identity, and for the daily tasks of living.

There is no timetable for grieving and another person's grief will be different from your own.  We do not complete one step and move on to the next, rather it is a dance back and forth through the process.  Grief comes in waves.  In the beginning, you might feel like you are being engulfed by your feelings as though you are standing in the midst of stormy violent waves.  As you begin to heal, your feelings will gradually give way to gentler waves that you feel confident negotiating.   

Although difficult, we must go through the process in order to come out on the other side with a sense of wholeness, acceptance and the ability to move on.  If grief is suppressed, it will eat away at us in a variety of fashions, and quite possibly lead to serious illness and or the inability to negotiate life in a productive and healthy way. 

Let me repeat that grief is a normal response to loss and transition.  If you allow yourself to experience it, surround yourself with support and treat yourself with compassion, you WILL come out the other side.

*If you believe you are stuck in your grief, you can reach out for help in a professionally run support group, through therapy or by doing Parts Work with a therapist trained in Inner Family Systems. (See Resources tab.)