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Parts Therapy A Way to Understand Your Inner Critic(s)

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by Becca, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Becca

    Becca Well known member

    Whether you are "into" Internal Family Systems (IFS) or not, I wanted to tell you guys about a questionnaire that is a phenomenal way to get some clarification around what sort of Inner Critics are most present for you. This questionnaire was very eye-opening for me. We even discussed it on the parts therapy mailing list for a few days!

    It takes 5 minutes, maybe less. You do have to create an account to take the survey, but I don't think there's any confirmation required (it just takes you to the next screen, which I believe is the survey itself).

    The survey may tell you what you already know. I mean, I know I'm a perfectionist. I didn't need a survey to tell me that! It's really what comes afterwards that I found most illuminating, and helpful

    After you complete the survey, you have the option of profiling one of your Inner Critic parts (i.e. what triggers it, how it attacks you, what its motivation is) in order to help you understand it better. After you do this, you can then learn more about how to build up your Inner Champion to effectively respond to your Inner Critic, with the goal of transforming it so it is productive as opposed to destructive.

    To me, IFS is all about finding compassion for yourself -- including finding compassion for those inner critics that are destructive. I have strong feelings of hate towards my perfectionistic part, but I also have feelings of compassion. I understand more why it developed, why it feels like it has to be so incredibly loud, what its motivation is overall. That's partially because I took the time to understand it, instead of rejecting it as "bad" . Finding compassion for a criticism that is simply exhausting is not easy by any means. But because I tried, and am trying, to understand it, to reach more compassion towards it so it can be productive, I am making progress. And this survey, and the steps after it, helped me get started with that.

    So if you think you'd like to give it a try, go to www.psychemaps.com and follow instructions from there...and if you feel comfortable, I encourage you to share your results, experience, whatever here!
     
  2. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    Are you ready? Here it goes:

    Here are your scores for the seven types of Inner Critics:

    **The Perfectionist

    Tries to get you to do things perfectly. Has very high standards for behavior, performance, and production.

    You scored 10 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you probably have difficulties with this type of critic. Click here for the Perfectionist report.

    The Inner Controller

    Tries to control impulsive behavior that might not be good for you or others, or might be dangerous.

    You scored 6 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    *The Taskmaster

    Tries to get you to work hard or be disciplined in order to be successful or to avoid being mediocre.

    You scored 8 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you might have a tendency toward this type of critic. Click here for the Taskmaster report.

    The Underminer

    Tries to undermine your self-confidence and self-esteem so you won’t take risks that might be dangerous, or so you won’t try and fail, or so you won’t get too big or powerful or visible and therefore be attacked or rejected.

    You scored 4 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    The Destroyer

    Makes pervasive attacks on your fundamental self-worth. Deeply shaming. Believes you shouldn’t exist.

    You scored 3 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    The Guilt Tripper

    Attacks you for some specific action you have taken or not taken in the past or for repeated behavior that has been harmful to others or violates a deeply-help value.

    You scored 2 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    The Molder

    Tries to get you to fit a certain mold or be a certain way that comes from your family or culture – e.g. caring, aggressive, polite. It attacks you when you aren’t and praises you when you are.

    You scored 4 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    ------------
    Interesting test. I am a perfectionist and taskmaster for myself, but not nearly so vigorously as I used to be. I used to hate myself quite deeply, and wished I did not exist. That all changed while living in Alaska.

    Was this the amount of sharing you meant?

    with grace and gratitude,
    ^_^
     
  3. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Lily Rose, as usual you are an inspiration. I scored highest on the Destroyer Inner Critic and have been struggling ever since with a sense that this might not be possible to overcome. It threw me for a loop since I knew I was dramatically self-critical but "Makes pervasive attacks on your fundamental self-worth. Deeply shaming. Believes you shouldn’t exist" -- that's overwhelming. Hearing you say, "I used to hate myself quite deeply, and wished I did not exist" but no longer feel that way is very, very encouraging.

    Thank you.
     
  4. Lily Rose

    Lily Rose Beloved Grand Eagle

    nJoy ... you caused my eyes moisture.

    During my 16th and 17th years, my mother's third husband would pin me against a wall and hiss in my ear that I was a burden to my mother and if I loved her at all (he knew I worshiped her) that I would end her misery by taking my life. He went at me in so many ways. I realize how badly he wanted me dead, but as violent as he could get, he lacked that final ability to kill me himself. There is more that he did, but for this topic, I am staying specific. He nearly succeeded in his goals. Other events conspired to confirm his words, that I truly was without worth and taking up resources that could best be used by others who were worthy.

    When I turned 39, I realized (or so I thought) that I was nearly at the end of my life and I hadn't done some things that were on my 'list'. I canned my first salsa, cooked my first turkey for my husband, and with some terror, signed up at the local pool to start exercising. At this point in my life (living in Alaska) I was borderline agoraphobic. It took tremendous will to remove my clothing in a locker room. I managed a few times ... and then I saw a notice at the local and totally cool import business that a yoga teacher was in town and taking signups.

    I called, already willing to talk myself out of it, but she lured me in. I arrived in my husbands jammie pants and a large shirt, hiding my body. It was safer to be overweight. I was her first student, and I was hooked. Still believing my life would end within a year or two, I took the plunge with nothing to lose. Within 3 months, I was teaching segments of her class. And I was losing weight.

    Still, my self disgust was thick. I didn't want to live with this anymore. Even if I only had a short time to live. After a great deal of contemplation, and reading a quote from Louise Hay that said to repeat to myself I am safe, I began a intense campaign to diminish my self-hate.

    It started simple.

    Make eye contact in the mirror. This was something I never did. I looked everywhere but my eyes, which held too much grief for me to bear. One thing, I thought, find one thing you can like about yourself. Since I could never love my body, I found I liked my eye color. They are green with very darkish green rim, and a warm burst of gold rimming the pupil. I could look at them as though observing someone else's eyes. This was a start.

    The next step was just as hard. While practicing sitting yoga, I had a mirror propped against the wall, and I created a small altar. It contained a candle, and some inspirational cards. I would shuffle the deck, and select a card with my left hand (the receiving hand), and lay it face up. The lights were dim so I was less sharply defined. I moved with care, observing how my body moved. I began to see beyond the skin to the actually mechanics of my body.

    I marveled at it. Really. By my will, and by my unconscious ... both could move my limbs. I had control! It was me directing this organic life form.

    My disgust slowly diminished.

    So did my fear.

    I gave myself permission to lose weight. I was safe. I was safe. I was protected. My inner dialog became specific through meditation.

    What I reveal now, nJoy ... I do so with some caution as it is deeply personal, almost more than anything I have revealed.

    During a particularly intense, moving meditation (I will explain that later), I felt an odd sensation. A warmth. A presence that was not me.

    Before yoga, I was agnostic. Not quite atheist, but close. I did not believe in any power outside myself.

    In this meditation, this sensation was very specific along my shoulder blades, spreading out like wings, but still outside myself. I inwardly whispered, you can come in. The sensation changed, deepened, and became my flesh, and the heat radiated everywhere.

    I was no longer alone. I still did not believe in any god, but I knew I had taken into me a companion. In my belief, in my vision, it is an Angel. I have always shied away from saying such a thing, as I do not like reading about people who talk about their own Angels. It seems self serving, or commercial, or even rather wacky.

    Whatever happened that eve, in my candlelit studio, I have never been the same. It doesn't matter if this was my very creative imagination (which is something I do have in abundance), it felt real. It became my friend. It told me of my worth.

    There is so much more to this story, but I will leave it here for now, as it has been difficult for me to share even this amount of detail ... I do so only because I want you to know, I want everyone who has self-hate to know ... You are a perfect creation. How can we hate this gift that we are?

    This body we inhabit is magnificent. The more I learn of the mechanical construction of it, the more I realize sheer brilliance involved.

    If this body is a gift (which I believe it is), how can we abuse it? It is meant to carry us through this life so that we can do our real jobs ... and that is another topic in itself.

    I cannot yet say I love myself, but I most certainly like myself, and I respect what I am and who I am. There are moments of self-love. And those moments are enough.

    You are a gift. You are beautiful.

    And you are not alone.

    with grace and gratitude,
    ^_^
     
  5. Ruth_L

    Ruth_L Peer Supporter

    I think yoga and zen tame a lot of the "bad" parts and since I love both of those things, here's mine

    Here are your scores for the seven types of Inner Critics:
    [​IMG]
    **The Perfectionist
    Tries to get you to do things perfectly. Has very high standards for behavior, performance, and production.
    You scored 10 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you probably have difficulties with this type of critic.

    *The Inner Controller
    Tries to control impulsive behavior that might not be good for you or others, or might be dangerous.
    You scored 8 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you might have a tendency toward this type of critic.

    **The Taskmaster
    Tries to get you to work hard or be disciplined in order to be successful or to avoid being mediocre.
    You scored 11 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you probably have difficulties with this type of critic.

    **The Underminer
    Tries to undermine your self-confidence and self-esteem so you won’t take risks that might be dangerous, or so you won’t try and fail, or so you won’t get too big or powerful or visible and therefore be attacked or rejected.
    You scored 10 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you probably have difficulties with this type of critic.

    The Destroyer
    Makes pervasive attacks on your fundamental self-worth. Deeply shaming. Believes you shouldn’t exist.
    You scored 4 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    The Guilt Tripper
    Attacks you for some specific action you have taken or not taken in the past or for repeated behavior that has been harmful to others or violates a deeply-help value.
    You scored 4 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    The Molder
    Tries to get you to fit a certain mold or be a certain way that comes from your family or culture – e.g. caring, aggressive, polite. It attacks you when you aren’t and praises you when you are.
    You scored 3 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.
     
  6. Ruth_L

    Ruth_L Peer Supporter

    I've done a lot of work previous to being here. I remember reading Sondra Ray's book "I deserve love" and loads of positive self-affirmations. When I met my husband, and this is sort of funny, I always tell people that I "manifested" him, because he truly is everything I wanted him to be. His looks, his astrological sign, the work he does. And amazingly, our astrological charts match perfectly, even though I'm not as into astrology as I once was.
     
  7. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Lily Rose, your clarity continues to amaze me. You have made breakthrough after breakthrough and I'm so glad to hear about how you connected with your angel.

    My friend had the following dream in which three angels came to him and they took him, flying, to South America where the four of them spent the night at the scene of a train wreck, doing everything they could to comfort and guide people who had been in the derailment. He said it was the single most real experience of his life and he will never forget it. Something in me resonated and I felt (in a sense I "knew") that the experience was no dream, but a reality.

    I don't have a sense of a specific angel (and God is, indeed, too big a concept) but sometimes stuff happens that is just not possible to comprehend in any other way. I feel there is something WAY bigger than me out there and it seems to operate according to principles I don't always understand but that are reliably, ultimately, benevolent.

    Ruth, I loved the story about you manifesting your husband. It made me laugh out loud. My husband is also exactly what I wanted and, for the past 50 years (we've been married for nearly that), he has driven me crazy because we practically NEVER agree on anything. Mostly, we compromise endlessly. In fact, each of us thinks, "I give in 80% of the time" and I believe that's literally true, goofy as it sounds. If we can possibly agree on something we are both happy as clams but it doesn't happen often. Still, I wouldn't trade him for anyone else. He keeps life interesting!
     
    Ruth_L likes this.
  8. Pingman

    Pingman Well known member

    This is very interesting...I am actually seeing a therapist and this is the program I think he is starting me on. I recall him talking about the firefighters.

    Here is my report.

    **The Perfectionist
    Tries to get you to do things perfectly. Has very high standards for behavior, performance, and production.
    You scored 11 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you probably have difficulties with this type of critic. Click here for the Perfectionist report.

    The Inner Controller
    Tries to control impulsive behavior that might not be good for you or others, or might be dangerous.
    You scored 7 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    The Taskmaster
    Tries to get you to work hard or be disciplined in order to be successful or to avoid being mediocre.
    You scored 7 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    *The Underminer
    Tries to undermine your self-confidence and self-esteem so you won’t take risks that might be dangerous, or so you won’t try and fail, or so you won’t get too big or powerful or visible and therefore be attacked or rejected.
    You scored 8 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you might have a tendency toward this type of critic. Click here for the Underminer report.

    The Destroyer
    Makes pervasive attacks on your fundamental self-worth. Deeply shaming. Believes you shouldn’t exist.
    You scored 6 out of a possible 16. This indicates that this type of critic is probably not a problem for you.

    *The Guilt Tripper
    Attacks you for some specific action you have taken or not taken in the past or for repeated behavior that has been harmful to others or violates a deeply-help value.
    You scored 9 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you might have a tendency toward this type of critic. Click here for the Guilt Tripper report.

    *The Molder
    Tries to get you to fit a certain mold or be a certain way that comes from your family or culture – e.g. caring, aggressive, polite. It attacks you when you aren’t and praises you when you are.
    You scored 9 out of a possible 16. This indicates that you might have a tendency toward this type of critic. Click here for the Molder report.
     
    Ruth_L likes this.
  9. Boston Redsox

    Boston Redsox Well Known Member

    Took the test wow it sure does tell you alot
     
    Becca likes this.
  10. blake

    blake Well known member

    I'm currently reading the corresponding book on the different types of inner critics. I now understand that these protectors did a great job in helping me survive my childhood. I never would have made it without the part of me that kept telling me that if I were just better, prettier, nicer things would improve. The alternative was to look at the real situation I was in (daily violence, neglect, no clean clothes, no food all the time, no love) and see it for what it really was. But an 8-year old cannot handle such things, hence the inner critic (in my case, mostly the taskmaster and the underminer). They saved my life.

    The problem now is that they are still trying to protect that child by keeping my life as small as possible. No risks, no challenges, no fun. They also make relating to other people extremely difficult. As a result, I have become very isolated (the chronic pain is perfect for that) and really lonely. The wonderful news is that I have never had such clarity about my negative patterns. I can now watch myself engage in these patterns and I now feel hopeful that with a bit of mindfulness I can disengage. What a wonderful journey this is turning out to be!

    It's thanksgiving weekend here in my part of the world and I'm just feeling so blessed and grateful for learning about Dr Sarno's work and meeting so many positive people on this forum.

    God bless
     
    Becca and Ellen like this.
  11. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    blake, that's a fine take on how protectors try to help us cope with desperate circumstances. I don't know if it's possible to completely recover but I know, from personal experience, that life can get a whole lot better. It's Thanksgiving here, as well. I'll pm you about tonight's call.
     
  12. blake

    blake Well known member

    Hi njoy, just saw your message now and replied in pm.
    I agree that maybe we can never fully recover, only heal the best we can. That thought actually takes a lot of pressure off for me. Strangely comforting.
     
  13. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    You put that so well! It really does take the pressure off to be someone we aren't and may never be. I watched a documentary called Codebreaker about Alan Turing, one of the great pioneers in computer science (g00d film, btw). His psychiatrist said to him--I don't remember the exact words but something like: I accept you for who you are unless you are in conflict with yourself.

    Seems to me we could say that to our parts. Acceptance, love and care for all, as we continue to work towards peace in the inner family.
     
  14. blake

    blake Well known member

    "...unless you are in conflict with yourself," that certainly is the issue. I started to understand what polarization means and how the conflicts have caused so much paralysis in my life. I am trying now to really acknowledge each part, set boundaries with the negative ones and make changes (slowly) in my life. Feels like finally waking up actually.
     
  15. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    It dismays me when I see myself repeating behaviors that I simply don't approve of! Very guilt-inducing but really the part that feels guilty or bad is saying, "Hey, resolve to this conflict." Once I know what the varioius parts are trying to accomplish, resolution is so much easier. Resolution comes from Self and Self can look at the whole situation and make an intelligent decision in line with my core values. Parts can compromise to some degree but it seems better to me to move on to resolution. Easier said than done, of course. I have several issues that are being battled out by opposing parts. For me, the worst is the desire to be truthful and the desire to be kind. The line keeps shifting and I'll often think, "I should said x" or, worse, "I shouldn't have said x." I get how the resut can of polarization can be paralysis. I have been known make sure one part doesn't get what it wants because another part is opposesd and then blame this on my husband, fate, God or whatever. Anybody but me.
     
  16. blake

    blake Well known member

    "Resolution comes from Self" - When I am patiently listening to a part express her pain, without interference from the critics and without any kind of judgement, just empathy, it feels like that could be Self. It sure feels good. But after a lot of openness, it's almost like the whole system clamps down again and I go back to my defence mechanisms. Very fascinating to watch...
     
  17. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    Sorry to be late replying. I've had a lot on my mind and just couldn't seem to finish this post. As I understand it, nobody is in Self all the time. Parts jump in when they feel the need but I agree with you that Self does feel different and good unless it's blended. To me, the three Cs: caring, compassion, and curiosity are the most telling signs that Self is in it's role as leader.
     
  18. blake

    blake Well known member

    thanks njoy and no need to apologize! Hope you're doing ok
    This idea of Self as leader resonated with me immediately when I first heard it. I'm really looking forward to learning more about IFS.

    Bye for now!
     
  19. njoy

    njoy aka Bugsy

    I'm glad it didn't turn out to be a problem. Better, in fact, than the original plan (or so it seemed to me). I really do need that timer on a string around my neck, though. So distractable.

    IFS has been a hoot for me. At first I thought. "Is this ever going to end?" as part after part came up. Then I realized, "Why should it end?" and am becoming more comfortable about having an "inner family" of supporters and I get to be the leader! I didn't have a supportive family, growing up, and this is a surprisingly good substitute. As I begin "excavating" parts that have been in hiding for many years some uncomfortable stuff comes up, of course. But it's much better than having them festering inside and causing TMS on the outside.

    Cheers!
     
  20. blake

    blake Well known member

    No worries from my end at all. By the time I got to Sunday, I was very relaxed about it thanks to our earlier conversation, and like you said, it all worked out. I really like the leadership concept and I realize I have a lot to learn still. It's so nice for me to share this journey with other people. Just this one phone call has made me feel less isolated already.
     

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