The term "parts therapy" refers to ways of working with aspects of personality that may disagree with each other, our goals, and our core values. For example: "I want that ice cream but I also want to lose 10 pounds by spring break." We are aware of some parts but others are subconscious because they are painful, unacceptable, or simply forgotten. It's important to know that all parts are trying to help; they have "positive intent" for us. They are not the enemy within even when they are causing trouble we wish to resolve.
Repressing our unwelcome parts has the potential to cause mind/body symptoms such as TMS. Many people find that parts therapies can help.
One highly developed way to work with parts is Dr. Richard Schwatz's Internal Family Systems (IFS). Central to IFS is the concept of the true Self. This core is the natural leader, the "real me" who can work with the parts to achieve our goals by increasing the harmony of both our internal and external relationships.
There are other forms of parts therapy, all with roots in the work of giants -- Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and pioneers such as Eric Berne (Transactional Analysis) and Fritz Perls (Gestalt Therapy). In the 21st century, practitioners in many fields help people solve problems by getting to know their parts.
If you are interested in exploring further, you may wish to sign up for our Parts Therapy Mailing list.