The Village

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

"Many adults who were traumatized as kids have never experienced their Self in consistent control. Such people (i.e. their dominant subselves) are skeptical that they have a gifted, reliable inner team-leader and a more serene and productive way of daily living available to them" - Peter Gerlach

I'm a hearty proponent of what Jung called Active Imagination and what this man here Peter calls Inner-Family Therapy.  While my inner skeptic still scoffs at the wankiness of all of this stuff, I've done enough work in this area to know that that is only one part of me, who is in my particular case covering for and trying to protect one of the parts of me that's, well, still a little fucked up.

This process has become sorta precious to me.  I've seen in myself the changes that come.  I still have a so much understanding and sorting to do, but this type of process is like being my own therapist.  It's empowering.  I guess it's been a little helpful to me that I have had several people who I have practised this type of therapy with, both beautiful, gorgeous women who have provided a safe space for me to enter into this rather more different form of talk therapy and couch-lying.  But I don't think it's necessary to have anyone else but you along for this particular ride.  It's the best way I know to enter into myself and to listen to parts of me that are screaming without my ever knowing who they were before.  And changes come, too.  Not fast enough, that's a given.  But they do.  Changes come, and growth, and new parts discovered that I have not been conscious of before.  New ways of being in the world.

Maybe this whole area of subselves is the story in action of the operation of different parts of our brains in action, as Peter Gerlach hypothesises.   Not just the physical brain as a bunch of muscle and neurons.  The brain as narrative, the brain as story.  Just how I like it.

How about you?  Have you ever done any of this kind of work?  How did you find it?


  1. I enter into this discussion tentatively, as I haven't done any of this work and don't feel at all qualified to talk about it.
    The subject can open a HUGE can of worms and crack open a long hallway full of closed doors in my mind's memory vault.
    And, while I have happened upon, and spent times with, the said, "inner team leader", it has taken many years and soul-glue to mend a broken me enough to consider myself, "acceptable".
    This all done without, "help" or therapy.
    You are indeed fortunate to have been able to work with "beautiful, gorgeous women" that have helped you.
    I crave that.

  2. I'm so glad that you feel like you're at the stage where you find yourself "acceptable". That's a pretty big deal, huh :)

    I could so see you doing something like this and think it would be beneficial ... I did art therapy for several years and that was a real opener-upperer for me. I started doing it because I wanted to write more and felt like I was really blocked. It helped a lot and I learned a lot about myself in the process ... and was introduced to clay. Now, THAT was good. I imagine you would probably want to use a different medium, haha :)

    Speaking of art, I've been painting over the last week. Very happy indeedly doodly with today's efforts. Such an awesome thing to do for those freaked-out parts.

    Happy New Year, Ms V.

  3. I like what Eckhart Tolle has to say about the Pain Body (early part of The Power of New) - that fits with my own experience even better than the more Jungian Active Imagination stuff, which leaves me at any rate with my boots still stuck in the claggy stuff!

    1. That's a pretty fair summation of the difference between the two ... although I disagree in a way. I like Active Imagination because I have SO MANY boots stuck in SO MUCH claggy stuff that it's a way of making sense of the cacophany so that I can better leave it behind. I guess some of us need to try and level out the ditches in the road and other lucky ones are able to bypass that tedium and go straight on to something else. It's fascinating how different we all are and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I thought The Power of Now was awesome. Been a lot of years since I read it through the first time - must get back onto it again. Cheers to you, kind sir.


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