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What is Parts Work? – A Guide to Navigating Your Emotional Landscape

Parts Work

Have you ever felt like there are conflicting emotions or thoughts battling within you? Perhaps you’ve experienced moments where you’re torn between taking action and staying put, or between feeling confident and insecure. This internal conflict is a common experience for many people, but what if there was a way to better understand and navigate these complexities?

Personally, I have been utilizing this approach for numerous years, incorporating it in my own life and to a degree in my coaching practice, and it remains one of my top choices for integrating various aspects of ourselves.

And the modality I’m talking about is called Parts Work.

Parts Work is a therapeutic approach that helps individuals explore and understand the various parts of themselves, each with its own unique perspectives, needs, and emotions. In this blog post, I’ll delve into what Parts Work is and how it can help you restore your mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

What is Parts Work?

Parts Work, also known as Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, is a therapeutic modality developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz in the 1980s. It is based on the premise that each individual’s psyche is made up of various “parts” or sub-personalities, each serving a different function or holding onto different beliefs and emotions.

These parts can range from the inner critic and the wounded child to the caretaker and the perfectionist, among many others. The goal of Parts Work is to help individuals understand, communicate with, and ultimately integrate these parts to achieve inner harmony and healing.

Our “Internal Family”

In Parts Work, we are encouraged to view our inner selves as a system of different parts, each with its own thoughts, feelings, and motivations. This is a very powerful approach and can lead to many revelations and realizations. Often, these realizations kickstart the integration process and therefore set the healing process in motion.
When we acknowledge and understand our parts, we then can cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness and compassion towards ourselves, and learn to communicate with our various aspects, address our inner conflicts, and work towards achieving harmony and balance within.

There Really Are No Inner Demons

What I personally love about this approach the most is that it recognizes that every part of an individual, no matter how challenging or difficult, has a positive intention and purpose. Understanding that, takes off the pressure and makes us more compassionate towards ourselves.
We come to realize that nothing within us is actually against us, that our so called inner demons are not devious entities plotting against us, but truly are inner angels that come for our liberation and inner peace.

By doing Parts Work we understand that our fragmented parts – that are often frozen in time – have opposing needs, feelings, and beliefs, and that each part only wants the best for itself, and thus for ourselves.
Every aspect wants to be seen, heard, and validated for its existence.

Channeling Our Inner Mediator

When we do Parts Work we also channel our inner mediator who is a compassionate and nonjudgmental presence that serves as a guiding force throughout the healing journey.
The inner mediator acts as a wise and impartial observer, who gently facilitates communication and collaboration among the various parts of the psyche.
With its unwavering acceptance and empathy, the inner mediator fosters a safe and supportive environment where all parts are welcomed and valued. There is no bad part, there’s no fight, it’s a highly diplomatic approach. To me, it’s a fascinating concept that I make use of in my personal life a lot, it helps me navigate internal conflicts with more clarity and compassion, and develop greater self-awareness, resilience, and a profound sense of inner peace.

Being non-judgmental

As Parts Works considers many different perspectives and fostering a non-judgmental and curious attitude towards these parts, individuals can begin to heal past wounds, resolve inner conflicts, and ultimately lead a more integrated and fulfilling life. I call it emotional liberation.

Parts Work is one of the most powerful tools for personal growth and transformation, as it empowers us to explore our inner landscape with compassion and curiosity. By embracing all parts of ourselves, we can embark on a journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and emotional healing.

How Does Parts Work Help Us Navigate Our Emotional Landscape?

1. Increased Self-Awareness:

Parts Work encourages us to explore our inner world with curiosity, empathy, and compassion. By identifying and acknowledging the different parts of ourselves, we gain a deeper understanding of our emotions, triggers, and behaviors, and why we are and feel a certain way in certain situations or with certain people. The level of self-awareness one achieves by doing Parts Work is

2. Emotional Regulation:

Through Parts Work, individuals learn to recognize when certain parts are activated and how they influence their thoughts and actions. By developing the ability to “befriend” and soothe these parts, people can effectively manage their emotions and reactions.

3. Integration and Healing:

One of the primary goals of Parts Work is integration – the process of bringing together all parts of the self into a cohesive whole. This involves acknowledging and honoring each part’s experiences and needs while also fostering cooperation and harmony among them. Through integration, we can experience profound healing and transformation. We don’t need fixing and repair, we need integration.

4. Empowerment:

Parts Work empowers us to take an active role in our own healing journey. When we develop a compassionate and non-judgmental relationship with our inner parts, we can reclaim “lost” aspects of ourselves, release limiting beliefs, and cultivate a greater sense of self-compassion and acceptance.

5. Enhanced Relationships:

As we become more attuned to our internal dynamics through Parts Work, we also improve our relationships with others. This is simply a given and truly fascinating to observe. The result is: we attract healthier relationships, we get better at communicating more effectively, we set healthier boundaries, and cultivate deeper connections with those around us.


In a world where we are often bombarded with external stimuli and expectations, Parts Work offers a powerful pathway to self-discovery, healing, and growth.
When we embrace the multifaceted nature of the human psyche and learn to navigate our emotional landscape with compassion and curiosity, we can restore balance to our mental, emotional, and physical health. So, the next time you find yourself grappling with conflicting emotions or thoughts, consider turning inward and exploring the rich tapestry of your inner world through the transformative practice of Parts Work.


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