Hypnotherapy & Parts Integration
We all have parts within us—an inner critic, a rebel, a rescuer, just to name a few. These parts are created for one reason or another…most are created by the time we turn 8 years old. They are the product of our environment, and our authority figures; how they nurtured us, or didn’t; the examples that they showed, and the actions that we copied. Some are protective defense mechanisms, cultivated out of survival, others are wounded children, acting out in immature ways to get their needs met. Join me as we explore sub-personalities (parts) and discover how hypnotherapy helps this process move more smoothly with ease; but first, if you don't know what hypnotherapy is or how it works, go up to the Kind Publishing Co. search bar and browse some of the hypnosis articles available. Although they are all on different topics, each one will give you different backgrounds into insights and information on the mechanics of how and why it works, because today, we will strictly focus on parts integration and hypnotherapy and why the two together make the best pairing since PB&J.
Recognizing a part of you that is acting out, will help you understand why it is coming up, and once you know the why, you begin to unravel the how and when it started. This beautiful thread of discovery will lead you to the origin of the issue. It's in this place, you can reframe the memory into something empowering as you soothe your wounded self, and heal your core wounding.
These processes are based on mixed teachings of Jungian psychology and the author Bill Plotkin and his book, Wild Mind. Each of these parts is a sub-personalities of the self. Think of yourself as completely whole in your entirety when you are born, and then something terrible happens, and you become fractured, altering the lens through which you see the world. When these fractures compound on top of one another, your authentic self becomes hidden, buried under trauma. You are now running on trauma reactions 24/7. This is what it looks like when someone has suffered tremendous instability in childhood or had a life-changing event in adulthood. All humans are fractured to some degree or another, because we live in a universe of duality. It doesn't mean it's bad; it just means it simply is. Our job as humans is to heal our fractured parts, integrating them wholly, and rediscover who we are, what we stand for , and who we stand by. So let's look at what parts exist within you and how you can recognize when one is running the show.
The Wounded Children
These are the parts of you that never grew up and use their immature tactics to get what they want in every situation. They are prone to feeling hurt, sad, anxious, and angry. They are born from neglect, abuse, and abandonment. These parts act up to get their basic needs met in the most immature way possible—likely because it worked for them at some point, so they kept on doing it.
The conformist fears rejection and abandonment. They don’t have their own sense of fashion, they make decisions based on the input of others, they morph into the social groups they are a part of, and they mirror those who they believe “have it together.” Perhaps you knew this person in high school or college, maybe it’s someone in your family, or maybe it’s you. The conformist is created out of safety. It believes it is “safe” to fit in. They believe in what society says is “beautiful.” They would rather be sheep, moving along slowly and just getting by to fit into the unattainable standards of society.
The victim wants to be rescued. They are also motivated by a fear of abandonment. Deep down they feel fearful, unsafe, undeserving, and any sign of confrontation, discipline or trouble sends them into an anxious state. They truly believe they do not have the ability or capability to overcome their problems (Note that this is just one kind of victim). Some people’s victim simply refuses to take any responsibility. They claim they are doing everything they can, that they put everyone above themselves, yet their actions show otherwise. These parts are unique to each individual, and a victim in one person can look slightly different from a victim in another.
Outlaws, born from the conformist, or from a family environment that had low means of income. Perhaps as a child they tried to fit in, and then in teen years or college they got tired of masking, so they rebel against anything and everything, just because they can, or perhaps they were born out of anger towards a society they feel has disregarded them and feel that they are unable to obtain the life they want in an ethical manner. You will find the outlaws protesting for the sake of protesting, arguing for the sake of arguing. They enjoy drinking, sex, and self-sabotaging behavior. Think of the movie bridesmaids, this is a great example of what the rebel thinks it wants; “let’s get fucked up and everything will turn out great…” except it doesn’t because you can’t drink and thrive day-to-day. You can’t destroy your friend’s wedding and have your friendship become stronger. I mean, I guess anything is possible, but it’s highly unlikely. Just because your outlaw thinks it’s fun, doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Another outlaw can look much darker; a life of crime and punishment. They rebel against any and all authority figures and are full of anger due to their shortcomings in life.
The princess/prince is also fueled by their abandonment (catching onto a theme here?), however they carry an entitlement due to their wealth, or authority figures who showered them with privilege. However, I do want to add that those where were born without wealth or privilege, can still be entitled.
Have you ever heard of the theory between your left and right brains? The left brain is analytical and the right brain is creative. Well, if the loyal soldiers were put into a category based on this theory, they would definitely be in the left brain. They are protectors of the self. In fact, they are created to protect you from your wounded children. Everything they do is to help you not get hurt. Now, it is subjective as to whether or not they are actually helpful. Still, their only intention is to keep you from suffering, even if that means causing a different form of suffering in the meantime.
There are 4 main sub-personalities in this container; the rescuer (the enabler), the inner flatter (which keeps you emotionally detached from others), the tyrant (craves having power over others), and the inner critic (it's exactly what it sounds like, they want to keep you small). These parts of us want to support us small and safe as they avoid risks and attachments
The rescuer does so by showing their value by putting others first. They are codependent by nature and will conform to fit in so that they go unnoticed. However, from the outside, they seem to always contribute; some rescuers are manipulative. For example, one may feel completely helpless and unworthy without someone else to take care of. Usually, these folks get taken advantage of. Whereas another type of rescuer will first want to dive in and help, and once they have, they may begin to see an opening where they can manipulate you to get something in return. These parts are not "defined" in one manner; they can alter and change based on the person and their trauma.
The inner flatterer strives to boost your ego so that you need no one else. They keep you from having intimate relationships and vulnerable conversations due to a fear of rejection. So rather than allowing you to be authentic, they push you to hide behind emotional walls, a prison of sorts that doesn't allow you to get close to anything that would render you vulnerable, thus making it difficult for you to meet your truest potential.
The tyrant wasn't given the love they needed as a child. Therefore they create a sense of internal authority that puts them first above anyone else; exploiting others and controlling every situation makes them feel safe and powerful in their role.
The inner critic is judgmental of the self and others. It finds ways to "protect" you from taking up space, from being noticed. It wants to control everything in its surroundings so that it is "safe". Think of someone who has been through WWI and lost everything. Perhaps the inner critic would judge themselves for living in luxury, as though it would all be taken away, and there for anyone else who lives in luxury would be wrong and looked down upon; this is the role of the inner critic in this example. Now, you could have a variety of these. You may have an inner critic who needs to keep things clean and organized to stay in control, or you may have one who judges you for how you spend your money. These parts will vary based on your internal programming and the narratives you were taught as a child.
All of these sub-personalities at their core are controlling; some more than others. Their survival instincts come from protecting you from further harm. As a child, you may have been abandoned or neglected; these parts are your loyal soldiers, ensuring you are safe from further damage. According to Jung, these parts provide structure, control, and service as they go to war, defending you from any other harm. These parts believe they are secure; they believe in the ego-centric way that they are the most honorable adult, taking care of the different parts of you. Unfortunately, no secure adult acts this way. Trustworthy moral adults act from a place of compassion and wisdom. These parts act as immature versions of a genuine secure adult, and trust me, they will try to trick you and make you think that they are just and righteous in their actions; that's how you know; they are a protection sub-personality, rather than part of the secure, whole self.
The Escapists and Addicts
Jung called these parts the path to a spiritual journey, because of how much you must overcome to live a life of authenticity. These are the parts that come out when the immature tactics of the wounded children don’t work, and the protection from the loyal soldiers feels more critical than helpful. Those who have a strong will to dissociate have a skilled escapist. They leave their body and have holes in their memory from days, sometimes even years, at a time. Whereas someone with an addict, simply want to numb out all pain and are willing to sacrifice anything in order to meet their need for bliss and serenity, even if the cost is their family, job, home, or integrity. The amount of pain they feel is so excruciating that they feel that numbing the pain is all that they can do to get by.
These are the parts of self that are unknown to us, hence why they are called the shadow. They live in the darkness of our subconscious, hidden away in shame. A great way to depict a shadow is to look at what areas of life you feel ashamed of. These are things you are not consciously aware of. For example, let’s say someone always judges those who make a lot of money, and they have beliefs of this or that for why that is. Yet they “think” they are great with money and live from paycheck to paycheck—this is a shadow. They cannot see that their judgment of someone else's wealth is holding them back from creating their own abundance, because by having this belief, they inherently don’t believe they should be rich. However, they do not see this at all. Make sense? Bill Plotkin speaks of these as the heroes, those who think they are undoubtedly saving the world, yet under their success is great judgment and toxic ego; the gurus, the teachers who believe their teachings are the only ones that can save you, and the devil/monster, the parts that must be bad so they have to be hidden away for no one else to see.
Hypnotherapy & Integration
None of these parts are inherently bad, and the key is not to punish them or scold them for causing a ruckus. The real healing lies in integration; accepting these parts for who they are, and honoring the hard work that they have done. This is where hypnotherapy comes in.
The process of hypnosis allows you to get to the root cause of a core belief. Whether it is “I am not enough”, “I am unsafe”, or “I am broken.” It can also help you uncover your shadow and the limiting beliefs that live behind statements like “rich people are evil”, “everyone is a bad driver but me” and “all people who eat meat are bad.” We are so indoctrinated by society to have limiting beliefs about our worth, finances, abundance, weight, nutrition, religion, spirituality, the government… the list goes on and on.
Remember that thread I spoke about in the beginning? About starting at a single point and unraveling the truth? That is what hypnosis does. It is a deep uncovering of limiting beliefs and programs that do not align with your authenticity and wholeness. It helps you get to the core of who you are, what you love and value, your truest expression and creative vibrance. Imagine being happier, healthier, and thriving in your everyday life. Imagine manifesting everything you could ever want, discovering your worth and breaking generational trauma, this is what hypnotherapy does. It unravels the false narratives in your mind, it negotiates with your sub-personalities (parts). It helps you step into your security and worth, so that all the other wounded parts can heal, release their obligations, and let your authentic self run the show. This is integration, and it starts with a simple thread. So where will yours lead you on your journey to healing?
This article was written and contributed by:
Emily Rose Wheeler
Consciousness Facilitator at Mystic Rose Medicine
Emily Rose Wheeler is a healing facilitator who works with folks to over come limiting beliefs as they deconstruct false narratives, and empower self-compassion. She believes that healing takes place on all levels, physical, emotional, & spiritual, creating an all-inclusive holistic approach that generates balance within the whole human experience. Those who feel called to work with her have usually fallen through the cracks of the system & require nourishing validation as they heal subconscious wounds that have taken up space for far too long.
Her mission is to assist others in finding their pleasure, pursue their passion, discover their values & honoring their relationships. As they cultivate love & compassion within themselves, they step into their true nature of being.
When she isn’t working with clients, Emily is reading books on child psychology, energy healing, neuroplasticity, trauma, & epigenetics. When she’s not reading, she is painting or creating something with her hands. The soothing & unfamiliar prediction of what her art will turn into allows her to be comfortable with mistakes & embrace what she has made, even if it turns out different than anticipated.