July 9, 2020
In partnership with our friends at Cotton
“We have all these mini minds that interact all the time,” says Richard Schwartz, PhD, the founder of the Internal Family Systems Institute. Schwartz believes that different subpersonalities—which he calls parts—make up the capital-S Self. In his audiobook Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts, Schwartz explains how traumas (minor or major) can cause certain parts to deviate from their natural state. He also explains why people cast different parts of themselves into certain roles, which he identifies as managers, firefighters, and exiles. For example, a manager might be the inner critic that is trying to keep you safe. An impulsive, reactive firefighter comes in to distract you from the flames of emotion. And the exile is shrouded in shame. The bulk of Schwartz’s work focuses on integrating these disparate parts and healing them—on an individual and a collective level.