Me, Myself And My Parts: Sustaining A Productive Inner Dialogue

Author: Danielle Purnell

Me, myself and my parts: Sustaining a productive inner dialogue

Parts psychology isn't just for the institutionalized, but any layperson who tries this therapeutic discipline on for size may need a bit of time to get used to the whole "treating yourself like you've got multiple personality disorder" bit. Parts psychology, or gestalt psychology, is based on the principle that everyone has a personality that's composed of "parts," and by separating and compartmentalizing certain disorders and neuroses, you can lessen their grip on your subconscious mind and ultimately come to terms with them.

The applications of this can run the gamut from treating severe eating disorders to dealing with a bit of functional anxiety. You essentially label the part of yourself you're trying to get a grip on and then regularly check in with this sustained entity.

"Hello, OCD. How are you feeling at the moment? What is it that you need from me?" you might say as you prepare to scrub your floors for the third time.

Beyond sustaining a regular dialogue with your parts (and many people attest to the power of speaking out loud to them when you've got the privacy to do so), patients often keep a dedicated journal for this purpose as well. The combined strategy of thinking, speaking and writing your parts can help you access your fears with multiple parts of your brain, ultimately leading to quicker and stronger results.

The idea here isn't to attack, berate or even annihilate your OCD, or whatever it is - by engaging this part of yourself openly and honestly, you can eventually learn to control and better manage its hold on you and lower its influence to a more functional level. Many disorders cannot be cured for good, but it's still possible to form a positive and healthy mindset around them.

In Brief

  • Parts psychology isn't just for the institutionalized, but any layperson who tries this therapeutic discipline on for size may need a bit of time to get used to the whole "treating yourself like you've got multiple personality disorder" bit.
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