109: Altogether You with Jenna Riemersma


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By Duane Osterlind, LMFT, Duane Osterlind, and LMFT. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

On today’s episode of The Addicted Mind Podcast, Duane talks with author, speaker, and teacher Jenna Riemersma about internal family systems, or IFS. Jenna describes how IFS can help to transform your feelings about addictions and past trauma.

Jenna talks about how IFS argues that all of our parts are good. And as counterintuitive as that is, it’s important to understand that the core of your Self is fundamentally good.

Experiencing a “part” of yourself is similar to the idea of having “parts” of our personalities. We want to give those parts their credit because they come from our true Selves, which are good. When a part of us is taken over by a burden, it’s hard for us to take those parts back. Jenna gives an example of a playful part being burdened by a trauma. IFS calls these parts “exiles,” and they carry a lot of weight, especially when you want to try to access those formerly playful parts of yourself.

Jenna illustrates this point with the Manager and the addicted Firefighter, and how we have these competing identities who both want the destruction of addiction while simultaneously wanting to be free of addiction. The Manager wants to seek counsel, but the Firefighter is afraid of the change and pain. 10 times out of 10, the Firefighter actually hates contributing to that pain. We wouldn’t start with that kind of revelation, but we would eventually work our way toward the patient understanding that ultimately the center of their being wants to be free from addiction.

Being able to confront these parts of ourselves without judgment is key. Have you ever experienced a time where all parts of yourself have been welcomed, Jenna asks. IFS helps us to uncover what is already there by surrendering a quality of self that is locked up in shame and hate. Michelangelo once said of a sculpture that he was “releasing the angel trapped in the stone.”

We need to ask ourselves what am I feeling toward, and if it’s anything but the 8 Cs, we need to step back and try to change the situation. Do you think it’s possible to change the way that your Firefighter part sees the world? Many think that it’s impossible, but if you’re willing to at least engage in the process, IFS can help you to not feel so hopeless, so alarmed, and so defeated.

Jenna wants to emphasize that all parts of you are welcome, and all parts of you are safe here.

The 8 Cs of IFS are:

  • Calm
  • Connection
  • Compassion
  • Creativity
  • Clarity
  • Curiosity
  • Confidence, and
  • Courage

130 episodes