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The Power of Unblending in IFS Therapy

Internal Family Systems, Laryssa Creswell

Navigating our emotions can feel like deciphering a puzzle. If you’ve ever felt torn between conflicting emotions or wondered why certain feelings seem to take over, then you’re already familiar with what we call “blending” in Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy.

“Unblending” in IFS Therapy is essentially the art of separating from these dominant feelings, or ‘parts’. This unblending in IFS helps you gain clarity and control over your responses.

At Fearlessly Inspired Therapeutic Solutions (FITS) in Maryland and DC, we understand that unblending in IFS is a powerful and transformative process that can help you gain peace, clarity, and contentment. Keep reading as we discuss the basics of unblending and how it can help you find a deeper, more meaningful relationship with yourself.


What is Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy? The Basics of IFS

Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy is a therapeutic approach that views the mind as a complex system made up of various ‘parts’. It is often referred to as ‘parts work’.

Each ‘part’ has its unique set of characteristics, concerns, and intentions. Think of it like a family inside your mind, with different members holding different roles, feelings, and viewpoints. IFS Therapy believes that, just like in a family unit, harmony between these parts is crucial for well-being.


Issues That IFS Therapy Can Help With:

  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Self-esteem and confidence challenges
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Grief and loss
  • Personal growth and self-awareness
  • Behavioral issues and addictions

Understanding your internal parts allows you to heal by fostering a more unified sense of self.


What is Unblending in IFS Therapy?

Have you ever felt so consumed by an emotion that it feels like it’s taken the driver’s seat? Maybe anger clouds your judgment, or anxiety makes every decision seem monumental. In the world of IFS Therapy, we call this feeling ‘blending’.


Unblending is your way back to the driver’s seat

It’s the process of the parts stepping back, creating some distance, and the ‘Self’ observing that emotion or ‘part’ without letting it control your reactions. This doesn’t mean you’re ignoring or suppressing that part. Instead, you’re recognizing it, but not letting it blur your entire perspective.

So, while blending means you’re intertwined with a particular part, unblending allows you to communicate with it more effectively.


Unblending From Parts–A Hidden Gem in IFS Therapy

Diving deep into the world of Internal Family Systems Therapy, you’ll uncover tools and techniques that can revolutionize your understanding of yourself. Among these, ‘unblending’ stands out as a precious gem. But why?

Imagine a foggy morning where the haze blurs the details of the world around you. Much like this fog, blending can make it challenging to distinguish between your true self and the parts that seek to protect you. By unblending, it’s as if you’re letting the morning sun pierce through that fog, illuminating your surroundings with clarity.

This is where the healing change starts to happen. As the parts unblend, you not only gain sharper communication with your parts but also create a space where genuine self-awareness can thrive.


Is Blending Bad and Unblending Good?

It’s a common misconception: Blending must be bad if we’re striving for unblending, right? Not quite. Blending isn’t inherently “bad.” Often, blending is a way for internal parts to try to protect you–even if it might feel overwhelming or confusing.

Life is filled with nuances, and the same goes for your internal processes. There are moments when blending of parts can offer comfort or even serve a function. Maybe it’s the protective part trying to shield you from a painful memory.

Howeverunblending is a tool used to gain clarity and healing. It allows you to collaborate with these parts, to accept their fears and intentions. Instead of being swept away, you’re engaging in a dialogue, leading to a harmonious inner relationship.

There are no bad parts! With your IFS therapist, you will collaborate and learn to use therapy tools to dance between parts, acknowledging when to lean into one and when to embrace the other.


Parts Don’t Blend Without a Reason

Imagine a loyal friend who jumps in to help without being asked, believing they’re doing what’s best for you. Your internal parts act similarly. They don’t just blend without a cause.

Reasons why blending occurs can range from past traumas to protective instincts. Maybe a part of you steps forward, blending in, because it’s trying to shield you from a memory that once caused pain. These parts are well-intentioned. But they might, at times, feel intrusive.

But here’s the key: understanding. By recognizing the triggers that activate these parts, you gain the power to navigate your internal landscape. Maybe you notice a particular situation or environment prompting a part to blend. With this awareness, you’re no longer in the dark, reacting unconsciously. Instead, you can pause, understand why, and choose how you wish to proceed.


Wounded Parts Activate

Wounded parts are like echoes of past hurts. When activated, they might push you into reactions that seem disproportionate or out of character. Perhaps you’ve noticed sudden outbursts of anger, periods of sadness, or avoidance behaviors. These aren’t random; they’re the voices of wounded parts trying to make themselves heard.


Healing the Wounds

But here’s a hopeful aspect: these wounds can heal. Within the sanctuary of IFS Therapy, the goal isn’t just to identify these parts but to mend them. By creating a safe space, you can communicate with these wounded parts and guide them towards healing. This process doesn’t just relieve the symptoms but addresses the root, creating a deeper sense of peace and unity.

The Blended Conversation

Recognizing a blended conversation within yourself can be like trying to discern individual voices in a crowded room. But with awareness, these signs become clearer.


Identifying Blended Dialogue

You might find that your thoughts become increasingly repetitive, centered around a particular feeling or belief. These often come with a strong emotional charge, whether it’s fear, anger, or sadness. It might feel as if you’re viewing the world through a particular lens, where everything gets colored by that dominant feeling or belief.


The Impact on Decision-Making

When in a blended state, your decisions and perceptions can easily be swayed by that dominant part. This can lead to choices that are reactive rather than reflective. Over time, continually making decisions from this blended state can skew your perceptions. Just by acknowledging this, you open the door to greater self-awareness and better decision-making.


The Unblended Conversation

Imagine that you are organizing a box of assorted items and putting everything in its proper place. Picture the satisfaction that comes from doing that. The unblended conversation feels much like this. When you distinguish between your true self and the various parts, your introspection becomes sharper. Instead of being overwhelmed, you’re able to engage with each part individually, listening to its concerns and intentions.


Positive Outcomes of the Unblended Conversation

Engaging in an unblended conversation doesn’t just make inner dialogue more coherent. It also improves self-awareness, allowing you to recognize patterns and triggers more readily.

This heightened awareness can lead to healthier relationships, better decisions, and inner peace. In essence, the unblended conversation is your pathway to a more harmonious relationship with yourself.


What’s the Purpose of Unblending During an Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy Session?

Therapists use this technique to help clients differentiate between their core ‘Self’ and the protective or wounded parts.

The objective? To allow the true self to lead the session and create an environment where you can listen to, understand, and heal each part without becoming overwhelmed.

Many of our clients who experience this describe it as an ‘Aha’ moment. They talk about feeling lighter, more in control, and more connected to a sense of inner wisdom.


So… How Do We Unblend From a Part?

Unblending is a cultivated awareness, and the first step is to recognize the blend. But what happens after that acknowledgment?

Once you can recognize the blend, the therapeutic framework of IFS provides a series of techniques and tools to help.

While there’s a basic framework to follow, including grounding exercises and visualization techniques, the process is unique to each individual.

To truly understand and experience the benefits of IFS healing, talk with an experienced IFS therapist. They can provide direction towards achieving internal harmony.


Creating Space Inside

Unblending is like decluttering a messy room: As you sift through and sort each item, the room transforms. Similarly, after the work of unblending in IFS, the emotional landscape shifts from turbulent to serene. This newfound clarity isn’t just about peace; it’s about the space to breathe, think, and feel without the interference of overpowering parts.

However, like any room, this space needs to be maintained. Continuous introspection, in the context of IFS with a mental health professional, is essential. With the guidance of an IFS therapist, you can continue to maintain this peaceful space of self-discovery and growth.


How Fearlessly Inspired Therapeutic Solutions (FITS) Can Help You with Unblending in IFS

At FITS, in Maryland and DC, we specialize in IFS Therapy. We believe in IFS because it is a powerful, evidence-based approach designed to help individuals delve deep into their internal systems and address issues like trauma.


We believe in the process of unblending in IFS because IFS Therapy works.

At FITS in Maryland and DC, we recognize the profound impact unblending in IFS Therapy can have on an individual’s journey towards inner peace and self-awareness.

Our team is trained to guide you through this transformative process. We can help you to experience the profound benefits of unblending: balance, peace, and genuine self-acceptance.

By working with FITS in Maryland and DC, you’re not just going to therapy; you’re investing in a life-enhancing experience.


Contact us today to schedule a free consultation or call us at 301-750-1065.

Together, we can chart a course to a brighter, healthier tomorrow.