When one is born, one has a core self. The core self is caring, calm, creative, curious, compassionate, connected, courageous, collected, and has clarity. Ideally, one would be in this all the time. At some point in life, things happen and parts are developed. Parts are formed to help one cope with life. There are two types of parts: exiles and protectors. Exiles carry the pain of the experiences. Protectors protect you from having to see the exiles and create coping strategies so that you don't have to experience similar future hurts again. Both are trying to help one to the best of their ability, even if their approch to the situation doesn't always seem to be helpful. Parts can't heal parts. Internal Family Systems Therapy helps one learn how to get into the core self. From being in the core self, one befriends the parts and healing can take place.
THe Core SElf
The core self is the real you with Christ. It is the authentic you that is caring, calm, creative, compassionate, curious, connected, collected, courageous, and has clarity. Ideally, you would be in this all the time. It is from the core self that one truly gets to understand the internal world of parts within and helps to bring healing. The core self is the leader of the internal family system within who calls on the parts when their skills are needed and who communicates peace between the various parts.
The World of Parts Within
We welcome all parts in IFS. We avoid trying to fix, judge, or analyze them. We seek to befriend them. Parts often tend to go to the extremes in thinking and feeling. They have their own feelings, beliefs, fears, and ways of coping with life. Parts serve to carry the pain of the experience (exiles) and to protect one from further future hurts (protectors). When the are created, they tend to get stuck in the past and don't know that one has grown up. They come out when one becomes emotionally reactive and triggered by something that reminds the person of a memory from the past. Examples of parts include: task oriented part, critical part, analyzing part, fix it part, caregiver part, rejected part, abandoned part, confused part, etc.
All parts do what they do for a good reason. Understand the reason they do what they do without being critical of them and healing can take place.
Resources to Understand IFS More Fully:
"Internal Famiy Systems Therapy-3rd ed." by Richard Schwartz "Self Therapy" by Jay Earley IFS-institute.com