Self Discovery Work
Self-Discovery work helps a person answer the question, “Who am I, really?” It’s a step-by-step process in letting go of your survival-self, and embracing your True-Self with confidence and peace.
Part 1: ID Mapping
Identity (ID) Mapping is a distinct and methodical process to explore your True Self. It maps out your significant beliefs and experiences as a guide for future growth and development.
You will learn about the significant people and experiences that influence your beliefs and perceptions. You will discover which messages fit, the ones that don't, and how that is impacting your current circumstances. You will discover the relationships and experiences that will get you where you are trying to go and avoid the ones that are keeping you stuck. You will have a completely unique and personalized map for trouble areas that will likely show up from time to time and how to reach your personal goals for therapy, for relationships, and for life.
As you go through this process, Identity Mapping will also help you discover and maintain your boundaries, increase self-esteem, and give clarity on your values. Fairly early in the process, you will know the people and experiences that have played an important role in your life and what beliefs are keeping you from being yourself.
Part II: Integration
When you’re finished with the mapping section, you will have a new context and perspective on the problems and issues you presented at the start. We will then be able to develop a customized treatment plan for any remaining needs. Identity Mapping helps you to develop a clear picture of what keeps getting you stuck and where to apply the energy and leverage to reach your goals and live the life you have always wanted.
Interventions for integration of the True Self include:
Pain and Peace Cycle
Sand Tray Therapy
Symbolic Demotion of Hostile Messages
Theory of Internal Authorities
(This is a brief overview. Contact us for more details)
The Theory of Internal Authorities is a way to understand your inner-world as cemented by intense emotional experiences which empower particular thoughts and beliefs while they guide decisions, speech, and behavior.
It helps to consider these thoughts and beliefs as the "lenses" that you wear to develop your perspective. They are the internal dialogue, all of the differing internal messages that help you to decide a course of action. Have you ever heard yourself saying that a part of you thinks this, but another part thinks that? Those parts (often taking the sound of influential voices and feelings) are the internal representations (memories) of significant people and experiences. They are the messengers that metaphorically act like an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other. They suggest to you how to interpret things and function like lenses to the world, helping filter and translate your experience. Depending on how close to your ear an Internal Authority (IA) sits will have a significant influence on your perception of self and others.
Internal Authorities are busy and powerful.
Some IA’s are more powerful than others. Many people find that the ones with the most power are hostile, critical, and negative. They can be very difficult to identify and dethrone. Have you ever noticed that it's really hard to just stop thinking? Do this short experiment and see for yourself.
Try and stop thinking for the next minute.
It's difficult. If you are like most people, your mind wondered. If you are not in control of your thoughts, who is? That's a good question.
Whichever Internal Authorities (thoughts,beliefs) are loudest and closest (most powerful) tend to get our attention. The ones associated with powerful negative emotion tend to dominate. The IA’s are constantly interpreting the data that comes in through the nervous system.
There is a difference between the inner dialogue and YOU. Many people mistake the two and believe the hostile messages being interpreted to them. You are not your thoughts. You are the One behind the thoughts (mind, soul, spirit), often passively authorizing which ones you accept.
The reason you sometimes say and do things that don't align with your beliefs and values is that a Hostile Internal Authority has taken a position of power, like a trusted adviser, and the conflict between it and you fosters internal confusion and conflict which leads to outer conflict and problems.
You have the freedom and power to demote or promote Internal Authorities as you see fit.
Here’s the problem most people face: How do you rearrange something if you don't know what it is or where it's located? In essence, that's what Identity Mapping does.
All people, at their core are oriented towards growth. People do their best to survive. As a person grows up and develops, they receive and accept messages about themselves, the other, and the world through varying forms of the Parent-Child relationship and experiences. These messages are often cemented by strong emotions. Sometimes these accepted messages are harmonious and breed authenticity, other times they are hostile and breed the inner conflict which encourages one to design and wear social masks, ultimately causing chaos through unauthentic living.
These accepted messages become mental representations which function in a hierarchical system. The internal form that these messages take are what is called an Internal Authority (IA). Not all IA’s have the same power due to associated emotions. Messages from lower ranked (less neurologically integrated) IA’s will be filtered and edited to align with those at a higher rank.
Personal agency functions more like co-collaborator, listener, and follower of IA’s, rather than the commander.
Authentic self-control comes from self-surrender to Harmonious IA’s. Wise surrender is the most optimal stance, often taking the form of acceptance of others while being authentic.
Self leadership, in the classical sense, is not the most optimal and can create the inner conflict it tries to dispel (Mindfulness is means to become aware of the messages without leading or surrendering to them. Mindfulness is a neutral stance).
Problems begin when a person accepts messages from significant relationships and events that are incongruent/ hostile with their core Self. These are often authority figures (parental surrogates) like caretakers, guardians, family, teachers, bosses, stars, peers, etc. The acceptance of hostile messages become Hostile Internal Authorities (Hostile IA’s) due to the often shocking, sudden, and/or traumatic nature of hostility, these messages have a way of jumping rank and becoming powerful and Hostile IA’s out of an attempt to help the person “survive”. (These would be similar to “managers” and “firefighters” in Internal Family Systems Therapy.) If the message is powerful enough (highly ranked), it will begin to illicit conflicting internal dialogue with Self. This internal dialogue between Internal Authorities creates stress to the biological, psychological, and/or spiritual system. Stress in the internal system creates bio/psycho symptoms which affect external, relational systems, likely family, work/school, and community. This can lead to a growing snowball of common symptoms and relational distress.