When clients are explaining a situation, they tend to have a part of them that feels one way,
and another part that feels another way. Having different parts feeling different things can be
confusing and overwhelming. There are even examples in the Bible where parts are referenced.
Paul wrote “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate to
do (Romans 7:15, NIV). Paul has this experience of having different parts of him.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a type of therapy that works with our different parts. One of
the main concepts of IFS is that all of our parts are trying to help us in some way. For example,
some of these parts are working to manage, protect, hide, or numb those very wounded parts
of us so we are not hurt again. When clients have different feelings, we try to break it apart so
that together we can see what is really going on. For instance, we might say, “So part of you
wants to look for a new job, but the other part feels content where you are at your current
job?” Then we might ask questions like, “How big are these parts? Does the scared part feel
bigger or the part that wants a new job feel bigger? What percent of you feels scared and what
percent of you feels motivated to look? How old does this part feel?”
When we turn toward a part of us and get to know how it is trying to help us, many times we
can understand why we get stuck. When we give all our parts more compassion one by one,
our parts get unburdened and healed.
For more thoughts on this check out the book titled “No Bad Parts” by Richard Schwartz or
“Boundaries for your Soul” by Allison Cook and Kimberly Miller. Find a therapist that is trained
in Internal Family Systems (IFS) if this is something you want to explore. At Restoration 23, Libby Watson is trained in IFS.
Blog Post Written by Mary Anna Brown
Season Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of mood disorder where you experience new or worsening symptoms of depression during certain seasons. For many it happens in the Fall and Winter. The weather is gloomier and there are less light hours of the day. You could be experiencing this if you feel more down during the cold months.
As we approach the winter months and are now in Fall, I want to ask what is your SADs plan? There are many ways you can be proactive to decrease or eliminate the symptoms of SAD.
Here are some ways you can combat it this season:
What will your plan be?
Do you ever wonder why can’t I feel motivated? I hear from clients all the time I don’t understand why I can’t do things. It’s especially confusing when those things are activities that you previously enjoyed doing. Well we can usually thank depression for that. The magic question is what are you suppose to do about it? As much as we sometimes want to, we can’t just sit around and do nothing.
The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin is one of my favorite resources when trying to answer the magic question. In this book, Rubin answers the question “How do I respond to expectations?” Your tendency shows how you respond to outer expectations and inner expectations. You’re either an upholder, obliger, questioner, or rebel.
I’m going to break this down in my words and understanding and tell you how I go from “How do I respond to expectations?” to “How can I get motivated?”
To put it simply motivation is linked to how we respond to expectations. If we feel expected to do something then we are more likely to do it. I have found that how you can get motivated is closely linked to your tendency. Let me break down the tendencies with some motivational tips.
Upholders- You will meet inner expectations and outer expectations so basically you’ve got it easiest. Congrats! You can decide you’re going to do something and feel motivated to do it and you can be told do something and feel motivated to do it. I have a feeling there a very few upholders reading this because upholders rarely have a hard time with motivation. If you have landed on this page, see tips from obligers and questioners. They should both work for you.
Obligers- You will meet outer expectations. Think typical people pleasers, however, not all people pleasers are obligers. To help yourself get motivated find yourself an accountability partner. Ask this person to tell you to do things. For example, you may have a friend that reminds you to go workout or maybe even a really good friend that plans to workout with you.
Questioners- You will meet inner expectations. This is what I typically hear from a spouse of a questioner- Once they set their mind to something, there is no changing it. That determination is a great quality, but how do you control it to work for your own good. The answer is research. If you’re trying to motivate yourself, start looking into it- YouTube, reddit, blog posts (like this one), etc. Your questioner self will be so happy to be finding the answer that once you find THE answer you will feel more motivated to complete the task.
Rebels- To my fellow rebels, I am sorry to say that we will neither meet inner expectation nor outer expectations. I’m going to guess that most of the people that landed on this page are in this category because motivation is the hardest for us, but it’s not impossible. Expectations just aren’t are thing. Think the kid that you tell to do the dishes and then they feel like doing anything but. Rebels are motivated by what they feel like doing. This feels practically uncontrollable. Here’s two tips for you. Number one feel better. Do what it takes to increase your mood and productivity may be soon to follow.
Since that’s not always possible here’s tip two. As a Rebel, you’re motivated through your identity. That can mean a variety of different things but I will give a person example. Part of my identity was being a good student which meant someone who got good grades, was accepted into a good school, took rigorous classes etc. To motivate myself to do homework and study, I came from a place of preserving my identity. That also meant that I would procrastinate and wait until the last minute to do almost everything because as a rebel motivation is hard and the pressure to do something didn’t kick in until the last minute.
These things aren’t a motivational fix-all because its not this simple but I hope these simple tips will help you get that workout routine in motion or that homework done. If you’re an upholder or obliger then I’m telling you now get that thing done. If you’re a questioner or rebel, forget I ever said anything.
You can take the quiz here to find out what type you are https://quiz.gretchenrubin.com
This blog post was written by Tess Wright, MEd, APC