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Parts Work Therapy

Parts Work is one of the many therapeutic modalities offered as a service by our holistic team of psychotherapists here at The Holding Space. To find out more about this service, read below!

Two Dried Leaves

What is Parts Work?

Parts Work is a form of therapy that works under the basic assumption that each individual’s mind and psyche are made up of many parts, or subpersonalities. One of these parts is the “Self,” like a true personality, which develops very early on in life and which the other parts form a system around. The other parts get strengthened (or not) over time through experiences, relationships, and messages, and they may vary in presentation, such as images, sensations, thoughts, and feelings. This internal system of parts impacts the individual’s in-the-moment thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, thus causing it to also impact their surrounding external systems, often without their awareness. When the system is functioning in health/balance, the Self is the leader. When other parts begin to take control, it is a sign that the system has been threatened, either from an internal conflict, an external disturbance, or both. If the self is unable to regain control, it can lead to negative outcomes for the individual’s personality, mental health, and wellbeing.

Accordingly, Parts Work involves identifying, differentiating, and reintegrating the client’s parts, such that the Self is once again the leader of the internal system. This allows clients to feel more autonomous, creative, and aligned, among other benefits. The therapist’s role in Parts Work can be varied, but it is a major priority to help clients develop both an awareness and an empathetic understanding of not only the different parts of their internal system, but also the impacts this

system has had on the external systems surrounding it and vice versa. All of this is done within a warm, empathetic, and accepting environment, which is necessary to build a secure, safe, and collaborative therapeutic relationship.

Image by Artiom Vallat

What does Parts Work look like?


At The Holding Space, we help you identify the issues that are specific to you and offer an individualized, holistic approach to address them. This starts with welcoming our clients into a

warm and accepting environment, which we believe is necessary for creating the trust and safety needed for any therapeutic work. Once these minimum requirements for the therapeutic relationship have been established, your therapist will work to with you to identify the parts and conflicts within your internal system that are impacting your mental health. Depending on your unique needs, your therapist may integrate other treatment modalities with Parts Work, which can offer alternative avenues to access and work with your different parts.

While you are working to identify and understand your parts and how they impact each other, you will also be challenged to develop empathy for them, which will help ensure that none get deemed “bad.” This is important, as the goal of Parts Work is to integrate and find balance between all your parts, not just the “good” ones. Developing empathy involves exploring how your parts and system came to be, including your family dynamics, relationships, experiences, traumas, etc. from birth to present. In addition to understanding and rebalancing your internal system of parts, you will work toward understanding how it influences the external systems

around you and vice versa. The hope of all this increased awareness and understanding is that you will have greater choice in balancing, accessing, and utilizing your parts to impact your internal and external systems as you see fit.

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Who does Parts Work work for?

Parts Work may be used within individual or couples therapy. Whether you’ve reached a breaking point or are simply trying to foster more connection to the Self, here at The Holding Space, we believe it’s never the wrong time to attend to your mental health and wellbeing. If you are willing and ready to gain a deeper understanding, acceptance, and integration of your internal parts, how they are impacted by external systems, and how they impact your relationships with yourself and others, Parts Work might be right for you.

Common topics we address through Parts Work include:

 Gender and Sexuality

 Anxiety

 Depression

 Trauma

 Grief

 Illness

 Relationship Challenges

 Sex and Intimacy

 Family Dynamics

 Parenting

 Addiction

 Codependency

 Career

 Creativity

To find out if Parts Work might be a fit for your unique needs, contact us for a consultation today!

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