True self

Core Self or True self in IFS: these are your qualities of compassion, curiosity, calmness, confidence, connectedness, clarity, creativity and courage


3 ways to describe Self in IFS

Self can be described in various ways. The reader is free to choose whatever way suits best their belief system. I am going to present here three definitions, which, I believe, are all valid.

1) the traditional way

IFS books describe Self as the “absence of parts”. In other words, by asking parts to step aside, people automatically experience the state that we call Self. In this state, people experience calm, clarity of thought, courage and compassion.

2) the spiritual way

The traditional definition of Self seems very close to the idea of “Higher Self” or of “Spirit” or “Inner wisdom” that is in common in various spiritual traditions. It is a state of consciousness characterised by love, calm and compassion.

3) The “undamaged” part of yourself

This is one of my favourite because it instantly gives me hope and reminds me that, whatever difficulty or problem one person might be facing, there is more to life. We are more than our anxieties and mental health problems, and there is a part of us that is not damaged and that has not been touched by trauma. This undamaged Self not only exists, but it always available to create healing.

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