The Identity Healing Model
Within every therapeutic modality there is a model of the problem and the solution. A model is not a theory, it’s a concise, useful way of thinking about the problem and helps us towards a solution.
The Identity Healing model is about how our present experience is influenced by younger parts of ourselves. It is a psychologically based model, informed by EFT (of course), NLP parts work, the Core Transformation process, Ego State Therapy, Cognitive Analytic Therapy and many other approaches.
What Is The Problem?
It’s easy to believe that there is just one of you, one “I” who inhabits and owns the body you are in. If you look at your official identities: passports, driving licences etc, there is just one photograph and one name.
When you look at all the people around you there seem to be just one of each, one person for each body. We all appear to have a single identity. We all seem to be just one person, but beneath the skin and behind the eyes it is more complicated than that.
We may find that in one situation we can be one person and in another situation we can be quite a different person. Perhaps we are usually kind and patient, but at other times we are overcome with anger and impatience. It’s as if there are two or more personalities at work, in control and in conflict with one another.
Usually there are more than just two parts of ourselves. There are many different younger parts of ourselves, all appearing at times to take a role in our lives.
Rather than one fixed identity, or self, we seem to be a walking community of younger parts of ourselves.
- Sometimes different sub-personalities are in charge of our emotions and behaviour.
- Sometimes these parts of ourselves agree.
- Sometimes they have different needs and aspirations.
- Sometimes they are at war.
These parts of ourselves are given different names in different psychological systems. They might be referred to as parts, sub-personalities, self-states, ego-states, self-schemas etc. In our experience these sub-personalities sometimes feel like ‘younger selves’.
Where Do Our Sub-Personalities Come From?
As infants and children we are very vulnerable. Our biological and psychological systems are designed to keep us safe as we grow and develop.
In an ideal world, supported by loving parents and siblings, our development would be comparatively easy. With the right kind of support we would develop strong and robust personalities.
Unfortunately we do not all grow up in an ideal world. Threats to our physical and psychological safety challenge our developing selves.
- Trauma - Physical or emotional trauma can have a lasting impact on our psyche.
- Abuse - Abusive environments tax and distort a child’s development in all sorts of ways.
- Neglect - While less obviously damaging both physical and emotional neglect can stress our developing system.
- Withholding love - Withholding love and acceptance can be stressful for infants and children.
- Shaming and blaming - Shaming and blaming can be perceived as a threat to the system.
All these threats (real or perceived) produce a stress response as the child tries to cope with the situation and manage their own distress.
In some cases just one experience can be enough to ‘split off’ a sub-personality as a response to those kinds of situations.
In other cases there is an accumulation of experiences over time that contribute to the development of a sub-personality.
Our Earlier Solutions Create Our Present Problems.
Our younger selves have to do the best they can to cope with whatever stressful situation they find themselves in. They try to maintain their own safety and to encourage their care givers to continue to look after them.
The responses that they choose are limited by their age, experience, resources and capabilities. A very young child may have a limited capacity to respond to a situation. They do the best they can but the tools at their disposal may not be well suited to the job in hand.
The responses that they come up with for that situation can become the default response for those kinds of predicaments. Those emotional and behavioural responses are ‘frozen’ into a younger identity. As the child grows up those impoverished and threatened younger selves stay frozen in place.
When faced with similar situations in later life that younger self gets triggered and tries to manage the situation using those old responses.
It’s as if each sub-personality gets walled off from our adult resources and abilities. They have to deal with each challenge as that younger self who first learned to deal with that situation.
What Is A Solution?
The Identity Healing processes are used to soothe the stress and distress of those younger selves (that was not soothed at the time), give them all the emotional resources they needed at the time (but did not get) and invite them to ‘grow up’ and become integrated into our adult selves.
The six steps of Identity Healing are very simple in principle:
- Identify the younger self (the part of us that split off and struggles).
- Externalise that part to make it easy for us to tap for that younger self.
- Soothe that part using tapping to relieve its distress.
- Resource the younger self so that it has what it needs (but didn’t have at that time).
- Integrate the transformed younger self back into the adult self.
- Evolve invite the younger part to grow, learning from all the wisdom and experience of the adult.
In practice, it is a little more complicated than that (because people are complicated).
A Trainee’s Perspective
Rachel O’Connor a Certified Identity Healing Practitioner gives a review of the Identity Healing training and certification process.
Prerequisites For Training.
This is an advanced EFT Training, to take this training you must be experienced and at ease with standard EFT approaches.
The minimum entry requirements to take this training are:
- an EFT International Level 2 Practitioner Certificate (or its equivalent)
- be a member in good standing of a recognised EFT organisation: EFT International, EFT Guild, EFT Universe, etc.
- at least one year’s tapping experience with clients
- current professional liability insurance for EFT
The Training Process
The course is practical and participative, using demonstrations, discussion and supervised pair practice of the techniques.
Visit the Practitioner Training page for more information and to get a free sample of the Identity Healing Practitioner Manual.
The Certification Process
The Practitioner training is only the first step towards becoming a Certified Identity Healing Practitioner.
To be certified you need to demonstrate that you understand the process and can apply it effectively with clients.
The certification process includes reviews of recorded client sessions, using Identity Healing on one of your own issues, a case log of at least 20 client sessions and a minimum of six hours mentoring.
Only when certification has been satisfactorily completed will an Identity Healing Practitioner Certificate be awarded.
Visit the Practitioner Certification page for more information.