Patterns and IFS

For those of you who understand IFS

Each pattern corresponds to a kind of IFS protector. Even though the Pattern System places parts' roles into categories, which it calls patterns, it understands that each of your parts is unique. Even though you might have a part that falls into the Intimacy-Avoiding Pattern, it doesn't mean that your Intimacy-Avoiding Part is the same as someone else's Intimacy-Avoiding Part. In fact, you might have a part that plays roles described by more than one category or Pattern. For example, you might have a part that has both an Intimacy-Avoiding Pattern and a Judgmental Pattern, because the part avoids intimacy by being judgmental toward your partners. This begins to capture a little more of the uniqueness of this part, but this is only the beginning.

Your Intimacy-Avoiding Part will have certain attitudes toward relationships, unique fears about intimacy, particular behaviors that create distance, and so on. Though patterns can be helpful at first in identifying a part's roles, to truly get to know a part, it helps to do an IFS session with it and really hear from the part itself. Then you will realize that a part is far more than can be captured by simply understanding its pattern(s). It is a unique being with its own feelings, perspectives, and motivations.