Stage 2 Users' Guide

You Need an Access Code

To ensure safety, this stage is only available to users who have been OK'd by a therapist. There are two options:

1. If you have a therapist, send them this link Therapist Explanation of Access Codes, and ask them to get an access code to give you. You can then enter this code here to get access to Stage 2 of STJ.

2. If you aren’t currently working with a therapist and want access to Stage 2, you can contact an STJ Therapist Guide, who is a therapist or counselor who knows STJ and is willing to evaluate you for Stage 2 access and also guide you in using STJ if you want. You can find the List of Therapist Guides by clicking Finding a Therapist Guide. I (Jay Earley) am one of them, and I offer an inexpensive fee for the evaluation ($50).

The Wounds Behind Your Pattern

It can be very useful to learn about where your pattern came from in childhood and resolve the emotional dynamics behind it. Stage 2 allows you to explore the psychological wounds that underlie this pattern and possibly heal them. In the Pattern System, a wound refers to the emotional hurt, fear, shame, or other pain and negative beliefs that derive from your past and are affecting you in the present. In IFS terms, this stage deals with exiles, which are wounded inner child parts.

The main Stage 2 page lists all the motivations that you checked off in Stage 1. Each is now matched with an associated wound. You choose one of the motivations and click the link to explore the wound that goes with it. For example, suppose you have an Intimacy-Avoiding Pattern, and one of the motivations is “I am afraid of being judged if I allow myself to be close to my partner.” This would be associated with the Judgment Wound, which comes from your having been judged excessively as a child. Clicking on the Judgment Wound link leads to a step sequence for exploring and possibly healing this wound.

A few of the motivations may not directly involve a wound but rather another pattern of yours, where the underlying motivation is to fight against a pattern that is in conflict with the one you are working on. For example, the Procrastination Pattern can come partly from an attempt to fight against the Taskmaster Pattern. These motivations can be worked on during Stage 4.

The Stage 2 material can be emotionally difficult, so it might be helpful to ask a support person to be with you on the phone or in person as you go through it, or to talk with you when you finish the session. Since painful emotions may come up, there is an option to do a specific guided meditation to get into a grounded place first.

There are currently fourteen wounds in Self-Therapy Journey—wounds that come from situations, usually from childhood, in which you were judged, shamed, rejected, deprived, abandoned, attacked, dominated, violated, exploited, betrayed, not seen, or made to feel guilty, and wounds that caused you to end up feeling deficient or unlovable. Each wound has a step sequence associated with it for learning about the wound and creating a report on it. You can learn whether you have the wound, how it functions in your life, where it comes from, and how to heal it. 

The Wound Step Sequence

Description Page. At the beginning of the wound sequence, you learn about the wound and where it may have come from in childhood. The Similar Wounds Page provides an opportunity to look at wounds that are similar to the one you are exploring in case one of those seems more important to explore. For example, the Basic Deficiency Wound is similar to the Judgment Wound.
Just as with patterns, wounds are activated under some circumstances and not under others. You explore this on the Similar Wounds Page

The Behaviors Page allows you to explore how you behave when your wound is activated. For example, for the Judgment Wound, one behavior is: “When someone doubts me, I lose confidence in myself and have difficulty speaking.” Some wounds are so hidden that they don’t influence behavior directly—only through the defenses that block them. For example, a Judgment Wound might be hidden behind an Angry Pattern.

The Feelings Page is for exploring the emotions you feel and the beliefs you hold when the wound is activated. For the Judgment Wound, these could include feeling ashamed or believing that you are stupid. The Name and Image Pages allow you to choose a name and image for the part of you (exile) that has the wound.

The Origins Pages are for exploring in detail the childhood origins of the wound (with the understanding that some wounds can originate in adulthood as well, especially if you have suffered trauma). A wound can originate in three ways:
1. Someone did something to you to cause the wound.
2. You were in a situation that caused the wound.
3. You inherited the wound from a parent.

On the Origins – Person Page, you choose a parent, relative, or other person whom you believe caused the wound. They you click through to a separate Childhood Memories Pate, where you can explore (through checklists) what this person did to you to cause the wound, for example, “Mother ignored me.” There is also a check list for what the person said to you, for example, Mother said “Leave me alone.” And you can also fill in the circumstances under which this happened, for example, “when Mother was drunk.” You can do this exploration for as many different people as you want.

The Origins – Situation Page is for exploring situations that caused the wound, such as being judged as a child because of a disability.

The Origins – Legacy Page allows you to explore whether or not you inherited the wound as a legacy from a parent, which means that a parent had this wound and you internalized it. For example, if your mother felt judged, you took in her feeling and felt judged yourself—not because of anything your mother did to you but simply because your mother felt that way.

The Meditation Page allows you to do a guided meditation in which you get to know your exile and heal its wound. This process is based on IFS. (See the second half of Self-Therapy.) This is a long, deep inner exploration that can bring up painful feelings or strong defenses. Make sure you are ready for this process before doing it. You may need support in handling what this meditation triggers.
In this meditation, you access the Self and makes an internal connection with the exile. You (as the Self) reparent the exile, for example, by giving it the love it never got or protecting it from the harm it experienced. Then you retrieve the exile from the past and help it unburden (release) the pain and negative beliefs it has been carrying as a result of what happened. Through memory reconsolidation, the exile’s old emotional memory is amended with a positive, healing experience.

The Report Page gives you a detailed report on your wound, collecting everything you have entered about it. Looking at your reports can give you additional insight into the origins of your issues.

One way STJ can help in healing your wound is through developing a healthy capacity. Each wound has associated with it a healthy capacity that can help heal it. For example, the Self-Esteem Capacity helps heal the Judgment Wound. The Healing Page describes the capacity associated with this wound and gives you the opportunity to work on it.

When you have finished with this wound, you can return and explore a different wound that also underlies the pattern you are working on, or you can move on.

The Follow-up Page

Once you have finished exploring one wound, you return to a follow-up page where you can choose a second wound to explore. Some people have explored three or four wounds for one pattern. However, for most people, one or two wounds is enough. If you have more wounds than this, you can put them on your To-Explore list, so you can return and process them later.

Childhood Conditioning Page

Next comes a page where you can explore the possible childhood conditioning behind your pattern. In addition to wounds underlying a pattern, you may have been conditioned10 to behave according to this pattern when you were a child. Here are the ways this might have happened:

1. You were taught that a certain pattern was the right way to be. A parent told you to be that way, praised other people who acted that way, or disparaged people who weren’t that way.

2. You were rewarded for manifesting a certain pattern. You were given attention, caring, appreciation, and love when you acted in that particular way.

3. You were punished when you failed to act a certain way. Your parents withdrew their love and caring, judged you, yelled at you, shamed you, or punished you whenever you didn’t act out a certain pattern.

4. A parent modeled a certain way of being, so you came to believe that was the way to be.

5. A parent judged you in a certain way or about certain issues, so a part of you internalized that role, and now it judges you in a similar way or about similar issues.

On the Conditioning Page, you can explore how parents, relatives, or other people may have conditioned your pattern. There is a separate page for each person who conditioned you. On that page, you explore what the person did or said to you and the situations in which this happened.

The results of this are collected in a sub-report under the pattern report. Even though childhood conditioning is explored in Stage 2, these sub-reports are part of your pattern report from Stage 1 because the conditioning is for a pattern not a wound.

Inner Critic Pages

The next two pages appear only when you are working on a pattern that can have an Inner Critic aspect. As I explained previously, an Inner Critic is a part that attacks, judges, and doubts you, leading to low self-esteem and other problems. These include the Taskmaster, Perfectionist, Food Controller, Underminer, Destroyer, and Inner Critic Patterns

Internalized Critic Page. The self-critical attacks from this pattern may have originated partly from internalizing critical messages from a parent. In other words, a parent judged you in a certain way, and an Inner Critic Part of you modeled itself after the parent and now criticizes you in a similar way. This criticism doesn’t have to focus on the same issues, but it will be in the same style.

On this page, you can do a guided meditation in which you help your Inner Critic Part let go of the attacking style it learned from a parent. This involves going inside and contacting the part, witnessing where it learned to be critical, and performing an internal ritual to release this role. In IFS terms, this involves unburdening (releasing) a legacy burden, where the burden is the self-critical role. (A legacy burden is one that you internalized from a parent who had the burden). This is a protector legacy burden, which is different from the Origins – Legacy page under wounds, which deals with exile legacy burdens.

The Criticized Wounds Page give you the opportunity to explore additional wounds related to Inner Critic attacks. Since your pattern can have an Inner Critic aspect, its self-judgments can trigger wounds.

Let me explain. On previous pages, you have been exploring one or more wounds that your Critic was trying to protect you from feeling. In addition to defending you from this pain, this Critic may also be hurting a wounded inner child part with its judgments.
For example, Warren has a Taskmaster Critic that tries to get him to work and be successful so he will be financially independent and therefore free of other people’s control. This Critic is protecting against his Domination Wound. When the Critic judges him, it makes Warren feel inadequate, thereby also triggering his Judgment Wound. Warren has already had a chance to explore his Domination Wound on the earlier Stage 2 pages. Now he gets a chance to explore his Judgment Wound.

This completes Stage 2. If you get discouraged or depressed while exploring multiple wounds, move on to Stage 3 and beyond, which are more inspiring and hopeful. You can always return to Stage 2 at a later time to explore more wounds.