Stage 5 Users Guide

Using the Stage 5 step sequence, you develop a practice for activating the capacity instead of the pattern in the Practice Situation you have chosen to work on. You plan exactly how you will engage in the practice. There are additional pages for helping you stay on track and be accountable for following through with it.

The Inspiration Page deals with inspiring you to actually do this practice. You need to be highly motivated to do homework, so it is worth your taking some time to explore the pain and difficulties caused by this pattern and what you have to gain by having the capacity instead.

Here is the plan. You’ll be paying attention during the Practice Situation or during those times when the Practice Situation may arise. You’ll notice when the usual behavior coming from your pattern starts to get triggered, and you’ll reassure the part that this behavior isn’t necessary in that situation. Then you will activate the healthy capacity through statements you say to yourself, body sensations that evoke the capacity, and possibly help from people in the Practice Situation. You will also get help from your Inner Champion, which is a healthy part of you that supports you in having this capacity in your life.

Most people have more success with these practices if they have someone to witness them and be their supporter. You can ask your therapist to be your witness, and you might want to get a friend or buddy to help, too.

Let’s look at the Stage 5 pages in more detail. The Activation Cues Page is for noting the feelings, thoughts, body sensations, or behaviors that indicate that the pattern has been activated. For example, some cues that the People-Pleasing Pattern is triggered are (1) fear in the pit of the stomach and (2) not stopping to think for oneself. By knowing these activation cues, you are more likely to notice when the pattern gets triggered.

On the Reassurance Page, you plan how to reassure the part that usually enacts the pattern that this behavior isn’t necessary in the Practice Situation. This means reminding the part that its fears won’t actually happen or that you know how to handle them when they do. For example, Sandra might reassure her People-Pleasing Part that her friend Midge won’t reject her if Sandra is assertive.

On the Evoking Page, you plan how to activate the capacity instead. This can be done with statements like, “I have my own needs and opinions,” which evokes the Assertiveness Capacity. Activation can be done with the body, such as by adopting a straight spine. Or you can ask for aid from other people in the Practice Situation who would be helpful. For example, you might ask a friend to not accept your statements that you don’t need anything for yourself.

Inner Champion Pages. An Inner Champion is an inner ally that supports you and helps you feel good about yourself. It encourages you to be who you truly are rather than fitting into a rigid, self-defeating pattern. One way to think about an Inner Champion is that it is an ideal supportive parent that you always wished you had. There is a different flavor of Inner Champion for each healthy capacity you want to develop. For more information, see our books Freedom from Your Inner Critic and Activating Your Inner Champion.

There are three pages to help you develop your Inner Champion for the targeted capacity.

Inner Champion Page 1. There is a guided meditation for discovering the sources of your Inner Champion in positive memories or supportive figures from fiction, myth, or history. (This meditation is not specific to this capacity.) Then you choose a name for the Inner Champion that is specific to the capacity you want to develop.

Inner Champion Page 2. You choose an image for this Inner Champion.

Inner Champion Page 3. You choose or enter the statements you would like this Inner Champion to say to you. For example, the Assertiveness Inner Champion might say, “You have the right to say no.” Then you do a guided meditation to access this Inner Champion. To listen to a sample extracted from one of these guided meditations, click

The Practice Plan Page is a compilation of all the information you have entered in Stages 4 and 5, which will help you do the practice. You can print it out or access it from a device to support you in doing the practice.

Practice Tracking Pages

In addition, Self-Therapy Journey has three different practice tracking pages with detailed questions to answer.

Incident Tracking Page. You fill in this page at the time you do a practice or as soon after as possible. You enter what happened during the Practice Situation and how you responded.

Daily Tracking Page. At the end of each day, you reflect on how well you engaged in the practice that day and how to improve.

Weekly Tracking Page. At the end of each week, you reflect on your practice for the week and plans for the next week.

These three types of tracking pages each ask different questions, so you shouldn’t skip one type of page because you think the material has been covered in another. You can print out these pages to use in tracking or access them from a device.