- Paperback: 338 pages
- Publisher: Pattern System Books; 2nd ed. edition (January 27, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0984392777
- ISBN-13: 978-0984392773
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Self-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy, 2nd Edition 2nd ed. Edition
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The fact that Jay Earley wrote this book is high praise for the IFS model because he was an accomplished writer and thinker long before encountering IFS. Jay's passion has been to introduce IFS to a lay audience so that people can work with their parts on their own. Through well-described experiential exercises and examples of actual IFS sessions, you will be able to enter your inner world, heal your extreme parts, and transform them into valuable resources." --Richard Schwartz, PhD, creator of IFS, from the Foreword
Enormously hopeful and empowering, this book illuminates the process of Internal Family Systems (IFS) as a method of self-therapy that centers on the revolutionary principle that all of us have a Self. Presenting a view of the human psyche with this calm, compassionate, curious Self at the center, Jay Earley takes the reader step-by-step through a method of self-exploration which views overwhelming emotion and dysfunctional behavior as stemming from parts that are doing their best to help the person survive. Earley's writing is beautifully organized and clear,as compassionate and respectful as the process he is teaching, and the reader is supported and encouraged at every step. Anyone wishing to live a fuller, richer,more meaningful life, or help others do so, needs to read this book. --Ann Weiser Cornell, PhD, author of The Power of Focusing and The Radical Acceptance of Everything
The non-pathologizing and empowering aspects of the IFS Model find their ultimate expression in Dr. Earley's book, Self-Therapy. Exercises, illustrations, and session transcripts supplement this detailed approach for individuals to safely work alone or with a peer to transform their inner worlds dominated by outmoded beliefs to lives filled with love, compassion, and connection. Therapists, too, will appreciate this clear map of the inner territory of the psyche and will find this book a valuable and accessible resource for their clients. --Susan McConnell, senior IFS trainer
Jay has the gift of both insight and teaching--and he uses both in his new book. He allows us access to the many many layers of our selves and helps us to understand, work with and ultimately feel harmonious with behaviors that have baffled us. Self-therapy is a wonderful cogent guide written by a wonderful cogent teacher. --Geneen Roth, author of When Food is Love and Women Food and God --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Author
Is It Truly Possible To Resolve Psychological Issues Through a Self-Help Book?
Have you ever been in a positive mood only to have something seemingly very small happen, perhaps someone made a casual off-handed criticism of you, but for some weird reason you felt immediately deflated, and found yourself feeling almost like a child again, small, afraid, and helpless?
Have you ever lost your temper with someone you really care about, maybe even someone you love very much, but suddenly you found yourself saying things and acting in ways that were not the way you really feel about that person, and later you regretted your actions deeply?
Have you ever really wanted to find the motivation to do something in your life, like start a new diet plan for example, but despite all your best efforts, you felt as if something was sabotaging you, and maybe you even found yourself standing in front of an open refrigerator at midnight, staring longingly at the rest of that chocolate cake?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, there is nothing to worry about, and you are certainly not alone.
In fact, from the viewpoint of "Internal Family Systems" (IFS), you are perfectly normal.
The problem in each of these situations is simply a part (or parts) that is over-reacting. In the first case, there is a part that is holding you back that you're not aware of. In the second, there is a part that exploded in anger.
Most of us prefer to think of ourselves as one, unitary, sensible personality. But human beings are not as simple and straightforward as we may like to think.
In reality, we are complex systems of interacting parts, each with a variety of emotions and motivations.
IFS has a sophisticated way of working with your "parts," which are natural divisions in the psyche, sometimes called subpersonalities. This approach has been rapidly spreading across the entire country for the past decade and is being applauded by patients and therapists for its incredible effectiveness.
You can think of these parts as little people inside of you. Each with their own perspectives, beliefs, feelings, memories, and motivations.
Some of your parts are in pain. Some of your parts want to protect you from pain. Some of your parts try to manage how you interact with others. Some of your parts are even locked in battles with each other that have been going on for years.
And most of the time, all of this is completely outside our awareness.
All we know is that sometimes we feel great, sometimes we feel nervous, sometimes we feel frustrated, confused, angry, and so on. And if we are honest with ourselves, we don't really understand why.
Your True Self, The Source of All Healing
Unfortunately many people spend their whole lives thinking that this surface dance of emotional states is all there is to life. However, underlying this cast of characters, and within every human being is the true Self that is wise, calm, open and loving.
IFS is specifically designed to help you access this Self. Once you are in touch with your Self, from this incredible place of strength and love, you can connect with your troubled parts and heal them.
It's through the Self that you can heal your own wounds and watch as all of your parts reclaim and reveal their natural strength and goodness.
What Makes IFS So Powerful?
Internal Family Systems is more powerful than other therapeutic approaches for three main reasons:
- The Self. Healing comes from your true Self, and IFS has innovative ways of helping to access your Self and remain there during a session.
- Internal Love. IFS has discovered that all your parts are doing their best to help and protect you. This means that you don't have to fight them or try to get rid of them. You can connect with them from the compassion of Self and develop cooperative, trusting relationships with them. This makes transformation much easier.
- A Step-by-Step Procedure. IFS understands the complex structure of the psyche and has developed a sophisticated procedure for healing each of your parts. There is no guesswork. You don't wallow around for years in your childhood. IFS has laser-like precision and efficiency.
Relief from chronic, painful, life-long emotional issues, such as depression and anxiety, is possible and can be entirely in your control.
You simply need an effective framework for understanding and communicating with the various parts of yourself, along with a step-by-step process for transforming these parts into healthy resources.
This is the promise of Self-Therapy, a clear guide by Dr. Jay Earley that explains exactly how to you can heal deep wounds, resolve stuck places, and restore wholeness, strength, self-confidence, and joy to your life.
What Makes Self-Therapy So Effective?
1. It is based on Internal Family Systems, a full-fledged form of therapy.
IFS is actually much much more than another therapeutic technique.
In actuality it is both a revolutionary way of understanding the human psyche and a complete practice for learning to love yourself and others.
Self-Therapy teaches you to engage in IFS sessions on your own or with a partner. You learn a complete method of therapy, designed from years of clinical work with a wide variety of individuals and a wide range of psychological challenges.
2. IFS is a user-friendly form of therapy.
The IFS model taught in Self-Therapy is not only effective but also extraordinarily user friendly.
It is natural to visualize your parts, give them names, and talk to them. It brings your psyche alive in a way that is easy to grasp.
3. IFS is based on the Self, so it can be used without a therapist.
In IFS it is not the therapist or any outside force that "fixes" you.
In IFS the source of healing is You; the source of healing is your true Self.
Your true Self is who you really are in the deepest sense.
Your true Self is compassionate, openly curious, connected, and calm.
Even when working with a therapist or another IFS practitioner, it is always your true Self that is the agent of healing in the IFS approach.
As you introduce your suffering parts to the Self, they each develop a trusting and healing relationship with the Self.
Through this, an unstoppable momentum of transformation unfolds.
4. Self-Therapy brings IFS to life.
It contains transcripts of actual sessions and illustrations that bring parts vividly to life. It also has help sheets that outline the IFS process which you can use during sessions to know what to do next. And there are exercises that can be be applied directly from the book in your life.
Can Self-Therapy Help Me With My Issue?
- Relationship Problems
- Passive-Aggressive Behavior
- Communication Issues
- People Pleasing
- Eating Issues
- Inner Critic
- Fear and anxiety
- Feelings of inner conflict
- Insecurity on the job
With Self-Therapy, Dr. Jay Earley makes the power of IFS accessible to everyone by teaching it as a complete method for psychological healing that anyone can use on their own.
And Self-Therapy is also the book of choice for therapists wanting to learn Internal Family Systems Therapy.
Therapists and existing IFS practitioners will appreciate this clear map of the IFS model, which includes transcripts from actual therapy sessions, illustrations that explain complex and subtle dynamics in the psyche, and detailed tips on how to proceed in various circumstances that may come up during a session.
Self-Therapy constitutes a complete manual for the IFS procedure.
Self-Therapy is simply an absolute must read for every therapist seeking to move their clients beyond tolerable recovery to a deeper, more complete process of healing.
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Top Customer Reviews
So, how do you know if this book will be helpful for you?
"Self-Therapy" is based on Internal Family Systems therapy. (Think--a system of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but with a rather different approach.) It is geared toward individuals who do what I call "triggering". If you tend to have very turbulent relationships, or keep rehashing past offenses in your head, or get told by your spouse that you act like you have two personalities, or are a pathological people-pleaser, or find yourself frequently repeating that behavior you decided never to do again, or have panic attacks over trivial threats, or are easily hurt or offended, or have been told you are manipulative, or have overwhelming fears of not being believed, being abandoned, not being good enough, etc, then you are probably "triggering". As you progress toward middle age, you will likely find that these behaviors become increasingly problematic in your relationships. If this sounds like you, consider getting this book.
I am a family physician and was becoming frustrated with an inability to help my patients with (axis II) personality disorders understand and heal their condition. Meds don't work very well and traditional counseling is only marginally better. I knew how to recognize a patient with a personality disorder, but I didn't understand what caused it or how to explain it to a patient in a way that they 1) believed me, and 2) understood what I was talking about. These patients are often misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder, and before I found IFS I almost never saw someone recover or improve.
A social worker directed me to do some research into Internal Family Systems therapy and I eventually stumbled across "Self-Therapy". This book not only helps you diagnose yourself, (ie. "what is causing me to feel and act this way?") but also how to treat yourself. I am gradually coming to believe that Internal Family Systems therapy is the only type of therapy that is more than marginally effective for healing this type of emotional injury. I find myself recommending this book to one of my patients on at least a weekly basis. It doesn't hold the solution for every emotional problem, but it's one of the best tools I've found for my mental health arsenal. If nothing else, it can really help you understand others' behavior better.
I initially read this book trying to help my patients. In the end it has also helped my family, my marriage, and my personal happiness. Color me impressed.
IFS is not the simplest thing in the world to explain in writing, yet the book nails it by combining clear illustrations, good organization and thoughtful writing. It also has numerous exercises you can do yourself. And a section of tips on doing IFS with a partner, and on working with a therapist.
The book is written to be accessible to the general public, which is the only broad-based introductory IFS book I know of yet that is in good measure written for the public (i.e. not written for therapists). It's largely written for the person who will be going through therapy or wants to practice IFS on their own or with a partner. I think even having the awareness of the concepts and info will help most people, even if they don't do the exercises.
The great thing about the above is it gives IFS a better chance of making a bigger impact on the world than is possible simply through therapists. There are only so many therapists, and only some know much IFS and relatively few have been trained in it, or are now slated to be trained.
Besides letting more people do it on their own, I think IFS therapists in general will benefit from it because I think a good number of people who read it and find IFS appealing will at some point in the upcoming years of their life will go to an IFS therapist to experience the added benefits of therapy or tackle harder things that need a therapist. Kind of like how the Grateful Dead became the highest grossing tour band in the U.S. because they let people record their concerts and share copies for free. More people got copies of the music, liked it and then went to concerts, bought t-shirts and bought CDs. The more people who are introduced to IFS through books like this, the more the average IFS therapist will have people knocking on their door looking to do it.
One small note is that while the tagline of the book mentions "healing your inner child," my impression is that according to IFS and to the author (Earley) and my own experience of myself, most people are healing several inner parts of themselves, including some adult parts that are not serving them well. While I don't care about sub-titles, I thought I would mention the above to clarify in case it's needed for anyone that this is not some half-baked new age book talking only about healing an inner child. As the first half of the tagline conveys, IFS works with all parts of our personality, and tries to get all aspects of who we are more healthy to better serve us. Healing the childish parts of us that are often unconscious is certainly an important part of the process, and the book is a multi-dimensional approach to those parts and other parts of who we are.
In case you haven't heard of IFS, it is a respected psychological system and is used primarily by licensed therapists and clinics, and recommended by many respected leaders in the field. The founder of it was the co-author of one of the best selling textbooks on marriage and family therapy used by universities, and who taught at one of the top schools in the country. It's not a passing fad and not a new-age gimmick with the aim of selling books. IFS is not family therapy - Schwartz used the systematic thinking common in family therapy to discover that we have our own internal set of sub-personalities or parts that combine to form who we are. Often some of the parts are on track and some are not, and need some assistance from us in coming to serve us better.
The book focuses on how you can learn what the parts of yourself are, how they operate, and how you can help them learn and mature to become better at serving you. Doing so takes time. Don't expect to read this book or any book, and have easy answers or have most things figured out just like that. It takes ongoing time and attention. My guess is that most people will need to read the book again in a year and delve deeper in the second time.
Overall, the writing in Self-Therapy is lucid and understandable, without dumbing down. I think the book would also be helpful to therapists looking for a strong intro to IFS, or to therapists who know some about IFS and want to know more. When you consider that the founder Richard Schwartz was able to help a lot of people when he first started doing IFS, and it was only part-way developed when he first started doing it and he had no book with lots of details explaining it to help him, I would assume that a high quality therapist could read this book and begin using some of the concepts in their practice.
If you click on my profile, you'll see that I'm a real person, and that I give things poor ratings as well as good ones, and that I don't often give something such a strong review.
If you stumbled across this book while surfing the net, I strongly recommend you plop down the small cost to get it. It might well change your life. And at the least, I think almost all people will get at least $15 of value from it, enough to be worth the cost. It's very rare that I find a book I can say that about.
This book is a very clearly written and easy to understand set of instructions for doing IFS therapy, which is so powerful that I am somewhat confused about why everyone isn't using it. Self-Therapy profoundly improved my effectiveness at accomplishing my goals and increased my overall sense of well-being. I recommend it to everyone I know.
If you do read the book, my one recommendation is to actually try the process outlined within on yourself, preferably with a friend to help. It took me a while to figure out how to use the system, but ever since I have done so I have a method I know will work for gaining clarity, changing behavior patterns, and have fun while doing it, so no problem in my life feels intractable and suffering seems entirely optional. It's that powerful. Let this book change your life.
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