I hope you’ve been able to find pockets of peace and breathing space in your summer—alone, with family, friends or pets. 🌞 Our energies and attention are shifting away from summer flexibility, fun and the inevitable sprinkles of chaos to the beckoning rhythm and structure of a new school year and more predictable schedules.
How does that feel for your parts?
Check inside and ask them.
Ready or not, here it comes!
The roles of our Protective Parts often change with the seasons–whether we’re aware of it or not. Some Parts can be quite stealth–their superpower. Summer Pauses allow some of my hard-working Managers to relax, which perks up some Firefighters to vie for a little time behind the wheel. Never a dull moment within!
After indulging in an extended Pause from work, it always takes a little longer to rally my sleepy Managers to wake up, produce, finalize decisions and execute tasks. My internal family is straddling the fence of Summer/Fall. A few key players are content to nap on a sandy, sunny beach to the lapping of the waves just out of arm’s reach.
The two images above were taken from Cape Cod during our visit with my in-laws, facing west at sunset and East at moonrise. Experiencing these on the same evening feels like magic, divinity in the sky–especially when the tide allows for an unexpected swim. Are you kidding me?! My hubby happened to capture these moments from my old smartphone, since his newer phone lens is now foggy from a rainstorm last week in Slovenia! (My photos are never enhanced). Photos extend the beauty that slowly shifts west with each tick of the clock.
I am an insatiable sky chaser, never tiring of the expansive, soothing, ever-changing sanctuary of peace and wonder. I blame (or credit) this dependency on the magnificent Arizona skies that filled my childhood. If you’ve ever been alongside me during outdoor moments like these, you know how hard it is for me to tear myself away and finally leave. I turn around for one “last” glimpse many, many times. Auf wiedersehen (“until we meet again”) is a much more appropriate farewell for my system–with both loved ones and locations.
My husband knows me well enough to wait patiently for my extended goodbyes. I’ve almost missed numerous important travel connections (planes, gondolas, ferries) because of it. You’d think I’d have curbed this habit by now, but sadly it seems to worsen by the year. The older I get, the less I take for granted.
The young, Southwest solo explorer and writer, Everett Ruess’ quote has resonated with me since I was a teen, possibly the same age he was when he wrote, “I’ve seen more beauty than I can bear”.
I try to remind myself that the beauty of relinquishing one precious location, view or visit with a loved one offers me the opportunity to be gifted with another serendipity when I venture away and towards something else.
What will it be? Where? With whom? How long? Possibility awaits within new experiences and locations–through the discovery, exploration and journey. Letting go of the familiar and predictable gives space for the gift of new experiences and perspectives to unfold.
This letting go isn’t always easy. There were a number of times the past month during a seemingly impossible travel challenge that I muttered, “Is this even worth it??” (It was btw 🙂 That was just a part!) Unpredictability and the inability to manage the stimulation and overwhelm of one’s surroundings makes travel a considerable challenge for most of us. After 12 years post brain injury, travel still can be quite stressful and scary for many of my parts. Years of practice has taught me to become my injured parts’ unabated, patient and compassionate caregiver, but it’s not always a smooth road, trust me.
I look forward to sharing more nuggets from our adventure, like the polarizations that need constant tending during pausing from work and traveling. What parts do either of these activities stir within you?
This letter includes:
– the first of more reflections from my Summer Pause
-details for IFS Professionals (or aspiring ones) about Early Registration for Monthly Consultation groups. SCROLL DOWN !
–an Invitation to press REPLY and share what you’d like to hear, read or see more (or less of) in the future. I’m making decisions about content and offerings for this upcoming year. I have lots of ideas but would love to hear what you’re missing, what you look forward to, would love to experience together, etc. It’s fine to dream. Some parts are wanting more live interaction–like our first year of Covid with during the weekly Pauses for Calm & Connection–such a sweet time.
Following the wonderful week assisting IFS Founder, Dick Schwartz, at the Cape Cod Institute in July, my husband, Erik, and I flew across the pond for a Covid-postponed 25th wedding anniversary celebration. We were thrilled to finally get to bike tour again after 15 years since our last tour in Italy and Croatia. (Since 2010, our lives have been creatively derailed by 2 brain injuries and a global pandemic. Yeah, that’s enough for now thank you very much.)
Cycling (mountain, road, cross, gravel, touring) is an activity that has bound us together since we met on a college mountain bike/rock climbing weekend in 1991. Our first date was an 8 week self supported bike tour through British Columbia and across Washington state. We rode out of our wedding reception into the Arizona moonlight on a tandem bike (see photo above. We’ve since learned we are each happiest on our own bike. No tandems for Team Schmidt.) We bike toured a few times in Europe, raced road bikes at a professional level for years and can’t imagine a world without cycling, despite each of us sustaining serious injuries from this activity. 😢 Cycling offers a unique experience of human-powered efficiency, movement, power, freedom and perspective unmatched by anything else.
Here are a a few photos from our weeklong adventure through the Slovenian mountains last month, which included paved roads, crushed, white limestone buttery gravel, stairs and steep rocky dirt paths we had to push our bikes up or down, 14% 3000 feet of 14% switchbacks in the Julian Alps. We returned safely to Ljubljana just as the temps began hitting an oppressive 100F each day. ☀️
This special country is full of cyclists of all ages and types, cold crystalline Soča river water (50F/10C at best) and German speakers—which gave us memorable moments of connection and opportunities, as our rusty German was given an immediate test.
Partnership is full of challenges, adventures, trust, communication, disagreements and victories—much like traveling and a bike tour! More to share about that in another mailing. There are so many special moments to reflect on. Following me on social media ensures you don’t miss anything I share. These mailings don’t include all the photos and videos.
IFS Professionals (or aspiring ones) keep scrolling down for details about upcoming Consultation Groups, which start in about a month! Early Registration opens 8/16 so check out the details on my website to see which group is right for you!
“In addition to being a very strong IFS therapist, Laura is able to teach and supervise IFS clearly and thoroughly.
I highly recommend her.”
Dick Schwartz, IFS Founder
I’m excited to share upcoming Registration Details for the ’22-’23 Set of Monthly Consultation Groups which begin late September / early October!
Consultation Groups offer a supportive, confidential space for you to share clinical needs and vulnerabilities, challenges and victories. We can’t do this important work alone (or it sure is a lot harder and bewildering if we try to)! I’m committed to providing you and your hard-working internal system the support, teaching and community it deserves.
Some students initially join a group for the Certification hours. Others continue after experiencing the support and value this community offers their ongoing professional and personal development. Students build consultation into their monthly schedule and business expenses and know that this investment is time and resources well spent.
This has certainly been my own experience throughout my 24 year clinical career. I continue to prioritize my own consultation and could not serve my clients with Self leadership, competence and integrity without the support, accountability and mentoring consultation offers me.
It’s an honor and privilege for me to pass on my hard-earned lessons and experiences to other healing professionals and help you expand and share your own!
’22-’23 Groups are for IFS Professionals (and aspiring ones 🙂
with Active Caseloads
Sets run September – May
16 Hours. 8 meetings
Approved for IFS Certification if needed
Groups are organized based on your IFS experience level
and offered at times to accommodate our international community
spread across multiple time zones! 🌏
Each student is expected to submit at least 1 case and 1 question/topic for consultation during your group set.
We’ll schedule those dates once your group begins.
All GROUP Times are Pacific Time / Seattle
➡️ TUESDAY: for PRE LEVEL 1 students who have had an IFS introduction
11am or 4pm PT
➡️ WEDNESDAY: for Advanced / L2+ / 5+ yrs IFS experience (or prior approval)
11am or 4pm PT
➡️ THURSDAY: for Level 1+ / Stepping stones grads (or prior approval)
11am or 3pm PT
Save $100 and your seat with Early Registration starting 8/16
(just $175 per month)
Refer a colleague who signs up for a group and receive a $100 thank you refund!
Be sure they mention you when they register 🙏🏼
A few partial scholarships are available to students experiencing financial hardship. Details on Registration Page.
Guided Meditation, Q&A, Brief Demos, Case Consultation, Group Sharing
CONSULTATION GROUPS have covered these topics and more:
How to recognize and what to do when we’re working harder than our clients?
Which Parts get stirred up when sharing clinical challenges with colleagues?
How to use IFS with clients “resistant” to Parts language
How to navigate and befriend clients’ rigid Protectors
Recognizing when our Self-like parts are leading our sessions
How to Unblend from our Parts in session and increase our Self energy
How to be a more inclusive and culturally sensitive therapist / practitioner
How to work with Narrator, Story-teller, Intellectualizing Protectors who hijack sessions
Setting Boundaries with Clients. When to say No, Refer Out?
When to Self-disclose? How transparent should I be?
Direct Access (Explicit and Implicit)
Legacy & Cultural Burdens, Spiritual Bypassing, Unattached Burdens
Food Issues/”Disordered” eating, Sexual Trauma, Borderline, Suicidal Parts etc. etc. etc.
and so much more…!