The Therapy Collective


The information provided here is intended to support you with guidance. Please always consult an expert for an accurate diagnosis and to be sure you receive the support needed for your unique situation.

What is Parts Work and Attachment-Based Therapy?

What is Parts Work and Attachment-Based Therapy?

What is Parts Work and Attachment-Based Therapy?

What is Parts Work and Attachment-Based Therapy?

Parts work and attachment-based therapy are therapeutic approaches designed to help individuals understand and integrate different aspects of themselves while fostering healthy relationships. Parts work, often associated with Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, involves identifying and working with various “parts” or sub-personalities within an individual, each with its own set of emotions, thoughts, and behaviours. Attachment-based therapy focuses on understanding and improving how individuals form and maintain emotional bonds with others, addressing issues rooted in early attachment experiences.


How Parts Work and Attachment-Based Therapy Can Help You

  • Enhancing Self-Awareness: By identifying and understanding different parts of yourself, you gain insight into your internal conflicts and motivations.
  • Improving Emotional Regulation: Working with various parts helps you manage emotions more effectively, leading to greater emotional stability.
  • Healing from Trauma: Both approaches address past traumas, promoting healing and integration of traumatic experiences.
  • Strengthening Relationships: Attachment-based therapy helps you develop healthier patterns of relating to others, improving interpersonal relationships.
  • Fostering Self-Compassion: Understanding and accepting all parts of yourself encourages self-compassion and reduces self-criticism.
  • Resolving Inner Conflicts: Parts work facilitates the resolution of internal conflicts, promoting inner harmony and well-being.


What a Parts Work and Attachment-Based Therapy Session Might Look Like

In a parts work and attachment-based therapy session, your therapist will create a safe and supportive environment for exploration. The session typically begins with discussing your current feelings and experiences. In parts work, the therapist will guide you in identifying and communicating with different parts of yourself, exploring their roles, and understanding their needs and concerns. Techniques such as visualisation and dialogue may be used to facilitate this process.

In attachment-based therapy, the focus will be on exploring your attachment history and its impact on your current relationships. The therapist may use tools to help you recognize and alter unhelpful attachment patterns, fostering healthier ways of connecting with yourself and others.


Inner Child Work in Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy and Attachment-Based Therapy

Inner child work is a crucial component of both IFS and attachment-based therapy. It involves connecting with and healing the “inner child,” the part of you that holds memories and emotions from your early experiences. In IFS therapy, this often means identifying wounded parts of your inner child and providing them with the understanding and care they need to heal. Attachment-based therapy also emphasises repairing early attachment wounds by fostering secure and nurturing internal and external relationships.

The session may integrate both approaches, allowing you to work on self-awareness and relationship issues simultaneously. Throughout, the therapist will provide support and guidance, helping you develop strategies for emotional regulation and healthier interactions.


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