IFS and R-CS
Working With Our Parts to Become Whole
IFS and R-CS are both powerful and effective models of human psychology and techniques for working with limiting patterns. These approaches reveal where and how we fragment so that we can discover simple methods for returning to our undivided essential self.
R-CS (Re-Creation of the Self) was developed over the past 30 years by Jon Eisman, a Senior Hakomi Trainer. For over 10 years that I have been studying and working with this technique. It has deeply benefited me and my clients.
IFS (Internal Family Systems) has developed over a similar timeframe, led by Richard Schwartz Ph. D. I have found this model a great complement to R-CS and have been studying and practicing it for about five years.
Following is a brief summary of these models:
The Essential Self
There is an aspect of ourselves that is clear, centered, connected, and creative. In R-CS, this is known as the "organic self" because it is the most fundamental and real part of who we are. In IFS it is known simply as "The Self." When we are inhabiting our essential self, we feel resilient — like we can take risks, experiment, make mistakes and recover. When people enter into this state, they often remark with certainty, "this is who I really am, this is my natural self."
Fragmented Self States
In addition to our essential self, we have a collection of habits and patterns that I call fragmented self states. When we are inhabiting one of these fragments we feel:
While these states may feel more familiar to us, when we embody a fragmented state we don't feel like ourselves. Clients have said that these ways of being "don't feel right." What defines a fragmented self state is that fragments are habitual programs conditioned by past experience. They are reactive patterns of relating to ourselves and the world.
These fragmented self patterns do have an innate creativity in them, and have served a clear purpose during earlier periods of our life. However, most have outlived their utility, and only serve to keep us entrenched in old relational habits. In general, it is the presence of fragmentation that drives us to seek healing, coaching, or counseling.
The Healing Process
Healing happens as we begin to know the difference between our essential self and our fragmented self states. At the start of our journey, we will only experience flashes of essence amidst a sea of fragmentation. My job is to help my clients to know their psychological structure and recognize the relationship between essence and fragmentation.
By moving from fragmentation down to the base of essential wholeness, and by embodying both, we begin to recognize the way our psyche has been built by life experience. We see how our self-structures operate and develop new capacity to hold all of our experience in a loving way.
This process develops our ability to readily shift from fragmentation into wholeness by simply feeling and holding our experience in a caring and clear way. Where we once felt constrained, we begin to know freedom.
"The Re-Creation of the Self Model of Human Systems (R-CS) has been called 'an instruction manual for being a human being…' It is a clearly defined map of the Self, and a comprehensive guide for being a person. R-CS holds that we are innately whole, but typically create a 'committee' of limiting trance states in order to accommodate difficult life situations. The model not only describes our many inner resources, but offers a powerful set of tools both for shifting consciousness immediately, and for emerging from our perceptions of woundedness and the seeming need for constant strategizing. It also promotes a practical vision for relating from an inclusive, compassionate state of maturity and wholeness."
-Jon Eisman - Founder of RC