Mobilizing Interior Resources of the Self

Connect with inner resources that represent your strengths as a caring friend or mature adult to help you stabilize wounded child parts.

Catholic Interior Integration: Tapping in to the Healing Resources of the Heart

Have you ever felt like a secure, confident adult one moment, then after something triggering happens, suddenly felt like a sad, angry, or fearful child?

When we go through something difficult as a child, a part of us can stay stuck reacting to the hurt. This part of us can get triggered by things happening in the present.

To cope, we can mobilize inner resources to support this upset child part. The easiest way to do this is to imagine yourself being present to a little one in your life, and to notice the qualities that arise in you. These include qualities of being nurturing, kind, patient, logical, protective, etc. If you do not have a young child in your life, you can imagine being there for an upset friend.

Once you notice the qualities that are there, you can gather them into a single sense of yourself as a mature, caring adult. After anchoring this sense to a mental picture of your caring adult self, you can use it to help wounded child parts get unstuck.

You might ask: "But what if I can be very caring and understanding towards others, but can't do that for myself?"

If this is the case, there is likely some lie or parental recording interfering with your ability to mobilize your resources. This can be explored and resolved with some extra guidance before completing this exercise.

What do I do if I can't trust my own strengths?

Sometimes, if it is difficult to trust in your own qualities of wisdom and compassion, you can bring to the surface memories of other people who have supported you in your life. It can also be helpful to connect with saints and angels who have supported and guided you. Once you have gathered a number of resources, you can imagine bringing them together into a healing circle in some place that is especially safe, calm, or meaningful to you. This provides a space for stuck parts of you to come forward to be soothed and healed.

The key insight that underpins this technique is that we each have positive resources hidden in our subconscious. The idea is to activate them and anchor them to an imagery mechanism for use in inner healing/strengthening of the heart.

Resourcing is used in Internal Family Systems (IFS), a therapeutic approach that views each person as having multiple parts or subpersonalities that interact within an internal system. IFS helps people access their true self, which is the core of their being that is compassionate, confident, calm and connected to God. IFS also helps people heal their exiled parts, which are the parts that carry pain and trauma from the past and are often hidden or avoided by other parts. IF helps people unblend and transform their manager parts and firefighter parts, which are the parts that try to protect the exiled parts from being hurt again by controlling or distracting from the pain.

IFS is compatible with Catholic spirituality and psychology and leaves room for the role of grace and prayer in facilitating inner healing and integration.

By using Catholic Interior Integration techniques based on IFS principles, you can tap into the healing resources of your heart and become more whole in the natural realm. This restored human formation then frees you to better live out the three loves in the two Great Commandments – loving God, your neighbor, and yourself.


Image link to bio for Marcel Lanahan, LMHC

Dr. Marcel Lanahan

Founder, Lead Clinician

Marcel is a Catholic therapist, husband, and father of five. He is dedicated to supporting fellow Catholics with guidance on their healing journeys.

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