Exercise your Subpersonalities
This exercise has been designed to help
identify principal subpersonalities. You can probably work successfully on
only one subpersonality at a time, although you may find that, to begin with,
you conflate two or more. Worry not, for as you continue to work with them,
they will become increasingly differentiated.
Think of yourself doing something that you
often or typically do. Something that has a usualness about it for you, in
that you do not feel as though you are acting out of character. As you think
about you doing that, or being that, or being in that situation, what words or
phrases come to mind? To carry out the exercise, you may find it helpful to
use a pen and paper.
Go through the questions sequentially, for
they are designed to lead you inwards. The questions are of value in making
subpersonalities concrete and explicit. After you have been through the list
once, skim each of the responses again to see if you wish to add anything to
your responses. Do not be anxious if you find yourself unable to write much or
anything in response to the odd question, as this is normal. One of the points
about subpersonalities is that they are partial, and by their nature
How old are
you? How do you feel? You may feel a particular age, maybe the same age as the
whole you is now. Rather than a specific age, you may feel yourself to be
within an age bracket, or maybe you feel no particular age.
body image. For instance, are you tall or short? Slender or portly? Do you
wear your hair long or short? Have you facial hair? What is your complexion?
Do you wear make-up?
What kinds of
clothes do you like to wear? For instance, formal or casual? Loud or quiet?
Bright or sober? What colours? What kinds of material? What kinds of cut?
Where, if at
all, would you prefer to go on holiday? For instance, somewhere in the sun
with sand, or somewhere exotic, or skiing on the piste, or visiting museums
and old quarters of towns and cities?
In what kinds
of situations are you typically to be found? In what kinds of situations do
What are your
situations do you feel least comfortable?
What are your
What do you
want out of life?
What do you
need out of life?
identify and describe, if you are able, a time, time period, or event when
this part of you first appeared.
To what extent
is this part of you the part of you that you use much of the time anyway?
If this part
of you is not predominant, what do you believe life might be like if this part
of you became predominant?
this part of you to grow?
How do you
relate to women? men? children? animals?
Try to think
of a name to give this part of you. Maybe your own name, maybe another name,
maybe the name of a characteristic feature of this part of you, maybe the name
of an object.