Updated: Nov 17
So you've had a profoundly healing experience where you retrieved a lost part of yourself. Congratulations! Read this article to understand how best to integrate your session into your daily life.
In an IFS exile unburdening or a Depth Hypnosis regression session, you get the opportunity to find, heal, and retrieve a lost part of yourself that was stuck in the past. This helps it let go of the burdens it was carrying, be restored to its natural state, and step into its rightful role in your life. Many people report feeling lighter after these sessions, and have important insights into how they want to live their life. In order to maintain the change, it is necessary to intentionally integrate the session. This blog post will teach you how to reap the benefits of integration.
What Is Integration?
Integration is a very important process. It involves bringing all parts of the psyche together into a unified whole. It also refers to making an experience (such as a therapy session) an integral part of your daily life and way of being, instead of a on-off experience that is forgotten with time.
The Importance of Integration
Retrieving lost parts of the self through IFS or Depth Hypnosis, while often very touching and transformational, is not a magic pill. The rewiring of the brain that occurs during these sessions is something that you will want to take into your own hands and remember in order to create ongoing change.
You may have heard the phrase “neurons that fire together wire together.” This is the reason why we get stuck in old patterns and ways of being. But it is also how we can make change in our lives by creating and firing new neural pathways. When we engage in the process of integration, we are literally maintaining new neural networks in our brains to support permanent change!
An Example of Integration
Let’s say, for example, a person suffers from social anxiety. This person discovers that the root of their social anxiety was due to bullying at age 8. This person could find the lost 8-year-old part of them, witness that part, love it, heal it, and bring it to the present moment. They may feel lighter and more confident in theirself at the end of the session. If this person never thinks about this session again and goes back about their life as usual, they may find that the newfound confidence wears off after a few days or weeks. However, if this person makes a conscious effort to integrate this session in an intentional way, through the practices outlined below, they are likely to find that the change “sticks.”
Ideas for Integration
There are many ways to integrate a therapy session. The most important thing is to choose something that works for you. I also recommend referring back to regularly, especially in the month following the session. Below are some ideas. You can do one or a few!
Visit the part: One of the most beneficial ways to integrate a session is to go back and visit the part that had been lost every day for 2-4 weeks. You can do this by closing your eyes, visualizing or feeling the part where you last saw it, and seeing how it is doing.
"Try out" the new changes: Close your eyes and imagine yourself in a situation where this part might have normally gotten triggered. See if you can move through this experience with your part now healed and showing up as a transformed version of itself (for example, whereas a part might have been self-conscious when meeting new people, this part is now able to display confidence).
Record the session in some way: Some ways of doing this are through writing down the experience in your journal, leaving a voice memo to yourself or telling a loved one about it, drawing the experience, or making a mind map of it.
Write down key insights/changes in your journal: One of the most important things to write down is the changes that occurred: the burdens (limiting beliefs or excess feelings) that were released, the changes you saw the part go through, and any insights you had. Read more about a therapy journal here.
Create mantras or affirmations: You can also write down any brief mantras or affirmations that refer to the change and insights you had, such as “I am powerful and capable”. Put them somewhere you can see them. For example, you can write it on your bathroom mirror or put it on a post-it on your car dashboard.
Suggestion Hypnosis: If you like being guided through an experience, suggestion hypnosis may be a good option for integration. In suggestion hypnosis, we work together to create some suggestions that relate to the change that occurred, such as “you move through social situations with confidence and ease,” or “you feel more empowered and motivated in your daily life,” or “you relate to yourself in a more loving and compassionate way.” Then, we create a suggestion hypnosis recording that is about 12 minutes long that you can listen to on a regular basis. If you're interested in this option, just ask me!
Journaling with specific integration questions: Here are some specific integration questions.
What qualities does this part bring me now that it has been unburdened?
What do I need to do to make this part feel welcome?
What are some ways this part can show its fullest expression in my daily life?
How will I show up in the world now that this part is healed?
I hope you found this article helpful! See you in session,
P.S. if you're not a client yet and would like to experience what it's like to retrieve lost parts of you, you are welcome to request a consult here.