No Bad Parts - Book Summary & Own Experience After 6 Months

The book No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz Ph.D. was an absolute game changer in my journey of self-discovery. 

I summarise the major ideas here (in my own words) as well as my own experience with this amazing concept to give you a glimpse of what is possible here. 

(Here is my Free Notion Template to categorize your inner parts better.)

The book "No Bad Parts" is based on the fundamental psychological concept of the Internal Family Systems Model which was developed by Richard Schwartz in 1980.

What is the Internal Family Systems Model? 

The Internal Family Systems Model is a way to see yourself as a combination of many different parts with different motives, fears, goals, etc. These parts can be seen as inner children (or just younger versions of yourself) while you need to take on the role of the inner parent. 

Inner Child 1

So instead of thinking of yourself as one person with one goal & one direction, you start to see yourself as the sum of many parts that want many different things, while you (as the inner parent or so-called Self) try to maintain a course that is best for all the parts involved. 

Initial Doubts with Internal Family Systems Model (IFS)?

Usually when I tell people about this (including myself at the beginning) there is a bit of resistance to this concept. 

That is normal! I mean you & I have been told from the beginning of our lives that we are this ONE personality and that is where you base your whole identity. 

So questioning this view can feel threatening to your self-concept and therefore resistance usually arises...

Plus people with multiple personalities are sick! 

Well, Dr. Schwartz has worked with dozens and dozens of patients over his lifetime and he is sure that EVERYONE has multiple personalities or so-called parts inside of them. 

The only difference between us healthy people and a person with a multiple personality disorder is that we can maneuver between the personalities and are somewhat aware of them while people with the condition are often not aware of their multiple personalities or they can't control them in any way. 

So try to bear with me here please and stay open-minded to the idea, I'm telling you shifting to this new view of myself has changed EVERYTHING in my life...

Addressing self-sabotage, healing traumas and even my relationship with God has significantly improved. 

Pretty much my whole self-discovery journey has been on steroids ever since. 

So yeah, your time will be worth it...

What are Inner Parts? 

Ok, so basically Inner Parts are like your different inner voices that all have different motives, goals, fears, etc. 

Have you ever seen this movie from Disney? (I have - quite good actually!) 

Inside Out Disney Movie

Well, your inner parts are a little something like this...

You have a scared little part inside of you that might be stuck in the past where something traumatic has happened to you. In that time that part has developed a strategy so this traumatic experience will not happen to you anymore and to this day this part feels responsible for this area. 

That's why people when they are triggered turn into more immature versions of themselves (the so-called inner child comes out.) 

Many people have heard of the inner child concept and have started to accept it in the mainstream but they get stuck with a SINGULAR inner child. 

The inside of us is more like a kindergarten, primary school, high school, and college mixed all together. 

Basically, all old versions of you are parts of your newest version.

But not all of your old versions have the same need for control. 

Mostly the traumatized versions of you take control because they have the strongest emotional charge. 

⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️ ⬇️

Ok so let's summarize this real quick. 

You are NOT just you. 

You are the newest version of yourself let's say you are 26 years old, so you'd be version 26.7 or so. 

Your system is a result of all the old programs and some of them take more control than others. 

These are your inner parts, your past selves, that have learned to survive in this world with the means they had at that time. 

And here you are dealing with self-sabotage, limiting beliefs, and recurring toxic patterns and you hate these parts of yourself and want to change them but you don't know how... 

We will get into exactly that so YOU CAN shape your behavior WITHOUT resistance and finally move into the version that you are meant to be - your full potential and all parts inside of you push all into the same direction.

Sounds awesome? 

I agree, so let's get into it!

Here btw how you can structure your inner parts better - at least that is how I do it in :) 

No Bad Parts Notion Template

Which Types of Inner Parts are there in IFS? 

Dr. Schwartz categorizes three major roles parts learn to take to keep your system running smoothly. 

3 Roles your Inner Parts take on: 

🛡️ Protectors / Managers

🚒 Firefighters 

🤐 Exiles

Ok, what does this mean? 

🛡️ Protectors / Managers

Protectors are the parts that protect the 🤐 Exiles (parts that have been suppressed for long because they have been judged as NOT OK!).

So the main job of protectors is to keep you functioning well while avoiding any trigger that could potentially reveal an 🤐 Exile.

That is a pretty stressful job!!!

They typically will try to keep you busy all the time with useless things so you simply cannot calm down and hear inside of you, because that could cause an 🤐 Exile to appear and that would mess things up a lot. 

Ok, so they pretty much have all the control. I would say the person you think you are is mainly based on protectors & managers. They are simply around for the most day-to-day life. 

BTW they are not bad! They are very important to keep your system running. I mean we can't always just break down and cry the whole day, sometimes we need to control us and function.

BUT the can be a bit tricky when you want to heal yourself because they will not let you face your inner issues

🚒 Firefighters 

The second type of role that a part can take on is the so-called firefighter.

These mechanisms are responsible for extinguishing fire when it comes up.

You could call them the last defense before Exile emerges. 

So let's say you triggered a lot! (A sign that something hit an unconscious inner exile btw) so what do you do? 

You have to react fast! 

Fire Fighter Actions could be:

👩🏻‍🚒💦🔥 - DISTRACTION (grabbing of phone, becoming sleepy, headache, chocolate, p*rn, or any other cheap dopamine.)  

👩🏻‍🚒💦🔥 - Overreact push responsibility towards the thing that triggered you (IT'S NOT MY FAULT BUT THEIRS) - Genius strategy to make you not see your inner exile! 

👩🏻‍🚒💦🔥 - SUPPRESS at any cost. Any means is valuable here to stop the fire... 

🤐 Exiles

What is all the fuss about these exiles right?

Well let me put it like this exiles are mostly traumatized and that is the definition of trauma:
A DEEPLY distressing or disturbing experience

They had an experience that they did not know how to handle. 

So for the benefit of the whole system, these parts were simply pushed away to keep functioning. 

Well, imagine you push a child away when it has pain... 

What do you think will happen if that child grows up? 

First of all, it will have suppressed all its emotions and secondly, this child would probably be very mad at you for NOT loving it but pushing it away so hard when it needed you... 

That is the thing with exiles. They are deeply hurt inner children inside of you that desperately need your attention & love and they are mad at you for ignoring them for so long! 

They are the root of self-sabotage, self-hate, etc.


Hurt Inner Child

They deeply feel not loved by you so they spread this idea of self-hate and not being good enough. 

And the protectors know how destructive these parts are that's why they try NOT to wake them up! 

The protectors are also super scared that you as the consciousness cannot handle their emotions! 

Back then you could not, that's why these emotions were suppressed in the first place so why could you now right? 

(More on that in the chapter #healing.)

The problem is the longer they get ignored the more destructive they become.

Richard says explicitly that it is dangerous to deal with exiles yourself. 

They can be incredibly mad at you which can be overwhelming for your conscious mind! 

He had even some extreme experiences (even though he is an expert) where he dealt with exiles of people without getting to OK from the protecting parts so the self-hate that came afterward led to suicidal thoughts.

If you are having deep scares PLEASE consider talking to a professional about this. You matter. We need you here on this earth so don't take this lightly. 

How to Heal Inner Parts? 

Why there are NO bad Parts? 

To truly heal any of your parts, you need to understand that they are not bad

You might think as the Self / Consciousness that self-sabotage is bad but it is not bad by intention.

The intention is always good even though the behavior is destructive. 

So an exile might sabotage you and tell you that you are not loved but he/she does this only to get your attention and love FINALLY. 

They just want to be loved by YOU. 

Most of the time we search for love outside, when what we truly crave is love from the inside...

Can't tell you the power that releases...

Or say you are getting super aggressive when triggered

You might hate that part of yourself because of the destructive behavior but the intention is good behind it. 

It is just a part that learned that to survive for the whole system it is best to turn on aggression in a specific situation. 

I'm not saying be aggressive!!! 

I'm saying love the part that you are trying to get rid of and value it for the service that it has done for your life. Remember they try to handle the situations with the best means that were available back then...

What is the ACTUAL Self?

Before we go into the actual healing meditation, I need to clarify WHO YOU ARE...

If you are not your parts, then who are you? 

You are the Self. 

The newest version of yourself with all the newest knowledge, wisdom, and awareness. 

Our true Self always has a few characteristics that will make you recognize it.

This graphic I use in my vision board to remind myself how to recognize the Self-Energy inside of me.

The Self in No Bad Parts

The voice with those entities is the actual Self and this Self has the healing power, it has the power to unleash your truly best version.

(No force or willpower will get you there but that exact Self-energy will...)

Oh man, I just hope you'll feel what I feel. Feeling connected to this source is just beyond... 

If you can't feel it yet, give it some time it will emerge and it will take the seat of your inner leader and all hurt parts will be set free eventually. 

Inner Parts Meditation

Alright, you know now that you have parts with three roles (🛡️ Protectors / Managers, 🚒 Firefighters, 🤐 Exiles). 

You know that mostly the Exiles need to be healed but they are protected by the 🛡️ Protectors / Managers

& 🚒 Firefighters.

How are we going to heal them now with the Self

I know Richard himself did not advise to face Exiles yourself. I considered myself far enough in my spiritual journey and felt a strong enough seat in my Self to face them alone.

I healed many of them in these meditative self-talk, trauma release sessions.
But I was already into letting go for quite a while so I was used to facing EXTREME emotions 

AND I do NOT have severe physical or sexual trauma in my childhood. 

I would NOT recommend severe traumata-releasing sessions alone!
I had a psychologist myself already and I was worth EVERY PENNY!!! 

Just be kind to yourself here. Invest in yourself if needed. Give yourself time & room - DO NOT FORCE the progress of this like you force to have a great result at work - this is different - it just needs patience (as patience is btw a characteristic of the Self. Whenever you want to rush it - YOU ARE NOT in the seat of Self!!!!!!) 

Ok, with all this in mind, I will share how I healed some of my Exiles with the love of the Self

I usually did this after I felt triggered by an event, that was always the sign for me that there was a part inside of me that wanted to be heard and healed. 

#1: I got comfortable & connected to the Self 

You need to be in a quiet place with yourself to start this meditation.

I always remind myself what the actual Self is like and try to tune into that version of myself. This does not have to take very long, it's more like a quick reminder. 

Inner Parts Meditation

#2: I connect with my body and follow my triggers 

I combined letting go with this parts theory to maximize the progress.

So like always in letting go - I would connect to my body, and center my awareness in my stomach and chest area to really tap into the sensations that are going on inside of me. 

(This also helps to get out of the rational mind!!!) 


#3: I tried releasing the resistance / asked the protectors for permission to face the exile 

The next step is to handle the protector/manager parts and talk to them from the Self-perspective ask them for permission and tell them it is a safe space and the Exile can open up towards the Self, there will be no judgement or any further harm, just love. 

Sometimes this could take a little but then I just tune into the resistance and just feel it for a while. 

After all, patience is one of the traits of the Self, so you gotta be patient if not you are not in your Self but blended with another part. 

I feel like the protector parts are testing the Self if it is truly patient and loving or if it just wants to hurt the Exile by further bashing it for "Not being OK the way it is"...

(Some parts mimic the Self btw to push their agenda, interesting topic but a bit too deep for this post.) 

#4: Approached slowly with love 

Whenever I gained trust from the protector I would approach the Exile. But in a veeeery calm, slow, and loving way. 

Like a parent would approach a lost & hurt child. 

Extreme emotions could come up but I would just be fine with them.

So basically I would give the part enough room to take over my body to emotionally release properly but I wouldn't fall into "his story" & perspective of things, I would listen to it and stay still half in the observant role as the Self. 

It's a bit tricky to be both parts at the same time but I got the hang of it pretty fast. 

So there was this beautiful dynamic of the younger Patrick telling me (the Self) his issues and I just listened. 

#5: Asked a few questions 

Ok so then I usually ask a few questions like

- How old are you? 

- In which environment are you stuck? 

AND most importantly: 

- From what do you need to save me? Or which feeling are trying to avoid for me? 

This question gets you to the intention of that part and then you will see that NO PART has a bad intention for you. 

I can't tell you how liberating it is to see the parts that you have pressed away for so long have good intentions.

Loving them & healing them gets so much easier after this! 

(All questions that I asked to heal them are in the Free Notion Template structured for you :) It helped me a lot.) 

#6: Hugged the Exiles / Gave them my Love, Approval

That is exactly the next step. I thank them for their service! I thank them that they've tried for so long and I respect their motive. 

Then usually the part is shocked! The part is not used to receive that kind of feedback.

Also, I thereby give them the possibility to release a lot of their pressure finally. 

Hug Your Inner Parts

7#: Ask them to unburden on me - Self is in control now 

I as the Self am the inner adult in all the conversations. 

Dr. Schwartz said something in his book, I couldn't believe at first

He said when you tell your parts your actual age they will be often surprised... And guess what that is true!!! 

I tell them: 

Look, I'm 27 now, I can handle things differently now because I have a completely different arsenal than you had. 

So look you can be free of this burden, you don't need to take on the whole responsibility for this issue. 
I'm aware of it now and I'll handle it. 

This works often but not always some parts don't believe in the Self yet. That's fine. 

Either way...

#8: Promised them I'd come back and will keep them in my life 

I promise them that I'll revisit them and will take care of them from now on and won't let other parts blend in and bash them so hard. 

Like a parent who finally took charge of the inner fights happening. 

They are mostly very thankful and often they unburden upon the Self and they get to be free.

That is when I ask them what they rather do. 

Some of these parts are very young so the answers can be playful

Other parts would love to take on a more constructive role but still fight for their original motive, while other parts would just want to relax for a while after years of battling for their cause. 


That is pretty much it! 

I combine this with an emotional release of letting go & I repeat it always when triggered - that is how I healed A LOOOOOT of them and combined them all into a more aligned direction for my life. 

An absolute game changer for me, my self-love, less sabotage, more happiness, and joy because I'm connected again to these inner joyful childish parts of myself. 

I could go on and on about the benefits but yeah most of all it is the feeling of true inner-aligned self-love on ALL levels I wish that for every human being on earth.

Connect with Inner Child and Parts

Final Thoughts

I know - I get it. 

I must sound insane to you :D 

So did Richard Schwartz to me in the beginning! 

It is such a radical shift in seeing your own but also other personalities out there. 

After establishing this new view as a tool in my mind, I could not only see my behavior patterns more clearly but also understand other people WAAAAY better. 

It is easier not to get mad at a friend of yours after this friend did something inappropriate if you see that this is JUST A PART acting out instead of thinking THIS IS your friend. 

I mean sure it is a part of your friend but people are more complex than that! 

Many motives and voices are going on inside of us and realizing this gives us a healthy distance to solve & unite them in one direction.

If you are always blended with all the voices going on in your head and you 100% identify with them instead of gaining a bit of distance to talk to them separately you will never see the picture as a whole you are just too close to it. 

So I'm not even advocating for this concept of parts but I'm advocating for the concept of gaining distance as an overseer/awareness/inner parent call it how you want. 

The IFS Model is just a very practical way to gain that needed distance pretty easily & that is why I believe the results can be pretty fast and pretty groundbreaking. 

This was at least my experience now after using this concept for about 6 months. I love it. I told pretty much all of my friends about it, some bought the book already and loved the ideas as well. 

That's it from me today :) 




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