The Work

The Work

The Inner Family model for healing your relationship with yourself and the people in your life.


The Inner Family Model of Recovery posits that within each individual there are four distinct “I’s” or consciousnesses. These include:

  1. innerAn inner child — this is the heart dimension of your life; you at your most vulnerable, natural and undefended. This consciousness processes the events and people of you life emotionally. If you are willing to access and follow this “family member”, your personal issues and the unique particulars of your love life will begin to make perfect emotional sense.
  2. An ego consciousness — the ego was born at approximately the same time in your life when the inner child “died” or, more accurately, was forced to disconnect or go underground. The primary purpose of the ego is the survival of the inner child and the entire inner family. If this meant for example, squashing, hiding or denying the existence of an inner child; never again trusting love (i.e. men or women); if this meant becoming rich, important, powerful or isolated, or conversely, victimized, a failure, solicitous or nondescript, it will continue to endorse and enforce these survival strategies until it can be shown and convinced that survival can be ensured in new and easier ways.
  3. The adult consciousness — this is the adult the world sees when it looks at you. This is the only consciousness that has a body. You are of such and such a height, weight, gender , age, sexual orientation, profession etc. This “family member” has the assigned task of being competent and capable in the world. It is often extremely divided, torn in two and extremely confused in its allegiance to both the inner child and the ego. In the adult’s unhealed state, he/she resolves this conflict within by aligning itself, almost exclusively, with the ego. The adult concludes that it might as well join ranks with the toughest family member to ensure its survival in the world.
  4. A spiritual consciousness — this consciousness has been with you since the beginning and has its own blueprint or agenda for the “unfoldment “of your greatest good in this lifetime. It has unique and immeasurable love, wisdom and compassion and is indispensable in the healing process. It is not attached, in the same way, to the survival of the inner family and can consequently point and guide the family to an altogether new and more peaceful and sane way of being. It also has a unique perspective on the major elements that have shaped the inner family and the separation within that has occurred.

To heal your relationship with yourself and the people in your life, each consciousness or family member must be known, their story told, their pain and wounds, disorientation and confusion approached, felt and understood. The distrust and conflicts between “family members” must be brought to the light and worked through to the mutual benefit of all concerned. The healing that is possible when this unique experience is achieved is deep and permanent. This state of wholeness, integration and self-love is the sin-qua-non of individual and relationship healing.

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