Watercolor and Gouache Painting | Courage

She is brave and speaks her truth for she matters and her worth is beyond measure.

~ Janna Vanderveen

I have been participating in, studying, and utilizing Internal Family Systems Psychotherapy (Parts Theory) in my life, both personally and as a therapist in my job. While I painted, I contemplated this process of healing which involves identifying, understanding, and interacting with the different parts of ourselves (wounded/exile, protective, firefighter, and core-self parts) as a means of restoring mental balance within our personal mental health system. It takes courage to speak ones truth and mindful empathy and kindness. I find it to be fascinating work and it resonates deeply within me as truth. I have learned that the worst or most shameful parts of ourselves are not to be feared nor ignored, but rather need to be acknowledged, heard, and understood. When we do this, we learn that these parts are ultimately good, in that they exist to help us cope with our unmet needs (even if misguided or unhelpful). The understanding of this allows us to view these wounded parts with empathy and compassion, which brings healing and change, and enables us to ultimately restore harmony into our mental health system as we fully reintegrate the understanding of that self back into the light of our core being.

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