"The Christian approach to IFS has enhanced my ministry/coaching in a variety of ways. Firstly, Julie has skillfully identified the similarities and dissimilarities of other modalities, for example, “The Immanuel Approach” as Dr. Karl Lehman presents it. Beyond merely contrasting IFS and Immanuel, Julie can integrate them both in a way that is appropriate to the client. This helped me guide a client into a clearer experience unblending from an angry part by beginning a session with that part more safely and honestly because starting with Jesus was too triggering previously for him. Julie further equipped me to upgrade my skill as a parts detector by fleshing out the dynamics of a spiritualizer part that can often show up in Christians that actually prevent them from healing and integration due to spiritually bypassing. I felt empowered to be able to serve my Christian clients deeper by allowing Self energy to be a safe haven to abide in without over spiritualizing a session while at the same time giving permission for a deeper connection to the Divine.
I recall a session where Julie helped me see that fear is complex and is different from anxiety. Anxiety can be a protector and can also be an exile in Christian circles. This was a helpful nuance in working with my clients.
The IFS informed talk therapy questions upgraded my prompts with my clients. I have since been more aware of “why” questions because they tend to position people on the defensive. Moreover “Self” does not ask “Why” questions. These new questions filled my toolbox with more skillful moments more appropriate to the part or person I am working with. For example, I worked with a client who had sensed reciprocal animosity between his fear part and his “Self” (or so I thought). Julie helped me dig deeper with a better question to reveal what other parts might be present because “Self” would not have had that kind of hostile reaction. Asking my client questions like, “What’s your relationship with fear?” or “What do you think Jesus’ relationship with your fear is like," has been a game changer."