Easy Ego State Interventions: Strategies for Working With Parts

Quick, essential techniques to practice ego state therapy, a popular therapeutic approach.

Most of us have different aspects, “parts,” or “ego states” of ourselves―the silly and imaginative five-year-old part, for example, or the depressed, anxious, or angry adolescent―which manifest as particular moods, behaviors, and reactions depending on the demands of our external and internal environments. “Ego state therapy” refers to a powerful, flexible therapy that helps clients integrate and reconcile these distinct aspects of themselves.

This book offers a grab bag of ego state interventions―simple, practical techniques for a range of client issues―that any therapist can incorporate in his or her practice. In her characteristic wise, compassionate, and user-friendly writing style, Robin Shapiro explains what ego states are, how to access them in clients, and how to use them for a variety of treatment issues. After covering foundational interventions for accessing positive adult states, creating internal caregivers, and working with infant and child states in Part I: Getting Started With Ego State Work, Shapiro walks readers step-by-step through a variety of specific interventions for specific problems, each ready for immediate application with clients. Part II: Problem-Specific Interventions includes chapters devoted to working with trauma, relationship challenges, personality disorders, suicidal ideation, and more.

Ego state work blends easily, and often seamlessly, with most other modalities. The powerful techniques and interventions in this book can be used alone or combined with other therapies. They are suitable for garden-variety clients with normal developmental issues like self-care challenges, depression, grief, anxiety, and differentiation from families and peer groups. Many of the interventions included in this book are also effective with clients across the dissociation spectrum―dissociation is a condition particularly well suited to ego state work―including clients who suffer trauma and complex trauma. Rich with case examples, this book is both a pragmatic introduction for clinicians who have never before utilized parts work and a trove of proven interventions for experienced hands to add to their therapeutic toolbox. Welcome to a powerful, flexible resource to help even the most difficult clients build a sense of themselves as adult, loveable, worthwhile, and competent.

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  • W W Norton Company

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2 Responses to Easy Ego State Interventions: Strategies for Working With Parts

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very Useful and Unique Way of Treating Trauma This book has effective and easy to understand methods of breaking reactions into part which are manageable to deal with. It uses mindful self compassion to create healing nurturing relationships between parts and developmental theory and attachment theory to visualize caring for the “inner child” at its developmental stage. I am a therapist who has experienced childhood trauma. I’ve used this in my own life as well as with clients and had a lot of success. It kind of makes sense that if child…

  2. Anonymous says:

    Most Definitive Book on Egos-State Technique I have been dying for a more how-to, intervention book on working with parts and ego states ever since coming across IFS in 2012. I use ego state work frequently in my psychotherapy practice, but it’s what I have gathered from several sources, including my AEDP training which has been integrating parts work into it recently. Also Emotion Focused Therapy, IFS literature and videos, and Coherence Therapy interventions. But I still felt that I was simply figuring this stuff out from fragments…