Often we adopt identities that either somebody gave us or we assumed based on what we have walked through, such as broken childhood, abuse, trauma, fear, or even deep connections.
We form identities, vows, and perceptions of self that don’t connect to who we truly are. Due to this, we walk through life feeling disconnected, lost, and stuck in dysfunctional patterns. We ask, “Why does trauma keep coming? Why do I repeatedly have broken relationships and feel unfulfilled?” Often this is due to not walking in our full identity - who we truly are.
As a therapist, I love walking with people as they discover how they formed these false identities and then walk them into the truth of who they truly are. We do the work of going back to those places, times, and experiences to heal those parts of self and then rediscover the truth of those parts. Rewriting one’s identity in truth is extremely exciting to be a part of, especially as the individual begins stepping back into their life with new freedom. As they see themselves in a new way, they relate to other people with more authenticity and vulnerability. Relationships shift at a deeper level and the individual experiences the world around them with greater awareness.
False identities are often formed in trauma. Most of us have experienced trauma at some point in our lives, either big or small. It is vital to look at those traumas and the messages we formed to help us survive. However, once the trauma is over we no longer need these messages and they can cause dysfunction, disconnection, and false views of self. Internal Family Systems or IFS is a powerful methodology used to help clients seek out and process past trauma. Through IFS therapy, we go to the parts of the client’s story where there may be trauma, dysfunctional messages, or views of self that have held them back or hurt them. Then the individual is able to release those parts from the trauma and reset in health, hope, and true identity.