Cover Image: No Bad Parts

No Bad Parts

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Member Reviews

No bad parts is a great way to utilize IFS for the individual.  This book (written by the founder of IFS) will be a great resource to clinicians and individuals alike.  

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Psychotherapist Dr. Richard Schwartz has spent decades developing his Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, which he elucidates in this book. This gentle therapeutic approach can heal past traumas and encourage compassion toward self and others. His explanations, and especially the transcripts he includes of five IFS therapy sessions, made it easy for me to understand his approach. I struggled to complete some of the 14 included exercises, but after reading this book, I feel encouraged to find an IFS practitioner to assist me with the process.

Conservatives may not appreciate when Schwartz gets political, particularly if they are Trump supporters. I don’t think this book was the best place to discuss some of Schwartz’s views, but I respect his desire to use the book to help create what he envisions as a better world. He has done a lot of work with social activists, and I think this approach could be very helpful for anyone with an activist bent. I was also intrigued with how IFS can be used in couples counseling.

Thanks to Sounds True for providing me with an unproofed ARC through NetGalley, which I volunteered to review.
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I have mixed feelings with this book. Overall, I learned a great amount about the inner psyche of the human brain, how past experiences can continue to affect future steps. The author does a great job explaining parts of the brain, past thoughts based on experiences, and ways to overcome past traumas and actionable steps to put them to ease.

To this reader, the approach the author uses is rather abstract, however, I appreciate the approach and the effects it seems to have. The author uses real transcripts from actual patients and how he approaches their challenges with the “internal family systems” approach. While I do appreciate this, it does seem to make for a verbose, lengthy read at times. I also feel the author may contradict himself a bit -  he has multiple transcripts that go deeply into detail, yet repeatedly states for the reader not to pursue similar actions without a professional overseeing and directing the experience. I'm left wondering, should some of these be left out, rather using only a couple to demonstrate the approach globally?

There are multiple other extraneous comments through the read, that to this reader detract from the manuscript and its overall well-written, approachable read. Examples include references to atheism, President Trump, and other religious semantics mentioned. I can understand the author’s thought process in including these, but to this reader, these references often seem tangential and detract from the overall read.

Because of the above, I have decided to give 3 stars. I greatly learned a lot and this is a very unique read. However, as I stated above, as I reader, I felt the overall manuscript could be improved, should a second edition be considered in the future.

Thank you NetGalley for a free copy. The comments above are mine alone without influence.
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No Bad Parts by Richard Schwartz is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late June.

This book describes the concept of not being of a singular mind versus having an outlook of many sides to who you are, i.e. referencing 'that part of me,' as well as finding, acknowledging, and communicating with each part, realizing why it's there and what it does for you. Some explanations by Schwartz really make sense and can easily be applied to a daily self-scan mindfulness practice or addressing hidden traumas, while others can be quite o-kay wackadoo, like having an outloud open dialogue to confront your parts.
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This book by psychologist Richard Schwartz explains his methods of using the Internal Family Systems model to help people move into more meaningful and fulfilling lives after trauma; but also on a grander scale, to help everyone find more compassion in these increasingly selfish times.

The book is divided into three main parts, with a total of eleven chapters. Most of the chapters have at least one “exercise” somewhere in the chapter, where Schwartz guides you through a few pages of activities to help you practice the ideas discussed. There are also some transcriptions of sessions Schwartz had with patients, where you can see how Schwartz helped them work through the IFS model to address parts of themselves and start to heal.

Early in the book, Schwartz explains that the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model is all about thinking of the mind as a collection of “parts” that each have some kind of role or identity. He explains that this is somewhat like patients with Multiple Personality/Dissociative Identity Disorder; however in those patients the parts have each become more exaggerated, fractured, and independent due to some kind of trauma. Schwartz contends that even “normal” people have these parts to some degree, that are constantly in dialogue/arguments with each other, and the key is to honor them and attempt to get all the parts to work together as a cohesive family unit, an “internal family” if you will. He feels that this is much more beneficial than the “mono-mind” paradigm that has dominated psychology for years.

The name of the book comes from Schwartz's assertion that even though some “parts” might be destructive or violent, these parts are usually just trying to protect the person from harm or further trauma. Schwartz believes that if you can convince these parts to “step out of their roles” and realize that they are locked in a pattern that is not necessary, they can again become valuable parts of the whole. His methods include acknowledging and accepting the parts, engaging them to understand their motivations, and showing compassion and understanding.

Schwartz attempts to expand his insights to the external world as well. He points out that if we can learn to have compassion for our inner parts, it helps us have compassion for other people in the external world that might seem to be similar to those parts.

Overall, this was a well written book explaining the method that Schwartz has been developing for decades. Whether or not you agree with this approach to therapy and self awareness is up to you, but there is certainly enough information here to understand his points, and even practice some of his exercises yourself. You can then make your own decisions if this approach seems valuable to you or not.
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This is the first time that I've ever heard of IFS and I like the perspective shown in this book. 
It allows for more space to heal by not being too rigid and restricting.
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Provides interesting insights on the all of those parts of you that impact your actions as you move through life. Useful to illustrate concepts and ideas you may have heard in therapy or to introduce you to the ideas if you have not. The transcripts of sessions with his clients are super interesting to read.
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I don't make a habit of reading self-help written by cis, white men, but this book surprised and impressed me. Schwartz's Internal Family System Therapy approach relates to a number of therapeutic modules I've encountered before (inner children, CBT, EMDR, etc.). This books almost deconstructs and repackages other approaches, presenting a system that feels highly accessible and cohesive. The case studies and exercises in the book allow the reader to dive into and experience of IFS therapy while learning about the brass tacks. I think this model is particularly great for creative-minded people, as there is opportunity for imagination and narrative building within the processing. I really value the concepts I learned (and have begun to put into practice) from this book.
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I was introduced to IFS many years ago in my therapy sessions as I was healing from a difficult year of cancer surgeries and treatments. Learning about and exploring my own “internal family” made a huge difference in my healing process moving forward with my life. This new book by the founder of IFS is written in a style that is friendly, warm, and informative for someone who is new to the process as well as someone who has already learned the basics.  I found the exercises and recommended suggestions to be powerful and transformative for me in the current life situation I am in. Richard shares many examples from the lives and experiences of his own clients and the included dialogs of some of his clients with their own inner parts I found extraordinarily helpful. 

I am a SoulCollage®️facilitator and will be sharing this book with my workshop participants when we are exploring our inner parts via the Committee Suit 

Thanks to NetGalley, the author and publisher for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Richard Schwartz’s “No Bad Parts” is simply a revolutionary text that allows you to compassionately know yourself more intimately. With his vast experiences working with the complexities of countless clients and his profound insights into the human psyche, Richard paves a way to allowing us to love all the inner parts with have, freeing us to be more whole in the world. This book is simply a treasure!
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This book will make you question everything you thought you knew about yourself and your loved ones. We live in a black and white world where we are facing increased polarization, judgment, and a lack of ambiguity, which causes us to label ourselves and others as "a bad person," or a "black sheep" or the "golden child" without seeing the full picture of someone and recognizing their multi-faceted nature. All of us is made up of parts and roles we play in different contexts, which composes who we are; we have multiple selves and access different parts through how we present at work, to our partners, in intimacy, with friends, etc. and every human has this same dimensionality. The book examines how this plays a role in family systems, which can then be used to understand trauma, mental illness, and family dynamics.
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