Welcome back to the Therapy Spot! This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Licensed Professional Counselor Lia DeLand. For twenty years, Lia has worked with trauma survivors, artists, and those interested in spiritual growth. She passionately explores other cultures, spiritual practices, and realities. Her approach combines IFS therapy with breath work, meditation, and sound to clear the obstacles to peace, strength, and harmony.

Along with Richard Schwartz, Lia developed the IFS Scale, an invaluable tool for IFS practitioners. Most importantly, the scale addresses a handful of key questions as a helpful starting point.

  • Which parts currently dominate the internal system?
  • How extreme are those parts?
  • How much access to Self energy does the person currently have?

In addition to the professional, Lia also shares her personal journey with IFS. By meeting her parts, she discovered a core of love, light, and strength and realized, “Underneath all of the mess, I am okay.” Through IFS, we have the opportunity to change from the inside out, instead of applying external pressure to our problem parts.

Meeting Your Guide

I’m excited to share my conversation with Lia for many reasons, but particularly because of a powerful experience she shares. Sometimes in IFS, when we use guided imagery, we meet “guides.” These guides appear in different forms for everyone. You may see a place in nature where you feel calm and safe. Others meet a wise and caring relative who has passed, or see a warm, healing light. Your guide may even appear as a spiritual figure like Jesus.

Guides assist you in the healing process of meeting your parts and releasing negativity. Do you have a rational, logical part that resists this idea? I urge you to be open to what you hear on the Therapy Spot today, and whatever you meet on the inside of yourself. Welcome it all, and meet it with the intention of healing and releasing your burdens.