This week on the Therapy Spot, I spoke with Mariel Pastor, a licensed marriage and family therapist based out of Portland, OR. She is also a lead trainer in the IFS model and has been training and mariel pastorpracticing this method since the 1990s. We discussed the deep listening and gentle curiosity that are key to IFS, as well as Mariel’s upcoming retreat which will focus on “the unburdened system.”

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the challenges in our lives, especially when we’re low on the resources we need to meet those challenges. Over time, we internalize our inaccurate perceptions and become burdened by thoughts like:

  • “I’m not good enough.”
  • “I’m a failure.”
  • “I’m weak.”

The concept of “the unburdened system” was born from a client’s need for a vision of what their inner system would look like when it was more harmonious. What does transformation look like? What does it feel like? If you can’t make it to see Mariel at the retreat in Boulder, CO in August, please join us as we discuss all this and more.

As someone who has personally experienced IFS from the inside out, Mariel believes it is important for her to be willing to visit the places where she invites others to go. What she loves the most about IFS is the abundance of hope and mercy involved when you explore and embrace your inner world without fear or judgement. In her own words, “By learning a few ways to deeply listen to your own energy, mind, and spirit, you will understand and come up with answers for yourself – versus the confusion and shame many people feel.”