Where do Ego States come From?
is a powerful and brief therapy based on the premise that personality is composed of separate parts, rather than being a homogeneous whole. These parts (which everyone has) are called ego states. The therapist learns to work directly with the state that can best benefit from change, rather than merely working with an intellectual, talkative state.
We are each made up of a number of different states; each has its own feeling of power, weakness, emotion, logic, or other personal traits. When we say, "Part of me wants to," we are talking about an ego state. When we say, "I feel at peace with myself on this issue," we are talking about our ego states agreeing, not having an internal struggle. Our various states help to make our lives rich, productive, and enjoyable. A state harboring pain can cause unrest and unwanted emotional reactions.
The goals of the therapy are
1) To locate ego states harboring pain, trauma, anger, or frustration and facilitate expression, release, comfort, and empowerment (It is unresolved states that come out and make us feel out of control. They are our internal tender spots),
2) To facilitate functional communication among ego states (the statement "I hate myself when I am like that" indicates two states lacking in proper communication and appreciation), and
3) To help clients learn their ego states so that the states may be better used to the clients' benefit (e.g., allowing the client to, at one time, be open to enjoy emotional experiences and, at another time, be assertive to feel expressed when challenged).