Promote the self but thank the protectors: Dr Nicholas Jenner



“To help the Self shine through, we first have to understand that our protector voices are not aware that the Self exists and they feel the need to control to keep us safe. They are fully ignorant of the fact that underneath it all is a part of us that is fully able to deal with life’s issues.



They are still in young and scary mode where the inner child is being protected from hurt and rejection. This is the only way they know. They do not trust that the adult can handle situations that the wounded and criticised child couldn’t, so they step in when triggered and take over.



They tell us to avoid conflict, not to take risks or act socially..all in the name of protecting the child within us. True healing takes place when we can appreciate and work with the protectors , rather than pushing them aside to get to the inner child.



These voices have been working tirelessly for years helping us to avoid our childhood pain and when we connect with them and appreciate what they tried to do, they can step back and trust us to take over. To be able to connect with and understand our protectors, we must be in Self mode and this is done through a process called unblending.



This process happens when we work directly with the protectors and ask them to release control so we can directly access the banished inner child. Understanding what the protectors are protecting us from is key to the unbending process. Only then can, we understand the trauma held in the banished child.



It is important to absolve the protectors of their responsibility and this can be done as described below. Once your protector is isolated, you can speak directly to them.  This is where the strength of Self comes in. Rather than scorning and getting angry with the protectors, use compassion, curiosity and connection.


Firstly, openly thank them when they appear.
• Thank you, I appreciate all you have done for me
• I fully understand that you are trying to protect me
• I understand the responsibility you carry.
• I know you work hard for me
• I understand how hard it is to let go

Ask questions (from the stance of curiosity)
• I wonder what you are trying to achieve by protecting me this way? (likely answer is to avoid pain, facing change)
• What would be the consequences of not calling me lazy, fat or stupid? ( the protector would have less power)
• What happened that made it important for you to judge me? (the wounded child was hurt in the same way and it was triggered)

Be compassionate
• I accept that you are trying to help but I would like to do this
• I accept you fully and as part of me
• Please trust me to lead



Once the protectors have stood aside, We can comfort the inner child directly with compassion, letting know that you understand the pain and hurt it feels. You can reassure it that the Self will be interacting with the protector and will help it to understand. You can also use imagery to conjure up pictures of comforting your inner child, standing between it and the protector or images of a protective parent soothing the child while your Self talks with the protectors.
This process of having a direct relationship with your Protectors and critics is in stark contrast to most other advice which banishes the protectors with images of aggression and violence. By working with them , we can promote a healthy, trustful relationship with them that allows our inner child to be healed. This is not a process that happens overnight and can take some time. However, in therapy, a therapist can promote this process and help the client come through.”

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