"Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself;  I am large - I contain multitudes." ~ Walt Whitman


They are the parts of us that help us handle interacting in the external world by protecting us from being hurt by others.  Managers work hard to prevent painful feelings and experiences our exiles hold from flooding our awareness.  This is a preemptive means of protecting us. 

Common burdened manager activities in include controlling, striving, criticism (of others or self), caretaking, judging, pessimism, etc. 

Unburdened managers bring discernment, competence and calm, clear, confident problem solving. 

Concept of Blending:

When we are in the midst of feeling and believing the intense and uncomfortable feelings of our exiles, managers, and firefighters, were are said to be "blended" with them. This means we are in the consciousness of those parts instead of our true selves. They are often very good at taking us over to get our attention by making us feel and believe their outdated and burdened emotions and thoughts. A good portion of the work is un-blending from each part, asking them to give us enough space, so that we can work with them.

"When you trust yourself, you will know how to live." ~ Goethe


Is our essence, true self, or spiritual center.  It is who we are.  Self is whole underneath all the parts or ego states.  It is ever present, even when we are dominated by the extreme emotions, beliefs, or behaviors of our parts - much like the sun always shining behind clouds. 

When we are in the seat of consciousness of Self, we feel curiosity, compassion, calm, connectedness, creativity, confidence, courage, and clarity.  

Self can be likened to an orchestra conductor creating harmony instead of dissonance by inviting each unburdened part to play a valuable role in our lives with the natural qualities and energies they possess.

Self and Parts

Parts of the Whole 

In addition to Self, there are three categories of parts who have distinct roles, beliefs, feelings, and behaviors. By helping them return to their natural state they bring their revitalized energy to your life. We never get rid of parts, as each one is valuable and makes us the person we are. We are more than the sum of all our parts. All parts are welcome.


They are the parts of us that carry those uncomfortable feelings that most categorize as negative.  Exiles hold the memories of trauma and difficult experience.  Because the feelings are painful the managers and firefighters try to exile them by pushing them out of our consciousness. 

Common painful emotions exiles carry are shame, grief, fear, insecurity, loneliness, anger, worthlessness, etc. 

Unburdend exiles are tender, spontaneous, open, trusting, sensitive, innocent, and playful. 

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They are the parts of us that try to douse the fires of those painful emotions that the exiles carry when they erupt into consciousness. These are impulsive and reactive to us feeling the pain of our exiles.

Common behaviors we engage in when firefighter driven are overeating, self-harm, dissociation, violence, obsessions, compulsions, and addictions of work, sex/porn, diet, exercise, computer, video games, etc.  

Unburdened firefighters are adventurous, sensual, passionate, fun, courageous, and creative.  

Who We Are

Certified IFS Practitioner

Michelle Glass Alternative Counselor​ and Life Coach