Ego State Therapy

Personality is regarded as being made up of different states, or components, or facets, or segments. When the boundaries between these states are permeable and integrated into a internal family of the self, a well-functioning person is seen. When the boundaries becomes solid and rigid, a person may start to be dysfunctional in their daily lives.

Ego States are made up of experiences, perceptions, affects, memories, postures and cognitions. Each ego state has it's own memories, perceptions, experiences, feelings and behaviours. Each ego state has an executive function with it's own set of behaviours. It has developed from earlier life experiences across the lifespan of a person. It is not uncommon for people to say: "There is a part of me which feels uncomfortable when you are looking at me in this fashion", or, "This is not me, this is not how I normally respond", or, "This is uncommon for me to feel so unhappy", etc.

In our daily lives we execute different roles (facets of the self). At home we are fathers or mothers or children and act accordingly, at work we are employees and act accordingly, and at the beach we become different persons in our holiday modes. During the normal cause of a day we may act different part of our personalities in a integrated fashion. When one of these states breaks away from the main personality, a person may start to feel uncomfortable, or cause discomfort to others. It is not uncommon for traumatised persons to dissociate with an experience due to the level of traumatisation and due to the level to which it has developed into an ego state. This implies that an individual ego state can also be traumatised.

The purpose of Ego State Therapy is to have an integrated "internal family system of the self" with permeable boundaries between the parts of the self.