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280: What Your Therapist Really Thinks…

Therapy can be a big help for some people. But for stressed-out parents, healing our old wounds and stepping up for our kiddos often requires a different approach. One of my Masterminders, Dr. Shawn Hondorp, has experienced this disconnect from the inside. Shawn is an experienced clinical psychologist who isn’t satisfied with the tools and techniques of the traditional diagnostic therapy methods. She’s developing a new approach to improving mental health.

Shawn’s practices reject pathology and easy labels. Instead, they help you identify your old patterns of thoughts and feelings, understand why they were woven, and put them to work in ways that help rather than hinder your growth. I’m honored that working with me has helped her find the courage to share this new vision of what therapy can accomplish, and I can’t wait for you to learn about it!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How a focus on efficiency and accomplishment can actually cost us – and our kiddos – more time and energy in the long run.
  • The real reason why we struggle with negative self talk, and how that context can help you keep it from overwhelming you.
  • Why pack leaders need other pack leaders they can lean on and grow with.

And much more! 

 As always, thanks for listening. Head over to Facebook, where you can join my free group Mastermind Parenting Community. We post tips and tools and do pop-up Live conversations where I do extra teaching and coaching to support you in helping your strong-willed children so that they can FEEL better and DO better. If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it!


About Randi Rubenstein

Randi Rubenstein helps parents with a strong-willed kiddo become a happier family and enjoy the simple things again like bike rides and beach vacays.

She’s the founder of Mastermind Parenting, host of the Mastermind Parenting podcast, and author of The Parent Gap. Randi works with parents across the U.S.

At Mastermind Parenting, we believe every human deserves to have a family that gets along.

Randi’s Web and Social Links

About Our Guests

Dr. Shawn Hondorp is a clinical psychologist whose goal is to create safe learning environments for those who want to explore innovative approaches to healing, one authentic conversation at a time. Learn more about her work, and subscribe to The Innovative Therapist Podcast, at

Links & Resources

Thanks so much for listening to the Mastermind Parenting podcast, where we support the strong willed child and the families that love them!

If you enjoyed this episode and think that others could benefit from listening, please share it using the share button in the podcast player above.

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[00:00:00] Randi Rubenstein: My name is Randi Rubenstein, and welcome to the Mastermind Parenting Podcast. At Mastermind Parenting, we’re on a mission to support strong-willed kids and the families that love them.

[00:00:10] Hi everyone. Welcome to this week’s episode. I have, I have Shawn with me. Shawn is one of my masterminders. She’s been on the podcast before. She also happens to be a psychologist. Um, her new handle on all the socials and her podcast is the Innovative Therapist. 

[00:00:35] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, well, I haven’t changed any of the, except the podcast, but yes, the Innovative Therapist is the podcast and Psychology of Wellness is the rest of the handles.

[00:00:43] Randi Rubenstein: You got it. Are you going to change or is innovative therapist going to be a thing or are you not going to change everything else?

[00:00:50] Shawn Hondorp: I might change, I don’t know, changing Instagram’s harder, but not that I have that much of a social media presence, so it doesn’t, but yes, it’s, it’s changing over for sure.

[00:01:00] Randi Rubenstein: Um, so we’re here because Shawn’s been up to a bunch of cool things. And, she’s in my Mastermind. Um, which means she’s one of my private clients. And also, Shawn has been shifting and, and, and changing things in the way that she works with her clients. 

[00:01:21] And I, and now this is going to sound a little bit like a clusterfuck, but Shawn, Shawn has been learning about this type of thing, of therapy called IFS, Internal Family Systems. I’ve talked about it on the podcast. Um, some people refer to it as part psychology. That’s kind of, you know, shorthand I would say. And I started learning about IFS a while back. And did you, I don’t know if you came to IFS through me talking about it or other people.

[00:01:53] Shawn Hondorp: You’re how I heard about it.

[00:01:55] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, so I started learning about it just like I learn about things and, um, and started talking about it. And there was a book that I read called 

[00:02:05] No Bad Parts, and then Shawn read the book, and then Shawn decided to sort of host a, program slash book club. And I was like, well, I want to sign up for that. Can I be now a participant? So Shawn and I’ve been in this relationship where sometimes I’m the pack leader and sometimes she’s the pack leader. And now I wanted her to come here and so we can talk about all the things.

[00:02:30] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, it’s gonna be so fun. You’ve been such a huge part of why I’m doing what I’m doing today. So let’s let’s talk about it all.

[00:02:40] Randi Rubenstein: Well, and I think that our relationship is such a great example of, power with versus power over, right? Like, like when we come together and we do any kind of experience or healing experience or any of this sort of self healthy work, personal development work, I think quite often it’s this power over dynamic, which means like there’s this, person who is the guru, you know, who’s the very clear pack leader, but more than a pack leader. It’s like, they’re sort of like the sage on the stage. They’re telling you all the things and then they write the expert. Right, the all knowing expert, and then the all knowing expert has all of these disciples and all of these disciples are constantly saying, oh, doctor so, and so. 

[00:03:36] I think a good, clear indicator of these people is like, they go by doctor and their first name. I’m not going to name names. You have all the answers, you know, if only. And, and over the years I had people say this to me, if only I could just get all your words in my head. Really, I want you to have all your words in your head, right? 

[00:03:57] And, and way back when, when it was, my website was and I think I just had a knowing to change it to something like Mastermind Parenting because I think I knew I don’t want to be in a, in a power over dynamic. I want to be in a power with, cause I don’t live in your homes. Like if I’m helping, especially moms to step into more pack leadership in their lives, in their families, if they’re dependent on me to be the all knowing person, well, I don’t, I’m not going to be there next to you when your kids, you know, having a meltdown and refusing to go to bed. So we gotta build your pack leadership muscles up. And so we need to be in a power with dynamic. And I think that’s very much the case for me and you. 

[00:04:43] Shawn Hondorp: Definitely. And, I think watching you work, watching how helpful you’ve been prompted a bunch of things in my life, but I also, know, there’s something about the way that you work with us in your program that is, is always been very power with. Because it’s, you do a lot of what I felt like I couldn’t do as a therapist of like sharing your own stories and you know, that’s really helpful to all of us, right?

[00:05:09] Like it’s very normalizing. It’s very like de stigmatizing, de shaming. There’s so much shame. And so I think there’s been so much of watching you work and be so effective, that’s continued me along a path that yes, I was on. I never liked diagnoses. There was a lot of things about therapy that didn’t sit well with me that I’ve learned in my profession, but I don’t know, I, something about it. And I was also delving into like the online coaching world. Yeah, there’s something about the way that I watched you work that has propelled me along to be like, yeah, I don’t think I’m going to take all this stuff I learned with me. And that’s like, kind of cool.

[00:05:50] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, well, for everyone listening, Shawn, I mean, you were trained as a clinical psychologist and, um, went through all the mainstream measures that you needed to go through and to really trained in this traditional format. I kind of want you to talk cause I kind of want you to lift the veil like as you move into being this innovative therapist, right? Which is, I don’t know if you would agree or not with this, but it’s a little bit of an act of rebellion. 

[00:06:22] Shawn Hondorp: I would agree. Yeah, I was trained as a clinical psychologist, I got my PhD in clinical psychology. And I mean, I also was planning to go into research and the research world is very different than the clinical world. And so I was on the extreme of sort of learning a lot of very evidence based approaches.

[00:06:46] And there was already like a, a disconnect between the research world and the clinicians, because the clinicians are like this, that doesn’t work for real people. People don’t improve their depression and 12 sessions only. People are not, they don’t fit your mold. Right? So, yeah, I do a lot of things very differently.

[00:07:05] I feel like I want to express gratitude for my experience because I was able to like, see that world and understand that world. And I still love research in some ways, because I love trying to determine truth, but there’s a lot about research that doesn’t determine truth. And, um, yeah, so I went to grad school thinking I was going to write NIH grants, and I do something very different than that now. 

[00:07:29] Um, and even I just completed my first 4 days of the internal family systems level 1 training. And there was just so many, many of the people in there were master’s level therapists. There was some non therapists. Um, some of them are pretty like new newbie therapists. And I was just like, gosh, I wish I would have known about IFS when I was a newbie therapist, but I also really do value my experiences because I think it gives me a unique perspective and understanding on I don’t know. It’s an interesting world. 

[00:08:06] Randi Rubenstein: I mean, look, I think, I mean, I’m a big proponent of therapy. I’m just also a big proponent of progress and, um, innovation and evolution. And so I think that the therapeutic world has needed, um, a little bit of an overhaul for a while. I mean, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve known over the years who are in therapy for like, you know, spending lots of money, like so much time, so much money. And 10 years later, they are, they’re still living in the same patterns. Maybe the players have shifted a little bit. And so I’m like, okay. I, I understand that there can be a benefit going to therapy and, you know, helping you to be able to express yourself and get things out and, and feel like you’re in a safe space to be listened to. And also like at some point, if people are in pain and they’re living in patterns that really aren’t the life that they ever imagined for themselves, at some point, like, don’t, don’t we want to facilitate more healing? You know, like, 

[00:09:25] Shawn Hondorp: Well, and I’ll say too that the world I was in wouldn’t have liked the long term therapy. They would have been like, that’s ridiculous. Like, we need to be doing CBT for X amount of weeks. And, and then there’s this other world also that I haven’t been in as actively. That’s like that longer term model. 

[00:09:47] Yeah, it’s, it’s very interesting because we have to step back and look at like, where are we not helping people? Where are we telling them this is what you have to do. Sometimes things just take long and sometimes that’s true. But there’s always more growth that can be happening. But we have to be able to look at ourselves and that’s not necessarily something, you know, many of our systems are not set up to look at ourselves well. They’re like, this is the way. I always think of the Mandalorian, like, this is the way this is what this is how we do things. 

[00:10:23] And I feel really good about where I’m at, but there’s still parts that get worried. Like, ah, what will people think? What will my old colleagues think? And, uh, but I also came from a program that therapy was pretty stigmatized. Going and doing your own work was, you know, I, like, got caught going to counseling in my grad school. Like, someone ran into me, right? They’re like, oh, what are you doing over here? And I was like, nothing. I’m going therapy. I said I was going to therapy. And then they made this face like, oh, I’m sorry. Sorry for asking. And I’m like, like,

[00:10:57] Randi Rubenstein: Mm.

[00:10:58] Shawn Hondorp: so it resonated. And that’s not that’s, more common, maybe in, I guess, research focused people and programs. But, um, I, I also think. When I came out of grad school, like I, during grad school, listened to one podcast that was helpful to me and my eating journey, but podcasts were not really a thing. Like, there’s been so much increased access to information and podcasts and I don’t know. I don’t know how that plays into it, but I think it, it increases our ability to innovate. And, um, I believe if I was in grad school today, I would have found more innovative tools sooner. At least, I think so.

[00:11:40] Randi Rubenstein: I mean, isn’t that interesting? Like where it, it was going to your own therapist was stigmatized when you’re studying to be a therapist and, um,

[00:11:57] Shawn Hondorp: Well, I was supposed researcher, not a therapist though. That’s what they expected. But

[00:12:02] Randi Rubenstein: you’re in the, you’re,

[00:12:03] Shawn Hondorp: but still doing therapy with people. Yeah.

[00:12:06] Randi Rubenstein: Right. And you’re in the field. And I think this can go for many different things where it’s like, oh, we’re, we’re the knowers of the things. We’re not the actual humans who also need support. Like,

[00:12:23] Shawn Hondorp: Very power over model. 

[00:12:25] Randi Rubenstein: Very power over. I think it’s kind of like parents who are like, would never apologize to their kids when they screw up, it’s

[00:12:33] Shawn Hondorp: Right. 

[00:12:34] Randi Rubenstein: if I admit that I had a human moment, then they won’t respect me. They’re going to bring it up. They’re going to put it back in my face. I’m going to lose all my power. So never apologize, never admit. And that’s, you know, if you look at that power over model, like even in that it even exists in our society. You know, our mental health professional world, I mean, it’s pretty fucked up. 

[00:13:06] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah. Well, and it exists in more subtle ways. That’s an extreme example, but it exists everywhere. I know I mentioned to you, and I’m starting to talk about it on the podcast, I’m not too far in the book called 

[00:13:19] Decolonizing Therapy, but it’s really about looking at these systems of power and where they came from, and getting curious about who’s benefiting from them, and just being like, hmm, interesting. Like, it really is validating some of the feelings that I’ve had in my body about the field, and um, being like, oh yeah, I think I had some really good points about, um, why diagnosis really never felt great to me. That’s

[00:13:53] Randi Rubenstein: Say more about that. Explain that to people who, don’t speak that language necessarily. So like if you’re a therapist and you know, that sort of old model, non innovative model, a person comes into your office and then now talk about this whole diagnostic model. 

[00:14:13] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, so as therapists we’re required to make diagnosis to do therapy, so I must, I still diagnose because I have to, it’s required by insurance, at least if I, I guess for my self- pay people, it’s not required. But, yeah, it’s this, I know, let me tell you, I know. And I’ll just quickly say that diagnosis can have value for, for some people, and it can be very helpful. So I’m not saying let’s throw it out completely, or that it doesn’t offer any value. But it’s this idea that, like, I know that what’s going on and, and, yes, I can look at the DSM and we can look together and that’s a more collaborative way to see, do you meet this diagnosis? 

[00:14:54] But for me, as a clinician, it never felt like, that helpful or relevant to the work that we were going to do, because I always, even though I didn’t necessarily have the tools to do the deeper healing work, I’m like, I always want to dig to the deeper stuff anyway. And the diagnosis is more the symptoms and the surface, right? The branches. And I was always more interested in the root, which really doesn’t have to do at all with the symptoms.

[00:15:18] Randi Rubenstein: Mm hm.

[00:15:19] Shawn Hondorp: You know, the root causes, like the unhealed pain, the unhealed trauma, big or little t trauma, or just unaddressed pain is at the root of all of us. And it looks very similar for all of us at the root. And so diagnosis is all up in the branches and, and dividing us. And I’ve always been someone who sees, you know, someone with eating disorder symptoms and someone with OCD symptoms look very different. Although those symptoms can overlap on the surface, but underneath there can be so much similarity.

[00:15:58] Randi Rubenstein: That’s so interesting. And is that, do you feel like that has attracted you so much to IFS and parts psychology? 

[00:16:07] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s a lot of things that, about IFS that just resonated. Um, Yeah, IFS is so non-pathologizing, it helped me put language to things that I was already feeling. And, yeah, it helps to look at like that part might pop up and protect you and the eating disorder part perhaps or the there’s usually more than one eating disorder part, but then the OCD part could pop up and so yeah I think that that’s a main one. 

[00:16:38] I I only paused because I was like my, I didn’t seek out a lot of trauma informed training. So I think there might be other things that could have addressed the root cause too, but I don’t know, even those, I think IFS from what I do know, I think IFS is like that next level of moving towards that non pathologizing and it’s also moving towards empowering that person to be their own healer, which, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy says I’m teaching you these skills so that then you can go be your own therapist on your own, but it’s only teaching one set of skills that I personally never found that effective long term, like, change.

[00:17:21] Randi Rubenstein: Mm hmm. 

[00:17:22] Shawn Hondorp: Change your thoughts sort of felt like whack a mole to me. I’m like, well, I’m going to have a bunch of other negative thoughts come up. 

[00:17:27] So, um, I think all what ultimately made me love IFS was my own experience with IFS and doing my own parts work. And after all the therapy I’ve done, achieving a much deeper level of peace and healing. And I’m still on that journey, but that’s what convinced me, I think. And to work with clients and seeing the benefit.

[00:17:56] Randi Rubenstein: Do you think that it can you give just sort of like the overview of what is IFS? How would you describe it? 

[00:18:05] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, so it’s a model of psychotherapy, but really a paradigm for life, where we understand ourselves as not monomind, but multiplicity of the mind means we have multiple parts of ourselves. And we have protective parts of ourselves, and there’s different types of those, and then we have those always are protecting exiled parts of ourselves that are more vulnerable parts that had to be pushed down, that had to be pushed away for very good reason. And it’s understanding, it’s all about understanding our system with true, true compassion. 

[00:18:49] And I think one of the biggest things for me and some of my friends, like therapists that have delved into this, is like, we didn’t, I don’t think I ever experienced true self compassion until I started practicing IFS. It was always what I think of as cognitive self compassion. I’m like, I appreciate that, myself or good job, nice work.

[00:19:12] And I was always, like, frustrated, cuz I’m like, I want to be self compassionate, but my critic, which is a protector part of me, um, which is a manager part of me, that’s really invested and minimizing my contact with shame, it criticizes me so I can reduce shame in the future. It wasn’t willing to step back. So, like, when people would do all this self compassion stuff, I’d be like, ugh, whatever. I don’t have time for this. Like, I like this in theory, but like, and that actually might be, like, my efficiency or doing part, I’m not 100 percent sure. I’d have to check in. But, 

[00:19:46] Randi Rubenstein: Does IFS help you to like cognitively? Yes, you can find the sentences in your head and I think that can be helpful to sort of, you know, lead you to, maybe where does this come from? Or what is this sentence? When have I said this before? When was this said to me? Like, it’s sort of like, it’s like breadcrumbs along the path when you’re kind of going, like to say we’re reading the stories of our lives, but we’re, we’re going in reverse a little bit.

[00:20:20] Sometimes we’re going in reverse and sometimes we’re going ahead. And so those earlier chapters, they have disappearing ink. But if we find just the right magical breadcrumb, all of a sudden the ink, you know, like we see the words pop up and we’re like, oh, that’s what happened. That memory was always there.

[00:20:39] Like I was sharing before we started recording that I had a moment yesterday where a root memory came back to me. And I was just talking about with my husband this morning and it was literally like, I think I was in about first grade and I remember this night and this restaurant and what happened and I remembered all the details and I thought of this memory, I don’t, I don’t think ever maybe in my adult life or not that I can recall.

[00:21:05] And I was talking with Scott today and I was like, isn’t it so interesting? Like, yeah. All the memories are there in our brain and in our bodies, but we just can’t recall them yet. And so I feel like the cognitive approaches, the therapeutic approaches that are helping us to look at our thoughts can help us. They’re breadcrumbs, right? Can help us to, like, discover those breadcrumbs.

[00:21:32] But the thing is, is that we are feeling animals. The feeling part of us overrides the thinking part. And so I’m interested in your thoughts on, does IFS help you to go into the feeling part of you to pull out these old hurt parts and now all of a sudden associate, oh, when this part shows up, this is where I feel it in my body, and this is, what it feels like. I don’t know. What are your thoughts on that?

[00:22:07] Shawn Hondorp: Yes, I mean, so exiled parts can be the most vulnerable ones that hold a lot of the, the pain. Um, but our protective parts can hold a lot of feeling and pain too. Um, and so I think to go back to, you can tell me if this makes sense, but like your tool and different tools, like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy will look at, you know, thinking patterns, distortions, right? Like I’m a failure, or that CBT would call it core beliefs. And sometimes your work is digging to those thoughts, right? The fest and the sentences of these like core beliefs. Like what mine that comes up so much is like, you fail, like shame, shame. Like I was thinking like the Lord of the Rings where it’s like the bell and it’s like, Not Lord of The Rings. Um, anyway, some other show.

[00:22:55] Randi Rubenstein: No, but a lot of people like there’s some, I mean, you know, 

[00:22:58] most people have one that has to do with I’m not enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not thin enough. I’m not rich enough. I’m not. I’m not. enough of a good mom, whatever it is. Um, so yeah, so we have these core beliefs. Yeah.

[00:23:10] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah. And so those, I think the way I understand it and I can sort of speak to my system and how it’s internalized it and people’s system can internalize these beliefs in different ways. But sometimes those thoughts are coming from a protector critic part. Like, I’m not enough or like, gosh, you’re such an idiot. You should have known this. Like, how did you mess this up again with your kid? Let’s say, for example, or, 

[00:23:34] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah, like, for me, this, this will never work. This will never work. You never get chosen.

[00:23:40] you know, those sentences in your head, which are like, I call them sentence soundtracks. They’re sort of playing in the background. And even though we’re not consciously hearing it. And where this really is so relevant, I think to parenting is, when that sentence is playing in the background and now all of a sudden you’ve got your kid who is just, you know, they’re like not having a good moment. They’re freaking out about something ridiculous, really like something ridiculous, right? 

[00:24:08] And if them freaking out about something ridiculous triggers one of these old soundtracks in your head, and then that causes you to feel the way that you felt every other time that you’ve thought that sentence, now all of a sudden, because we are feeling animals more than we are thinking animals, it overrides the thinking part. Well then that’s when we start talking, you know, the triggered responses, we get activated and even though we had all these plans to be, you know, the gentle parent to constantly talk about feelings and to empathize. And then we’re like, you know, we go into the shame and blame. And, and so then we’re like, damn it.

[00:24:53] And why do we do that? And it’s like, because all of this stuff is happening below the surface. And I think it’s really important to put some words and an education behind understanding what’s going on for you so that you can start to step into more self compassion. That it’s not that you’re a failure or, you know, never going to get this or you suck as a parent. It’s that you’re an actual human who has unhealed parts just below the surface that get activated a lot by having kids who live in their emotional brain. Okay, now continue with your thought. I’m sorry for interrupting you.

[00:25:35] Shawn Hondorp: No, no, that’s, it’s good. I mean, I think that that, those s situations identify, or like, activate, usually protector parts. And, you know, the analogy that was used this weekend was, like, exile parts can often be balloons that you’re trying to shove under the water and they keep popping up. The more, you try to shove them down, they keep popping up. 

[00:26:02] And so sometimes in those moments, like, I know this has happened to me as in parenting, like an exile part comes up and it’s just like, this feels so defeated. And so just like, like, I just want to go lay in my bed and give up like, and that’s like, that’s coming through, probably. That doesn’t always mean like, again, parts can, that’s the thing about IFS. It’s wonderful, but it’s like,

[00:26:28] And there’s some general rules of thumb, but I always say, like, it depends, for your system, but for me I’ve identified that, and, but then yeah, then my critic will come in to myself, like are you? It’s not, my critic is way less loud than it used to be, that’s one of the gifts of IFS. Like it’s, I get it now. And when it comes up, I’m like, I know you’re just trying to me safe. Like I really have built a relationship with that part of me in a very wonderful way. I’m sure there’s still work to build that relationship, but, um. 

[00:26:58] Yeah, it’s a, it’s a body reaction and all of the perfect cognitive strategies. That’s why I was, I was frustrated with my field because it wasn’t working enough for me. Right? Like I was like, so many of us have, have you say like really great left brain parts or left brain. Like, there’s a lot of our IFS calls them manager parts and they’re just like really invested in analyzing or doing or all of these things that help to keep us safe in the world. And they’re great parts and we have to actually slow down. 

[00:27:36] That’s the other thing I learned this weekend really in that training is like, I struggle with this a lot, but really slowing down and letting those really hurt parts know, like, I’ll be back for you. But not rushing it because our protective systems are incredible and they operate the way they do for a reason. And we really have to often slow down and appreciate them to do the healing work in a way that really, really feels good.

[00:28:05] Randi Rubenstein: I think that self compassion part, like, all change starts with awareness. So we have to, I think when we start to learn about these things and, and get curious about, every time you’re triggered, right? Like I know nobody wants to look at the moments where all those scripts that you’ve been memorizing, all those great tips by the, you know, parenting guru that you’re following and you knew exactly what to say, and then the moment was here and you, you started out saying it, but when your kid didn’t respond.

[00:28:49] Because they were in their bodies, right? They were in their bodies and they were not responding. It wasn’t fixing it. It wasn’t solving the problem. And then finally, your body starts to have a reaction and then you blow, right? And I think where most people stall out is then they’re like, they want to either delude and deny that that happened. I mean, I’ve heard this from several of the parents that I’ve worked with, they sort of dissociate and, and when they go into that activated state afterwards, it’s like they know that things went sideways between them and their kids, but they actually don’t have any recall of exactly what they said.

[00:29:38] Shawn Hondorp: I can relate.

[00:29:39] Randi Rubenstein: What is that? Do you know what that, what’s, what’s happening there when you have, you know, you lost your mind and, and, and afterwards you can’t remember any of the details. What is that? 

[00:29:52] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, I would guess that that’s a part of them disconnecting from some of the pain of what happened. I’ve had that happen even more mild moments, like, meaning, like, I don’t believe I, like, totally lost it, but I’ve been trying to relay a scenario to you and I’m like, I don’t really remember. Because, sometimes, as much as I love being a mom and being a parent, like, connecting with my kids is painful, because they remind me of parts of myself that I’m not quite ready to look at yet. And like, we can only go at the pace that our system is ready for. 

[00:30:31] And so I think it would be a part that, yeah, dissociates. To make, to protect us, to keep us functioning well. I believe dissociating parts are usually, usually more firefighter. They’re usually more like, firefighter parts come in to like, you know, squash out the flame of pain. So drinking, you know, impulsive drinking, compulsive eating, shopping, numbing parts. But I think dissociation is usually one of those. It’s less proactive and more reactive.

[00:31:06] Randi Rubenstein: I had a lot 

[00:31:06] Shawn Hondorp: don’t control that.

[00:31:08] Randi Rubenstein: yeah, I had a lot of that I think that was I think those were my, were my main firefighters, you know? I also think it’s it’s funny, it’s interesting when you start to, to look at this parts work and for anyone listening to this, um, start by listening to listening or reading No Bad Parts. Um, I think that’s a great book. Would you agree that that’s a

[00:31:34] Shawn Hondorp: I love because it has all the exercises so you can actually start practicing. Yeah,

[00:31:39] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. And also be prepared that there’s, there is, you know, some of it might be a little cringy, um, and it’s okay. 

[00:31:51] Shawn Hondorp: You might have parts that are like, what on earth is this?

[00:31:53] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. Like this is, this should, yeah, this shit is crazy. Um, but, but, but when you start to learn about this. There’s something, like the shame starts to lift. Even just from identifying, oh, I’m a human. Like, I’m not a robot. I’m not an alien. I’m a human. And this is what human beings do. We bury these hurt parts and we, and we figure out coping strategies so that we can be functional people who, you know, have jobs and, can feed ourselves and pay bills and take and have children and take care of children.

[00:32:37] And, and so we have, so we, we have these coping strategies and like, for me, my firefighter parts were a lot of dissociating and a lot of numbing strategies, which I felt tremendous shame over. And once I started to connect the dots of, well, I’m here and I’m doing pretty well, and I’ve created a life for myself. And now I’m just, I’m desiring more freedom. I’m desiring, like, I don’t want to be imprisoned by addictive habits anymore.

[00:33:11] I want to learn how, like all I’ve, I’ve had a, you know, when I started like realizing I actually had a lifelong sense of loneliness ever since I was a child. And so I created different, um, parts that helped made me feel less lonely. Right. And so sometimes it was addictive habits and, and different things that I did that helped me to feel less lonely. And when I started to understand it and, and, and the shame started lifting where it was like, oh, like now maybe I’m going to be grateful for these parts of it, cause they got me where I am. And, um, and I’m also ready to be free of these parts because I know they’re getting in the way of me being able to truly connect with the people that I love. 

[00:34:02] Like if I was always looking for a moment where I was going to be able to sneak away and go, you know, have a cigarette. Well, I’m not in this moment right now, enjoying the people that I’m with. I’m really just thinking in my mind, the, I’m looking forward, there was the dopamine that was coming from the, the wanting the looking forward to getting away from these people to go do this behavior that ultimately was the behavior that helped me to feel less lonely because I now looked forward to this moment when I could go isolate.

[00:34:39] But I was ready to actually create a life that didn’t feel lonely anymore where I was connected to the people that I was with and in relationship with and so I had to you know reckon with releasing this habit that now I’ve got all these crazy dopamine receptors in my body that are saying I don’t want to release this habit. This habit is the thing that I look forward to like.

[00:35:08] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, and the one like thing that I’ll add or tweak to that is like the language of I want to be free of these parts, because what I’m learning is that parts hear that and they’re afraid that we’re getting rid of them and they will lose their importance to our system and I actually thought that was really weird until I started to really listen to my system and my clients and that is so true. That parts, so we’re not actually getting rid of any parts. We actually can’t. We’re just really appreciating them as you were doing and helping them to shift into even more useful roles, but we have to like, 

[00:35:48] Randi Rubenstein: Good distinction. That’s a distinction. Yeah. Because you know what, because, it was like, I want to be free of the old strategy that this part used to protect me. Maybe that’s better right? And right. I want to be free of that.

[00:36:05] Shawn Hondorp: Smoking, Yeah.

[00:36:06] Randi Rubenstein: Right. So that, yeah. So that now, and I want to be free of feeling numb in my body, you know, like now it’s like I want to actually be able to feel whatever I’m supposed to feel and, and to allow. 

[00:36:23] You know, even just yesterday or yeah, yesterday with that memory coming back as the memory came back, I’m like, you know, this morning talking about it with Scott and I’m like, it was almost like a baby looking at a discovery toy. Like I was fondling it a little bit in the sense of, I was like, it’s so cool. Like, like now I know why I had this trauma response a few weeks ago because the situation triggered this, this deep, deep, deep, old wound that was buried in my body and something about that situation triggered it. And now it came up and now I can understand it and I can look at it and I feel like it’s, it’s out of my body.

[00:37:14] Right? Like, it feels so good to have to know I’m like, oh, that needed to come up because I’m now in a life where I feel safe and I can release that now. Like it’s, I mean, that’s how it’s been for me when I find those old memories come up and then it works, starts working itself out. And then I can even like, now I’ve named that for myself. 

[00:37:35] I like to name these parts, like I have a no drama mama part. This now I’m calling my Gallagher steakhouse part. Um, and so, you know, so something about it connects to the memory and so then I can say to myself when I start to feel that feeling in my body, Oh, this is just my Gallagher steakhouse. Like, of course this is activating it. Right. And then it just sort of like, it’s like, it doesn’t stay with me. It goes. I

[00:38:02] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, you’re not fully getting rid of that part, but you’re relating to it differently. You’re naming it, and 

[00:38:09] I think knowing you, and I have the same part, the fact finder really benefits, and I think a lot of people benefit from naming parts, or just naming it, just making sense of it all, right? But I, yeah, it’s like, it’s not necessarily going anywhere, but you’re just attending to it differently. You’re like, oh, I see you,

[00:38:27] Randi Rubenstein: Hmm. It’s ridiculous for anyone to think you are going to be the parent that you secretly wish you had, or you, in your mind, you set out to be, right? You’re setting yourself up for failure if you don’t understand that your kids are going to activate all of these unhealed parts in you. 

[00:38:58] You have amazing innovative therapists like Shawn out there who, will do this type of work with you or even just like starting to read the book. Um, but like when you’re starting to like look at these parts when you’re activated and understand them and bring compassion, like that’s why I think parenting is the ultimate personal development program because if we allow ourselves like we will, be able to heal these old hurts that are living in our bodies.

[00:39:31] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I feel like I want to share one example that might be relevant here. It’s not specifically relevant to parenting, but I don’t know if this is true or not for everyone listening, but like, it’s like we’re getting to the pain and we’re hunting, like almost like hunting for and healing exiled parts, which is a valuable part of the process.

[00:39:55] But what I’m learning more and more is there’s so much healing that can be done in just connecting with your protector parts. And I think you’ve experienced this and I know I have. And, you know, I’ve been studying and applying this model to myself for, not quite two years, but I just went to this training and we just did a simple exercise with my little practice group.

[00:40:13] There was just two other people and the program assistant, and we were just interviewing manager parts. So, I would basically, like, you would be, if you were the therapist, I would like embody one of my manager parts. So mine, I can’t share anything else about the training, except my experience. But my manager part that I actually kind of like is the part of me that’s obsessed with efficiency and optimizing my experience in life.

[00:40:37] It’s not just workaholism. It’s like, I just want to have the most amazing experience. And when something gets in the way of that, this part of me gets pissed. And this happens with my kids. I’m like, I want to have an incredible day. So I guess it does relate to parenting. And this part it’s so triggered when my kid wakes up and is like yelling at me in the morning, which has happened many times and this part, it’s just like, are you kidding me? Like I’m trying to have this amazing, big connected life. That’s so cool. 

[00:41:08] And in probably 10 or 15 minutes of this new, relatively new therapist, new to IFS, she was just, I actually have the list right here. She was just interviewing my manager and I was embodying the manager part. Like I was like, let me tell you, I’m super important in Shawn’s life, and I’ve done this for her, and when we went to Cedar Point, I helped her get to all the rides as fast as humanly possible so she could have the most amazing experience. 

[00:41:34] And this part had so much to say, and I don’t know, I just felt compelled to share that because there’s so much healing, and I didn’t go to any exile part at all, and I helped that part know, A, I learned it super young. So managers to us usually feel like they’re like have their clipboard and their to do list and they’re older, but they’re super young. They, it learned in my childhood home to help me have the life I wanted, but I couldn’t get with the connection level that I deeply desired. It was like, well, I’ll figure out a way to get you an amazing life. 

[00:42:09] And I updated it and I was like, look at the life we have now. And I’m actually getting a little emotional still. Cause I’m like, look, we do have an amazing life. And it was like, Oh yeah, we do! And I’ve experienced, that was 10 or 15 minute exercise and I feel so much like more free. 

[00:42:26] And that part got triggered again, because we were going to a basketball game and I couldn’t get the tickets to download. And I was so annoyed. I’m like, this is wasting my time. I don’t have time for this. This is a stupid system. And I was able to connect with that part and be like, you’re just trying to have, help me have an amazing life. Thank you. And then I delegated to my husband and he figured it out.

[00:42:48] Randi Rubenstein: So good. I love that example. It’s perfect.

[00:42:51] Shawn Hondorp: Kind of makes it like more tangible. Like, yeah, and it was connected to a part of me that yearned for more love and connection, but there’s healing that happens in so many different levels with this model. And it’s just it’s just cool.

[00:43:07] Randi Rubenstein: Well, naming it, it’s also, it’s like you’re bringing it out of your blind spot and then embodying it. And I mean, that role play sounds so cool because, and this is where I think, you know, it’s sort of like I’ve been doing more of that right brain metaphor coaching. Which for those of us who are so left brainy, you know, doing any kind of role play or, right brained exercises, I like to say, you know, where it’s creative. 

[00:43:36] And, if you ever listened to a guided meditation where it’s like, you’re in a field, what does it notice what it looks like? What’s in the field, you know? And so it walks you through this guided meditation and it kind of takes you into that. That dreamlike brain state and, and that brings forth your right brain wisdom. 

[00:43:56] And for those of us who have super bossy left brains, right? Lots of managers. Yeah, right. Hate me too. Hate, hate Shavasana and yoga. Hate, hate any of that. Like, no, even to this day, I would say like, I don’t play. Like, I’m like, what going for a walk is not really play. And then I’m like, I’m like, yeah, I don’t know how to play. And then I’m like, wait, I play with my dogs on the floor all day and talk to them constantly. Like they’re my dogs. I think I do know how to play. Right. I’ve just been telling myself. 

[00:44:30] So I think, you know, just know anybody listening to this, that’s like, this is some hokey shit. Um, yes. It does feel because 

[00:44:39] we all have these, you know, really bossy left brains that have served us and we’ve accomplished things and we’re, you know, performing as adults where we’re really good at doing all the adulting things.

[00:44:51] And we tell ourselves that, you know, we want to be super efficient and we don’t have time to play and, and, and, and, and like this provides so much healing in the sense that just like when you start to see it and you. And you’re willing to sort of play with it a little bit, like you just feel better in your body. Like they, they, you unhook from that part and there’s a shift that happens that you just feel it. You feel a shift in your life and in your body.

[00:45:27] Shawn Hondorp: Right, and then it stays, which really convinced my efficiency part, like, it works better. it actually lasts.


[00:45:37] Randi Rubenstein: Yeah. 

[00:45:38] Shawn Hondorp: That’s more efficient, right? 

[00:45:40] Like if you’re spinning your wheels, doing the same thing over and over, like that doesn’t feel efficient. 

[00:45:46] Randi Rubenstein: No. And, and about it. The efficiency part that’s like, come on now, now, now, now. And it’s like, okay, I might, I might do a lot of things. And then you look at all the drama that happens in your life because you’re being such a drill sergeant because you’re trying to be so efficient and that, you know, that manager,

[00:46:08] Shawn Hondorp: Get your son to potty train.

[00:46:10] Randi Rubenstein: right. And then, right. And then the amount of time you spend on the meltdown and the drama and then the result of, you know, how, Disconnected. Your kid doesn’t feel like y’all are on the same team. You’re like, well, that’s inefficient. It’s taken it. It’s that’s sucking a ton of time up from my day. 

[00:46:27] Yeah. Um, okay. We both have to wrap. Um, as we wrap, tell people how they can find you and learn more about all of these amazing, innovative approaches and the conversations you’re having.

[00:46:45] Shawn Hondorp: Yeah. So the Innovative Therapist podcast is on all podcast players. Um, my website’s probably the best place to see all the things really that you need to get on my email list. So just go to my website and get on my email list cause those are, I’m not on social media a ton, but that’s S H A W N H O N D O R P dot com.

[00:47:08] And on Instagram, I am psychology. of. wellness, which clearly Randi thinks I need to change, which I maybe will, but I don’t really love social media, so I’m not on there that much. So

[00:47:19] Randi Rubenstein: Me neither, me neither. I have not been on it much lately at all. I’m like, just listen to the podcast, just listen to the podcast. Um, yeah, no, I’m so glad that you came two years ago and joined my group and you bring so much to our community and now you’re helping lots of people. And I just love our friendship and grateful for you.

[00:47:48] Shawn Hondorp: Wouldn’t be here at this point without you, so very grateful for you.

[00:47:52] Randi Rubenstein: Power with, power with.

[00:47:54] Shawn Hondorp: Woo! 

[00:47:55] Randi Rubenstein: Everyone, everyone, have a great week. Bye

[00:48:00] Thanks for listening today, guys. I hope you picked up some tips, tools, maybe some baby steps for creating more balance and boundaries in your life. And I just wanted to let you know, if you want to continue moving the needle forward in creating this for yourself, having a happier household, I want you to go to my website and check out We have three beginning programs, and if you need some accountability and more support then please look for the one that would be a good fit for you.

[00:48:34] And, as always, we’re on all the social channels under mastermind parenting, on Instagram it’s mastermind_parenting. And, you know, periodically I do pop up on different Instagram lives, Facebook lives where I give you teaching and coaching and I love engaging with you live to help you help your strong-willed kids so that they can feel better, because when they feel better they do better, and I love, love, love getting to know you guys. 

[00:49:08] So thanks for listening. If you like this podcast, please don’t forget to subscribe, rate and review. Super super appreciative

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by Randi Rubenstein