Episode Summary

What if you could understand and heal the deepest parts of yourself that have been shaped by trauma and addiction? Join us on the Valiant Living Podcast as we welcome back Michael Simms, a dedicated therapist with over 11 years of sobriety. With a heartfelt journey from the service industry to becoming the Director of Outpatient Services for the Meadows in Denver, Michael shares how the tragic loss of his cousin and his sister’s struggle with addiction fueled his passion for therapy. His story is one of resilience, recovery, and unwavering commitment to helping others find healing.

In our conversation, we explore the transformative power of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, delving into advanced clinical modalities like Polyvagal Theory and NARM. Michael explains how recognizing and compassionately addressing the different parts of ourselves formed through trauma can lead to profound healing. We discuss the importance of understanding clients’ nervous systems and how this knowledge can guide them through states of fight, flight, or dissociation to a place of relaxation and safety. The emphasis on compassion within IFS therapy is a crucial element, shedding light on the necessity of integrating even the less pleasant parts of oneself for effective recovery.

Further, we delve into the concept of the “core self” within IFS therapy, contrasting it with the subpersonalities developed as defense mechanisms. Michael highlights the eight C’s—such as connection, confidence, and compassion—that help bring forth the core self, free from past burdens. Through heartfelt personal anecdotes and professional insights, Michael illustrates how addressing childhood wounds, navigating inner conflicts, and embracing community support play pivotal roles in fostering growth and emotional resilience. This episode offers an illuminating look at the journey of healing addiction and perfectionism with IFS, providing listeners with valuable insights and hope.