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The Deep Democracy ...

The Deep Democracy of Parts and Shadow Integration  


Active Member
Joined: 9 months ago
Posts: 7
09/04/2019 11:18 am  

Deep democracy requires that all voices of a system be heard, and presupposes that all voices represent a need or longing within that system, even if sometimes unskillfully expressed. I’m interested in connecting Arnold Mindell’s Deep Democracy work to how we work with all aspects of a client - in parts and shadow integration work. Mindell worked extensively with deep democracy in dealing with the complex and triggered social issues of race, gender and privilege.  Their deep democracy process gives voice to the marginalized members of society as well as those in the mainstream. Deep democracy maintains that every position has power, and every voice has something of value to add to the overall experience and growth of the community .

It has helped me work with teams in conflict, and to listen to the voice of resistance or disruption without being triggered by it (not taking it personally). I try to listen for the longing, the values and needs, beneath the complaint. Even our bodies work like this. Every part of our body is part of the whole. We get messages from it all the time. The sore knee, the repeated infection, the IBS. What messages do our bodies have for us? How willing are we to listen to the pain or disease and hear its voice and act on its request? I certainly don't always listen.

So in working with parts, or aspects of self, there are voices we like and those we don’t. Yet each has power and purpose in it, however unskillfully expressed. I believe our work is to listen deeply to that longing or request hidden behind the triggered response – in ourselves as well as others. To see the power and purpose in it. And re-integrate, re-member, these parts into the whole.

I am interested to hear how others have worked with parts integration and what you have learned.



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The Evolution of Coaching Psychology article