The Impact of Integration

Visually and functionally, parts in a dissociative person come in all sizes.

Some are so small we simply call them a splinter.  They have no capacity for understanding anything of life except that it is painful.  There is no possibility of dialog with them.

Then we have the under one year olds who have a more refined capacity to fear unfamiliar intrusions in their world but don’t have the vocabulary to discuss things, although they have some ability to comprehend when I speak to them about gentleness and safety.

From there, you have parts of increasing age, of both genders, with or without distinctives.  So the mass of parts will be generic.  They crave safety, can understand explanations, but don’t know much or do anything specific, nor do they have specific desires.

Sprinkled in amongst them are parts with definition.  They hold a particular pain or anger or are trained for a task or, occasionally, they have a desire they can articulate to climb a tree, swim, kick a ball or have a doll.

All parts have to be integrated, and when we do the results vary.  With the splinter parts, the Original Self rarely feels anything specific.  With the very young ones, it is also mostly a non-event in terms of Original Self feeling changed.  We just know they belong in her, so we ask God to reassemble the picture puzzle.

However, along the path of discipline lie remarkable surprises.

One person I worked with a few years ago had a part that hated shopping.  The woman would go into a store and in about three minutes she would switch and have extreme urgency to get out of the store.  This is a fairly common dynamic and there are probable reasons for it.

She tried every possible dynamic to resolve it:  different stores, talking to her inside world ahead of time, going with a friend, etc.  Nothing worked.  She was reduced to the very frustrating work-around of having only four minutes to shop.  She chose one store she knew moderately well, reduced her diet to two or three things.  She would race into the store, get three things, head to the checkout, and hope that she could get back out of the store before bad stuff happened.

Her therapist worked with her extensively trying to find the part but never could.

Somewhere along the way, that problem completely vanished.

As we routinely integrated one part after another, we eventually integrated that part without having a clue it was carrying such a huge piece of vulnerability.

On the flip side, there are integrations that make an immediate impact.

Some are amusing and unexpected.  One lady was pretty basic when it came to her relationship with her kitchen.  Her only point of excellence was her cup of coffee each morning.  One day we unknowingly integrated a part that likes to cook.  She immediately began trying challenging recipes and hardly a week goes by without some new adventure or debacle in the kitchen.

The one we long for more than any other is the initiative piece for Original Self.  With SRA, Original Self is most commonly found in outer darkness.  When he or she is retrieved, there is not much there but a flicker of life.  We do sundry things to refresh and energize Original Self before we begin integrations, but almost invariably Original Self is simply an obedient, passive player in the game, doing what she is told and letting us act on him or her.

I was working with one like that who had only one preference in life and that was for motion.  But she moved in a limited range, not ever thinking about exploring or discovering or enjoying.

We were in the process of integrating a group of parts that had some relational connects with each other.  By now, integrations were pretty generic.  Original Self and the leader of her spirit would confer, determine which part was next, spend some time talking to the part about the coming transition and then have all the players on location on the days when we were going to talk.  I would do the last 1% because the spirit was now doing the heavy lifting with all the prep.

When I asked Father to come do the integration, we got a demonic eruption instead, and everything was quite messy for about ten minutes.  I managed to restore order after a while.  We followed through with the integration, but I was left wondering, “What was THAT about?”

The next time I talked to Original Self, she was far from her usual base camp, was leading two friends in plans for the future and in having FUN!  She was unashamedly in charge and loving it – acting like she had been a leader for all her life.

I smiled.  The part we integrated the previous time was her initiative part and a whole lot more.  For us, it was just another nameless part.  But the devil knew that this one was carrying a super wonderful treasure, so it pitched a fit.

So that is the nature of integrations.  Most are so calm and quiet as to be almost boring, and there is no noticeable effect on the host.  But every so often there is a high impact one.  So we do them all and always wonder what is being put back in place.

Copyright November 2015 by Arthur Burk

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  1. says

    Author, is there a dvd that addresses addressing a part and how to integrate one or more? I’m not sure how after reading this blog. Colleen Killian of KC, MO.


  2. says

    Author, is there a dvd set about integrating parts or how to discover and discuss with a part.? I’m not so sure from this blog how that takes place. Colleen Killian in KC


  3. Jerri Langlais says

    I recognize myself in these situations. And experiences. And I keep wondering if God has done this for me Divinely, without my knowledge, as I sit in His Presence each morning. Gathered the many parts and put all the pieces together?


  4. Devorah R.G. says

    There is such a fragrance of faithfulness to this story. Thank you for sharing your lurch experience. They always strengthen hope and perseverance.


  5. Noeleen says

    Thank you for sharing these experiences and reflections. You give the word hope such a weight – like a small seed which will grow into a fruitful tree. I appreciate your perseverance and attentiveness to God.


  6. Louisa says

    This is really such a miracle to hear how God weave things back together. He just put things back in order without any effort. He is such an awesome God!