Inside I’m Hurting: splitting

I’d like to continue my series of book reviews on Inside I’m Hurting by Louise Michelle Bomber with another excerpt from Chapter 8: “Permanency and Constancy.”

In this chapter, Bomber explains the concept of splitting – “the process of viewing or judging something or someone as either all bad or all good, rather than having a more integrated perspective of most things and people being a mixture.”

I see the concept of splitting very strongly in BE. She definitely has a hard time distinguishing between her behavior being bad and being a bad person. I try to explain to her that although I might not always like her behavior, I still love her. It’s hard for her to understand.

Bomber explains this further – “An example of splitting is as follows, when a child makes a mistake: ‘I’m a bad person.’ This type of comment implies that the child has a sense of ‘all or nothing’ about himself … rather than appreciating all the different aspects of himself.”

According to Bomber, it’s a lack of a sensitive and secure environment that causes splitting. To help children get over splitting, Bomber recommends the following steps.

1. Introduce the idea of all of us having parts that make us whole people. “We have so many parts that make us who we are. I have kind and considerate parts. I have selfish and mean parts.”

2. Talk about parts of the self regularly. “I can see that you are using your patient and kind part.”

3. Talk about parts of the self in your feedback. “Your angry part is very cross at the moment.”

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