‘Adrienne’ came to me and said she had problems dealing with her boyfriend when he was in a bad mood. Should she try and just be understanding, and what should she do with the feelings of uncertainty and anger that she also struggled with ?I asked her what part she most wanted to deal with and she said the uncertainty. Part of her judged this as foolish and getting in the way of her desire to be competent and strong. We asked this judging part to stand out of the way so that she could get to know and heal the uncertain part. It agreed, and she was surprised to see that the uncertain part was not nasty – as she had thought it might be. It told her it was trying to alert and warn her. It turned out Adrienne herself had pushed this part away because it had suffered so much pain whenever she tried to stand up for herself in many relationships – and had come to believe that she could not really be herself in an intimate relationship. Feeling the pain of this part, and also feeling compassion and understanding for it, meant she was able to differentiate herself from it, and also give it the love and understanding it needed. From this place she was also able to negotiate with the anger and reassure it that she was now in charge, and it didn’t have to take over, and attempt to defend her in the old way.