First of all, Polarity Integration is about integrating opposite parts of the person. It is part of a bigger group of techniques that pre-suppose that the person has as part of her smaller somewhat conscious units. These units can be regarded as identities, entities, circuits, parts, viewpoints, or just units of consciousness. Sometimes one of these choices seem more appropriate then the others, sometimes you can just pick any approach.
Polarity Integration becomes appropriate when there is a type of behavior the person does that has a whole personality package to go along with it, and that appears to exclude or compete with another type of behavior and personality. It would be a recurring thing, something the person does either all the time, regularly, or in certain situations. It should include feeling and/or action, it shouldn't just be a thought or idea. It must somehow appear as being causative, something the person does not just an effect situation or unwanted feeling.
What will be available first will often be the part that the client currently perceives as unwanted, inadequate, or annoying. It is not always like that, but often the person will have the idea that that part of them needs to go. They don't like it, so they come to you to "get it cut off".
An important rule here is that any part of the person is useful for something. It must underneath the surface have some sort of positive function it tries to perform for the person. She might not realize it, but some of her positive qualities and abilities are locked up in that part. However, because the part is lacking other qualities or because its purpose got sidetracked or outdated somehow, it currently does something that isn't particularly welcome.
The philosophical basis here is a variant of "People are basically good". We could say that any part of them would also be there for basically a good and positive reason. If we can get down to those good and positive reasons, then any conflicts would tend to dissolve or become very easy to manage.
Also, we assume the person's natural state to be whole, complete, balanced, and free. We assume that she can't really lose that, she can only temporarily fragment herself and forget about some of the fragments. So, if she has a part of herself that is not quite optimum, and that has limited qualities, then we know right away that the lacking qualities are found in the "opposite" part that will inevitably be there. If we get them to work better together or to integrate completely, then she will probably be better off.
A client yesterday complained about always being a "Victim" and wanting to get rid of that aspect of herself. I asked "So, you have a part of yourself that is being a victim?" She says yes, and that creates a little separation that makes it easier to clear. We discuss what the victim part of her is doing. Then I ask "Is there a part of you that is opposite to the victim part?" She says she isn't victim in certain work situations. We agree on calling that the "Creative" part of her. We then discuss the qualities that each side has or is lacking. The Creative side has great ideas and knows what to do with them, but isn't persistent. As a matter of fact, the first thing she had said in the session was that somebody had suggested that she needed more discipline, and she tended to agree. Now, it took some work to have her realize the Victim part had anything good about it. However, she had said that she had had it practically all her life. I asked her if that didn't mean that it was persistent, at being victim? She admitted that. And I inquired if that wasn't a type of discipline. After a moment she realized that, yes, indeed we could say that was a kind of discipline. She is kind of surprised to realize that. We then work at what each side can use the other's qualities for. She finds that, if the Victim side is more creative, it can use its experiences constructively, and if the creative side knows how it is to be victim, it can be more effective. She realizes that this dichotomy is very valuable for her work, and she wouldn't really want it collapsed. She prefers to keep them as two sides, but in much closer communication. She is very happy about it, has several new abilities, and is certain that she will make big changes in her life. This whole thing took 40 minutes. It was her fourth session, with major life changes after each of the previous sessions. She is very good at visualizing things in detail, and that opens the door to very quick results with processes like this.
Another client this morning. She originated that she is "Nervous" most of the time. I noticed that it seemed connected to work, and things she otherwise was excited about or good at. Does she have a part of her that is nervous? Yes, but that is most of the time. OK, but she does have a part of her that isn't nervous? Yes, but it is very small and weak. Still she was actually asking to get rid of the nervous part of her! I didn't oblige her on that, but I inquired about what good qualities was in the nervous part. After the customary initial resistance to the idea, she confesses that it has her strength and power and it really gets things done. The relaxed part is feeling more calm, but isn't strong and doesn't get much done. We have them communicate with each other, learn to accept each other, teach each other something. The parts become much more friendly and exchange information. I then have her hold out her hands with the palms up and visualize a part in each hand. Then having her tell about the difference between them now. Then I ask her to put her hands together and fold them. And immediately I change my use of language to pre-supposing that they are now integrated. Now, with the parts integrated so that she can be both strong and relaxed, calm and powerful, how is that different now? That usually works well if the person is ready for it. Here it did bring in better indicators, but it didn't totally click for her. She still had some trouble thinking of the qualities as integrated. She has an unwanted feeling of nervousness also that would tend to keep it from fully working. We did some other work on that, and will continue to do that in the next session. I include this here to show that it doesn't always work perfectly in the first shot, but that is in no way a failure. It fit the polarity model, we worked with it and got a much improved result, but there is more to it.
Sometimes you go through the polarity steps and get ready to integrate the parts, but something keeps them apart. If it is not apparent what, I would ask: "What is keeping them apart?" Most often it would be either a fixed idea or an unwanted feeling. The fixed idea would be some sort of mental conclusion that would imply that it wouldn't be correct to integrate the parts or have them get along. That could be a more than usual insistence on a type of behavior being "bad" without apparent ability to look at it. You dialogue to get the fixed idea, it is usually quite readily available. Handle with unfixing techniques. The other common case is that it is an unwanted body feeling that appears when the sides are moving closer to each other. For example I had a client that got claustrophobic nausea when she tried to push the sides together. The unwanted feeling is then dealt with with re-experiencing. Then you re-check if they can integrate. Sometimes one core incident will take care of it, sometimes it is a more long term thing that requires a number of incidents or chains. The client with claustrophobia took a number of incidents over several sessions, with much improvement, but the sides are still not quite integrated. It happened to be a major focus going through all parts of her life.
One person said she felt she held herself back, that she somehow had a bad boy inside, and therefore she didn't deserve to do too well. She quickly admitted to having both a "Good" and a "Bad" side. That is not the perfect titles, but that is how she saw it at first. If we can avoid labeling any of the sides in negative terms, that is best. However, that is usually not how the person sees it at first. Anyway, her "Good" side was creative, open, angelic, in tune with God. Her "Bad" side was aggressive and powerful, getting things done in a direct manner. She wasn't aware of visual perceptions on these parts at all, but we could get them to talk to each other, getting them to accept and love each other, and learn from each other. When they were pretty well in rapport I used the trick of putting the hands together as above. The two parts integrated and she felt a strong rush of energy. She felt that she could now use all the qualities together or as she chooses. This was her very first session.
Another client was very fragmented and has various kinds of addictive behavior, such as overeating. That fits in with polarity integration, but often doesn't give a quick resolution. With an addictive type of person it is often the problem to get opposite parts involved at the same time, since they are more forcefully separated. We did a polarity of Vulnerable and Masculine. She actually had a totally different beingness to go with each side. Each one had a different voice and different mannerism, bordering on multiple personality, but not quite. There I was actually talking with the parts directly, instead of through the separation we usually can establish at first. However, gradually as we got the parts to get along better, she became able to separate from them, instead of being them. Eventually they integrated into one way of being, with the qualities from both. The result produced immediate positive changes in her life. However, she had much more where it came from to work on in the following sessions.
Another person had a Humble/Aggressive polarity. She had regarded anger as being bad and unwanted, and had tried to be just a sweet and loving person. However, a lot of her power was in the aggressive part. She gradually realized that and started taking responsibility for that side too. They integrated, and since then she has become able to be angry when necessary and to face up to it, instead of suppressing it.
Most people will readily accept the philosophy of integrating polarities once they try it the first time. It usually takes some persuasion to get them to accept the "negative" parts, but once they realize that their qualities are split, it quickly makes sense to bring them more together. However, a few people might need some discussion of the theory before they are ready to do it. So, a quick explanation and drawing of wholes splitting up into polarities would generally do it. I haven't met anybody who had anything against the idea once they understood it. Personally I find it to be best form to do it without any kind of prior indoctrination, but there should not be a big problem in going through it first. Anyway, understanding the philosophical basics here usually gives a big realization in itself, and is very empowering for people. It makes them realize that they are cause, they are whole, and they have a lot of abilities and qualities.
The people I have mostly used Polarity Integration on are relatively new clients. However, I have found it to work very well on people at any level of progress on their personal path. The principle here is actually a very high level spiritual principle. I have used them on myself with good results. The parts I have integrated have been taken care of permanently with no side effects of leaving anything else activated.
- Drill polarity integration procedure
- Do an actual polarity integration on somebody else