IFS is wonderful and life changing. The IFS approach, however, can be difficult to use. The IFS Deck of Cards uses the powerful metaphor of a card game to increase our awareness of the parts that we and others ‘play’. Our parts are constantly reacting to others. The metaphor and deck strengthens our wisdom to choose what ‘hand’ (part or self quality) we want to ‘play’ in response to another’s ‘anteing up’ of their parts.
The deck describes common parts in detail and the IFS approach. The 13 Clubs represent our various aggressive Protectors. Spades embody our distancing Protectors. Hearts represent our wounded Exiles. Diamonds embody our Core Self Qualities.
A number of card games are suggested to help us better care for and understand our parts, and improve our ‘card’ playing skills. However, without ever using the cards to play a game, the cards and metaphor empowers us to live more in Self throughout the day. The cards build our awareness of when we are taken over by ‘mission obsessed’ parts on ‘Steroids’. The cards can free us from being imprisoned in our automatic part reactions. The IFS deck is particularly helpful for couples engaged in endless protector battles. Couples gain greater awareness of which ‘cards’ they tend to play with each other. The cards help couples stop negative patterns and improve Self to Self care.