Three weeks ago I suggested some connections between Internal Family Systems theory and Creative Conflict Resolution. Since then two other parallels between IFS and CCR have come to mind. One has to do with the futility of getting others to change and the other is the distinction between what we want and what we need.
From time to time I will have a client ask me, "But how does Self get the part to change?" The assumption is that the only way to end the conflict is for the part to be different and the agent of transformation is the Self so the Self must, by some mechanism, get the part to change.
If the part is going to change it will be because the part has discovered a different way of being and has found support for transformation. The Self creates a relationship to the part in which the part is able to transform in just the ways that best meet the needs of the part recognizing that the ultimate intention of the part is the well being of the whole person. It is just so with all of us. We can't change each other. We know that. But it doesn't stop us from trying.
We often conflate want and need using them as synonyms. From the perspective of Creative Conflict Resolution there is a critical distinction to be made between them. What I want is a specific change in my circumstances which is dependent upon others acting differently. What I need is a shift in the qualities in the relationship I have with others which I can move towards simply by altering the choices I make.
Because what I want is for others to be different and because I cannot make others change, when I am focused on what I want, I am likely to create for myself feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. When I shift my attention to what I need, while often a difficult shift requiring more Self awareness than I am accustomed to, I am then attending to an option for my own choices which I can create for myself. As we do this, we discover how immensely powerful we each are.