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By Forest Benedict

I admit it. I’ve been obsessing about the coronavirus. It is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of fear. It is not unreasonable to take reasonable precautions. But after days of adrenalized, active preparation, I took some time to look within and I’m glad I did. May you find my process helpful as you work through your own worry.

Using the tools of Internal Family Systems, I connected with 3 important parts inside me (click here to learn more about parts).

  1. An obsessive Protector part who was working overtime to research constantly so I would not feel the pain of making an unforgivable mistake that would hurt my family and me.
  2. An ashamed Protector part who wanted to protect me from looking paranoid publicly to others.
  3. An exiled Shame part that was created by and burdened with the wound of making unforgivable mistakes in the past.

Following the IFS process, I went inside myself and healed my Shame part (the part that carried the burden of unforgivable mistakes). Then my vigilant Protector parts agreed to relax and trust me to act from my inner Self (where I embody calmness, compassion, courage, clarity, connection, etc.). This let me become aware of what needs to be done to protect my family and myself, but not from a polarized, panicked place.

This type of IFS work doesn’t mean my Protector parts will never again be triggered. It does, however, mean that I am in the process of healing. It also helps me trust that in crisis situations I will either know what’s best to do or I will be able to recover and learn from any mistakes I make.

I am so grateful for the tools of IFS and the fact that they can help me through troubling times. These tools can be self-taught or learned with the help of a certified IFS therapist.

This article originally appeared at this link. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.


Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of the highly-acclaimed book Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Forest uses online therapy to guide sexually addicted individuals and couples through the Life After Lust recovery program, serving all of California. Forest leads a weekly online drop-in group through and does sexual addiction recovery coaching worldwide. He is a writer and blogger, continually creating hopeful and relevant content for those in recovery. Forest is a husband and father who is in recovery. To learn about the resources Forest provides, check out his website at