The Solo Parts Party

  • Jesse Carlock School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University


Virginia Satir’s Parts Party method was originally designed as a way to manifest externally through the use of role-playing, what was happening internally with the dynamics between and among the parts that comprise the self. The method is useful for differentiation and integration of the self. The Parts Party is generally conducted in a group setting and requires a minimum of 12 active participants to effectively produce desired results.  Over the years, practitioners have adapted the method for use with children using figurines, puppets, and the like.  Other adaptations have been made as well for use with couples, families, and organizations, although little is documented in the Satir literature.

Presented here is an adaptation of Virginia Satir’s Parts Party method as a learning tool for use with adults in an educational, clinical, growth or training setting.  The author suggests that this paper may be used as a guide to help individuals to:

  •  identify their personality parts and resources
  • learn to use their internal resources more effectively  
  • study the dynamics of their system of parts
  • assume greater leadership of their system of parts
  • increase assimilation of positive resources
  • transform parts you consider negative
  • learn how to deal with internal conflicts more effectively
This solo parts party method might be used as an adjunct to therapy, as a tool for self-discovery in growth settings, as a project in educational classes or as an activity for therapists in training.  The author posits that papers such as this combined with other methods may enhance outcomes for those willing to actively use them.

Author Biography

Jesse Carlock, School of Professional Psychology, Wright State University
Dr. Carlock is a clinical professor at Wright State University, School of Professional Psychology, in Dayton, Ohio. She wrote Enhancing Self-­‐Esteem (3rd edition) and conducted interviews with Virginia Satir’s main colleagues, producing a composite DVD of those interviews. Trained by Virginia Satir, Dr. Carlock was the associate editor of the Satir Journal since its inception until the death of Dr. Steven Bentheim this past Fall. Since then, Dr. Carlock is co-leading the journal going forward along with Dr. Honore France. Her areas of interest include: women’s issues, adult recovery from incest, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, addictions of all kinds, gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender issues, mood disorders, anxiety, couples, group therapy and crisis management for businesses and corporations.