What is Ideal Parent Figure Protocol?

The Ideal Parent Figure Protocol is a protocol designed to be used with several other practices to heal attachment wounds created by Daniel Brown and David Elliott.

The basic idea is that in the first few years of life we develop an Internal Working Model of relationships that tells us how we are supposed to relate to other people.

This model tells us what we ought to expect from other people, and what is expected of us.

Perhaps in the first few years of life, after disappointments in bids for attention, you learned that your parents would never meet your needs.

In adulthood, you might still carry around this ingrained expectation that shapes how you interact with others.

Enter The Ideal Parent Figure Protocol.

During the IDF session, a client is asked to imagine having fictional, ideal parents while growing up.

He or she is guided through several scenes, imagining themselves as a child, where these ideal parents can provide all the things that make up a securely attached adult.

These imagined scenes involve the ideal parent providing safety, being attuned to the child, supporting, delighting, and soothing the child.

In this way, a new Internal Working Model is created that the client can bring into his relationships here and now.

By having these positive attachment experiences, new neural pathways are created and a new, secure attachment pattern is established deep in your mind and body.

The research shows that IPF leads to secure attachment in 40-150 sessions with a facilitator.

IPF has also been shown to “lead to fast and stable improvement for individuals with CPTSD and childhood trauma.”

If you’re interested in trying out the The Ideal Parent Figure Protocol you can schedule a meeting with me and we can try it out!

Below is Dan Brown showing the IPF method:

5 thoughts on “What is Ideal Parent Figure Protocol?

  1. Jonathan, I tried to do the exercise above…Sad to say that I can’t even imagine having loving, supportive parents. I feel blocked… I grew up in
    a very physical and emotional abusive environment. How do I ever get over this? My mother literally dropped dead when she was 39… I was sixteen. There were 7 children. I was beat with hangers, brooms, belts… my fathers fist and kicked while on the ground in a fetal position. How does one overcome these horrible images and feelings? Of course I
    attract mean men. Not physically abusive… but emotionally. I don’t know how to ask for my needs to be met… maybe it’s more fear of their response.

    1. Ah, that’s terrible Elizabeth. It will take time. Often 1 to 3 years. For the IPF you may want to just imagine people you associate with safety, the Dali Lama or Mr Roger’s! To begin with, I would just imagine the ideal parents 15 ft away, and just practice feeling comfortable and safe around them. Even imagine yourself in a protective bubble.
      For needs, first you must know what they are, then feel safe enough in the relationship to know your requests will be met lovingly, finally there are specific ways to ask – sometimes indirectly. I’ll post a short video on 3 easy ways to do this soon.
      For example, instead of directly asking your partner for X, you just mention, I love it when men do X. Or, if he does it, tell him, I really liked it when you did X.
      In neither case are you directly asking him to do anything..

      1. Thank you for your advice. I love swimming with the seaturtles… that is my happy and safe place. I also had a wonderful grandmother who lived close by and she always made me feel loved and cherished. ♥️… I would love to see the video on expressing needs. I love your suggestion… in asking to have needs met. Thank you. Elizabeth

        1. So I’ll imagine my parents as seaturtles… not really… just the feeling I have when snorkeling… beautiful, serene and the most loving feeling watching these magical creatures.♥️

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