The idea for the Youniverse came upon me as a first waking thought...an inner world image bright and clear in my mind’s eye.
I saw at once the potential it offered to serve as a powerful visual tool in therapeutic work and set about the journey to bring it to tangible life. Today, three years later, it is a patented device used by hundreds of helping professionals and many more clients, parents and families in easing the path inward, finding center, externalizing inner dramas, connecting with core feelings, and unburdening self-doubt.
The Youniverse is inspired by the grace and simplicity of the Internal Family Systems™(IFS) Model of psychotherapy which underscores the warm and wise power of our center-core “Self,” represented by the Big Bright Ball central sphere, to help and heal the “Parts” of us in pain, represented by the variety of attachable, smaller colored orbs.
Applying IFS terminology, the inner ring can represent parts serving “Manager” roles which try to prevent pain from happening, the middle ring to represent parts serving “Firefighter” roles which try to sooth or distract when pain is felt and the outer ring to represent parts that have been put into “Exile” for fear their pain and vulnerability might be too much for the system.
By placing Parts around a compassionate, "seeing" Self, clients find a new means to communicate with their inner worlds and client and therapist find a new means to communicate with one another, crossing the interpersonal bridge.
The Youniverse swivels our attention. It beckons us to notice it and then, in using it, to notice ourselves. For many people, a concrete, visual model like this one helps bring to the table thoughts and feelings they are challenged to bring forth in a narrative way and affords unique opportunities for insight and working with otherwise overwhelming, emotional material.
The Youniverse is accompanied by an illustrated storybook, The Big Bright Ball Answers the Call, which I often read out loud to encourage that first, crucial “you-turn” inward.
I invite you to read and enjoy the following chapters written by my friend and colleague, Sabine Boots, LMFT for a comprehensive and compelling explanation of the learning theory behind the Youniverse as well as its many applications.
I want to thank Sabine for gifting her enthusiasm, wisdom, and dedication to Self-led communication, all of which come to life in the pages that follow.
I want to thank Dick Schwartz and his wonderfully elegant and exceedingly practical Internal Family Systems™ Model of therapy. His is the best Model I know for compassion-based work.
To download the Guidebook, please click on the link below: