EP 173: Healing Addiction, Spirituality, and Internal Family Systems with Ralph de la Rosa

In this episode, Kimberly and Ralph discuss commonalities between their work regarding somatics, psychotherapy, and spiritual traditions. Ralph describes his journey of seeking from mainstream religion to various spiritual traditions and how his time in rehab propelled his work in psychotherapy, teaching, and writing his books. In addition, he describes his journey regarding gender and sexuality and how that correlated with his neurodivergence. In addition, he describes Internal Family Systems, our four selves, and his niche work of combining psychotherapy and meditation. Towards the end of the conversation, they share their reactions to receiving negative reviews and the arduous process of writing and publishing a book.



Ralph is the author of two internationally published books about trauma recovery, meditation, and the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of psychotherapy. He is personally mentored by Richard Schwartz, founder and developer of IFS. He is a psychotherapist in private practice and a seasoned meditation teacher known for his radically open and humorous teaching style. His most recent book, Don’t Tell Me to Relax: Emotional Resilience in the Age of Rage, Feels, and Freak Outs was named one of the “Best Books of 2020” by Mindful Magazine.

What He Shares:

–Ralph’s journey with addiction, spiritual practice, + becoming a psychotherapist

–Gender identity, sexuality, and neurodivergence

–Multiple selves & Internal Family Systems

–Nervous system responses to criticism


What You’ll Hear:

–Evolution of his yoga practice

–Raised Southern Baptist, experienced early childhood traumas, turned to Hare Krishnas

–Experienced suicidal ideation until reading Ram Das

–Traveled with Amma

–Turned to spirituality as an attempt to continue high

–Experience of drug addiction alongside spirituality

–Encountered deep spiritual practice in rehabilitation center

–Began mindfulness based practice through Buddhist teachers in 2005

–Began teaching meditation at yoga studio

–Seeing the humanity of Buddhist practices

–Also discovered psychotherapy in rehab

–Healing traumas of previous wounding and insecure attachments

–Sexuality journey of “neuroqueer”

–Journey around gender and sexuality distinctly

–Experienced violent bullying in high school because of gender

–Embracing the term “genderqueer”

–Influence from Bikini Kill and Riot grrrl

–Internal Family Systems Therapy and parts work

–Internal conflicts and internal dialogues

–Multiplicity and multiple selves offers us map of our psyche

–IFS and somatics and meditation- Ralph’s niche

–No one therapy heals all of us

–Pandemic and upheaval of socio-political upheaval

–Collective inability to metabolize impact of pandemic

–Process of writing first book, dealing with lack of confidence

–Confronting demonization of cognition (monkey mind) in spiritual circles

–Experiences after publishing first books

–Risks of writing and publishing

–Reading bad reviews of work

–Criticism triggering sympathetic nervous system responses

–Shambala as an ethical publishing company

–Protecting our own energy

–Meditation, movement, breath work, diet, 80-20 lifestyle

–Self energy in IFS have to be in compassion and holding space

–Embracing all of life’s experiences

–Being effective for others through burnout

–How the term “neuroqueer” connecting spectrums of queerness and neurodivergence

–Labels as stigmatizing and liberating

–Upcoming course on mindfulness, somatics, IFS, and more

–”Unstuck How to Heal every part of you” starts Dec 2nd



Website: https://ralphdelarosa.com/

IG: @ralphdelarosa

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