How To Properly Start and End Your SELF-Parenting Session

This article is to clarify how to open and close your SELF-Parenting sessions, once you become a daily practitioner. This particularly applies to people who continue past the first two weeks of SELF-Parenting as outlined in the “yellow book.” This explains the “ideal way” to start your session after reading “The Opening,” and how to end your session before reading “The Closing.”


When SELF-Parenting was finally published in 1987 I can report that there was still not an inkling of the importance of the “Inner Child” or the concept of SELF-Parenting anywhere. I know from talking about it ten years prior to writing the book, with the most advanced meditators and consciousness growth junkies in my world. There was “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” but it was not the same, or even close.

All my friends were the “most spiritually advanced” people I knew. We are talking Southern California’s best and brightest. And they just didn’t “get it.” When I met finally two girls in early 1986 who finally “grokked” what I was talking about, I was very shocked. Of course, they started the first class in Sydney, Australia and the rest is history. While still in Australia, I updated my original manuscript from 1975, returned to the US, and was published in 1986. I told this story in SELF-Parenting for Life.

When I created the questions in the book, I made sure that the first question was:

  1. “Inner Child, how are you feeling today?

I chose this question to to draw a distinct line and give readers a big clue that it was “feelings” on the Inner Child’s side. Imho, this was necessary given the state of the world and consciousness growth at that time. Even today, all the introductory book sessions start with this “feeling” question.

And often the Inner Child’s response is a bunch of feelings. How about that? And it is good!

This gets the energy moving and creates a distinct experience that gives your early sessions that “new relationship, ‘honeymoon’ experience.” The problem being that some people kept doing this, and often their sessions turned out to be one question with the Inner Child talking the whole time. Which is not the idea.

If people didn’t contact me for a Step 3 and get real about the Ten Steps and 23 Tips, this could become a “feelings trap.” And the Inner Parent wasn’t really growing or learning to become a proper Inner Parent as intended.

Session Dynamics

You don’t allow your Inner Child to talk endlessly. There is an appropriate amount of time for a response, and then there should be the next question or topic. What tended to happen is:

  1. The Inner Child would often “just talk” to keep the focus of attention and “crap on” as one of my Aussie students called it.
  2. The Inner Child felt it it was supposed to just keep talking like if it stopped, you would stop.
  3. A session has a purpose, and this delayed getting to that purpose.
  4. The Inner Parent was not growing or taking charge to lead the session.
  5. Their whole session would be one long IC side, which was a give away during the Step 3 eval. 

This was fine in the beginning and once you start modules, it usually gets worked out after a Step 3. But now, I want to give you the proper way to INTRO and then OUTRO your session before you read The Closing.


After you read The Opening, you, the Inner Parent, initiate your session with two brief statements really. This is sort of a formal/informal procedure, similar to when you might be greeting a bunch of coworkers in the morning before you start your day at a corporate job.

  1. Inner Child, good morning to you.

Inner Child’s response.

  1. Inner Child, how are you today (this am).

Inner Child’s response. 

This is very similar to when you are walking to your desk to start work, and so is everybody else who has to get to their desk on time. You know what I’m talking about if you’ve worked this type of job.

You are acknowledging each coworker pleasantly, but this is not the time to tell your life story or how much fun you had, or didn’t have, on the weekend. It is just a brief, standardized greeting, and off you go. This typically takes 1-2 minutes and sets the introduction to the interaction between the two selves.

Now, your session actually begins. At this point it is up to you, the Inner Parent to have a purpose for the session, which basically gives the Inner Child the next 25 mins or so to respond however it likes to your session type. This is the “meat” of your SELF-Parenting session for your Inner Child, to ultimately express itself, share experiences, and feelings, etc.

For beginning practitioners, I recommend two ideal session formats. They are:  

  1. A module session where you just pick up where you last left on your current module.
  2. Or, a Dialog Template session, where you ask the three questions as explained on the website.

Both these session formats always lead to a positive and informative session. They don’t allow for long monologues by the Inner Child about “whatever” where the IC just says anything to fill in the time with the Inner Parent zoning out half the time. Your session continues with this focus until about 2 mins to go.


When you are about at the 28-minute mark, your Inner Parent says:

“Inner Child, is there anything else you want to tell me before we end this session?”

Similar to the circled TY, this is indicated on the IP side by writing “Anything?” and then circling it, while you speak the words. This lets your Inner Child know that the session time is close to ending, and it gets to say anything that might be additional to the session topic, or any final thoughts within a two minute window. The Inner Child knows it’s a 30 min session, so this usually goes well. It’s not going to bring up some major issue as it knows your session is about to end. If it does, then it learns quickly enough not to.

If you haven’t developed this INTRO/OUTRO protocol through my coaching or your own experience, start to apply these protocols as the Inner Parent, and you’ll find your session dynamics will improve and become more “crisp.”

One More Session Protocol

Another common support query I hear at this stage, is:

         “My IC complains that I never say anything
           other than to ask questions.”

I may address this in another post perhaps, but basically the proper response, as the Inner Parent in the Beginner months, is always,

        TYICFTMT, until you become an Intermediate Practitioner.

The first Intermediate module of SELF-Parenting delves deeply into how the Inner Parent is allowed and encouraged to respond to the Inner Child, but only after this initial foundational preparation has been completed.

Your Inner Child will “get it.” You just have to be consistent about this as an Inner Parent. This is super important for when sessions get a bit tougher in your later months/years of practice.

Another Inner Child complaint related to this is:

        “My IC said it wanted to hear my opinions
          or at least that I answer its questions.”

        “It gets quite annoyed because
         I don’t answer questions, just ask them.”

Again, the proper response to anything like this is: wait for it!


This is proper “Inner Parent” training if you will. Providing your Inner Parent with this practice now is the foundation it’s going to need later, 1-2 years from now, when things possibly get a little more convoluted and uglier and your Inner Child starts to challenge your positions. You need to know how to say, TYICFTMT before anything else.

Hopefully you’ll start these habits early in your SELF-Parenting practice, so they become second nature and recede gently into the background of your skillset as the IP.

If you have any questions or issues on this topic, please let me know.