Presley Pizzo - Parts with Presley

Presley Pizzo

Parts with Presley

I help people do hard things without being hard on themselves. If you want to learn more about how you can accomplish your goals without using fear and shame to motivate you, sign up for a free clarity call below. she/her

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"IFS was completely new to me, but I heard about it from a close friend. From our clarity call, I could tell that working with Presley felt like being guided by a friend who wants the best for you but will tell you the hard truths, except Presley just gently guides and you discover what is true for you. Having done many forms of coaching and therapy over the years, I can honestly say that I have accomplished more and felt better with IFS and Presley than any other modality or coach. Thank you Presley."

Anne K.

When I started coaching with Presley, I was having a lot of trouble getting started on projects. The only way I could get myself to do hard things was to use adrenaline-fueled hyperfixation. I had to feel like I was under threat in order to be motivated. And even then, I was struggling to do things. Over the course of doing the Painless Productivity package, everything got 15-20% easier and less stressful. I signed up for a course that I previously would have been too intimidated to try, and I'm off to a good start on it! I still can't believe I chose this course, but I found my genuine interest in it and that helps me be less afraid to be wrong. In the past, I would have motivated myself to work on this topic by looking at other people's GitHub projects and then making myself feel so bad about it that I needed to do it. But now, I'm not going to do that. I'm going to find what I actually care about and what I actually want to do that has nothing to do with feeling like I need to compare myself to someone else. Even though I'm moving past my need to use adrenaline and threats to motivate myself, our work together made me admire this driven part of me that used adrenaline to push me all my life. Now I look at all the obstacles I've faced and think, "I really had to overcome all that to do things, and still kept up that drive most of my life? That’s amazing!" And yet, I don't have to use that fear-based drive all the time anymore. Now I am learning that I can feel safe and calm, and be active at the same time. It’s a brand new world, and I'm taking baby steps into it. Of course I haven't become perfectly productive, but after these few months of coaching, I feel ready to explore this new world on my own.

Melissa Post

Presley creates a safe container to explore certain parts of my Self that I have otherwise struggled to acknowledge and embrace. Her approach to this work is client-centered, mindful, and supportive. She allows the dialogue to unfold within the session organically with curiosity and encouragement. Presley's ability to stay present, hold space, and respond with thoughtful compassion is a testament to her character as a person and coach, and I highly recommend working with her!

Jenn M.

I felt alone in caring for my mom and I always felt on “high” alert that she would get hurt or become ill and I would be responsible. The parts work has helped me understand that there were certain beliefs about myself and my role causing these feelings. I now understand these parts wanted to protect me from panic and guilt. I was able to communicate with these parts during an activity on vacation when I started thinking about the dangers. I told the parts that it could be dangerous but there were others who could handle the issues and that we should enjoy the experience. When mom fell, I was able to let the parts know that other family members could handle the situation and I trusted these people to call me if they couldn’t. I am truly amazed at how quickly this method can be used in day to day tasks and situations. It becomes a natural way to relate to the self. Presley seemed to understand some of my analogies and symbolisms even when I thought they were silly or not important.


Even though I had the willpower and grit to take on learning coding for the first time, making progress was a nightmare. Struggling with difficult to learn concepts and new ways of tackling them went way beyond impostor syndrome; studying Python regularly left me in tears and dreading the next session. Reassurances from other programmers that struggling and frustration was "normal" didn't help because I could tell even though it might not be more difficult for me to learn to code, it was more difficult for me to control my emotions and the feelings of self-recrimination that grew out of them. Parts work drew me as an interesting modality but its emphasis on parsing yourself out into different sub-personalities was pretty far from my experience of my inner life. Still, I could tell I had a lot of inner conflict over my decision to learn to code and other parts of IFS, like the Self, drew my interest and curiosity. Presley did a fantastic job as a parts coach, letting me take my own time and cater my way of expressing myself to work with the modality. Working through my feelings and my parts, her work with me helped me realize that I tried to tell myself a story that coding was "more important" than the creative work I had been so happy to rediscover in my thirties after half a decade of pushing it aside to carve out my ability to survive post-divorce. I realized I needed to make space for the intellectual pursuits that were important to me emotionally and existentially in order to make space for career development. She also helped me realize I needed to stop trying to push aside my feelings of frustration and defeat when I was coding, and I had to learn to accept that I was someone who maybe felt their frustration more intensely even if it was inconvenient or "weird." Giving myself space to feel upset when something didn't click--instead of trying to argue myself out of feeling bad learning a really challenging skill--ultimately helped me take another stab at learning a concept sooner. It also helped me give myself permission to take a break when I needed to instead of when I thought I should need to. Ultimately, I realized it was toxic to try and force myself to feel positive all the time when I'm learning coding or other challenging STEM subjects. Recriminating myself for feeling defeated when I was struggling only added more fuel to the fire of self-hatred. Learning that I had to accept my bad feelings helped me realize that feeling things intensely gives me other gifts like empathy, creativity, and joy. Accepting those feelings helped me bring more self-love to other struggles and interactions and helped me realize even feeling bad about yourself over shit that doesn't matter in the cosmic scheme of the universe is normal and human. Not unlike grief, you have to move through those feelings instead of forcing yourself into an even deeper cycle of shame and self-recrimination.

Kate C.

This was amazing. Before working with Presley, I had trouble being able to focus on one worry at a time and figure out which had higher priority, both in reality and in my head. Just because one worry was the biggest in my head didn’t mean it was the biggest in reality! Through Finding Mindfulness, I learned how to sit still with my thoughts and not be overwhelmed by the Greek chorus of worries. Presley gave me something important, which was being able to tell different parts that they’ll get their turn so I could listen to one at a time. That means it’s okay to give voice to thoughts of less successful experiences and painful times, because they need to be examined too. I realized you need to celebrate your wins but also understand where the feeling of failure and loss comes from. That was big. I would recommend Finding Mindfulness to people who are serious about getting to know themselves better and are ready to take a good hard look in the mirror and see what’s behind their eyeballs. Working with Presley felt safe, supportive, and non-judgmental. I knew I could trust that everything I told Presley would stay in confidence under the umbrella of the work we do together.


It has been such a pleasure to work with Presley. She has a big heart and a genuine desire to help others. She is very professional and has been very patient and accommodating to my needs in sessions. I have struggled to relax and find peace and joy in my day to day. Working with Presley has helped me gain a greater understanding of myself, more inner peace, and self-confidence. I think anyone who is looking to access more mindfulness and work through stress, self-sabotage, or other challenges would truly benefit from working with Presley as a coach. I am glad to have had the opportunity to work with and continue to work with Presley!

Eileen A.

I joined Presley’s Solstice Meditation livestream and really enjoyed the focus and peace that the session brought me. I was able to speak to parts of myself that I had not been listening to or trying to understand. This helped me process some difficult feelings and emotions, so I signed up to work with Presley more regularly with four IFS-informed coaching sessions. Presley’s guidance through these sessions has been centering and helped me to reach some eye opening realizations. These sessions quickly became spaces where I could relax, attempt to quiet my “thinking” part (sometimes an overthinker), and connect with my body and how I was feeling. This helped me hear other parts that were being shouted down or ignored. Engaging with a part that sets low expectations out of a fear of disappointment and another part that wants and deserves more helped me to understand some feelings of frustration, conflict, and tension and how they affect my behaviors and emotions.

Name Withheld

[Note from Presley: Through coaching, Anne and I discovered that her focus and ability to achieve her goals were compromised by her people pleasing tendencies. As we worked with her people pleasing parts, she let me know the impact it was having on her life and gave me permission to share.] "This week something happened which in the past would’ve triggered an internal conflict and which would’ve been really stressful for my pleaser part. But I felt quite calm deciding that not only was I not going to do what was being asked of me but I was going to take my time to reply when convenient. Someone emailed me wanting to get information that it's not appropriate for me to give them. Asking me in an indirect and kind of manipulative way (which I have previously found particularly triggering) – but – I just thought to myself, no, I’m not going to do that and I’m in no hurry to reply. In the past I would not have passed on the private contact details – but I would’ve been anxious, angry and conflicted about the situation. Not wanting to lose the good will of the person making the request for help, not wanting to say no “in the wrong way” and upset them and would likely have discussed the situation with various other people to get validation for my position – and to seek their support etc. Maybe even going as far as to ask others to make a joint statement with me on the inappropriateness of such requests etc. I would also have analysed all the reasons why I considered this request inappropriate – checking from every angle that I was justified in not complying with the request (exhausting!) and would’ve felt resentful that I put so much effort into getting great industry guest speakers for our events and instead of being thanked and feeling appreciated, I just get to deal with this kind of inappropriate request… that’s pretty much how I’ve responded to similar situations. But this time, I just felt mildly annoyed. I felt clear and calm about how I was going to respond. Shrug. That's how some people are. I haven't replied yet – but I don't feel the dreadful internal feeling of "obligation" to satisfy another person's wishes, needs, requests etc. I just felt a kind of quiet calm, that I have my boundaries and I'm going to honour them. And it's okay if that person doesn't like it or has negative feelings towards me about it."

Anne F.

I entered coaching this time feeling desperate for help - I was experiencing panic attacks about work over the last few years, and deeply angry with myself for not working on tasks I knew were vitally important. Angry, frustrated, and even scared - was this slump ever going to turn around? Am I permanently burned out?? Affirmations and meditation and standard life coaching were not chipping away at this core issue. EMDR was cooling things off but not moving the needle. I was tired of reexplaining my life story to yet another therapist, looking for a good match. I had started some self-learning courses on IFS and had begun taking in the work of Jay Earley and Richard Schwartz. It was really resonating. But I was having a hard time moving from the research/analysis paralysis phase into really doing the work on myself – perhaps in part due to the otherness I (she/her/hers) was feeling from the paternalistic West Coast white male undertones of these yet brilliant IFS practitioners. I’m grateful for the coaching venue because it gives me access to practitioners that I couldn’t otherwise work with. But previous “life” coaching experiences sometimes left me feeling unseen or unheard. Like being handed advice that you feel doesn't really fit. With Presley’s IFS informed coaching, this never happened. Parts work with Presley in her productivity series was not as hands-on-deck granular-to-my-work as life coaching had been - with Presley, we discussed work goals, but my own preconception of Parts work was limited and I didn’t see how they would integrate. In retrospect this guided Parts work, even though it was often truly exhausting, reached deeper into my issues than anything else I’ve ever tried. I’m ending the series not only with pervasive experiences, but very granular, hands-on ways of coping with and bouncing back from my work (and interrelational) triggers. Presley’s skills and direction within the Coaching paradigm really puts the onus on the client to direct the work into a safe area, which is incredibly empowering and builds a highly functional skillset. When I started working with Presley, her very calm and attuned attention combined with the familiarity of her presence, helped my Parts to feel trusting, and to allow me to unblend and see them. It’s hard to explain, and there were times when I dragged myself to session because I knew it would be exhausting and intense. With Presley’s presence and guidance I was able to experience some very deep grieving under the overwhelm, and start to unpack all my self-blame. Without processing this decades-old damage, I’m pretty sure I’d just keep on burning myself out in the same spiral. The results of this work are ongoing. Some of my projects are gaining ground, and others are benefitting from rethinking. I’m gaining more ease in switching from being in my head to cultivating a somatic awareness when I notice resistance to a task or situation, and more ease in switching from being in the torrent of competing interests and negative self talk, to standing outside and observing with curiosity. This is helping me to bring a lot more compassion and empathy into my inner life, which is freeing more energy for the work I need to do. Everyone is feeling more supported - in my Internal Family and in my external one. I plan to continue with another package of sessions with Presley to continue to maintain these new pathways in my thought habits, and to start to open the circle out into understanding interpersonal interactions in an IFS framework. I’m so so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Presley on my self growth journey! She is amazing and intuitive in IFS work. In addition she is a fantastic writer. Her insightful blog articles are another resource and gift. I’m looking forward to working with her again and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend - if you are feeling stuck - learning more about IFS, and working with Presley as your coach to move ahead with this heart-opening, highly compassionate inner work.

Chris F.

Working with Presley as a parts work coach has been extremely worthwhile and has enabled change in ways I did not realize were possible before I embarked on this work. Presley is extremely well versed in Internal Family Systems, and asks thoughtful questions to help her clients engage with their parts from a place of compassion and open-mindedness. As a result, she has been able to help me work through challenges and implement effective and sustainable solutions. Working with Presley over time, I've been able to experience more of the "self" being in the driver's seat. Rather than specific parts automatically taking over the system, I'm able to pause and engage the self with that part in a consultative way. The outcome of this engagement both reduces stress and overwhelm, and increases productivity. I can't recommend enough working with Presley as a parts work coach, and I would be happy to chat with anyone who would like to know more about my experience!

Jess S.

This work helped me think about myself differently. Aspects of my work that were leading towards burnout feel less overwhelming and more manageable. Areas of my personal life where I knew “something” was missing now feel like areas where I know what I want to change. Most of my best progress came from exploring unpleasant parts, but I felt supported throughout. I appreciate that this is something I can keep working on independently now that I’ve got a good start, but I can also schedule extra sessions if I feel like I’m stuck.


I greatly enjoyed doing Finding Mindfulness with Presley. Presley struck a good balance between leading sessions and providing clear steps and structure while adapting to my needs. She is warm and supportive and creates a safe environment for being a little vulnerable. And if parts of you are nervous about being vulnerable and are hesitant anyway, she understands and can work with that, too. In addition to the individual sessions, Presley worked to help me expand upon and practice the work in between sessions. This involved identifying something to work on in between sessions as well as sending the occasional text message with exercises, several of which were very helpful to me. This helped me get more out of the sessions and incorporate the insights into my daily life. Presley is very open to feedback and often acts on it, in big and small ways. She had a visual aid that I mentioned made more sense to me as a flowchart, and by the next session she had made a flow chart version of it. I’m sure that this course will only get better, more helpful, and more enjoyable to take over time.


When I signed up for Finding Mindfulness, I was struggling with feeling bombarded with constant thoughts and self-critique. I knew that mindfulness practice had the potential to help reduce these thoughts, but was having a hard time accessing a mindfulness practice that worked for me (e.g. many failed attempts at meditation). At least some of the time now I am able to take a pause when I feel bombarded with thoughts, and go through the exercise of unblending the various parts that are contributing to the cacophony. I have been able to notice a thought, e.g. "someone's driving in a way that pisses me off" - and say to myself "well that's just a thought, and it will pass." This has helped me identify and show compassion to the parts in need of that, and has helped me see glimmers of my “self” among the parts. It was really awesome to work with Presley! She has clearly done extensive work in understanding how to make mindfulness practice accessible using IFS and other tools, and she has a gentle and thoughtful approach that helped me learn and even internalize the practice. I would encourage anyone with an interest in tools for self reflection, mindfulness, or parts work to work with Presley. She’s a fantastic and highly capable coach!


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