Internal Family Systems Therapy
What is Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy?
Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is a cutting edge model that is quickly growing due to the amazing power in this system. Research of the efficacy of IFS is constantly being done and the results are astounding. But what really is this model and how can it help you? IFS is founded on an assumption that we all, yes you too, have a core Self that is powerful, amazing, compassionate, and filled with love and gratitude. The goal of IFS is to work from this amazing place inside you that is you towards all other parts of you. It teaches you how to be your own healer, therapist, friend and meet your own internal needs. IFS is a systems model and recognizes there is a complex interplay of parts within you. Each part of you is valuable and holds a positive intention for you. Our job in therapy is to help parts recognize that sometimes the beliefs they hold, the actions they take, and overwhelming feelings they have are based on something from the past that is no longer happening. We work together to help heal wounded parts to help other parts transform the way they operate inside you. Maybe this makes some sense to you or maybe you’re not certain what I’m talking about. IFS is something that begins to make sense and have drastic impacts once you practice it. It can be a bit confusing to understand parts language talk. So if that’s you, not fully clear…
IFS Could be Right for you if…
You lived through childhood trauma and continue to experience CPTSD or PTSD symptoms such as hypervigilance, dissociation, guilt, loneliness, intrusive thoughts, or suicidal thoughts.
Anxiety is a common experience in your life with constant being on edge, working towards perfection, feeling pressured to care for everyone else
Depression has its grip on your life. You have a lack of motivation, mundane tasks feel challenging, you feel numb to life, you want out of life and think of suicide.
Self-criticism, low-self esteem, or lack of confidence are normal for you.
Unworthiness, hopelessness, feeling not good enough, or feeling unlovable invade your life.
Anger or irritability are often experienced.
Relationship struggles show up.
Suicidal thoughts, urges, or feelings have been a common experience.
You might be wondering how will IFS lead to healing?
1. Deep Understanding
You will have experiences with all your parts where you will understand the beliefs, actions, and feelings the part holds. Not only a logical understanding but also an emotional body felt experience where you may experience yourself melt with gratitude. You will fully understand your part.
2. Caring for
When you fully understand your part caring for your needs becomes much clearer. Your part will be able to tell you exactly what they need. Then you can provide that for yourself. You will no longer have to look for healing to come from your parent, therapist, friend, you will know deep in your bones you can provide for your own needs.
3. Living from Your
The more times you work with individual parts you will begin to get a sense of your system as a whole. As you work with parts you, Self, shines forth more and more. The more you shine forth the easier it is to live from your inner power. This powerful amazing place has always been inside you. Life circumstances, maybe trauma, covered up who you really are in order to try and protect you from getting hurt and wounded; that’s what parts do. They step in to protect you. What they don’t know when you were younger was your true core Self could not get hurt. Now you have the opportunity to heal your inner parts and live from a Self led place where you welcome each and every part.
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“IFS is more than a therapeutic technique. It is a conceptual framework and practice for developing love for ourselves and each other.”
-Richard C. Schwartz Ph.D.