Internal Family Systems Therapy
What is Internal Family Systems?
Transformative psychotherapy… and empowering paradigm. Internal Family Systems is a powerfully transformative, evidence-based model of psychotherapy. We believe the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing. Our inner parts contain valuable qualities and our core Self knows how to heal, allowing us to become integrated and whole. In IFS all parts are welcome. IFS is a movement. A new, empowering paradigm for understanding and harmonizing the mind and, thereby, larger human systems. One that can help people heal and helps the world become a more compassionate place. (From the IFS website).
In Internal Family Systems Therapy we think of ourselves as a multiplicity of parts. This may sound funny at first, but it is quite natural for us to speak about the part of us that wants to go out for a walk, while another part of us wants to stay cozy at home. We have a part of ourselves that's very professional, and another part that's playful and silly with our children. We have parts that come out when we get triggered by our partner or parts that get overwhelmed with anxiety, depression, anger, or panic. IFS expands on this idea and helps us organize and relate to our different parts with curiousity and compassion. This can be especially important when we have parts that we don't fully understand and ones that we wish we didn't have or would like to get rid of. Richard Schwartz, the founder of IFS discovered that when we move towards these parts in a supportive enviornment, we learn that all parts of us, even ones that deeply trouble us, are trying to help us in some way. This process of moving towards, and getting to know parts can be greatly freeing, healing, and transforming. Ultimately our goal is to get intimate with our internal family of parts so that our highest sense of self can lead with curiousity, compassion, calmness, clarity, creativity, confidence, courage, and connectedness.