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. The following video clip will help you to understand better the information that follows it.
- In Internal Family Systems, referred to as IFS, it is understood that t is the nature of the mind to be subdivided into an indeterminate number of subpersonalities or parts. Subpersonalities are aspects of our personality that interact internally in similar ways in which people interact. These Parts may be experienced in any number of ways — thoughts, feelings, sensations, images, and more.
- In addition to the parts, everyone has a Self, and the Self can and should lead the individual’s internal system. When differentiated, the Self is competent, secure, self-assured, relaxed, and able to listen and respond to feedback. When a person is “in Self” they will often describe this as feeling centered or a sense of peace. The Self can and should lead the internal system.
- All parts have a positive intention for the person and will use a variety of strategies to have influence within the internal system. At times conflicts will arise between parts in the internal system, just as conflicts occur in other relationships. These divisions internally are called polarizations. Most people can relate to having more than one opinion or feeling on a topic.
- However, Parts can become extreme and carry “burdens” — energies that are not inherent in the function of the part and don’t belong to the nature of the part, such as extreme beliefs, emotions, or fantasies. Parts can be helped to “unburden” and return to their natural balance.
- The non-extreme intention of each part is something positive for the individual. There are no “bad” parts, and the goal of therapy is not to eliminate parts but instead to help them find their non-extreme roles.
- OVERALL GOALS OF THERAPY
- To achieve balance and harmony within the internal system
- To differentiate and elevate the Self so it can be an effective leader in the system
- When the Self is in the lead, the parts will provide input to the Self but will respect the leadership and ultimate decision making of the Self.
- All parts will exist and lend talents that reflect their non-extreme intentions.
- For additional information and resources please check out the following website:
If you are interested in working with a therapist in this modality, please contact us today.