Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems Therapy
Internal Family Systems Therapy
Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems Therapy, IFS is a transformative tool that conceives every human being as a system of protective and wounded inner parts lead by a core Self. We believe the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing. Just like members of a family, inner parts are forced from their valuable states into extreme roles within us. Self is in everyone. It can’t be damaged. It knows how to heal. 

IFS is frequently used as an evidence-based psychotherapy, helping people heal by accessing and healing their protective and wounded inner parts. IFS creates inner and outer connectedness by helping people first access their Self and, from that core, come to understand and heal their parts.  

Having originally trained as a Gestalt therapist and then in Systemic Family Therapy, my current interest and ongoing training in Internal Family Systems Therapy fits together well. 

Through Gestalt therapy we set up a dialogue perhaps between two parts of self, using two chairs. This lends itself well to working with parts of self in IFS.

In response to danger, the individuals in human systems at all levels take on roles that can be categorised by three groups. One group tends to be highly protective, strategic, and interested in controlling the environment to keep things safe. In IFS we call the members of this group ‘managers’.

The second group, the more sensitive members of this system can feel injured, hurt, outraged and the managers will banish them from the system for their own protection. These parts are called ‘exiles’

The third part reacts powerfully and automatically without concern for consequences, known in Internal Family Systems as ‘firefighters’ – fighting the flames of exiled emotions.

The more strength of feeling, hurt, reaction in the exiled part the more the protective parts, the managers and firefighters, fear it’s release and the harder these parts work to suppress and restrain.

In Internal Family Systems Therapy we will investigate your system’s level.

“Once parts open inner space, the Self also exudes energy. Some people feel this energy as a kind of vibrating, pulsing charge that moves through their bodies…. Our healing wisdom is contained in the Self …Once we are able to love our parts, we can also relate with love to people who resemble our parts.”

Internal Family Systems Therapy 
Richard C Schwartz and Martha Sweezy

If you'd like to find out more, then do get in touch and we can have an initial chat free of charge.