Internal Family Systems Therapy

We all have an undamaged core Self that is the essence of who we are.
In addition to this Self, we also have sub-personalities or parts of ourselves with different wishes that live inside each of us.

Life is a fertile and beautiful experience.
If only you can fully participate at it!

Have you ever decided to start something new, only to find yourself following a different path just a few days later? Have you ever said, “A part of me wants to do one thing, but another part wants to do something else?” Do you find yourself reacting to someone or a situation in a way you really do not want, but find yourself unable to stop? In this instance, you are actually experiencing a part of yourself that is taking the lead and making choices for you — in spite of your better judgment.

Some of these parts can stop us from living fully, by repeatedly convincing ourselves that the only way to be is a safe and familiar way.

Attending to all of our parts can be the most liberating and expanding gift your can give yourself.

Have you ever felt completely objective, kind and able to spontaneously move into action? In these moments we are being self-led, and we are able to have a very clear, compassionate and courageous way of life.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a complete approach to come back to ourselves, as it addresses the sub-personalities within each of us. Some of our sub-personalities or parts consist of wounding experiences and painful emotions like anger, shame, and confusion. Some parts try to control and protect us from feeling any further pain and discomfort. The sub-personalities are often in conflict with each other and with our core Self.

It is a wonder that we manage to live with these tug of war voices inside of our heads. Thankfully there is a way to get to know these voices so they can work together with you, rather than against you.

The IFS approach focuses on healing the wounded parts and restoring mental balance and harmony by changing the dynamics that create discord among our sub-personalities and our Self.

How It Works

IFS was developed in the 1990s by family therapist Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. By setting aside preconceived notions about therapy and the mind, Dr. Schwartz began to really listen to what his clients were saying, and what he heard repeatedly were descriptions of what they often referred to as their ‘parts’, or the conflicted sub-personalities that resided within them.

General groups of parts:

MANAGERS / PROTECTORS

The parts which usually run our day-to-day life.
Managers/Protectors attempt to keep themselves in control of every situation and relationship in an effort to protect any parts from feeling hurt or rejection.

They can do this in any number of ways or through a combination of strategies that include striving, controlling, evaluating, caretaking, terrorizing and manipulating.
Most of us have an internal manager that’s experienced as our inner-critic. No matter how much good we do, that part always points out something negative and ends up making us feel ‘not good enough’.

EXILES

  1. Generally, younger parts that have experienced trauma and often become isolated from the rest of the system in an effort to protect you from feeling pain, terror, fear, etc.
  2. Exiles can become increasingly extreme and desperate in an effort to be cared for and tell their story.

FIREFIGHTERS

  1. The group of parts that react when exiles are activated in an effort to control and extinguish feelings.
  2. Firefighters do this in a number of ways, that include drug and alcohol use, binge-eating, excessive shopping, etc.
  3. They have the same goals as managers (to keep exiles away) but use different strategies.

All of our inner parts can be healed, transformed, and better managed by the Self by achieving the four goals of IFS:

  1. Free any our inner parts from their extreme roles. There are no “bad” parts, and the goal is not to eliminate parts but instead to help them find a new, healthier role.
  2. Unburden and retrieve the parts which were wounded and paralysed allowing them to release their original, essential qualities.
  3. Restore trust in the Self.
  4. Establish harmony in the relationship between the Self and the parts, so they can work together as a team, with the Self in charge.

This approach will help you:

  • You will feel stronger and resilient to enjoy life to its fullest.
  • Increase trust and courage in yourself.  Trust yourself. Self-disclosure and taking responsibility for your actions is incredibly liberating.
  • Release access to your the qualities of calmness, curiosity, clarity, compassion, confidence, creativity, courage, and connectedness.

Find out more how this revolutionary process of self-leadership can support the next growth leap in your journey.

FILM ‘THE ACCEPTABLE GIRL’ by Nic Askew

“… I thought the best part of me was actually the worst thing …
The opening to a perhaps disturbing yet hopeful two minute film. For those who are holding back and know it. Or perhaps don’t.”

— NIC ASKEW, SOUL BIOGRAPHIES & INNER VIEW METHOD ™