Internal Family Systems IFS
You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For
IFS is more than a therapeutic technique. It is a conceptual framework and practice for developing love for ourselves and each other ~ Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.
INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS IFS
IFS recognize that our psyches are made up of different parts, sometimes called sub-personalities. You can think of them as little people inside us. Each has its own perspective, feelings, memories, goals, and motivations. For example, one part of you might be trying to lose weight and another part might want to eat whatever you want. We all have parts like the inner critic, the abandoned child, the pleaser, the angry part, and the loving caretaker.
IFS have discovered that every part has a positive intent for you, no matter how problematic it might be.
The IFS model has 5 basic assumptions:
- The human mind is subdivided into an unknown number of parts.
- Each person has a Self, and the Self should be the chief agent in coordinating the inner family.
- Parts engaging in non-extreme behaviour are beneficial to the individual. There is no such thing as a “bad part.” Therapy aims to help parts discover their non-extreme roles.
- Personal growth and development leads to the development of the internal family. Interactions between parts become more complex, allowing for systems theory to be applied to the internal system. Reorganization of the internal system may lead to rapid changes in the roles of parts.
- Adjustments made to the internal system will result in changes to the external system and vice versa. Therefore, both the internal and external systems need to be adequately assessed.
There are three distinct types of parts in the IFS model:
- Managers are responsible for maintaining a functioning level of consciousness in daily life by warding off any unwanted or counterproductive interactions, emotions, or experiences resulting from external stimuli.
- Exiles are most often in a state of pain or trauma, which may result from childhood experiences. Managers and fire-fighters exile these parts and prevent them from reaching the conscious level so that proper functioning and preservation are maintained.
- Fire-fighters serve as a distraction to the mind when exiles break free from suppression. In order to protect the consciousness from feeling the pain of the exiles, fire-fighters prompt a person to act on impulse and engage in behaviours that are indulgent, addictive, and often times abusive. Fire-fighters may redirect attention to other areas such as sex, work, food, alcohol, or drugs.
Managers and fire-fighters play the role of Protectors, while exiles are parts that are protected.
Want to know more about Internal Family Systems IFS? Please visit: https://selfleadership.org/
I am always open about my thought process and the approaches I use because I consider the work to be collaboration.
Here are some of the issues I work with:
- Emerging from depression
- Becoming less anxious, more relaxed, more confident
- Healing traumatic memories that may be inhibiting or upsetting you in the present
- Improving your relationship with yourself
- Improving your relationship with others
- Taming a harsh inner critic
- Mastering panic attacks
- Overcoming phobias
- Grieving in a healthy way
- And other issues as well
Regardless of the issues, my overall goal is to provide a place that is welcoming and confidential where you can engage with a skilled psychotherapist to create positive changes in your life.
My Unique Approaches
I don’t confine myself to any single theoretical orientation. I utilize a variety of approaches favouring brief solution focused (BSF) methods. My goal is to ensure you get the changes you want effectively and quickly.
My practice is influenced by Positive psychology, Human Givens psychology, Internal Family Systems, Focusing, Emotional Intelligence, Positive NeuroPlasticity Therapies and Hypnosis.
It's All About You
I may have a favorite theory or therapeutic technique that I tend to use more often or fall back on, but I am always willing to and often use all that are available to me.
After all, the key here is to help the client as quickly and as effectively as possible ~ Not to pigeon-hole them into some set way of looking at all people, whether it works for them or not.
Contact me if you could benefit from a therapist who will work with you to find the solutions that YOU want, efficiently and effectively.