top of page

 Internal Family Systems Therapy 

Inside, we are a System of Parts and Self. 

Have you ever felt like there is more than one part of you? Part of you might want to be compassionate and understanding with an important person in your life, but another part of you feels angry and resentful. Or have you ever had a big emotional reaction and wondered, “where did that part come from?” In the Internal Family Systems model, we are a system, kind of like a family, with our Parts organized around the essential core Self. IFS therapy brings together our experiences in the cognitive, emotional and somatic realms, and so is a powerful tool for effecting change within ourselves and the overall way we move in the world. 

IFS was created by Dr. Richard Schwartz starting in the 1980s and has grown, with many collaborators, to become a dynamic, integrative approach to psychotherapy. In the IFS view, Parts always have helpful intentions, and usually have specific jobs or tasks they do for us.  When Parts become disconnected from Self, as often happens during challenging or traumatic periods in our early life, they can start to act on their own in ways that cause problems in our past or current lives. These Parts can have a very young perspective: they’re stuck in time, running in the background with their old beliefs and big feelings until they are triggered to react. We also have Parts who are wise, kind and capable, and help us with all the different roles in our life: partner, parent, worker, friend, creator, and so on. If we try to exert control on problematic Parts or just get rid of them, they tend to get bigger and louder--just like people, they dig in. When the connection between Self and Parts is strong and healthy, Parts can get a wider view and decide for themselves if they want to keep doing what they’ve been doing, or if they want to help in a different way.  

By connecting Parts and Self, IFS therapy facilitates and builds these internal relationships in a similar way that family therapy functions with families, allowing the person’s system to run more smoothly and with clarity. The IFS approach helps us be “Self-Led” in all our relationships, and is especially helpful for parents because we have Parts that get activated as we interact with our kids. When we can meet and befriend these Parts, we are more able to be the parents we want to be.

Let’s Work Together

Get in touch so we can start working together.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Instagram

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page