Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a transformational counselling method devised by Richard Schwartz of the Center for Self-Leadership, USA. It offers compassion and hope and a way of understanding your inner Self and the parts that make up your personality. IFS therapy can bring healing and transformation of the personality by empowering the Self with all its creative resources to take leadership of the internal system. By doing so, it can heal hurt and fragmented parts of the mind.
This method is used by therapists of all orientations as well as those interested in personal and spiritual growth and its use in professional practice.
The aim of therapy is to enable you to access your True SELF, in essence to LOVE.
Characteristics of SELF include what is called in the IFS Model the 8 ‘C’s which include a felt sense of:
Internal Family Systems recognises that not only do we have a true SELF but all also operate with ‘parts’and sometimes these impact on our ability to operate from SELF. IFS breaks these parts into three working categories Managers (proactive and run our daily life), Firefighters (reactive and want to distract us) and Exiles (they hold the memories, the sensations and emotions of difficult events in the past. You might have forgotten the experience in conscious memory or may have minimised the impact but exiles are desperate to be heard and unburdened and therefore continue to show or hide themselves in many ways.)
Trying to be perfect; People Pleasing; Taking care of others; Criticising yourself and others; Avoiding risks; Worrying; Apathy; Being Passive and Pessimistic; Controlling your body or your environment or others; Achieving; Striving; Pressuring; Denial; Numbing; Shutting down; Withdrawal
Anxiety; Panic; Hyper-vigilance; Digestive problems; Pains; Illnesses; Cravings and impulses in things like using alcohol/drugs/pornography, Self -harming, Numbing, Eating too much or too little, Sleeping disorders; Watching too much TV; Spacing out /dissociating; Sexual acting out e.g. having affairs; Driving dangerously etc.
Emptiness, Shame, Lethargy, Depression, Pain, Depletion of your energy, Overwhelming emotion and sensations like rage, Feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy; Feelings of something being ‘wrong’ with you.
The aim of IFS therapy is to enable you to access your True SELF, in essence to LOVE. IFS does so, not by rejecting or ignoring these parts who have been, on many accounts doing a great job for you over the years, but by providing a specific way of getting to know these parts and offering a method to unburden and free them from their extreme feelings and beliefs.
Best of all, however, come along and experience a session.