The Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach, developed by Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D in the 1990’s, assumes each individual possesses a variety of sub-personalities, or “parts”. Each part has its own perspective, interests, memories, and viewpoint. Parts can have either “extreme roles” or healthy roles. IFS attempts to get to know how these parts are organized and understand each of these parts to better to achieve healing. By learning how different parts function as a system and how the overall system reacts to other systems and other people, an IFS therapist is better able to identify the roots of conflict, manage potential complications, and promote well-being.
A core tenet of IFS is that every part has a positive intent for the person, even if its actions or effects are counterproductive or cause dysfunction. This means that there is never any reason to fight with, coerce, or try to eliminate a part; the IFS method promotes internal connection and harmony.
IFS also sees people as being whole, underneath this collection of parts. Everyone has a true self or spiritual center, known as the Self to distinguish it from the parts. Even people whose experience is dominated by parts have access to this Self and its healing qualities of curiosity, connectedness, compassion, and calmness.
The IFS’s therapist's job is to help the client to disentangle themselves from their parts and access the Self, which can then connect with each part and heal it, so that the parts can let go of their destructive roles and enter into a harmonious collaboration, led by the Self.
I've trained with Bruce Hersey, LSCW and Lois Ehrmann, PhD for IFS and found this technique to be very powerful and a life changing approach for many of my patients.
Copyright © 2022 Restore Hope Therapy, PC - All Rights Reserved.