Internal Family Systems Therapy

All Parts Are Welcome

When I came across Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), I was immediately drawn to its approach to restoring wholeness in human beings. For me, therapy and cultivating an awe-inspiring life is about becoming more whole rather than becoming perfect and this model really underlines that.

Despite its name, it has nothing to do with family therapy, instead IFS is an incredibly empowering transformative, evidence-based model of psychotherapy. Unlike many other approaches, IFS is based on the realisation that in any given moment, no single feeling or experience represents all of who we are. Humans are one magnificent and complicated whole being, made up of parts.

For example, when you wake up in the morning, you might be aware of

  • the part of you that would like to stay in bed and
  • the part that wants to get up and be productive.

There may be even more parts at play that you are less aware of, such as

  • the part that is shaming the part that wants to stay in bed

And somewhere underneath all of it

  • the part that feels deep shame for not being good enough.

This same principle is true from life’s simplest decisions, right through to the areas of greatest struggle. We can be torn and in a state of inner conflict or we can be in a state of inner kindness, which makes even the hardest of times less difficult.

We have many parts, but we are not only our parts.

We also have within us a totally undamaged and always present Self. Our Self has the characteristics of compassion, clarity, curiosity, confidence, creativity, connection, courage and much more. When we can be in a place of Self-leadership – the aim of IFS – then we can have inner sanctuary, an collection of inner parts that are in harmony with each other and resourced to meet the world.

I have trained in IFS (Level 2) and in IFS relationship therapy (IFIO) and love to work using this model and integrate it into my other ways of working.

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