Internal Family Systems
Have you ever felt like one part of you really wanted to eat a healthier diet while another part of you wanted to indulge in junk food? Perhaps even a third part was judgmental and critical every time you grabbed the chocolate or donuts, while a fourth part of you felt shame for giving into your urges?
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an evidence-based, integrative, mind/body approach to therapy. It is based on the idea that each person has different “parts” (aspects of the self) that sometimes work against one another, or have very differing views about how we should take care of ourselves. Each “part” has its reason for doing what it is doing (for example, the part of you that likes to eat eat junk food may find that it relieves stress and promotes short-term pleasure). IFS is different than other types of therapy in that it does not judge or pathologize parts’ behaviors and feelings. However, when parts take on extreme roles in our systems we become overwhelmed and may get stuck in patterns of behavior that do not serve us (for instance, if the only way you can relieve stress is by eating junk food and as a result your health is declining).
The goal of IFS is to integrate and harmonize these different parts of ourselves so that we are not simply reacting to life from a place of wounding, fear, anger, or despair but rather actively choosing a life that aligns with our core values and our authentic selves.
In our work together using IFS we will identify, understand, and heal various parts of you so that they do not take over your life and run the show. Through IFS, you will gain a deeper and more compassionate understanding of yourself and become more aligned with your values and inner guidance. You will learn to connect to your core “Self” (the innate wisdom held inside of you), gain better control of your behaviors and emotions, and find compassion and tranquility within.
You can learn more about IFS here.