I practice Internal Family Systems Therapy
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an experiential therapy approach focused on building a loving, safe, and secure relationship between yourself and various “parts” of you. The basic idea in IFS is that we all have an inner family of “parts” that work to keep us safe, fulfilled, and connected.
When painful experiences happen in our lives, our parts take on rigid roles to protect us from future pain, alleviate us from current pain, and to carry our past pain for us. These roles can lead to tension in our bodies, chronically depressed moods, fatigue, chronic health conditions, intrusive thoughts, distracted attention, extreme urges, and suicidal thoughts among other physical and mental symptoms.
Each of our “parts” have distinct subpersonalities, hopes, interests, qualities, and fears. Parts that are thrust into protective roles by painful events in our histories may or may not be interested in assuming these roles. The primary focus in IFS is to fully listen to, understand, and appreciate our protective and burdened parts’ experiences and to invite them to choose the qualities and actions they would prefer to take on.