IFS (Internal Family Systems) is effective and powerful precisely because it is gentle and respectful.
Some clients are happy to use the process and not think about how it works. That's perfectly fine. Others want to understand the theory behind IFS and that's fine, too.
If you're someone who wants to know more about how we believe IFS works, this list of some of the key principles of the IFS model is for you!
- IFS teaches us to appreciate the natural complexity inside all of us. IFS believes we each have a "multiplicity of mind" as opposed to a "unity of personality."
- Especially as children, we learn multiple ways of behaving around our caretakers and other key people in order to protect us and keep us safe.
- IFS calls these patterns "parts," "aspects," or "personalities."
- Through IFS, we learn to recognize our many parts and appreciate how each of our parts is trying to help us.
- These learned patterns or parts continue to appear throughout our life and, if they become extreme, can cause us difficulty when we are triggered.
- Our first impulse is usually to wish we could get rid of these difficult parts, but that is not possible.
- Instead, IFS teaches us how to treat these multiple aspects of ourselves with respect and compassion.
- IFS helps us access something deeper than rational thought. Thinking has helped us survive childhood but is largely ineffective in helping us change deep-seated problems.
- IFS gives us support in learning how to access our "best Self," an inner power that has always been with us, but has frequently been overshadowed by our protective parts.
- The gentleness of the IFS approach gains the trust and cooperation of our protector parts, which allows us to connect with and heal the hurt parts that have been hidden away inside of us.
- As we learn to approach our parts with compassion, our seemingly difficult parts can soften, recognize that they are no longer in a trauma situation, and become peacefully integrated into our internal system.
- This deep healing frees us to function much more calmly, creatively, and confidently.
In this video, Tori Olds introduces key concepts of the IFS model
Tori has other YouTube videos on IFS, too.
You don't need to remember or understand all of this to begin using IFS to begin transforming your life! That's my job.
I have specialized in providing IFS therapy because working with IFS lights my fire. I'd be honored to help you turn your life around with IFS, too.
If you're curious about whether IFS could work for you, let's set up a brief conversation so we can talk about what your goals and needs are.