Internal Family Systems or IFS is a therapeutic modality that views the human mind as having multiple different “parts” or sub-personalities.
Isn’t that like multiple personalities?
No, it is very normal.
Have you ever heard yourself say “part of me feels like this, but another part of me feels like that”?
Have you ever been in a relationship that left you feeling lost? Perhaps part of you felt like you couldn’t trust your partner, while another part of you told you you were just being insecure or paranoid. Maybe another part felt that you deserved better, but yet another part of you feared being alone.
We all naturally talk and think in terms of parts.
When does this become a problem?
When two or more parts of us feel different ways about a decision or way of being, it can cause a massive amount of inner conflict, indecisiveness, and self-doubt. One part may really want to make new friends, for example, while another part with social anxiety may fear talking to new people.
The conflict between these two parts can get so bad that we may feel as if nothing we do is right. If we give into the desire to make new friends by talking to someone new and it goes poorly, our social anxiety part may criticize us for trying with an “I told you so” type of attitude. On the other hand, you may get invited to a party and decline because of your anxiety. This may lead to criticism from the opposing part, and result in you feeling shame.
Another way that parts of us can become problematic is when a part is very extreme or particularly destructive, like suicidality, addiction, eating disorders or depression. What makes the problem even worse, is that often we really “hate” these parts of ourselves which can cause us to feel even more insecurity and shame.
How do we fix or get rid of unwanted parts?
The good news is.. THERE ARE NO BAD PARTS! Just parts that may be a little…misunderstood
All parts, even the ones that are hard to admit exist such as rage, insecurity, and perfectionism, were created for a good reason.
How does IFS work in therapy?
In therapy, I can teach you how to get to know these parts and work with, rather than against them. This will help build your self-confidence, allow you to have more control over your emotions, and overall, lead you to a more harmonious life.