IFS is a complete, cutting edge form of individual growth and therapy. It is unfailingly kind, compassionate and accepting, and is effective whatever our personal goal, whether it’s healing from trauma, dealing with everyday problems, or personal and spiritual growth. It also teaches us how to become our own inner healer, which is ultimately the only way that we can become whole.
IFS stands for Internal Family Systems, which refers to the “family” of different parts that we all carry inside us. These parts are like members of a family, each with its own point of view, its own concerns, and its own way of relating to other “family members”.
We run into problems when different parts of us have opposing agendas, or when a part, in trying to protect us, actually ends up causing us harm. In IFS, what we do is take these parts one at a time, and truly listen to what it is trying to achieve. What we discover is that each has a positive intention for us, no matter what difficulties it may cause. We also discover that each one has only a small piece of the big picture, and from its particular limited perspective, it is actually trying to serve us as best it can. We find that as we listen to each with kindness and curiosity, it feels appreciated and heard, and is able to relax and heal.
The Self is the part of us that has the ability to hear, understand and heal all other parts. As each one heals, it creates more and more room for Self to emerge. Self can see the big picture, is wise, kind, peaceful and content. As the parts relax and allow Self more room to move, it becomes even more powerful as our healer. It also starts to take its rightful place as the leader of our internal family. Our parts no longer rule us, and we feel more peace, contentment and fulfilment.
IFS is a wonderful combination of great simplicity and great effectiveness. Because the basic principles are so easy to grasp, you become a full participant in your own healing. And even more than that, it is ultimately your own Self that heals you. So when therapy ends, you take with you the skills and the Self that you need for your own ongoing healing.