Internal Family Systems

The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS), first developed by Richard C. Schwartz, is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy that combines systems thinking with the view that mind is made up of separate subpersonalities, each with its own viewpoint and qualities. The focus of IFS therapy is to get to know each of these subpersonalities and understand how they work as a whole in order to better achieve healing. IFS can be used to treat individuals, couples, and families and it has been shown to be effective for treating a variety issues, including depression, anxiety, and panic. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s Internal Family Systems specialists today.

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I utilize an approach which in informed by the wisdom of Internal Family Systems (IFS). I use this model to support clients in identifying the various parts of themselves which inform their behaviors and attitudes. Once identified, I provide a forum for these parts to be understood compassionately. This process allows for the resolution of inner conflict, and increased self-compassion and inner unity.

— Jack Dickey, Counselor

Just as a soccer team works together, your mind has different parts – some confident, some anxious. IFS helps you understand these parts, their feelings, and why they act the way they do. By getting to know your "team," you can manage emotions better, reduce conflicts within yourself, and make choices that align with your true self. It's like coaching your mind to work harmoniously, leading to more peace and balance in your life.

— Dr. Sadaf Shalchian, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Orange County, CA

I do parts work to help clients to heal past traumas and understand the parts of themselves they struggle with. There are no bad parts! Parts work can help strengthen the self and reduce harmful behaviors and beliefs. We can explore your parts at your comfort level, integrating IFS with other approaches when you prefer.

— Sarah Wheelock, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in New Orleans, LA

I've received additional training on IFS and found this to be quite a powerful intervention for most individuals.

— Christina LaBond, Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Our minds are actually made up of sub-personalities. We may have our "work part" or "romantic part" and our work will be to get to know these different parts and understand what they do for our internal system. IFS believes we have an inherent self that can lead these parts in healthy ways by showing them compassion and a sense of self-leadership. This therapy will help the parts begin to trust the self. *IFS Informed

— Joshua Bogart, Professional Counselor Associate in Beaverton, OR

Imagine you show up for dinner with your family. Everyone is there, including your mom who asks inappropriate questions, your nephew who wants to talk all night about sports, and your uncle who hasn’t spoken to your brother since the fiasco at your aunt’s funeral. It can get chaotic quickly. The inside of your mind has different parts too that interact in complicated ways. With IFS we work to bring these parts into balance, so the inside of your mind feels like a safe place to be.

— Katie Bautch, Psychologist in Sacramento, CA

I am a Level 1 graduate of the Internal Family Systems training.

— Jessica L Packman, Clinical Social Worker in Marietta, GA

My work is informed by Internal Family Systems. This means that I'll help you with exploring the different parts of yourself & how they all work together to both serve you and potentially keep you from your overall goals. I aim to help you have compassion and understanding towards the parts of yourself, while building up your ability to live from your most authentic Self.

— Lindsay Moldovan, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Portland, OR

I am a Certified IFS Therapist and have over 3 years of experience working with clients from various backgrounds and cultures to identify and heal internal systems, to attain and sustain recovery.

— La Tanya Wallace, Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in San Diego, CA

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a revolutionary therapeutic approach that recognizes the intricate interplay of various parts or sub-personalities within us, each with its own beliefs, emotions, and motivations. By addressing and harmonizing these inner parts, we unlock profound healing and personal growth, allowing us to move towards a more balanced and authentic self.

— Vlad Paramoshin, Psychotherapist in New York, NY

I completed an intensive IFS training with Richard Schwartz, the founder of Internal Family Systems, in 2018 and am presently wrapping up a year-long training through the IFS Institute. I had weekly supervision with an IFS therapist who completed Level 3 training for over one year and have done my own IFS work as a client. I honestly cannot say enough positive things about IFS. My clients tell me that it is more helpful than anything they have tried before and I agree! All parts welcome!

— Lara Dubowchik, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Highland Park, NJ

I primarily work from an Internal Family Systems orientation. I am level 1 trained in IFS through the IFS Institute. IFS is an evidence-based practice that can be used for pretty much any type of issue, but it is especially useful for working through trauma. Using IFS, I can guide the process but my clients really lead us in whichever direction they need. IFS explains people in terms of "parts" rather than being single-minded, which tracks for people with religious trauma and eating disorders.

— Brian Jones, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Seattle, WA

I find that incorporating IFS or "parts work" into the EMDR preparation to be incredibly helpful.

— Charlotte Jarvis, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Associate

It is deeply transformational to connect with the parts of ourselves consciously. Through this "parts work," we explore the fragmented Self to reintegrate the Whole Self by understanding the presence and influence of all aspects of the archetypes and personas that make us who we are. Through experiential processes, we engage the many parts of the Self to resolve unfinished business that may plague the Ego-Self and create significant limitation, pain, and suffering in our lives.

— Roderic Burks, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Burbank, CA

IFS views the mind as made up of relatively distinct sub-personalities, each with its own unique viewpoint and qualities. Sub-personalities consist of wounded parts & parts that try to control & protect you from the pain of these wounded parts. IFS focuses on healing the wounded parts and restoring mental balance & harmony to better connect you with your core Self, a concept that describes the confident, compassionate, whole person that’s at the core of every individual.

— Nicole Iwule, Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Orlando, FL

One way of thinking about IFS is any time you’ve said, “Part of me wants to go to a party this weekend, but part of me wants to catch up on some sleep.” In IFS, this is a normal expression of the different motivating aspects of your being that drive internal conflict. In other words, the part of you that wants to go to the party is in conflict with the part that wants to catch up on sleep. If this example seems simplistic, you’re right. IFS is applicable to a broad range of concerns.

— Evan Powers, Mental Health Counselor in Loveland, CO