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 use internal family systems to help clients explore different "parts" of themselves, this is a compassionate, healing process.

— Coty Nolin, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Denver, CO

I completed my level one training from the IFS Institute in July of 2022. I will be taking a level two training specialized in eating disorders and addictions in November of 2023.

— Christina Sun Oo, Psychotherapist in Arlington Heights, IL

Find out more via my speciality webpage for Internal Family Systems:

— Tim Holtzman, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Berkeley, CA

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

People naturally understand that they have different parts of their personality. Internal Family Systems builds on this way of understanding ourselves. When I integrate this model into my work, my clients are able to bring more compassion, courage, calm and creativity to themselves and others. This helps bring more satisfaction into their lives and relationships.

— Beth Levine, Clinical Social Worker in Rockville, MD

Our inner world is a rich place to explore, and the "voices" or the versions of yourself that come out with different emotions are important to pay attention to. When we understand that our brain thinks in multiplicity, we can accept all the parts of ourselves, even aspects that are difficult. When we develop strong relationships with our parts, we can feel a greater sense of confidence in navigating overwhelming emotions.

— Rachel Ruiz, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Folsom, CA

My graduate training and education heavily focused on Internal Family Systems and Ego-State Therapy. Imagine if the bad-ass part of yourself that shows up at work could also be the part that shows up when you have lunch with your mother. That would be pretty powerful, and it's also fully possible. Conceptualizing who we are into parts of a diverse and hard-working team is such a powerful tool that can provide immediate results.

— Nicole Nelson, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate in Nashville, TN

I have done two trainings in IFS and use some of the techniques learned very frequently with patients who demonstrate internal conflict and especially with suffering from self-loathing or a lack of self-compassion, which can block their progress with EMDR. Once we build a better sense of the "internal family" and the patient is able to access their self energy, they feel more confident with proceeding and embracing change in a new way.

— Relani Prudhomme, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Gouverneur, NY

IFS is a non-pathologizing, evidence based modality. A foundational belief is there is multiplicity of the mind - that certain feelings and thoughts can represent individual sub-personalities or "parts". There are no bad parts - even the ones that may seem that way like "inner critic" parts. A therapist and client work together to get to know the parts, better understand them and heal any parts that are wounded. This can lead to reduction in anxiety, depression and more.

— Tara Guden, Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in San Diego, CA

Working together in this very powerful model of psychotherapy, which brings a depth of self-awareness and self-compassion I have not seen in other models, you will be guided to recognize, accept, and unburden all parts of yourself and become the leader of your own internal system. I have completed a six-month-long, highly experiential Level 1 course from the IFS Institute, and continue to deepen my understanding and embodiment of the model through ongoing training and consultation.

— Daniel Fulton, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oak Park, IL

Sometimes part of you wants to do something, and part of you doesn't. It can feel like a battle in your head! You may feel frozen or indecisive. Additionally, it can lead to feeling like part of you "takes over" and leaves you feeling ashamed or upset that you didn't handle something the way you wanted to. We can get a better idea of what all parts of yourself want, and get them communicating kindly, so you feel integrated in your choices, and like you're acting in your own best interests.

— Colleen Hennessy, Licensed Professional Counselor in , CA

I use Internal Family Systems to provide clients with an externalizing perspective that provides a way of understanding the various parts of their internal world. This non-pathologizing view enables a client to coordinate the internal activities in more adaptive ways.

— Mark Allen Resch, Associate Marriage & Family Therapist in Berkeley, CA

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a highly effective therapeutic approach. With its transformative framework, IFS helps individuals explore their inner world, understand different parts of themselves, and cultivate self-compassion. By developing a compassionate relationship with these parts, healing and integration occur, leading to lasting change and personal growth. IFS empowers individuals to navigate challenges, heal wounds, and discover their innate resilience, resulting in greater well-bein

— Rachelle Miller, Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Spokane Valley, WA

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a method of therapy that helps you develop deep self-understanding and develop compassion for all aspects of who you are by learning about the different "parts" of yourself and their origins. IFS helps you understand your reactions and thought patterns more deeply so that you can develop self-trust and be most fully who you are, along with moving past symptoms, difficult emotions, and relationship difficulties.

— Maggie Dungan, Marriage & Family Therapist in Fort Collins, CO

I have education and experience that allows me to use IFS with clients. Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an approach that identifies and addresses multiple sub-personalities or families within each person’s mental system. These sub-personalities consist of wounded parts and painful emotions such as anger and shame, and parts that try to control and protect the person from the pain of the wounded parts.

— Neeka Wittern, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Las Vegas, NV, NV

IFS is a transformative tool that conceives of every human being as a system of protective and wounded inner parts led by a core Self. We believe the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing. IFS is an evidence-based psychotherapy, helping people heal by accessing and healing their protective and wounded inner parts. IFS creates inner and outer connectedness by helping people first access their Self and, from that core, come to understand and heal their parts.

— Ashley Klein, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX

I enjoy helping clients process how they impact and are impacted by systems. Spanning ancestral, societal, interpersonal and intrapersonal contexts, we can discuss how you relate. I acknowledge that compassionate relationships to the whole comes with building capacity for accountability, boundaries and acknowledgement of power differentials.

— Maya Mineoi, Mental Health Practitioner in St. Paul, MN