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Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy - Inner Light Psychotherapy, Houston, TX

Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

What is Internal Family Systems (IFS)?

IFS, short for Internal Family Systems, is a transformative tool that views every individual as a complex system composed of protective and wounded inner parts, all led by a central core Self. You know how sometimes you feel conflicted or have different thoughts and emotions pulling you in different directions? Well, IFS believes that’s because we all have these “parts” within us, each with their own personalities and opinions. Self is also in everyone, and it can’t be damaged. It knows how to heal.

The goal of IFS therapy is to help individuals access and understand these various parts, make friends with them, and to facilitate a harmonious relationship between them and the core Self. It’s like being the captain of your own ship, where you can navigate your internal world and find balance.

What does Internal Family Systems (IFS) help with?

IFS can be used to treat a wide range of mental health issues and emotional challenges. It has shown effectiveness in addressing trauma-related symptoms, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Additionally, IFS has been used to help individuals struggling with:

  • anxiety disorders
  • depression
  • phobias
  • relationship difficulties
  • low self-esteem
  • various forms of emotional distress

It can also be beneficial for individuals seeking personal growth and self-exploration, as it provides a framework for understanding and integrating different aspects of oneself. Overall, IFS offers a versatile approach to therapy that can be tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual.

Is Internal Family Systems (IFS) going to focus on my family?

Despite its name, “Internal Family Systems” (IFS) does not primarily focus on your external family relationships. Instead, it focuses on your internal psychological dynamics.

The term “family” in IFS refers metaphorically to the different parts or aspects of your own personality. These parts can be thought of as internal family members who interact with one another within your mind.

The therapeutic goal of IFS is to help you develop a deeper understanding of these parts, cultivate self-compassion, and facilitate healing and integration within yourself. While IFS can indirectly impact your external family relationships by enhancing your self-awareness and personal growth, its primary focus is on the internal aspects of your own psyche.

What is “self leadership?”

“Self-leadership” is a central concept and a desired state of being. It refers to the state of being in connection with your true, authentic, and compassionate self. The Self is considered the core essence of who you are, characterized by qualities such as curiosity, wisdom, compassion, and calmness. It is often depicted as a calm, centered, and confident presence within you.

Self-leadership involves taking on the role of the “Self” and establishing a compassionate and guiding relationship with the different parts of your internal system. Instead of being dominated or controlled by individual parts that might have conflicting beliefs or emotions, the aim is to develop a sense of self-leadership where the Self takes charge and leads from a place of understanding, acceptance, and balance.

What makes IFS different than other types of therapy?

IFS is unique because it focuses on developing a compassionate relationship with internal parts, emphasizes self-leadership, takes a non-pathologizing stance, empowers clients, and is trauma-informed.