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What is Internal Family Systems?

An Overview of Internal Family Systems (IFS)

By Samantha JonesPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
What is Internal Family Systems?
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

What is Internal Family Systems?

Internal Family Systems Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify, understand, and work through the parts of themselves.

The Internal Family Systems Therapy was developed by Richard Schwartz. The main goal of this therapy is to help people recognize the one part in their personality that they are currently feeling or experiencing and then to explore how it connects with other parts inside them.

It's a form of psychotherapy that deals with people's inner struggles and conflicts. It helps them to see these parts as separate from themselves and understand how they can work together for the greater good.

Within someone's internal family system, they have their "Self" and three additional roles. These are the "exiles", "managers" and "firefighters".

What is the "Self"?

Oneself is the pith of who an individual is, their entire and certain being. It is the seat of awareness, portrayed by harmony, presence, and unadulterated euphoria.

What are "Exiles"?

Exiles are the parts that have encountered abuse, dismissal, and relinquishment. They can be the recollections and feelings from horrible mishaps or ways of behaving put in an individual's outer frameworks down. They then persevere through regrettable judgment from other framework parts and are stifled.

They address dread, disgrace, and profound agony, driving different parts to see them as blemished, compromising, and powerless. When not tended to and treated, exiles can develop more limit and try to split away from their concealment.

Since exiles profoundly primed for reclamation and acknowledgment, they will get through almost anything to get it, frequently catching individuals in harmful, oppressive connections.

What are "Managers"?

Directors are responsible for smothering the exiles; they give their very best for guarantee that the exiles won't escape. That can come as a "mastermind" or "regulator," which values intellectualism and reasonable critical thinking yet continually overlooks feelings.

At times the administrator advances profession desire and abundance to keep up with power and interruption yet is excessively critical and perpetually discontent.

Another director structure is the "denier," which maintains a strategic distance from relational gamble, pessimistic input, and any circumstances that could excite undesirable feelings.

No matter what the structure they take, the administrators ward the exiles off to keep up with the individual's capacity to work, and they are administered by the dread of the exiles.

What are "Firefighters"?

The firemen are the crisis defenders that move forward to bat when the administrative gatekeeper is down and an outcast surfaces.

There is a progressive system to fireman strategies; on the off chance that a less outrageous strategy doesn't work, they will depend on a more outrageous instrument.

Procedures can incorporate voraciously consuming food, substance misuse, separation, self-absorption, fury, and taking — anything to numb the brain and wrestle control away from the exile.

What Does Internal Family Systems Treat?

The goal of this therapy is to help people with their mental health issues as well as their physical and spiritual needs. The focus is on how all three parts of an individual are connected to one another.

Who Benefits the Most from IFS?

IFS is able to help a wide variety of people with these types of mental health conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • PTSD
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • And more.

You can start treatment any time and sessions generally last 45-60 minutes.

Benefits of IFS

    Below are a few benefits people can experience after partaking in IFS therapy:

  • Feeling more at peace with yourself
  • Increased problem solving skills
  • Better understanding of your emotions
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Reduced depression
  • Strengthened relationships
  • Improved self-awareness
  • And more.

When Should Someone Start IFS Therapy?

It is always better to start therapy as early as possible. However, the severity of the symptoms will dictate when a person should start therapy. Some people may not need therapy if they are having mild symptoms and are able to manage their anxiety on their own.

If someone has moderate symptoms, they may be able to wait until they have a more severe episode before starting IFS therapy. However, if someone has severe symptoms, it is best for them to start therapy as soon as possible.

So, if you're considering IFS it's best to start looking for an expert that can help you get back on track. There are many options out there and someone I recently came across that can help is Jen Meller. Jen has the certifications and expertise to help people in need, get their life back on track.


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