INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS
Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an evidence-based approach that works with aspects of our personality within our mental system. Have you even noticed when someone pushes your buttons your personality changes? It is almost like we become a different person. It may be easier to notice this in other people. Have you ever noticed friends or family members may be friendly and loving sometimes but other times they act irrationally and seem to lose the ability to reason? Later, you notice another aspect of his or her personality that feels badly and may apologize. We all have different aspects of ourselves - fun loving, caretakers, thinkers, trapped parts, angry critics, get the job done parts, some that act out and others that feel guilty about this behavior. It's as if we have a team inside of us that argues with each other about how to handle life situations. Have you ever noticed these inner conflicts within yourself? Do you ever act in ways that your mature self regrets? Maybe later, when you feel more like yourself, you wonder why you over reacted. These aspects of ourselves are often in conflict with each other and with our core Self. Our higher Self is described as curious, confident, and compassionate, creative, calm, connected and courageous and knows how to handle life's challenges. The Self is the whole person that is at the core of every individual. IFS focuses on healing the wounded parts and restoring mental balance and harmony by changing the dynamics that create discord among these aspects of ourselves. IFS also strengthens our consciousness to our higher (spiritual) Self to lead our lives in more satisfying ways.
WHAT TO EXPECT
IFS incorporates feeling body sensations to identify and understand the specific aspects of self that make up your internal mental system. Once we identify these parts, we listen and acknowledge our individual part's needs and help them to unburden suppressed emotions and beliefs that no longer serve them. When the Self makes contact with wounded parts, healing can take place. The Self can listen to each part, ask what they need and assist them to unburden old belief patterns and painful emotions. This makes room for new healthy and fresh ways of seeing the world (from a higher perspective).
HOW IT WORKS
1) Free the parts from their extreme roles
2) Restore trust in the Self
3) Coordinate and harmonize the Self and the parts, so they can work together as a team with the Self in charge.
Using IFS together with Trauma-Informed Mindfulness-Based practice, you can restore your system back to a more balanced less reactive state. Click on the tab above labeled Trauma / Mindfulness to see how this can work for you.