About Internal Family Systems Therapy

Human beings are complex individuals, and it’s common to feel a mixture of emotions, sometimes all at once. At times, you may feel that one part of you is warring with another. You might hear an inner voice that prevents you from sticking your neck out and taking chances. Another part tells you that you must take risks to get ahead. Surprisingly, both parts have good intentions. It’s these differing parts that internal family systems therapy seeks to acknowledge in an effort to make them work together in harmony.

Just as various members of a family interact with one another, so do the various parts of ourselves. This was the concept that Richard Schwartz examined in internal family systems (IFS). The different components of a person’s psyche can be considered sub-personalities. You might look at them as individuals, with each having her own motivations, feelings, and goals.

The internal family systems approach states that each of our parts has the best intentions for us, although they may create problems. For instance, what if a part of you says, “You’ll never get that promotion”? It sounds incredibly hurtful, right? It might make you give up on even trying to move up the ladder.

A woman talks to her counselor during internal family systems therapy

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In IFS therapy, what you might discover is that the reason your inner voice tells you this is due to repeatedly getting passed over for a promotion in the past. To help you avoid getting your hopes up and suffering pain again, that part of you is trying to protect you.

Therapists use internal family systems therapy for individuals, families, and couples. Instead of looking at your various parts as “good” or “bad,” IFS encourages you to examine and understand them.

You’ll identify various parts of yourself: managers and firefighters — which act as protectors — and exiles, the parts you protect. Exiles often exist from some childhood pain or trauma. In their efforts to protect you from pain, managers and firefighters act as the competent one in charge or as distractions.

How Internal Family Systems Therapy Works in Treatment

Each person has leadership ability, even though she might not believe it. This doesn’t mean you have to lead a Fortune 500 company to be successful. However, if you can master “self-leadership,” you can feel like the confident, validated person you deserve to be. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or controlled by the various parts of you, internal family systems therapy helps you feel more courageous, calm, creative, and compassionate.

Internal family systems therapy is useful for a number of issues, including:

Recognizing your internal family systems won’t make all of your problems disappear. You’ll probably still have a unique set of stressors and triggers. However, therapy will help you manage various situations instead of feeling completely overwhelmed by them.

For example, if you feel intense anxiety whenever you have to deal with a certain family member, you’ll learn to face the situation with calmness and confidence. Your anxiety won’t consume you.

Imagine living a more empowered, hopeful life. You can, with treatment from Magnolia Creek.

Exploring New Possibilities

In Columbiana, Alabama, our eating disorder and mental health treatment center helps women find renewed hope and recover. We’re located on 36 peaceful acres, where natural beauty will surround you at every turn. From a private lake to a serene garden, our environment provides an ideal setting for healing.
We want you to be an active participant in your treatment. With our collaborative support, you’ll discover newfound strength and self-awareness.

The services we offer include:

Find the encouragement you need to heal and grow through internal family systems therapy. At Magnolia Creek, our dedicated team can help you recognize all of the possibilities open to you. Contact us today at 205-509-2633 to find out more.

We are here to help you. Contact Us @ 205.614.3743 or send us an email.

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