Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a transformational counselling method devised by Richard Schwartz of the IFS Institute. It offers compassion and hope and a way of understanding your inner Self and the parts that make up your personality. IFS therapy can bring healing and transformation of the personality by empowering the Self with all its creative resources to take leadership of the internal system. By doing so, it can heal hurt and fragmented parts of the mind.
This method is used by therapists of all orientations as well as those interested in personal and spiritual growth and its use in professional practice.
Characteristics of SELF include what is called in the IFS Model the 8 ‘C’s which include a felt sense of:
Internal Family Systems recognizes that not only do we have a true SELF but all also operate with ‘parts’ and sometimes these impact on our ability to operate from SELF. IFS breaks these parts into three working categories Managers (proactive and run our daily life), Firefighters (reactive and want to distract us) and Exiles (they hold the memories, the sensations and emotions of difficult events in the past. You might have forgotten the experience in conscious memory or may have minimized the impact but exiles are desperate to be heard and unburdened and therefore continue to show or hide themselves in many ways.)
For more on Internal Family Systems Therapy please see the attached article, (with thanks to Derek Scott) and a short video which will give you a little more information. Additionally The IFS Scotland Network provides a directory of therapists using the Internal Family Systems model across Scotland, and a place for therapists to learn more about this exciting therapeutic model.