Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

IFS therapy was developed by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. and helps people work effectively with themselves in an open, compassionate and curious way. The name of this model includes “family systems” because it applies principles of family systems therapy to working with the “internal” parts of the person. We all have various parts or aspects of ourselves. Some of these parts can include protective parts, angry parts, sad, scared and hurt parts, productive, judgmental and logical parts, addicted parts, and many more.

Strengths of the model

From my point of view the strengths of the model include:

  • The ability to locate the Self, which everyone has, which Richard Schwartz says is characterized by the following aspects: calm, confident, curious, clarity, compassion, creativity, courage, and connectedness
  • A way to work with both protective and hurt parts that can allow us to understand our selves, especially the parts of ourselves we may not like or may fear
  • A method to treat trauma

For more information

For more information see The Center for Self Leadership, which is the website dedicated to IFS therapy. There you can find further information about the IFS model, including videos.