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If you’ve been in therapy and felt like you have different parts of yourself fighting with each other, or if you’re struggling to make positive changes in your life and feel stuck, Internal Family Systems (IFS) may be a good fit for you. IFS is a type of therapy that views the mind as having different sub-personalities or “parts” that interact with each other (i.e. inner critic, exiled self, inner child, teen self, etc.).

Through IFS, you can get to know these different parts of yourself, identify any areas that are causing conflict, and learn skills to heal these wounds. Keep reading to learn more about IFS and how it can help you on your healing journey from past trauma.

What is Internal Family Systems (IFS)?

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a revolutionary healing modality for those healing from trauma. Developed by Richard C. Schwartz, PhD in the 1980s, this approach works to undo the disconnection between internal parts of ones self, brought on by traumatic experiences.

IFS focuses on each individual, recognizing them as already whole and capable of healing themselves with a safe environment and effective support and strategies. IFS provides a compassionate, non-judgmental approach through which an individual can explore different parts of their personality in order to better understand how those qualities have been created by life experiences.

This therapeutic approach recognizes the value and function of all aspects of one’s personality and offers guidance on healing the broken connections between them. To put it simply, IFS is an incredibly helpful therapeutic approach in building self-compassion and healing from the impact of complex trauma.

How can IFS help me get to know myself better?

Exploring who you are and connecting with your inner self can be a powerful journey. IFS can help support this process by allowing us to gain better insight into our emotions, values and beliefs. Working with IFS allows us to allow parts of ourselves – those conflicting, vulnerable, or unknown aspects – to sit together at the table.

With its compassionate attention and care, IFS helps us meet different aspects of ourselves with respect and understanding, giving us an opportunity to listen to each part without judgement and allow them to feel heard. As we foster these relationships within ourselves, we can begin to access deeper wisdom within our own psyche.

What are the benefits of IFS therapy?

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is a healing process that has been proven to help people effectively work through the healing of complex trauma. The process works by having clients learn how to separate their personality into distinct parts representing different experiences, emotions, and behaviors in order to gain a deeper understanding of themselves.

By validating each part and learning about their origins and why they exist, one can start to develop increased self-compassion when working through experiences of healing from complex trauma. With this form of healing, clients can expect to have improved clarity, more access to inner guidance and feelings of safety, better wellbeing, increased self-confidence and more effective healing for trauma that has been experienced on an emotional and physical level.

How does IFS therapy work?

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is a powerful, evidence-based approach for healing trauma and creating healthy functioning within ourselves and our relationships. The main concepts in IFS are that every person is composed of unique parts—each with its own perception, viewpoint, and history—that must interact effectively to create balance within the individual.

Through IFS therapy sessions, individuals are encouraged to explore their various parts—sometimes referred to as subpersonalities—so they can identify their feelings and experiences under different circumstances.

Practitioners of IFS help clients stay present in the moment while bringing trust-centered understanding so they can understand how each part of them works together. This helps clients gain insight about themselves and develop tools for personal resiliency and peace. Ultimately, IFS therapy guides individuals toward self-compassion and self-leadership where all their inner parts can exist together in harmony.

How can you heal through IFS self reflection?

Guided meditations focusing on checking in with and listening to the needs of various parts of self can be beneficial work in your IFS journey of healing from past trauma. The following blog post provides 16 wonderful and healing guided meditations that can serve as a helpful tool and starting place in your healing process of Internal Family Systems work.

The founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, Richard Schwartz, PhD, wrote a book (No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with the Internal Family Systems Model) that encompasses the principles of IFS and assists readers in gaining a greater sense of the needs and roles of various parts of self within. This book can serve as a wonderful resource in your self guided healing journey and allow you to begin to heal from past complex trauma.

How can I find an IFS therapist near me?

Navigating where to find an individualized and effective therapy can be overwhelming. Thankfully, there are specialized professionals available who can help you determine the best form of treatment for your unique needs. One form of psychotherapy that has been gaining traction is called Internal Family Systems (IFS).

In IFS, the goals are centered around self-regulation, clarity, and developing a personal connection with one’s inner voice. To find an IFS therapist near you, the best place to begin might be by turning to organizations such as The IFS Institute or searching online directories, such as which are organized by zip code. With some exploration into therapists in your area specializing in IFS, you will be well on your way to finding relief and improved mental health.

Internal Family Systems therapy is a powerful therapeutic treatment and tool that can help us get to know ourselves better and work through the internal struggles we face. As the Internal Family System approach values unique individual paths and emphasizes self-leadership, it is both liberating and validating for those seeking its therapeutic experience.

The process not only encourages mindful awareness of our inner world, but also becomes a way for us to develop healthier relationships as we embrace different parts of ourselves with more ease and compassion. If you are considering IFS therapy as an avenue to explore your inner truth, make sure to research different certified therapists located in your area until you find the one that works best for you. With time, commitment, understanding and self compassion, IFS can bring clarity and healing into your life in ways you may have not previously felt were possible.

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