Internal Family Systems

Internal Family Systems (IFS Therapy): Exploring Your Internal World

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a refreshing new approach to therapy that assists clients in deepening self-awareness and developing a more concrete understanding of themselves and their behaviors. IFS helps individuals navigate their inner psyche, fostering harmony between the parts of themselves that are often disconnected or in conflict with each other. But what lies at the core of IFS?

What is Internal Family Systems?

IFS, created by Dr. Richard Schwartz, operates from the perspective that people are dynamic and complex creatures, comprised of multiple “parts” or subpersonalities. Before this idea starts to scare you off, allow us to explain:

We all have wounded parts of ourselves that carry some type of emotional pain from our past (I.e. frustration, shame, fear, sadness…), and we have “protector parts” that are strategies that we’ve developed over time in an attempt to manage these painful feelings (I.e. avoidance, self-medication, people pleasing, perfectionism…). Naturally, these wounded and protective parts of ourselves show up as familiar patterns of behavior that we are often aware of but don’t quite know how to shift and find relief from. In Internal Family Systems, we identify and develop relationships with these parts of self and encourage renegotiation of these internal relationships to find relief from old patterns and create new possibilities.

Why Choose Internal Family Systems?

Deep Exploration: Assists clients through a structured process of self-reflection that incorporates specific practices and exercises that have a lasting impact, even outside of therapy sessions. Understanding our recurring issues by labeling them as “parts” can decrease overwhelm and build a deeper and more defined understanding of self that is easier to integrate and apply to our day-to-day life.

Self-Leadership: Promotes the emergence of the healthy, emotionally resourced “Self”. When we can access and operate from a more balanced internal space, we feel more empowered and confident in our direction and our decision-making.

Harmony: Aims to establish peace between conflicting parts that may have competing feelings, needs, and behaviors.

How Does It Work? What can I expect from an IFS Session?

At ETG, our therapists can assist clients in identifying and communicating with their parts through structured exercises, which may involve use of the imagination, visualization, or even drawing on other experiential methods. As you develop understanding of your parts, your therapist will work with you to identify the parts that may be involved in patterns you want to change. The ultimate goal is to restore balance and allow the “Self” to lead, increasing internal harmony.

Discover Your Inner Symphony

IFS offers a unique lens to view oneself, nurturing growth and self-understanding. By better understanding your parts, you can learn to step out of the usual narratives and emotionally reactive patterns that once kept you safe, and learn to engage in life in a way that feels more connected to your healthy adult self.

Do you have questions or want to schedule a session today? We’ll help you get started! Embark on a journey of inner exploration and harmony.

Our passion
is working collaboratively with you ...

To understand your values, develop personal goals, and support you in living a joyful, balanced, and fulfilling life. We currently provide individual and group therapy to adults and teens at our office in East Nashville.

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