Have you ever felt like different parts of yourself are at odds with one another? Like you’re experiencing an internal conflict that’s possessing your thoughts and emotions, preventing you from moving forward with personal goals or working harmoniously as a family unit? If so, Internal Family Systems or IFS Therapy might be right for you. At Gateway Counseling Center, our mental health counselors and therapists will often utilize this form of psychotherapy to help individuals, couples, and family members work through their personal and shared challenges.
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) is an integrative talk-therapy approach developed by Richard C. Swartz. It examines the idea that we’re all made up of different parts or sub-personalities. Each part of our personal system has its own views, perspectives, qualities, flaws, and conflicts.
In order to work through issues as a family unit or as an individual, we need to address each of these parts to create a more cohesive, organized, joyful, and harmonious sum. Once the parts of the “system” are identified and evaluated, a therapist can help patients identify and work through the internal conflicts, challenging viewpoints, or disruptive thoughts that can prevent a person or a family from working, living, and enjoying life together.
Frequently Asked Questions About Internal Family Systems Therapy
IFS is a form of psychotherapy that has helped millions of patients all over the world deal with internal conflicts, family issues, marital problems, or even challenges within their community. If you’ve never tried psychotherapy before, you may have questions or concerns about Internal Family Systems Therapy and how it works. Our goal is to help all of our patients feel confident and comfortable trying out new forms of therapy and treatment. Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions and answers about IFS therapy to help you learn more about it. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Gateway Counseling Center to speak with a therapist about IFS or any other type of therapy.
Is Internal Family Systems Therapy evidence-based?
Absolutely. IFS therapy was first developed in the early 1990s. Since then, there have been various scientific and psychological studies conducted on the effectiveness of this approach. There is substantial evidence proving that this method can help patients obtain a deep and meaningful understanding of themselves, their partners, and their families, move on from trauma, and live more fulfilling lives.
Who can benefit from Internal Family Systems Therapy?
IFS therapy can be used as a treatment method to help patients experiencing various issues. While many believe IFS is only for families because it has “family” in the name, it’s actually used to treat individuals and couples as well. It’s important to think of “family” as a system in this context, so it can be applied to just one person or multiple people. Those experiencing the following conditions can benefit from Internal Family Systems Therapy:
- Bipolar disorder
- Compulsive behaviors
IFS therapy has also proven to be helpful for those who are experiencing conflicts in the workplace, lack of motivation, disinterest, or general feelings of mental and emotional discomfort. To learn more about if Internal Family Systems Therapy is right for you, contact our counseling center today.
What happens in an IFS therapy session?
Internal Family Systems therapy is a form of talk therapy, so you can expect to have deep and meaningful discussions with your therapist. These discussions are meant to help you pinpoint the different “parts of the system” that are preventing the Self (the core of who you are) from healing, recovering, or moving forward.
IFS therapy aims to identify three key parts of the Self:
- The Exiles – The suppressed, painful, or wounded parts of you.
- The Managers – The parts of you that keep the exiles suppressed.
- The Firefighters – What you do to distract yourself from the exiles.
For example, if a patient is dealing with domestic abuse — the abuse, fear, and anger would be the exiles, the unprocessed emotions would be maintained by the manager, and the firefighter would be anything that distracts them from processing and dealing with the exiles, such as drug or alcohol abuse or gambling. To learn more about what happens in an Internal Family Systems Therapy session, contact Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach to schedule an appointment with a therapist.
What are the goals of Internal Family Systems Therapy?
In IFS therapy, a therapist and patient work towards breaking down the parts of the system and rebuilding them so they work together in harmony to help the Self process negative experiences or emotions in a healthy and positive way. This helps to regain trust in the Self or the family unit and help the system work in unison once again. As the Self is being rebuilt, patients often report feelings of release and relief. In addition, they tend to maintain better relationships, have higher self-esteem, more self-confidence, and an overall sense of inner peace. Remember that many of these parts of the system were constructed on the subconscious level, so repairing each part will take time and reflection. If you’d like to learn more about the techniques, tools, and goals in IFS therapy, contact our counseling center today to speak with a therapist.
How can I find Internal Family Systems Therapy near me?
If you’re looking for a supportive and welcoming environment to try Internal Family Systems Therapy, contact Gateway Counseling Center in Boynton Beach. Our mental health counselors and therapists would be happy to explain how this form of psychotherapy works and how it can benefit you, your marriage, your relationships, or your family. Internal Family Systems Therapy has helped millions of patients all over the world work towards a better self and a more cohesive family unit. If you’re looking for a comprehensive approach to individual or family therapy, contact or call Gateway Counseling Center at 561-468-6464 today to learn more about Internal Family Systems Therapy.