I recently attended a seminar about Internal Family System. In short called IFS. This seminar was conducted by the center for Self Leadership and was very well designed to explain about the psychology of the Self and offers a great method to provide a successful counseling and coaching for individuals and couples.
In this blog I thought about briefly sharing with you few highlights of the Internal Family System. The Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy model helps individuals and couples access the Self and bring compassion and confidence into relationships and life. People who have practiced Internal Family Systems report deep shifts in previously limiting feelings and beliefs. As such, IFS offers the opportunity for transformative inner exploration and learning.
The Internal Family System model of psychotherapy offers a clear, non-apologizing, and empowering method of understanding human behaviors and problems. Its innovative and enriching philosophy and practice invites therapists and clients to enter into a transformational relationship in which healing and growth take place.
Internal Family Systems Therapy provides practical methods to recognize and access the “higher” or “deeper” Self, so that the process of growth happens according to an “inner wisdom.”
Our many parts function like members a large family, or tribe – with all its diversity and mainly pay attention to them and recognize them when we experience an internal conflict, which bring about mix feelings.
The following are the three distinct types of parts of the Self in this model:
Managers: These “Managers” initially helped us survive. They are responsible for maintaining a functioning level of consciousness by warding off any unwanted or counterproductive interactions, emotions, or experiences resulting from external stimuli.
Exiles: These parts are most often in a state of pain or trauma. They have been rejected, disowned and/or punished or ridiculed by the family, school system, or culture. These “Exiles” are banished and exist in a sort of exile in the unconscious. The parts that prevent the exiles from reaching the conscious level (so that preservation is preserved) are the Managers and the firefighters.
Firefighters: As mentioned before, the Firefighters protect the consciousness from feeling the pain of the exiles. As such, the firefighters prompt a person to act on impulse and to engage in behaviors that are indulgent, addictive, and often times abusive. These parts serve as a distraction to the mind when exiles break free from their suppression.
All parts are valuable to the entire system in the same way that all parts of an ecosystem are necessary for the smooth running of that system. A “bad” part is simply a valuable part that has been driven into an extreme role by a traumatic situation. In IFS therapy, as Richard Schwartz, the founder of the IF method, emphasizes, “All parts are welcome.”
One of the main benefits of the Internal Family System is improved self-acceptance. As our internal parts, especially the disowned parts, begin to feel understood and appreciated, they become happier and more relaxed, and they can then learn more effective ways of accomplishing their goals. The result is that we feel more confident, more integrated, and more at peace.
By accepting all parts of the bigger Self, their purpose, goals and their inner conflicts, the Self then forms healing relationships with each of them to created more integrated Self.
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