For an appointment:
Call  917-692-3867
For an appointment : Call  917-692-3867

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

spiral2grow Marriage Family Therapy, a prominent provider of Internal Family System Therapy in New York city, has professionals that include Internal Family System therapist, IFS Counselors and IFS Psychotherapist, who are expert in Internal Family System Therapy (IFS). spiral2grow Marriage Therapy, located in midtown Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers  IFS treatment solutions through individual counseling, marriage counseling, couples therapy, family therapy and relationship coaching.

Internal Family Systems Therapy is comprehensive, integrative approach that was originally developed to treat trauma and other related symptoms, and later was enhanced to provide therapy guidelines for working with individuals, couples and families.

Internal Family Systems Therapy provides practical methods to recognize and access the “higher” or “deeper” Self (depends on your perspective), so that the process of growth happens according to an “inner wisdom.” In accessing the Self and healing parts of the Self, a person is not pushed, rushed or imposed upon to “fix” things. The process allows the Self to unfold at its own speed, and according to its own pattern.

It is the nature of the human mind to be subdivided into an indeterminate number of sub-personalities called parts. You can think of them as “small people” inside us. Each has its own perspective, feelings, memories, goals, and motivations. We all have parts like the inner critic, the abandoned child, the pleaser, the angry part, and the loving caretaker.

These parts are conceptualized as inner people of different ages, temperaments, talents, and desires, who together form an internal family or tribe. This internal family organizes itself in the same way as other human systems and reflects the organization of the systems around it.

All parts are valuable and want to play constructive inner roles, no matter how problematic it might be. They are forced into extreme and destructive roles by external influences and by the self-perpetuating nature of inner polarizations and imbalances. They will gratefully find or return to preferred, valuable roles once they believe it is safe to do so.

Once you understand that a part has a positive intent, it doesn’t mean that you give that part power. You change your perspective and attitude toward that part, while having understanding and appreciating that part, while taking the steps to heal them. This is fundamentally different from the way we ordinarily relate to our parts. Usually when we become aware of a part, the first thing we do is evaluate it. Is it good or bad for us? If we decide it is good, we embrace it and give it power. We act from it. If we decide it is bad, we try to suppress it or get rid of it, however, this doesn’t work. You can’t eliminate that part. You can only push it into your unconscious, where it will continue to affect you, unfortunately, without your awareness.

  • Fundamental Assumptions of the IFS model
    • The mind is naturally subdivided into parts and sub-personalities.
    • Everyone has a Self, and the Self serves as the individual’s internal system.
    • All parts of the Self in its non-extreme form are good. The intention of the parts are positive for the individual. Yet, when the intention is used in inappropriate way or extreme way, this part becomes destructive. As there are no “bad” parts, the goal of therapy is to integrate all parts and help each part find their non-extreme roles, rather than eliminate, deny or disown them.
    • As individuals evolve and develop, the parts develop and form a complex system of interactions among themselves; therefore, systems theory can be applied to the internal system. When the system is reorganized, parts can change rapidly, which lead to better functioning of the system.
    • Changes in the internal system will affect changes in the external system and vice versa. The implication of this assumption is that both the internal and external levels of system should be assessed.
  • General Groups of the Parts Within the Self
    • Mangers
    • As the name indicates, the “Managers” have a supervision role. As such, the Managers exhibits typical roles such as an inner Critic, Pleaser, Organizer, Judge, Intellectual. Our Managers work hard anticipating what others want from us and they feel anxious when criticized, rejected or abandoned. They like to keep us in line and in top form with their ambitions, goals, and lists.
    • Parts that operate the day-to-day activities of the individual.
    • Desire to keep the individual in control of every situation and relationship in an effort to protect parts from feeling rejected or hurt.
    • Utilize multiple ways to achieve its goals through a combination of parts – striving, controlling, evaluating, caretaking, terrorizing, and so on.
    • Exiles
    • The “Exiles” are often child parts, these exiles are stuck in an earlier time, frozen in the pain and fear of those experiences.
    • Young parts that have experienced trauma and often become isolated from the rest of the system in an effort to protect the individual from feeling the pain, terror, fear, and so on, of these parts.
    • If exiled, can become increasingly extreme and desperate in an effort to be cared for and tell their story.
    • Exiles can leave the individual feeling fragile and vulnerable.
    • Firefighters
    • The “Firefighters” serve as defensive parts since their tendency for quick rescue in threatening situations. The quickness in which they appear and arrive to rescue is their signature. While they share the same goal as the Managers (to protect exiles), these parts are often associated with addictive behaviors. Whenever unbearable feelings are stirred up, a Firefighter suddenly show up with strategies involving a quick escape (which not always beneficial).
    • Group of parts that react when exiles are activated in an effort to control and extinguish their feelings.
    • Can do this in any number of ways, including drug or alcohol use, self-mutilation (cutting), binge-eating, sex binges
    • Have the same goals as managers (to keep exiles away) but different strategies.
  • Therapy’s Goals of Internal Family Systems
    • The goal behind Internal Family Systems Therapy is to find the core Self of the client. The idea if is to unfold and cover the Self to include the damaged and undamaged parts. The undamaged portion of their consciousness is the self that was apparent before the child experienced events or trauma. This is the core of their deepest identity.
    • Uncovering the parts of the Self and the intention and responsibility of each part is key element of the process. Thereafter the integration and acceptance of all parts in its non-extreme way is promoted to reach tranquility and balance.
    • To achieve balance, harmony and equanimity within the internal system.
    • To differentiate and elevate the Self so it can be an effective leader in the system.
    • When the Self is in the lead, the parts will collaborate and provide input to the Self. Also, each part will respect other parts and will respectfully accept the leadership and final decision of the Self.
    • All parts will lend its talents that reflect their non-extreme intentions.
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Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in New York City
License # : 000697