Why do I use the Internal Family Systems Model?

An introduction to IFS and why I chose it for my personal healing and as the primary therapy model I use with patients

by Dave Whipple, LCSW

As a therapist, I am not immune to dealing with life's difficulties, stressors, and brain chemistry issues. Having tried several different models for healing and growth, Internal Family Systems (IFS) was the first model I connected with personally and professionally. It has been absolutely life-changing for me and many of the people I have treated over the years. Because of this, I decided to become an IFS-certified therapist to help my patients best.

Developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, IFS is an evidence-based approach to mental health therapy that aims to understand the mind, help individuals heal, and create a more compassionate inner and outer world. The premise of IFS is that individuals have different parts within themselves, each with unique thoughts, feelings, and motivations. These parts can often be in conflict with each other, leading to inner turmoil and distress.

In Internal Family Systems therapy, a trained therapist helps individuals identify and understand these different parts of themselves. The goal is to work towards harmonizing these parts, leading to greater self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-leadership. By acknowledging and embracing all parts of oneself, individuals can experience healing and growth.

Many clients may initially find it challenging to engage with their internal parts, especially if they consider themselves to be too logical or rational. However, by exploring and understanding these parts, individuals can gain valuable insights into their own inner world and experience profound shifts in their mental and emotional well-being.

Is IFS right for you?

Internal Family Systems therapy may be the right fit for you if you are seeking a transformative and holistic (mind and body) approach to therapy. By delving deep into your internal family system, you can uncover hidden truths, heal past wounds, and cultivate a greater sense of self-compassion and understanding. Give IFS therapy a try and embark on a journey towards greater self-discovery and inner peace.

IFS offers numerous benefits that can positively impact your mental and emotional well-being. Here are some reasons why it may be beneficial for you:

  • Increased self-awareness: Through IFS therapy, individuals develop a greater understanding of their internal world and the different parts within them. By recognizing and acknowledging these parts, individuals can gain insights into their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, leading to a deeper level of self-awareness.
  • Healing past wounds: IFS therapy provides a safe and supportive environment for individuals to explore and heal past wounds. By engaging with their internal parts and understanding the origins of their pain, individuals can begin the process of healing and releasing emotional burdens that may have been carried for years.
  • Reduction in internal conflict: Many individuals experience inner conflict and feel torn between different aspects of themselves. IFS therapy aims to resolve these conflicts by fostering communication and understanding between different parts. As a result, individuals can experience a greater sense of harmony and integration within themselves.