Internal Family Systems
is a psychological approach to individualised personal sessions, couples or family therapy, relying on the assumption that our human psyche naturally consists of diverse parts of personality.
These act independently, like an internal family, in harmony, but with conflicts or contradictions too. On the basis of Internal Family Systems we work on these separate parts from a self-lead state of mind in use of client centred talking therapy sessions, whilst following the principle that all parts, in each actual state, are welcome!
The model follows Richard C. Schwartz' perceptions. He developed IFS in the 1980s as a PHD of psychology and family therapist, whilst defining different aspects within the human psyche:
Unburdened parts can be seen as helpful tools of ourSelves, that we need for organising our every day lives or to maintain our personal relationships.
Nevertheless, in the course of life, we cannot avoid going through painful or even traumatising experiences.
If we cannot deal with these in an appropriate way, some parts can start to act out in insisting positions, intending to protect us from overwhelming feelings, such as grief, anxiety or shame. Therefore, unwanted emotions get banned and some of our inner parts take care of keeping them banned sustainably. This is how protectors and so called exiles arise.
Protectors can also exile undesirable behaviours or characteristics that were considered disturbing by our families of origin or by society.
is considered an invulnerable and healing agent, existing within every human being, although not always evident immediately.
"Behind your thoughts and feelings (...), there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage - whose name is Self. In your body he dwells; he is your body."
Friedrich Nietzsche, 1885
"Intellectually the Self is no more than a psychological concept, a construct that serves to express an unknowable essence which we cannot grasp as such, since by definition it transcends our powers of comprehension."