Internal Family Systems Therapy – Learning to love the parts of ourselves that nobody appreciates or cheers for
Have you ever found yourself having an internal debate- where one part of you felt one way and another part felt another way? Have you experienced times when you feel like a passenger in your life, and you can’t believe how you are behaving? Maybe you have a part that yells and behaves outwardly angry. Or maybe you have a part that shuts down and withdraws and is unable to speak. Sometimes we have parts that turn to substances to cope or self sabotage when we try to change. We all experience times when we feel like “parts” of ourselves have taken over and feel like we have no control over what is happening.
Internal Family Systems Therapy or IFS was developed by Richard Schwartz in the 1980’s. While working with families for many years, Richard noticed a similarity in the dynamic between the family members and the orchestra of parts that were present in each of the family member’s internal worlds. IFS is a non-pathologizing, evidence-based, and trauma-informed model of psychotherapy that recognizes the natural multiplicity of the human mind. This approach allows for curiosity and compassion for all parts with the understanding that there are no bad parts- only parts that have been forced into “bad” roles.
As an IFS informed therapist, my goal is to help you connect with and embrace all parts of yourself. To gain an understanding of your internal world and be able to access your innate sense of Self or your healer within. Through access to Self, you can bring balance to your system and create harmony between your parts. IFS is a powerful tool to help remove feelings of guilt, shame, self-judgment and inner criticism. Once these feelings have stepped back, we are able to have compassion for ourselves and a deep appreciation for the roles our parts have taken on to protect more vulnerable and wounded parts that have been exiled- often since childhood. Through this process of becoming Self-led, you will notice a reduction in symptomatic behaviors and start to live the life you dream of.
IFS has been shown through evidence-based practice to be helpful in working with trauma, emotional, physical and sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, grief, and addictions.
“YOU WILL FIND THAT, JUST AS IS TRUE OF
WELL-FED CHILDREN IN THE OUTSIDE WORLD,
YOUR INNER CHARACTERS WILL TRANSFORM-
THEY’LL BECOME LIGHTER AND HAPPIER- WHEN
YOU FEED RATAHER THAN STARVE THEM.”
— RICHARD C. SCHWARTZ
Anya Stang, MC, has extensive experience in the areas of self-esteem, anxiety, personal growth, plus many more. For more information on Anya and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.