“IFS showed me how to love every aspect of myself in a specific way.”
Dr. Jay Earley, IFS Practitioner and Author of Self Therapy

What is IFS?

The IFS Model

The IFS Model

IFS or Internal Family Systems is a method of therapy developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph. D. over the last 2+ decades. It believes that each of us encompasses, internally, a collection of ‘parts’ or subpersonalities that over time and for a variety of reasons become disintegrated with each other.

Certain parts, labeled exiles, harbor deeply felt hurts, fears and shame. These ‘exiles’ are kept locked in our psyche by other parts who play the role of ‘managers‘ to keep the intense emotions of the exiles away from public view.

Then you have the firefighters whose job is to protect the exiles from the intensity of their feelings by dousing those hot flames as soon as they appear. Unfortunately, this ‘firefighting’ activity, as we grow older and more removed from the source of the emotion, can cause more harm than good.

The purpose of IFS therapy is to reintegrate these parts into a healthy, functioning whole under the core of Self. The Self, according to the Internal Family Systems approach, is the repository of our best qualities: perspective, leadership, confidence, compassion and acceptance. The chaos of our disparate parts often blocks our access to Self - a situation which IFS therapy works to remedy.

An important precept of IFS is that there are no bad parts. Each part, when properly aligned with Self, has a very positive role to play in our integrated whole.

We are complex beings and IFS gives us a way to understand our psyche clearly and comprehensively as we work to resolve our deeply ingrained emotional issues.

The Promise of the Internal Family Systems’ Approach

The promise of IFS is that it presents a method to

  • know yourself at a deeper level, to
  • uncover hidden motivations and conflicts and to
  • heal the hurt.

The parts of you that were previously holding you back now become resources of internal wisdom and support. You learn to relate better with people, find more success in your work and become contented and happy in your life.

Additional Resources: Evolution of The Internal Family Systems Model by Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph. D.



Is IFS for You

Contact Amy Gray for a confidential initial consultation to find out if IFS is for you.