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Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems graphic

IFS: No Bad Parts

What is Internal Family Systems Therapy?
Internal Family Systems therapy, also known as IFS, is an approach that believes that all of us have many dimensions to ourselves. We have a part of us who feels a certain way and another part who acts differently from that part, and many more parts who show up throughout our lives. Most of us have said or have heard others say “Well part of me thought it was a good idea!” Or something very like this.

Parts Work
When it comes to therapy, we look at how parts of ourselves may be stuck in a sort of time warp. They may have developed certain beliefs and ideas about life when they were quite young, and are still using outdated ways of coping that may not be needed anymore. Or there may be wounded parts who overwhelm us with sadness and fear, which we constantly try to ignore, yet they return again and again. There may be parts who are strongly reactive and lead to actions you later regret, as if you had no control over yourself and wonder "How did that happen? That wasn’t me!"

Compassion and Curiosity
To put it simply, IFS is another way of getting to know yourself. It is guided by a framework that is based on kindness, compassion and curiosity. It is a way of asking yourself—


When I turn inside, what will I find when I pay attention?

Do I have the courage to slow down and listen to my inner world, and bring kindness to what I find?


IFS also rests on the belief and certainty that all of us have within us the space and capability to meet whatever is within us and lead ourselves to healing. As this method teaches us, there are no bad parts within us. Misunderstood, yes. But never bad or unworthy of our love.








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