Do you ever feel that one part of you feels one way and another completely disagrees? If you’re human, you probably do. Or maybe you’re furious at someone, or worried sick about something and part of you knows it would be much better if you could calm down.
Internal Family Systems is a therapy approach developed by Richard Schwartz and others. What I love about IFS is this: It gives us a way to listen to different parts of ourselves with compassion. It starts with the assumption that every part of you wants the best for you, even if misguided.
Just this idea alone is useful in therapy. Together we can listen and hear this part out – a great way to face yourself and know yourself. Often, as a result of this compassionate listening, a part of yourself that’s been giving you trouble can relax a little. You experience more self acceptance and less internal conflict.
IFS work is a little like internal psychodrama. You ‘speak’ with different parts of yourself, including parts that seem connected to childhood experiences. This often leads to powerful insights as well as changes in feelings and behaviour.