Internal Family Systems (IFS)

I have recently completed, Level One training, in Internal Family Systems (IFS). It’s a parts based psychotherapy that originated in the States. The founder is Richard Schwartz, the main website is here

IFS is a gentle non judgemental mindfull therapy. “All parts are welcome”. It encourages us to go inside and begin to notice our parts or what comes up for us when we go inside.

Believing we are all made up of many different parts. A very simple analogy is, you may have a part thats sad, equally, you may have a happy part.

Alongside, our parts and their various roles, which IFS names as Protectors, ( our defences), Firefighters (Behaviours we may indulge in to stop us feeling our exiles, eg drugs, sex, eating, gambling etc) and Exiles ( the original wound or source of the trauma). Alongside these 3 main catergories, we also have our true self/our core self, in this instance it has a capital S, Self .

When we are in Self, we are in present moment time and are; calm, curious or compassionate, courageous, clear, connected, confident and our hearts are open. Self for me could also be called soul. All of my work is soul-ful work, enabling the soul to be full again. Trauma is also known as as soul loss. In shamanic terms, we might say, we are either reclaiming lost soul parts or letting go parts that dont belong to us or we no longer need to carry.


When trauma happens, the parts of us that are affected at the time, (as parts of self) generally, were not seen, heard, or noticed, therefore they remain as they were at the time of the incident(s), that may be stuck or frozen, anxious or hypervigilant, to name a few and they often present as current symptoms or ways of being.

My work with you is to help you get to know your parts working together with your internal, family, system. Internal; what’s going on your inside, family; your collection or family of parts and system; it’s like a system or constellation. Completely, individual to you and your circumstances.

Here is a short video, explaining IFS:

In IFS, we work together, with permission from your parts, your in charge of the process, so that we can get to know them and find out from them, what it is they need in current time and space.

Before going on to help them find healing and seperate out the IFS term is unblend and/or not carry whatever trauma, burden or energy, they took on at the time they were created, the IFS term is unburden.

In my expereince IFS can also be fun!

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