An Approach That Focuses on Solutions

What is Internal Family Systems (IFS)?

IFS is one of the fastest growing approaches to psychotherapy. It has developed over the past twenty years. Unlike many conventional therapeutic approaches, it is a non-pathologizing approach to healing. It asserts that people heal themselves by tapping into their inherent resources and wisdom.

Theory of Internal Family Systems (IFS)?

We are multifaceted, as we have different aspects to our personality. We may call them sides, parts, or facets. For example, you have a part that loves a person and a part that hates that person. Our parts serve different functions for us. A lonely person may become workaholic. The workaholic part is his way of coping with his loneliness. If this client is treated for workaholism and his loneliness is not taken care of, he would then figure out some other ways to suppress his feelings of loneliness. Treating the workaholism alone will offer a band-aid approach.

In the field of mental health, we often focus on the “symptom”. We try to attack the symptom leaving the root cause of the problem untapped. If you kill a weed by cutting it off, what will happen? It will grow back. So we need to get to the root of the weed, dig deep into the ground, and then pull it out.

Does IFS work?

Problems happen only when these coping styles become extreme. The Self Leadership theory believes that people have an innate capacity, wisdom, and intuitive knowledge that may be blocked by fears. By releasing those fears, we are tapping into the clients’ internal resources. This will then remove the symptoms. Therefore, this is a very empowering technique and brings about deep inner changes rather than superficial symptom focused change.