Internal Family Systems

The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS), first developed by Richard C. Schwartz, is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy that combines systems thinking with the view that mind is made up of separate subpersonalities, each with its own viewpoint and qualities. The focus of IFS therapy is to get to know each of these subpersonalities and understand how they work as a whole in order to better achieve healing. IFS can be used to treat individuals, couples, and families and it has been shown to be effective for treating a variety issues, including depression, anxiety, and panic. Think this approach might be right for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s Internal Family Systems specialists today.

Meet the specialists

Have you ever felt torn over what to do in a given situation? Ever feel like there's a war in your mind? If so, internal family systems (IFS) can help you navigate these parts of yourself that keep you stuck and recycling unhelpful patterns. Katie applies IFS to her work with college students, trauma survivors, women experiencing separation or divorce, and people wrestling with deep shame. She appreciates the creative, client-led aspects of IFS and the deep healing she has seen through IFS work.

— b'well counseling services, Licensed Professional Counselor in Towson, MD

I frequently use the non-pathologizing "all parts are welcome" techniques in my sessions. While not yet officially trained in IFS, i have self studied the concepts extensively and love the non judgmental approach this method offers.

— kaseja wilder, Counselor in Eugene, OR

IFS is my primary modality for individual counseling because it is both highly effective and relatively easy for most people to work with, across a range of issues. It can help bring clarity to all the myriad parts of a complex human being dealing with complex life issues. I find that IFS also supports differentiation of self, which is key to personal freedom and relationship success.

— Kelly Arthur, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist Intern in Portland, OR

Completed IFS Level 1 training and additional trainings through the Center for Self Leadership.

— Erica Thompson, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in San Diego, CA

Have a background working at a residential/outpatient treatment facility based in IFS, and continue to refer to the model. Thinking of true self and parts of the psyche has been helpful to most of my clients to move past many of their problematic behaviors/thought patterns and to get to how we can heal their attachment wound.

— Kelley Goodwin, Licensed Professional Counselor in Roswell, GA

I utilize IFS to help quickly help create a safe space where internal dynamics and traumas can be explored and healed.

— Adam Richardson, Counselor in Boulder, CO

Most of us are ambivalent about most things to some degree. That is because we have parts with different, and sometimes conflicting needs and wants. Internal Family Systems is an approach that takes all impulses, feelings and desires seriously and is an approach that fosters integration and mastery so that no part is taking the lead without the consent of all other parts. This integration leads to a sense of empowerment and well-being.

— Sarah Blaszczak, in Portland, OR