What is IFS?
The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of psychotherapy offers a clear, non-pathologizing, and empowering method of understanding human problems, as well as an innovative and enriching philosophy of practice that invites both therapist and client to enter into a transformational relationship in which healing can occur. IFS is an evidenced, attachment, systems and mindfulness-based framework and approach to self-awareness, acceptance and long-lasting healing.
IFS was developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, LMFT, in the 1980s during his work with families of bulimic, self-harming clients. The model evolved as he listened to the inner workings of his clients’ protective systems of parts (i.e., traits, sub-personalities, thoughts, behaviors, feelings). IFS is now taught and practiced world-wide in a wide variety of contexts (mental health practices, schools, medical settings, legal and corporate sectors, in reconciliation efforts in the Middle East, by spiritual leaders, bodyworkers, yoga and mindfulness teachers). IFS is an effective, efficient, and empowering framework for working with issues such as depression, anxiety, trauma, addiction, eating disorders, dissociation, personality disorders, anger, relationship challenges, perfectionism and self-criticism.
Click here to read Dr. Schwartz’s article “The Larger Self,” his inspiring first-hand account of how he developed and uses the IFS Model and the extraordinary, transformative effect it had on him and his clients.