Internal Family Systems Model was developed by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D. 30 years ago and is now one of the fastest growing forms of therapy world wide. It goes deep, easily integrates spirituality, and has a strength-based understanding of the human person. IFS integrates two perspectives; the perspective that we are all inter-related, a family systems perspective, and the multiplicity of the mind, that within, we have distinct sub-personalities or parts that are working for our own good (even if the result is ultimately not always helpful). For instance, if you struggle with self-criticism, IFS would say that your inner critic is most likely protecting a more vulnerable part of you that is possibly afraid of rejection or feelings of shame. Or, someone might feel stuck because of an internal battle between a part that is very loyal to family and a part that wants adventure and exposure to new things. Change comes from helping each person find that centered, compassionate part of them that IFS calls, Self. When our more extreme protective parts connect with Self and its compassion, calm, and non-judgmental curiosity, there is more internal safety and connection, and less need for protective behaviors that hurt. So, when there is an internal connection between Self and your inner-critic, there is less fear of vulnerability and thus less need for such harsh criticism. Or, when Self connects and values both needs for loyalty to family and for adventure, there is suddenly courage for what needs to be done or said to get unstuck.
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