Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an evidenced based approach to psychotherapy used to help people access and heal their inner parts and wounded parts. There is a focus on Self-Energy which embodies the 8 Cs: confidence, calm, compassion, courage, creativity, clarity, curiosity, and connectedness. At Inner Expansions we believe self-compassion and the other 8 Cs are important to healing, and important to your relationships with others and vital to healing the relationship you have with yourself.

Imagine your mind as a family with different members, each representing a part of you. These parts can be like different characters or roles within you, each with its own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Now, the concept of self-energy in IFS is like the wise and compassionate leader of this inner family—the calm, centered, and grounded part of you that holds all the other parts together. Your true self, your core, your high self, your heart-centered self.

When you're in a state of self-energy, you feel balanced, confident, and at peace with yourself. You're able to approach challenges with clarity, empathy, and resilience, and you make decisions from a place of wisdom and authenticity. It's like having a reliable compass within you that guides you through life's ups and downs.

In contrast, when you're not in self-energy, one or more of your inner parts might be in charge, leading to feelings of stress, confusion, or inner conflict. For example, you might have a part that feels anxious, another part that's critical of yourself, and so on. In these moments, the goal of IFS therapy is to help you reconnect with your self-energy—to tap into that inner wisdom and compassion—to restore balance and harmony within your inner family.

By understanding and working with your internal parts while nurturing your self-energy, IFS therapy helps you cultivate a deeper sense of self-awareness, healing, and wholeness. It's like learning to become the loving and wise leader of your own inner world, guiding yourself towards greater well-being and fulfillment.

It is the deeper work that truly heals rather than just learning to cope.

More information about IFS can be found on the IFS Institute's website.