Individual Systemic Therapy
Compassion and Power Inside with:
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS-T)
IFS was founded by Richard C Schwartz (1995) and this means it is a recent wide-scoped therapeutic system. I have trained directly with Dr Schwartz, completing all 3 levels of the IFS program, making it a powerful addition to my systemic tool-kit. IFS is very sought after in the US and is also a rapidly growing movement, it is in demand at the forefront of the UK's cutting-edge psychotherapies.
IFS Therapy Outlined:
Central to the core of being human there is innate spacious awareness that provides pure clarity. Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy acknowledges the clear qualities of calm, compassion, and connective loving power that can enrich our interactions with what we feel, think, and do. This all happens via what the IFS model of psychotherapy terms the “Self”. IFS practitioners hold a view about “Self” that is not like how people generally view or think towards the idea of self, hence the use of the capital ‘S’. The IFS version of Self could be described as: 'The harbour of relational selves' or a container that holds many 'views-about-life' - meaning the Self is much more than its parts. For example, IFS parallels aside and closely aligns to the ideas within Buddhism or non-religious meditation (Vipassana / Mindfulness) that are widespread in todays therapeutic cultures; also the humanist theories espoused by Carl Rogers aside and with Eugine Gendlin's as a collaboration. This all means that, by default, the method is Systemic because IFS recognises people come with multiple aspects or influential forces that communicate with each other, there are many systems within and outside the psyche, that are existential, innate and influential contexts within or excluded from dialogical relationship...
Todays culture appreciates that the psyche is much more than one entity, than ever before.
IFS therapy recognises people harbour a multitude of systems that are referred to as “parts” (sub-systems), about the innate Self - being. e.g. "A part of me needs to do this and other parts want to do that and more"... The nature of these parts are respected to assist and protect human existence – in a relational manner even though they may seem at odds. These are known by psychology as relational selves. Sometimes there may be embodied reasons that people think and feel a particular way and these parts are designed to sense, react and keep us safe; in relation to our own and others experiences. The contextual aspects of parts internally communicate with reason, emotion and distract us away from the calmness we innately possess via our 'family of origin' embodiments. i.e. social programming and this sometimes puts us in awkward situations, some of them innate, and others taken-on-board from wider social influences - people get trapped thinking 'it is the way it is' (a cloak of exclusion). This also means these inner parts influence our interactions within our own being and in-turn our behaviour with others, in ways that can bring about emotional conflict, distress or burdened unhappiness within ourselves and the people we connect with. We learn to not integrate all of our selves. In other words feeling can be lost within embodied constructs.
In the ancient Buddhist texts these parts of the psyche have been identified to have been referred to as bytes.
The place of the IFS Therapist / Practitioner is to assist their clients to explore and make sense of these relational contexts / parts of experience, to disentangle from the Gordian Knots and systemic binds that maintain their own troubling perpetuations. IFS works towards accessing the individuals innate essence of pure clarity (Elan Vital) in a way that becomes more therapeutic / communicative / relationally healthy. This is because the "Self" (the most authentic you) can re-establish connections with traumatized / wounded / burdened parts and by healing them, transform - freeing-up the relational system with its truly congruent qualities. This comes about because a new or enriched Self-connected / view /perspective allows the parts to relax their dynamic forces and or change / re-position / re-align their destructive roles and reform wholesome integration - re-dress. Things can be assisted safely to become less emotionally intense and less neurotic, as though a musical conductor has worked the symphony into a harmonious corroboration.
Many spiritual teachers have long argued:
"Take the defilements of the mind to 'abide by the Self' and they will be healed!"
The IFS Practitioner is tuned to deeply recognizes the explicit clarity of the essential essence - Self, with and or aside any spiritual qualities - much alike the person-centred counsellor but with a deeply and furthermore developed construct. IFS aligns with depth psychology. It's not unusual for clients who experience their inner systems via IFS to find themselves in awe of the innate qualities they find inside their being. IFS allows the methods within its practice, along with complimentary approaches & practices, to corroborate, develop well-being and psychological healing.