Parts Work (IFS/Internal Family Systems)
When It's Used
Internal Family Systems is used to treat a wide range of psychological issues, including:
· Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
· Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
· Eating disorders
· Relationship difficulties
How It Works
The Internal Family Systems model is based on the premise that we all have a “core Self” which is wise, strong, and loving. This core Self is often overshadowed by our “parts,” which can be in conflict with each other. IFS therapy aims to help us access our core Self so that we can heal our parts and achieve greater self-awareness and peace.
IFS therapy is a collaborative process between therapist and client. The therapist will help you to explore your inner world and identify your parts. You will then be encouraged to develop a relationship with your parts, which can be a healing experience in itself. Once you have a good understanding of your parts, you can begin to work with them to resolve conflicts and heal old wounds. Ultimately, the goal of IFS therapy is to help you become more self-aware and integrated so that you can live a more fulfilling life.
What to Expect
IFS therapy is typically conducted in weekly sessions, though the frequency may vary depending on your needs. The length of therapy will also vary depending on your goals and progress. IFS therapy is a highly individualized process, so the number of sessions and length of therapy will be determined case by case.
During your first session, your therapist will ask you about your goals for therapy and your current challenges. You will also be asked to share your personal history. This information will help the therapist to understand your inner world and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your needs.
In subsequent sessions, you will explore your parts and develop a relationship with them. This process can be challenging at times, but it is also very rewarding. As you get to know your parts and learn how to work with them, you will begin to feel more self-aware and integrated. Ultimately, this process can lead to lasting change and healing.
Effectiveness of IFS Therapy
There is a growing body of research that supports the effectiveness of IFS therapy. A study published in 2016 found that IFS was an effective treatment for PTSD, with participants reporting significant reductions in symptoms. Other studies have found that IFS is an effective treatment for depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.
In general, IFS therapy has been found to be a safe and effective treatment for a wide range of psychological issues. If you are considering IFS therapy, it is important to find a therapist who is trained in the model and has experience treating your particular issue.