We often feel chaotic, confused and unbalanced because we have so many conflicting thoughts and feelings vying for control. This conflict can easily be heard in daily conversations when we say “a part of me feels this way, and another part of me feels that way.” One of the best ways to experience ourselves as whole, healthy, and balanced individuals is to give attention to all parts of ourselves, while locating our grounded and wise Self. Internal Family Systems is one of the methods used to integrate our various subpersonalities.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
IFS works with each aspect of our selves as if they were separate personalities with their own needs, desires, wounding, beliefs, etc. For example, the person I am around my mother is very different that the person I am around my boss. It feels different internally and I behave differently externally. Often these parts “take over” our grounded, adult, wise Self. In IFS therapy we work to help that grounded Self to take a greater leadership role within the internal system of parts. IFS therapy is an incredibly effective way to deal with trauma, unmet needs, and integrating the Self into a grounded whole. This type of work does require a level of mindfulness that may not be available to all clients. However, mindfulness can be developed both in session and out of session.
The holistic counseling approach is rooted in the integration of Inner World (thoughts, feelings, beliefs, sensations etc.), Outer World (diet, culture, family, society, etc.), and Metaphysical World (spirituality, energy, etc.) experiences. We cannot experience ourselves as integrated beings until we first become intimately familiar with all the different aspects of ourselves.