Internal Family Systems Therapy


Internal Family Systems (IFS) SM, developed by Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, is an experiential,

non-pathologizing, psychospiritual model of therapy that gently and respectfully allows clients

to explore and transform their inner lives.

The basic assumption of IFS is that every human being, regardless of circumstance or trauma,

possesses a core untarnished Self with qualities of calmness, compassion, curiosity, courage,

clarity, confidence, connectedness, and creativity. Our Inner Self  is a resource for self-healing.



IFS recognizes that our psyche is made up of an “internal family” of sub-personalities, or “parts.”

Some of these parts hold memories related to difficult past experiences and their resulting

negative beliefs, called “burdens”. Other parts are organized to protect us from being

overwhelmed by these burdens. The intention of all our parts is something positive for us –

there are no “bad” parts, but rather parts stuck in extreme roles in an attempt to cope

with difficult life circumstances and traumatic experiences.

The goal of IFS therapy is not to eliminate parts but instead to befriend them and help them

unburden negative beliefs about themselves and find their non-extreme positive role in our life.

IFS therapy helps clients access their internal resource of Self Energy to understand themselves

more deeply, release the after-effects of trauma, become more Self-led, and experience

self healing and increased inner harmony and well-being.


The principles of the IFS model can also be applied to couples and group therapy.

As intimate partners and group members become more Self-led, they are able to communicate

and come into relationship in a new more centered way.



Is IFS Therapy Right for You? Find out more by clicking here


For more information about IFS, go to the Internal Family Systems website.

Be Sociable, Share!