Internal Family Systems (IFS)stems from the idea that individuals cannot be fully understood in isolation from the family unit—to develop techniques and strategies to effectively
address issues within a person’s internal community or family. This evidence-based approach assumes each individual possesses a variety of sub-personalities, or “parts,” and attempts to get to
know each of these parts better to achieve healing.
By learning how different parts function as a system and how the overall system reacts to other systems and other people, people in therapy can often, with the help of
a trained mental health professional, become better able to identify the roots of conflict, manage any complications arising, and achieve greater well-being.
The IFS model has 5 basic assumptions:
The human mind is subdivided into an unknown number of parts.
Each person has a Self, and the Self should be the chief agent in coordinating the inner family.
Parts engaging in non-extreme behavior are beneficial to the individual. There is no such thing as a “bad part.” Therapy aims to help parts discover their non-extreme roles.
Personal growth and development leads to the development of the internal family. Interactions between parts become more complex, allowing for systems theory to be applied to the internal
system. Reorganization of the internal system may lead to rapid changes in the roles of parts.
Adjustments made to the internal system will result in changes to the external system and vice versa. Therefore, both the internal and external systems need to be adequately assessed.