IFS Parts Check In

Performing a Daily Check-In with Your Parts

In the realm of mental health and personal growth, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, developed by Richard Schwartz, offers a unique and effective approach to understanding and managing the complex array of emotions and thoughts that reside within each individual. IFS posits that the mind is composed of various parts, each with its distinct roles, characteristics, and perspectives. A daily check-in with these parts can be a powerful tool for self-awareness, emotional regulation, and overall mental well-being. This article will guide you through the process of performing a daily check-in with your parts from an IFS perspective.

Understanding IFS and Its Components

Before delving into the check-in process, it’s essential to grasp the basics of IFS. IFS views the mind as a system comprising three types of parts:

Managers: These parts strive to keep you functioning and safe from harm. They are often responsible for controlling behavior, planning, and organizing.

Exiles: These are often younger parts that carry pain, trauma, and extreme emotions. They are usually “exiled” or suppressed by managers to protect the individual from their intensity.

Firefighters: These parts emerge to handle the extreme emotions that exiles break through. They often engage in distracting or numbing behaviors.

At the core of IFS is the Self, which is characterized by qualities like compassion, curiosity, calmness, and clarity. The Self is seen as the natural leader of the internal system.

The Daily Check-In Process

Step 1: Preparation

  • Find a Quiet Space: Choose a location where you feel safe and undisturbed.
  • Set Aside Time: Dedicate at least 10 to 15 minutes for this process.
  • Adopt a Mindful Attitude: Begin with a few minutes of mindfulness or deep breathing to center yourself.

Step 2: Inviting the Self

  • Connect with the Self: Focus on embodying the qualities of the Self – curiosity, calmness, compassion.
  • Acknowledge Your Parts: Recognize that all your parts have valuable roles and deserve attention.

Step 3: Identifying and Acknowledging Parts

  • Notice Any Dominant Feelings or Thoughts: These might be indicators of active parts.
  • Gently Explore: Ask yourself which parts are present. You might identify a manager working hard to solve a problem or a firefighter urging you to indulge in a distraction.

Step 4: Listening to Your Parts

  • Engage in Dialogue: Ask each part what it wants you to know. What are its concerns, fears, or desires?
  • Practice Non-Judgmental Listening: Approach each part with openness and empathy, without trying to change or fix it.

Step 5: Acknowledging Exiled Parts

  • Identify Any Exiled Parts: These might be parts holding pain or trauma.
  • Approach with Compassion: If they are willing to communicate, listen to their stories with kindness and understanding.

Step 6: Assuring and Comforting

  • Provide Assurance: Let your parts know that they are heard and that their roles are acknowledged.
  • Offer Comfort: If parts are carrying burdens, reassure them that they are not alone, and help is available.

Step 7: Integration and Reflection

  • Reflect on the Experience: What did you learn about your parts and their interactions?
  • Exercise: Get to know your parts, add new parts to your parts map. The map is a work in progress and should be updated regularly.
  • Plan for Action: If any part expressed a need or a concern, consider how you might address it in your future IFS sessions or in daily life.


Performing a daily check-in with your parts, following the IFS model, can significantly enhance self-awareness and emotional well-being. By acknowledging and listening to the diverse parts of your internal system, you foster a sense of harmony and balance. This process not only aids in managing daily stressors but also contributes to a deeper understanding of oneself, paving the way for personal growth and healing. Remember, this practice is a journey of discovery and self-compassion, where each part, no matter how small or hidden, has a voice that deserves to be heard.


Take a little time each day to check in with your parts. Use a guided meditation if it would help. Notice which parts are activated in the moment. Plan a certain time each day to do this exercise. Some people prefer to do it first thing in the morning, others at night before they go to bed. Make a list of each part that is activated at that time. For each part, fill in the following answers, if you know them:

Name of part: “Hello, welcome, I am glad you’re here, it is nice to meet you, can I ask your name?”

What it feels: “Do you mind, I would like to ask you something, how are you feeling?”

How does it respond to you?

What does it look like?

Where is it located in your body?

What does it say to you?

How does it usually make you behave?

Don’t be concerned if you don’t know all this information about the part. Just fill in what you can. When you are finished with this exercise, update your map of parts, by listing any new parts you discover.