Internal Family Systems Class

Introduction to Internal Family Systems:

A Transformative Journey to Your Inner Self

Greetings, and welcome to your insightful exploration of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy. As a licensed clinical mental health counselor, addiction and substance use counselor, and nationally certified counselor, I am suited to teach and implement this pioneering therapeutic model. My work as an integrative practitioner embodies holistic care, and this article serves to further expand sharing the knowledge of my personal and professional experiences.

In today’s fast-paced world, one could argue that the journey toward self-discovery and psychological wellness is more crucial than ever before. Rising rates of mental health disorders, addictive behaviors, and interpersonal conflicts bear witness to the urgency of effective treatment modalities. Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is a powerful psychotherapeutic approach that has shown promise in treating a wide range of behavioral and emotional difficulties. Created by Richard Schwartz in the 1990s, IFS is grounded in systems thinking and aims to foster internal coherence, balance, and self-leadership (Schwartz, 1995).

From an inclusive and equitable socialist theory lens, the aim of any psychotherapeutic practice should be not merely to ‘cure’ but to create an enabling environment where the individual is better equipped to navigate the complexities of society and live a fulfilled life. It is this inherent potential of IFS that makes it so pertinent to include in my coaching and therapy programs.

What is Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy?

At its core, IFS posits that the mind is not a monolithic entity but a complex system comprising multiple “parts” or sub-personalities, each with its own distinct roles, traits, and viewpoints. These parts interact with each other and the external world, much like members of a family. For example, one part may serve as a protector, stepping in to shield the person from emotional harm. Another part may function as an inner critic, attempting to maintain high standards but often at the cost of self-esteem.

The Three Main Types of Parts

  1. Managers: These parts aim to keep the individual’s life under control. They strive to prevent emotional hurt and try to maintain a balanced, productive existence.
  2. Firefighters: When emotional crises occur, firefighters step in to extinguish the “flames” of emotion, often through impulsive behaviors like overeating, substance abuse, or even self-harm.
  3. Exiles: These are the parts that carry emotional pain and are often isolated or repressed by managers and firefighters to keep the individual from feeling overwhelmed.

The Concept of the “Self”

In addition to these parts, IFS identifies the “Self” – a core, undamaged state of being characterized by qualities like curiosity, compassion, and clarity. The Self is not a part; it is the essence of who you are. The primary goal of IFS is to help individuals access this Self, which can then competently lead and harmonize the internal family of parts.

How Does IFS Align with “Strengthening Your Conscious Self”?

“Strengthening Your Conscious Self,” emphasizes the development of inner resources, emotional intelligence, and a well-rounded understanding of one’s mental and physical well-being. IFS can be an invaluable asset to this program. By helping you identify your various parts and guiding them in unburdening the parts that carry emotional pain or disruptive behaviors, you can catalyze profound shifts towards holistic health and wellness.


Internal Family Systems therapy offers a robust framework for understanding the complex mental ecosystem that resides within each individual. It provides tools for empowerment, emotional healing, and profound self-discovery. Through its lens, you can not just manage your symptoms, but also transform your entire way of relating to yourself, others, and the world.


  • Schwartz, R. C. (1995). Internal family systems therapy. Guilford Press.

Thank you for embarking on this journey into the world of Internal Family Systems therapy. My extensive qualifications and holistic approach to wellness matches well with IFS. Meaning IFS is a highly beneficial addition to my therapy and coaching toolkit.

Would you like to delve deeper into specific aspects of IFS for further understanding?