Tangled Web

Deceptions of a transgender guy


Internal Family Systems (IFS) (Psychotherapy model)

My psychologist, Haan, whom I started seeing after my own 9/11 in 2010, uses the Internal Family Systems Model (IFS). IFS is an integrative approach to individual psychotherapy and was developed by Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D. The web page, “About Internal Family Systems”, describes the model in far better terms than I can, but in a nutshell, we all have “parts” or conflicted sub personalities that resided within us.  The mind is an inner family of parts that take on common roles and common inner relationships. These inner roles and relationships are not static and can be changed. I quote from the web page, “The IFS Model … views a person as containing an ecology of relatively discrete minds, each of which has valuable qualities and each of which is designed to — and wants to — play a valuable role within. These parts are forced out of their valuable roles, however, by life experiences that can reorganize the system in unhealthy ways.” parts are forced into extreme roles by external circumstances and, once it seems safe, they gladly transform into valuable family members.

A key aspect of the IFS Model, differentiates it from other models. This is the belief that, in addition to these parts, “everyone is at their core a Self containing many crucial leadership qualities, such as perspective, confidence, compassion, and acceptance. The goal of IFS is to differentiate the Self from the parts, thereby releasing its resources. When the individual is in the state of Self, the person and therapist work together to help the parts out of their extreme roles.”

What a tangle of parts to weave into the web…

Internal Family Systems

Internal Family Systems book by Richard C. Schwartz



Author: Kris

Hi! I'm Kris. I live in South Africa with my life partner of 27+ years, whom I call B or Madam in my posts. We have a Pug dog child, Remi, also known as Pooch, who has graced and enriched our lives for the past 12 years.

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