What’s all the buzz about IFS and IFIO?

Have you ever felt that your life is made up of different parts?  Maybe you have one part that wants to move forward in a relationship, but another part that is afraid to do so for fear it will get hurt?  Or maybe a part of you wants to engage in extreme behaviors, but another part of you does not want to because it knows it’s dangerous.  If you’ve ever experienced this conflict among your inner parts, you’re not alone.

Pioneered by Dr. Richard Schwartz, Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy – or “Parts Therapy” – is a transformative evidence-based model of individual therapy designed to bring healing by focusing more on what drives the ways a person interacts with Self and others – i.e., their “parts” – than just trying to fix problematic thoughts and behaviors. Trauma often resides in the past, so the IFS process takes a person back to those places so they can process their trauma, understand the parts of theirs that are in conflict, and start letting go of the hurts.  With proper time and attention to the process, the Self – that wise inner core of a person – gains wisdom, which leads to greater clarity, courage, and confidence in relationships, vocation, and life direction.

Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) is often referred to as IFS for couples. This therapy process helps couples move beyond conflicts about daily events and recurring irritating behaviors and focuses instead on what each person longs for and needs.  Very often, different parts will take over and drive a person into anger, anxiety, or defensive behaviors and away from meaningful connection. IFIO helps couples identify their needs as well as the ways to get those needs met. In this process, they discover that all parts are trying to help, but are often young and immature and unable to take the lead with adult decisions. IFIO therapy helps the parts relax back so openhearted connection can happen.