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Internal Family Systems (IFS)
"Parts Work" Therapy

Mosaic of Woman

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a powerful, trauma-informed, evidence-based therapy for treating a variety of mental health conditions and psychological conflicts in a gentle, non-pathologizing way. I have been trained in the official Internal Family Systems therapy Level 1 training through the IFS Institute. IFS works very differently from conventional talk therapy. It helps you get quickly to the root of unconscious behaviours, patterns, and traumas through accessing parts of you more directly than is typically possible through your analytical mind alone, including through mental imagery, bodily sensations, and other means. It teaches you to view all aspects of your self and experience with compassion, love, and curiosity, and to tap into your psyche's natural, intuitive healing capacities.


Through this therapy, we identify and befriend different parts or aspects of yourself as they show up in your body, mind, emotions, memories, and stories about your life. Many of our parts, known in IFS as managers, protect us by managing and keeping at bay underdeveloped and traumatized parts that are often frozen in time in periods of our lives when we were under-resourced and emotionally overwhelmed. Many traditional psychotherapeutic models understood the activity of these protective parts as "resistance" and often attempted to barge through them, which can unfortunately result in emotional overwhelm, retraumatization, and these parts losing trust in your leadership.

By working with these parts through curiosity and empathy, we understand their roles and listen to their fears and gain their trust and permission, helping them to do their jobs better by relieving the more vulnerable parts (known as exiles) they protect of their distress. Other parts known as firefighters help us by putting out the emotional fires of underdeveloped, exiled parts, often through addictions, self-sabotage, self-harm, and other unwanted behaviours that provide us with temporary relief but often unfortunately cause more long-term harm. We gain the permission of firefighter parts, and when they show up in sessions through, for instance, overwhelming emotions or distressing symptoms like blankness, panic, or dissociation, we listen to them and work with them so that they no longer have to get our attention through extreme measures. It is often a huge relief for clients to experience that even very distressing emotions and symptoms can be worked with and deescalated quickly and directly without the need for coping skills or grounding techniques. 

In IFS therapy, we help you to access the intuitive inner guidance of your Self - the you that is whole, wise, calm, curious, compassionate, creative, untouched by trauma, and that is powerfully capable to heal your parts and make the decisions that best serve you and your loved ones. Many people describe this state of inner connectedness and self-leadership that characterizes "Self energy" as a kind of spiritual experience; others who don't identify with this term describe it as their ideal self. IFS can be adopted to any framework including religion, spirituality, or secular atheism. In IFS therapy, you are the primary healer and the therapist is a facilitator who helps you get in touch with yourself and helps your various parts to communicate and learn to trust you, relieving parts of the burdens they may have inherited through family, culture, and society, or picked up from challenging life experiences and traumas. 

Through my IFS training and extensive study of mindfulness, meditation, Jungian psychology, and Eastern approaches to psychology and consciousness studies, I am able to offer IFS therapy that brings together multiple fields of psychology and science to help you heal and thrive.


Curious about IFS Therapy?

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