IFS Therapy in NYC and NC

What Is IFS Therapy?

Our personalities are not one-dimensional; they are incredibly complex and made up of many different parts (or “sub-personalities”). This idea is familiar to virtually anyone. After all, we constantly say things like “Part of me wants to socialize, and the other part wants to withdraw,” or “Part of me wants to drink my feelings away, and the other part knows that’s unhealthy.”

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an evidence-based model of therapy that seeks to restore balance and harmony between all of our parts. It explores the many different sub-personalities of the mind and seeks to nurture and deepen their connection to each person’s overall self. Together, the therapist and client work to understand, engage, and reduce destructive parts. The idea is to keep the client’s individual parts from controlling their whole self, allowing them to lead a self-led life.

How Effective Is IFS Therapy And Who Can It Help?

IFS is a bottom-up approach to psychotherapy, meaning that it goes under the surface of conscious awareness and addresses core issues rather than just symptoms. This makes it much more powerful than standard talk therapy. After all, talk therapy can only help you cognitively process experiences—it can’t access the emotional pain that’s stored in the unconscious. IFS can. It addresses parts of the self that the conscious mind can’t touch, allowing for deeper, long-lasting relief.

In my practice, I primarily use IFS to help people overcome trauma and PTSD. Many people with trauma in their past struggle with wounded parts; IFS can help them heal those parts and integrate them into a new, healthier version of themselves. I also use IFS to treat anxiety, depression, and many other mental health conditions.

How Does IFS Therapy Work?

IFS does not follow any sort of protocol—the approach is very improvisational, free-flowing, and experiential. This is because the actual work of IFS happens internally, while you’re identifying and exploring the different parts of your mind. You don’t have to “try” hard at IFS and there is no way to “fail” at it. All it requires is self-reflection and a willingness to engage with your emotions.

The first thing I usually tell IFS clients is that there are no “bad” parts—some parts just don’t know what they’re doing. For instance, suppose you experienced heartbreak in a previous relationship. Now, when you get into a happy relationship, part of you may want to sabotage and end the relationship so you don’t experience heartbreak again. This part that wants to self-sabotage is trying to protect you, but it also holds you back from forming a deeper connection with someone new—someone who might be healthy for you.

What IFS does is help you cultivate a healthy relationship with this part of yourself. The goal is not to remove destructive parts of yourself, but to become aware of them, reduce their destructive tendencies, and integrate them into a healthier, more balanced identity. This way, your “self” is leading your life instead of your individual “parts.”

Throughout the course of therapy, I will help you get to know all of the different parts that make up who you are. You’ll learn about your exiled parts (the ones that carry your emotional burdens), manager parts (the ones that try to control and protect you), and firefighter parts (the ones that hold your impulsive reactions). Together, we’ll work on uncovering and healing each of these parts and deepening your awareness of how they function.

How Can IFS Therapy Benefit My Life?

Knowledge is power, and the knowledge that IFS provides is truly liberating. You can become more in tune with your emotions and more aware of when and how they surface. If part of you is tempted to binge-eat or drink excessively when you feel down, IFS can help you recognize this impulse when it arises.

If part of you likes to turn down social events where you might risk rejection, IFS can help you question whether isolating is healthy for you. The more you know about yourself, the more control you have over your actions.

All in all, doing this work can help you heal from past trauma, improve your self-compassion, and form a deeper connection to your inner world. You can experience harmony between all of your emotions and live a life that reflects the wisdom of your own wise mind.

Unleash Your Inner Self With IFS

If you want to free yourself from the parts that are holding you back in life, we encourage you to try IFS therapy with us. Our practice owner, Dr. Monica Johnson, is a Level 1 IFS therapist who studied with the prestigious IFS Institute. She trains and supervises all the other IFS practitioners at Kind Mind Psychology.

To connect with us and begin your journey of self-empowerment,  contact us or call (646) 918 – 1181.