IFS in the news..

Uncategorised Oct 24, 2019

Internal family systems  (IFS)  (The Sunday Times  7/8/2011)
This fast-growing therapy sees the human psyche as organized into a collection of sub personalities or “parts”, like an internalized family. IFS groups these parts into types: managers, exiles and firefighters. Managers are protective and try to keep us functional and safe. Exiles are the vulnerable parts that have been “exiled” by managers. When a person has been hurt or shamed in the past, they will have parts that still carry these emotions. Managers want to keep these feelings out of consciousness, so they lock up exiles in “inner closets”. When managers fail  and one of the exiles is upset to the point that it may flood the person its extreme feelings, firefighters jump into action. Highly impulsive, they seek stimulation that will override the exile’s feelings – commonly bingeing on drugs or alcohol.
IFS also believes that everyone has a core self with leadership qualities such as perspective, confidence, compassion and acceptance. The therapists’ job is to help clients access this sense of self and to gain control over the reactions of their impulsive parts.
“Addiction represents a battle between firefighters and exiles”, says the psychologist Stephanie Moorsom. “IFS draws a clients attention to the purpose their addiction is serving for their internal systems. Rather than being judged as bad, these ‘dangerous’ parts are conceptualized as attempting, however misguidedly, to protect a person. If they are treated with respect and compassion, these extreme aspects of our personalities can drop their destructive masks and become life-affirming instead.”