Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a cutting edge approach to therapy that helps people change gently and compassionately. It is deeply respectful of a person's spiritual life. Jeanine and Russell have both done intensive training in the IFS model.  

If you have ever said, "Well, a part of me wants to . . . , but another part of me wants to . . . ," then you understand the basic premise of Internal Family Systems Therapy. IFS recognizes that our minds are made up of different parts, each with their own ideas, feelings, and intentions.  Some of our parts may be in harmony with one another, while other parts may be in tension. For example, one part of you might want to stop getting so angry, but another part of you wants to make sure you're speaking up for yourself and not being taken advantage of. Or one part of you might want to be successful and achieve your goals, while another part of you wants to protect you from disappointment and criticism, so it keeps you from putting your best self forward. Often our parts are carrying burdens that keep us locked in to certain habits of thinking, feeling, and acting. For example, a part of you might be carrying the burden of feeling unloved and undeserving, and this part might expend tremendous effort trying to get others to like you. Or a part of you might believe that the world is a dangerous place, and this part keeps you from taking some of the risks that are necessary for happiness. 

One of the goals of IFS therapy is to help people understand those burdens and release them. Internal Family Systems theory also holds that at the core of each person is a True Self that is wise, loving, and calm. In our understanding, this Self bears the image of God and is the place within us that is connected with Spirit. The Self is the key to change, and in IFS therapy we help people strengthen connection with Self and draw upon its resources. You can learn more about Internal Family Systems therapy at www.selfleadership.org.

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