Supporting Clients with Internal Family Systems Therapy

Posted By: Jimmy R Leverette Clinical Practice,

The COVID-19 pandemic created stressors that have reverberated into the present day. According to the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, circumstances related to COVID-19, including experiencing threat to life due to the illness or being exposed to dying patients as a medical provider, may increase the risk of developing trauma-related symptoms . Now more than ever it is crucial for clinicians to continue to sharpen their skills in trauma assessment and techniques in clinical practice.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an approach to psychotherapy developed by psychologist Richard Schwartz, PhD. IFS identifies and addresses multiple sub-personalities or families within each person’s mental system. These sub-personalities consist of wounded parts and painful emotions often created by trauma, and parts (such as anger and shame) that try to control and protect the person from the pain of the wounded parts. Even in the case of trauma, Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy asserts that we are not only one thing. Rather than being traumatized, IFS therapy believes that we have parts of us that carry adverse memories, negative beliefs, emotions, sensations, and energies absorbed through traumatic experiences. IFS®  is a transformative tool that conceives of every human being as a system of protective and wounded inner parts led by a core Self.

To learn more about how Internal Family Systems can be incorporated into the treatment of trauma, checkout the webinar Introduction to Internal Family Systems Therapy.


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