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A part of me wants to eat the cake...a part of me doesn't want to eat the cake!  Sound familiar? You may have just stumbled upon one of your inner parts. And, the idea 'Inner parts' is a concept clearly articulated in IFS Therapy.  

​Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) is a psychotherapy model that views the psyche as a multiplicity of inner parts, that are useful and help us adapt and cope. And these inner parts (or just, parts) have a natural role, and even carry our inner gifts, talents, morals and values. When younger parts live through some stress or difficulty, they may take on an unnatural role, over the course of our lives.  Oh ... and no ... this is not at all considered "multiple personalities." When we use IFS Therapy, the person is aware of their inner parts, and we are using this as a paradigm to dialogue with a particular issue.  

IFS Therapy work is inner parts work, that  many times is similar to the inner child work of long ago.  However, it is much more sophisticated and powerful. There is a new type of access available, when guided by an IFS Therapist. You are then able to dialogue with these inner parts, and be guided by a very skilled therapist, in ways that will resolve old issues that other types of psychotherapy were not able to fully shift. 

​As the therapist guides you to tune into some issue that is distressing or bothersome, you will begin to see how there are parts of yourself that made inaccurate conclusions long ago. And what is most surprising is that these inner parts are still trying to get needs met from long ago, unaware that the issue from long ago, is not even happening any longer.  

​Here's an example:  ​The therapist's helps the person tune into a part that was hurt deeply when her father left, and her parents divorced at 4 years old. This 4 year-old part then needs to be out in front in the person's life, always trying to get her needs from when she was 4 years old, met, through whatever relationship she is in now. Except, as an adult, the person is watching herself behave in ways that she really does not want to be; possibly needy. Then the end result is that everyone leaves her, and she finds herself in the same situation over and over again.  ​The person "knows better" but is really being  run by the compelled behaviors of the 4 year old part. The adult woman feels ashamed, and yet has not been able to stop herself even though it has happened over and over. 

​Let's break that down. The child part unconsciously "jumps out in front" in the person's life to handle any relationship issue. She does this because there are feelings around in the adult situations that remind the child of long ago. The adult woman has no idea that the inner part is flooding her with this need to handle these interactions. The inner child has no idea that she can not solve the problems from long ago (the hurt of dad leaving) through the relationships in present time.  This is why this issue is so insidious to the adult woman who is so baffled by her own behavior.  

​As the IFS Therapist guides her, she finds that this child part, made conclusions from the time when her father left. There could be some feelings of not being good enough, or that she will lose out on love.   Those feelings were wounded and are still stuck from long ago. And, most strikingly, they do not even apply to the situations, today, in her adult life. However, this child part still only has a child's ability in regard to brain development, and has no idea this is all the case, no idea it is 2023, and no idea of adult creative solutions, that could help in the relationships situations.  The inner part has no idea the adult woman can now handle these situations.  And thus, it all starts to unwind in the therapy,  and we can see a much more sophisticated version of where this compelled behavior has been coming from.  And, we now have a true access point to work to repair that wound from long ago. 

​The adult woman begins to see that the inner child part, with her overly compelled need to get love, was the thing doing the mismatched behaviors that she felt ashamed of, and yet had no ability to change. As the therapy moves along, the therapist will assist the person (the client) in helping to update this child part, and teach the person how to be the safe and solid adult this little one needs.  


Then the real repair is finally able to happen and this inner part can find her natural role, which is most likely NOT handling the woman's adult relationships, and more so just be a carefree child again. When the inner child part releases this burdened role, and trusts she is now safe, her compelled needs then calm down, and she will no longer "jump out in front" to handle the person's relationships. And this is the deep repair that IFS promises.  


But an inner part can not be forces to just hear this message in a hurried way.  We must build the trust that was violated long ago in order for this inner part to see that she will get what she wants if she lets this all go. Otherwise the part can feel like someone is just trying to shut her up. That is why more cognitive therapies sometimes do not work. It just pushes the inner part to be buried deeper and access is lost once again. 

​This repair in IFS is known as the unburdening process. IFS Therapy has become famous due to this unburdening, and it has garnered much attention as an effective psychotherapy model, where people find real results. These are mental health services that really work, and will finally allow you to get real results and greater well-being. 

​This is bringing hope to those that have had some insidious, last hanger-on issue, they just have not been able to shake. This real repair can bring much more confidence, inner peace, as well as reduced anxiety, and a more solid sense of the capable self, that we were all born to be.   

​Patti Bee, LPC, is an IFS Therapist, who has worked with clients full time within the IFS Therapy Model the past 11 years. She works with clients in the Madison, Wisconsin area, as well as nationally. She is also a Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC) and works with clients from anywhere in the U.S. via tele-mental health video conference sessions, providing mental health services. Patti's work has been known to repair anxiety, depression, Trauma, and PTSD. If you are looking to find at therapist, Patti can help! 

Patti Bee MS LPC, IFS Therapist, is a licensed professional counselor, who offers Internal Family Systems Therapy, or IFS Therapy. This is  mental health services & psychotherapy that views the psyche as a set of  inner parts, and offers real results for 


Most often Patti works with middle-aged women who are high functioning with everyday successes in life, maybe a few better than everyday successes, but still have some sense inside that something is not all resolved. Many times she hears her client talk tov feeling not good enough, or early wounds from childhood that they have not been able to resolve. Her client's report some sort of "Last Hanger-on Issue," that other therapy was not able to change. 




Email Patti Today !

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