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REAL RESULTS in Psychotherapy ... is it a stretch to promise that? Not with IFS Therapy !

Updated: Jun 3, 2023

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 stumbled upon one of your inner parts. And, the idea of 'Inner parts' is a concept clearly articulated in IFS Therapy. ​IFS Therapy - What's that? ​Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) is a psychotherapy model that views the psyche as a set of multiple inner parts. And these inner parts (or just, parts) have helped us adapt to things, both positive and negative, over the course of our lives. Oh ... and no ... this is not "multiple personality disorder." This set of inner parts are parts that the person is aware of, and in multiple personality disorder, or dissociative identity as it is known by now, the person is not aware of the inner parts at all.

IFS Therapists are highly trained Licensed Mental Health Professionals, that offer counseling and psychotherapy for improving the mental health outcomes, from this side of healthcare. IFS Therapy work is inner parts work, however, it is much more sophisticated and powerful, than just simple inner child work. There is a new type of access available, when guided by an IFS Therapist. You are then able to dialogue with these inner parts 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 the interactions. The inner child has no idea that she can not solve the problem 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 brains development, and has no idea this is all the case. She does not even know it is 2023 and the the woman is the older version of her, and that the adult can now help her. The inner part has no idea the adult can now handle these situations. And thus, it all starts to unwind, where this compelled behavior has been coming from. ​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 not able 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. And the client becomes the caregiver to the inner part. Then the repair comes when the 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, and no longer needs an adult job (burden) that she has had to do all these years. When the inner child part releases this burdened role, and trusts she is now cared for, 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. ​This repair in IFS is know 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. ​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.

So what do you think? Too bold of a promise to offer real results as an outcome? Or, does it sound like such a different process than you have ever heard of, and you are incredibly intrigued now? If you want to know more, contact Patti Bee here.

​Patti Bee, LPC, is an IFS Therapist, having worked with clients full time within the IFS Therapy model the past 11 years. She works with clients in the Madison, Wisconsin area. She is also a Nationally Certified Counselor and works with clients from anywhere in the U.S. via tele-mental health video conference sessions.

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