No Bad Parts: Internal Family Systems

Have you ever felt like there were distinct sides to your personality? What about a little angel and devil on your shoulder giving you competing information? Should this be a concern, or is the mind is naturally multiple? This is the domain of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach, so let’s talk parts!

IFS is an evidence-based model of psychotherapy with a focus on recognition and acceptance of the many “parts” that make up our sense of self. 

Dr. Richard Schwartz provides a great explanation of his unique approach here:

IFS is clear that there are no bad parts. Each part has a role to play and is welcome in the therapy room. IFS believes that an individual’s inner parts contain valuable qualities and that our core Selves know how to heal, allowing us to become integrated and whole.

The IFS approach to therapy is empowering. It focuses on transforming and harmonising the mind, and by association, the larger human systems in which we exist. Each of us has a core Self that is healthy and healing, and has qualities such as perspective, confidence, compassion, and acceptance.

According to IFS, we are all born with a mind that is naturally multiple. Sometimes, just like members of a family, the mind’s inner parts are forced from their valuable states into extreme roles within us. These roles and the relationships between our different parts are dynamic features that can be changed with careful and respectful intervention. According to Dr. Schwartz, “parts are forced into extreme roles by external circumstances and, once it seems safe, they gladly transform into valuable family members”. By accessing our sense of Self, we can come to understand and heal these parts, creating a connected and integrated whole.

IFS draws on the concepts and methods from structural, strategic, narrative, and Bowenian approaches and applies this to the world of sub-personalities. In the 20 years since it was first developed, IFS has expanded and evolved to help individuals, couples, and families heal.

Our practitioners have found IFS to be extremely beneficial not only for their clients, but for them as individuals as well.

With some of the most highly qualified IFS practitioners in Australia counted among our staff, please feel free to reach out and book an appointment if you are interested in better understanding your parts, and finding your core Self.

For more information on the IFS approach, please check out the various resources available at

We hope you have enjoyed exploring a little bit of what the IFS approach has to offer. Please join us next week as we celebrate our team with the first of our Practitioner Spotlights!

Wishing you a wonderful week,

TCS Team

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