mental health, therapy, counseling and psychology terms glossary

Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Internal Family Systems (IFS), developed by psychologist Richard Schwartz, is a talk therapy approach that identifies and addresses multiple sub-personalities (parts) or “families” within a person’s mental system. These sub-personalities are created from wounded parts and painful emotions such as anger and shame and include the parts of the person who tries to control and protect them from further pain. These sub-personalities are often in conflict with one another and one’s core sense of self.

What does Internal Family Systems (IFS) treat?

IFS treats a variety of conditions and symptoms including depression, anxiety, panic, phobias, trauma, etc.

Commonly, people confuse internal family systems with external family systems. This approach is focused on ego states and also helps to bring internal calibration within the individual.

Interested in learning if IFS may be a good fit for you?