What is IFS Therapy for Trauma?

IFS Therapy

Trauma Treatment

Ever feel like you’re a bunch of different people rolled into one? Like, you’ve got a part of you that’s super confident, another part that’s always worried, and maybe another that wants to hide under the covers all day? That’s normal and the basis for something called Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy.

IFS recognizes that you’re made up of many sub-personalities, or “parts,” and sometimes these parts can be at odds with each other. The idea is to balance these parts like you’d want harmony in a family. And guess what? It’s particularly effective in helping you recover from trauma.

What is IFS?

IFS therapy ensures that all of your sub-personalities are good. They may be stuck in bad roles due to past experiences. Think of them as wounded family members who need healing. When these parts heal, your whole Self becomes healthier.

Working with an IFS therapist can help you develop the following:

●       Self-compassion

●       Self-leadership

●       Calm reactions to daily stress or past trauma

●       A deeper understanding of yourself

●       Preparation for future emotional difficulties

What is Trauma?

Trauma can come from all sorts of experiences like neglect, abuse, natural disasters, disabilities, and more. It usually boils down to a few broad categories:

●       Too much happening too soon

●       Too much happening for too long

●       Losing personal power and resources

●       Not having access to healing options

This can leave some of your internal family members (sub-personalities) stuck in emergency mode, trying to protect you in ways that might not be helpful. IFS aims to bring these parts back into balance.

How IFS Can Help with Trauma

IFS reminds you that you’re not just a traumatized person. In fact, some parts of you aren’t carrying negative memories and sensations at all. By integrating your different sub-personalities, online IFS therapy helps you identify where your pain lives, understand your triggers and find paths toward healing. Your IFS therapist creates a safe environment for this vital work.

Some IFS Techniques

IFS therapy involves a few key strategies to help you on your journey:

  1. Firefighters: These parts act as protectors, trying to put out the fires of your pain. They might push you to engage in distracting behaviours (like overeating or binge-watching TV) to avoid the pain.
  2. Managers: These parts plan diligently to help you avoid triggers and painful experiences. They’re all about control and prevention but don’t deal with the root cause.

What Happens Next

In IFS therapy, you’ll need to find where your pain lives. For example, you might notice tightness in your neck when you’re stressed. Your focus will be on that area, and you’ll take steps like:

●       Learning from the part that feels the pain most: What emotions or memories are tied to this pain? When did it start?

●       Understanding your feelings about this sub-personality helps you and your therapist determine its importance and role.

●       Becoming friends with this part: Discover where its fear comes from and see if building a friendship helps release it.

Final Thoughts

IFS is an innovative and practical approach to trauma recovery. It helps you understand and heal the different parts of yourself, bringing harmony to your internal family. If this sounds like something you’d like to explore, let’s connect for a free and confidential consultation. Together, we can start your journey toward healing.

Want to learn more about therapy for trauma and PTSD? Reach out today!

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BSV Staff

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