Emma Redfern Psychotherapy Services Psychotherapy, EMDR & IFS Supervision in Honiton, Devon

Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems therapy is a comprehensive and transformative therapy approach arising out of systems thinking and multiplicity of mind. Devised by Richard Schwartz, the IFS model conceives of inner parts (managers, firefighters and exiles) and a Self that is beyond the parts or "just below the surface of our extreme parts". By creating inner Self-to-part relationships and working with one's parts IFS-style brings inner secure attachment and healing. A virtuous cycle of more access to the Self and its healing qualities and nature occurs. The IFS paradigm offers a way of relating to oneself and others which is non-pathologising, empowering and transformative. IFS brings greater self-understanding, self-acceptance, inner harmony, personal growth and trust in Self-leadership. In the IFS model all parts are welcome.

Click here to read more about the IFS Model.

Click here to read Dr. Schwartz's article "The Larger Self", his first-hand account of how he developed and uses IFS and the extraordinary, transformative effect it has on him and his clients.

I believe that the outcome of effective therapy of any modality is greater Self-energy. However, IFS is the only therapy I have personally and professionally experienced which explicitly trains therapists in facilitating the healing presence of Self in both the client and the therapist.

"When parts are listened to, loved, and respected, they relax inside, which opens up space. This is the way that IFS quiets the mind. . . . once the mind is emptied, Self emerges spontaneously. . . . using IFS we find that at least some degree of Self can be accessed relatively quickly . . . It seems that Self is just beneath the surface of our parts and is immediately released once enough parts are convinced that it is safe to relax and open space for it." Schwartz and Falconer, Many Minds, One Self, 2017


Qualities of Self

Self is an unlimited personal and universal resource that has no fear, no need and feels no separation from others. It is characterised by:

  • calmness
  • curiosity
  • compassion
  • confidence
  • courage/fearlessness
  • clarity
  • connection
  • creativity


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