Individual & Couple Psychotherapy
IFS individual psychotherapy follows two distinct, sequential tracks. In the first track, the 6Fs, the IFS therapist promotes a deliberate, reciprocal conversation between the client and the client’s parts with the express goal of achieving deep understanding of the part’s experience. We do this in order help repair the attachment between the part and the client’s self. Once we have achieved a critical amount of part to self-connection, we can move into the healing part of the protocol, in which we invite the part to share deeply painful life experiences that for most of us have had a disproportionate influence on the quality of our life. We call this the witnessing and unburdening part of the protocol and we help parts release beliefs and emotions they’ve typically carried our entire lives. Once parts release these beliefs and emotions we feel less constrained by extreme beliefs about ourselves and life becomes a lighter, more enjoyable experience.
Research demonstrates that all couples engage in the same fight repeatedly: the same parts get triggered and attempt the same ineffective strategy with the same goal–to get our partners to change. In IFS couple therapy, IFIO–Intimacy from the Inside Out–developed by Toni Herbine-Blank, we track the negative cycle and invite clients to make a U-Turn, to notice their parts, whether the parts are experiencing fear, sadness, anger, frustration, resentment. We teach our clients how to connect to their parts and to move away from blaming their partners. The U-Turn, to focus on your experience and not what your partner is doing, is the key to couple treatment in the IFIO tradition. The U-Turn places the locus of change squarely in your hands, not your partner’s. You are the locus of change. Over time, we introduce courageous communication, a relational skill central to IFIO, where clients speak for parts in the presence of their partners. To speak for parts slows our internal process, preserves our attachment to the part—which helps the part stay calm, clear, connected, confident, and helps us speak for our reality in a non-threatening way. This promotes relational unburdening within the dyad. To be sure, progress is non-linear, complex, sometimes painful, at the same time it is transformative and liberating.
Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond that pain.
― Kahlil Gibran
From My Blog
IFS Shown to Reduce Pain and Depression, and Improve Physical Function for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients
IFS Shown to Reduce Pain and Depression, and Improve Physical Function for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients OCTOBER 16, 2015 / RAY HOWARD Results of Randomized Controlled Study Published in the Journal of Rheumatology August 15, 2013 – The results from a randomized...