Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy is a psychotherapeutic modality developed in the mid-1980s, based on the observation that clients experience subpersonalities that come into internal conflict when dealing with challenges. The IFS model likens these subpersonalities to an “internal family.”
The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) is an evidence-based repository and review system designed to provide the public with reliable information on mental health and substance use interventions. All interventions in the registry have met NREPP’s minimum requirements for review. The programs’ effects on individual outcomes have been independently assessed and rated by certified NREPP reviewers.
In November 2018 I gave a 3 hour presentation on ‘Memory Reconsolidation and IFS’ at the IFS annual conference in Providence, Rhode Island. I also got the double hug from Frank Anderson and Dick Schwartz, in front of the map of the world showing all the places IFS is turning up. Frank is leading the first official Level 2 in the Australasian region in Hoi An, Vietnam in early December in ‘Trauma and Neuroscience’ over 5 days. Its the first time this advanced IFS course has been run outside of the US, and the first Level 2 in the Australasian region. Part of me feeling like it’s been a big year! – appreciating all the participants, learners, assistants and supporters in this launching off – Simon
Just updated the event here for Level 2 training – recorded an interview with Frank about the upcoming December 2018 training – see the clips here
“Trauma is an injury to the capacity to feel, says Jungian analyst Donald Kalsched, who has specialized in the field of trauma for decades. He describes trauma as something that occurs when we are given more to experience than we can consciously bear, especially if we lack resources to help metabolize the feelings that emerge.
“While the psyche is inherently wise, Kalsched explains, some of its wisdom is in the interest of the patient’s survival, not in the interest of wholeness at that particular time. It may be a matter of surviving in pieces in order for the deeper integration that needs to happen to occur much later. If the “inner tyrant,” as Kalsched referred to it when we spoke, relaxes his agitation and his violence and becomes more trusting in the process, then an individual can start to see some of genuine transformative experiences of healing and wholeness.
“In his book, “The Inner World of Trauma,” Kalsched traces the discoveries of others on the topic (…) others call it the “critic.” Richard Schwartz, whose internal family systems theory has made an impact in trauma literature and in the healing of trauma, calls this figure a “manager,” Kalsched reports, noting that Schwartz discovered a new way of working with that inner figure which is very useful, as is Jung’s process of active imagination. First, one must see the tyrannical figure, must find some way to make it visible, he insists. When a person comes into therapy, they don’t see the defense because they’re identified with it. It’s only once it comes to light that one can come into relationship with it.
Listen to the full audio interview with Donald Kalsched here
(approx. 31 mins)
Shrink Wrap Radio Interview with Dr Dave Van Nuys Phd
IFS has been shown to reduce pain and depression and improve physical function for people with rheumatoid arthritis. A study by a team at Harvard Medical School, led by Dr Nancy Chadic, has concluded that “IFS is feasible and acceptable for patients with rheumatoid arthritis.”
IFS therapy has been accepted as an evidence-based practice in the US and is listed on the federal NREPP (National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practices) website, NREPP.SAMHSA.gov. As a clinical treatment, the site rates IFS as effective for improving general functioning and well-being. It’s also been rated as promising for improving: physical health conditions and symptoms; phobia, panic and generalized anxiety disorders and symptoms; personal resilience; and depression.
The listing of IFS on NREPP – and the research that led to that listing – affirm the huge potential of IFS therapy for advancing emotional healing and mental well-being.