Integrating Spirit, Heart, Body, Mind
Integrating Spirit, Heart, Body, Mind
Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy was developed by Richard Schwartz and it combines systems thinking and the multiplicity of the self. IFS is non pathologizing and locates the source of healing within the client.
IFS believes that the mind is made up of multiple parts, and underlying them is a person's core or true Self. Like members of a family, a person's inner parts can take on extreme roles or subpersonalities. Each part has its own perspective, interests, memories, and role.
A principle of IFS is that every part has a positive intent, even if its actions are counterproductive and/or cause dysfunction. There is no need to fight with, coerce, or eliminate parts; the IFS method promotes internal connection and harmony to bring the system back into balance.
In the IFS model, there are three general types of parts:
Exiles represent psychological trauma, often from childhood, and they carry the pain and fear. Exiles may become isolated from the other parts and polarize the system. Managers and Firefighters try to protect a person's consciousness by preventing the Exiles' pain from coming to awareness.
Managers take on a pre-emptive, protective role. They influence the way a person interacts with the external world, protecting the person from harm and preventing painful or traumatic experiences from flooding the person's conscious awareness.
Firefighters emerge when Exiles break out and demand attention. They work to divert attention away from the Exile's hurt and shame, which leads to impulsive and/or inappropriate behaviors like overeating, drug/alcohol use or violence. They can also distract a person from pain by excessively focusing attention on more subtle activities such as overworking or over-medicating.
IFS views people as whole underneath their collections of parts. According to IFS, everyone has a true self or spiritual center, called the Self, and everyone has access to it as well as its healing qualities: curiosity, connectedness, compassion, calmness, creativity, confidence, and courage.
IFS therapists first help clients to disengage from their parts and connect with their true Self. From there, they can understand each part and heal it. The aim of IFS is to transform destructive roles and develop a harmonious collaboration of parts, led by the Self.
Some of this description is from Wikipedia:
Relational somatic psychetherapy is a body-centred process that differs slightly from traditional counselling approaches. The focus here is on noticing sensations, feelings, and impulses that arise from the body- the container of our life's information. To notice what is happening, we need to slow down to listen and witness ourselves with compassion and awareness.
We can then notice imprints and feedback loops that limit our potential for new possibilities and choices. Seeing our internal conditions, often created by circumstances in the past, can create welcome change in the present moment.
Somatic psychetherapy is a combination of neuroscience, Attachment Theory, and trauma resolution work. Here is a some information about each of these areas.
Neuroscience: examines the functions of the brain. Interpersonal Neurobiology (IPNB) involves understanding the implicit and explicit, as well as left and right brain processes. IPNB suggests possibilities for healing trauma by stimulating the brain with powerful and positive persuasion. Studies have shown that conditions that were once considered to be irreversible may actually be able to be transformed in a healthy way. Because the brain grows continuously throughout our lives, the implications for healing are unending. The approach appreciates the power of meditation in creating new neuronal pathways and has been lead by researchers Daniel Siegel and Allan Schore.
Attachment Theory: studies the need, and the ways, we attach to other human beings. Our attachment structure forms prenatally and during the first 3 years of life. Attachment styles are not who we are but merely the ways we have unconsciously learned to minimize hurt and disappointment in relationships. Somatic psychetherapy offers interventions for attachment repair. Attachment theory is the joint work of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. More recently, Diane Poole Heller combines somatic psychetherapy and attachment theory.
Trauma resolution work: recognizes that trauma occupies our biology and that it cannot be solely resolved through talk therapy. Trauma can be described as too much, too soon, and too fast. When unresolved trauma inhabits our body, it may interfere with our ability to be present and live fully. Somatic trauma resolution works with the nervous system and survival responses in the body. Pat Ogden, Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, and Sharon Stanley are some of the pioneers of somatic trauma resolution work.