The Importance Of Internal Family Systems Therapy

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Conflicts within relationships are inevitable and some conflict can help strengthen a relationship; however, in marriages and families, many people fail to work through their conflict, which results in unhealthy patterns of behavior. Over time, if left unresolved, these patterns of behavior can lead to a breaking of the relationship. Furthermore, most people do not set out seeking conflict within relationships, but rather they lack the emotional maturity to move through conflict. In fact, it is not the differences between the two parties that create the conflict, but rather the emotional reaction to their differences. Therefore, an intervention is required to begin the healing process of working through conflict. Often a pastor or counselor…show more content…
Among the many avenues of intervention available to a caregiver’s disposal is the Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS), which was popularized by Richard C. Schwartz in 1995 . The premise of IFS Therapy is every person’s has internal entities, which are more than thoughts or feelings, but rather distinct personalities full of emotion and desire. Furthermore, trauma does not create these parts of the psyche but rather forces some entities from valuable functions, (such as acceptance, clarity and compassion) to extreme or protective roles, which causes the individual to lose their true self. Over all, the goal of IFS is not to eliminate these entities, but rather accept them and talk them back into their rightful role—inner leadership. All in all, IFS is a valuable resource for intervention because IFS allows a care seeker to address their true emotion or belief that is causing the conflict and at the same time, it allows the caregiver to remain self-aware as they…show more content…
“Exiles are the highly vulnerable, sensitive parts of us that were most hurt by emotional injuries in the past.” Thereby, people attempt to disconnect from these painful emotions and memories in order to never experience them again. This leads to other inner entities becoming managers of those emotions. For example, a child that was abused by a family member in the middle of the night in their bedroom may as an adult be taken back to their sense of fear when their partner mistakenly awakens them in the middle of the night. Their managers would be activated to control the environment and suppress their feelings. However, “When the managers fail to control the exiled emotions, extreme behaviors emerge, such as addictions, binges, rages and anger, and Schwartz refers to them as firefighters.” This is where a conflict between married couples can emerge requiring intervention. The husband has no idea what his wife is feeling in that moment and believes her reaction or requirements are unrealistic. Yet through IFS therapy, the care seekers can come to acknowledge the real emotion at hand and as Schwarts says, “They stop berating themselves and instead, get to know, rather than try to eliminate, the extreme inner voices or emotions that have plagued them.” By addressing these emotions, clients can learn to lead themselves and see their

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