Internal family system (IFS) is a type of psychotherapy that examines the relationships between different aspects of ourselves – our sub-personalities. In therapy, the therapist and client work together to identify these sub-personalities, examine how they work together as a system, and how individual systems interact with other people and their internal systems.
At IFS, the goal is to identify outcasts, managers, and firefighters and identify them as part of themselves, not wholly themselves. The therapist of IFS trauma treatment and client work together to cope with the burden carried by the parts, trying to lighten them to restore the injured parts with confidence and harmony along with other internal systems.
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The outcast is the part of us that we have oppressed. They are usually associated with feelings of guilt and shame. You are the part of yourself that hurts. These units are ostracized by leaders and firefighters who prevent these injured units from coming to their senses.
Managers are the part of us responsible for day-to-day operations. They guide our behavior by keeping us away from possible harm, perhaps by becoming too dependent on others or being rejected. They make decisions for us based on possible harm and influence our attitudes towards others.
Firefighters exhibit survival or avoidance behaviors such as substance abuse, coercion, and self-harm. This behavior occurs when a stranger comes to the fore, possibly caused by a person, place, or memory.