top of page
  • Writer's pictureLisa Barrett

Transforming Inner Turmoil: The Healing Journey through IFS Therapy

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

In today's fast-paced world, inner conflicts and struggles are often misunderstood. They are seen as a sign of weakness or a reason to be shamed internally or externally- for not knowing what we are doing, not knowing ourselves, being hypocritical, inconsistent, unreliable, incompetent. However, if we can hold the idea that our struggles and conflicts are not inexplicable, they belong, they are part of what forms us then we can begin to understand where and how they fit in our psyche and this can lead us to better mental health.

One of the therapeutic approaches to understanding and resolving our inner conflicts is Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy. IFS is an evidence-based approach that provides a clear, non-pathologising, and empowering method of understanding human problems.

IFS therapy is based on the premise that our minds are comprised of multiple "parts," each with its unique perspective, interests, memories, and viewpoint. And each part, from their perspective, forms opinions that they hold tightly to. They believe they are right- and in the context of their experience, they are. However, we are more than one part of us. So another part with a different experience may also hold a different view and be committed to it, without knowing that other parts of us had different experiences and as such, hold different beliefs. As a result, some parts may be in conflict with others, leading to inner turmoil. By identifying these parts and understanding their experiences, beliefs and roles, we can learn to achieve harmony and peace within ourselves. It's our own inner family, each member with its own qualities and characteristics. A goal of IFS therapy is to bring these "family members" to a place of understanding and cooperation and openness to our Self leadership.

How do we do this? IFS therapy is not just about identifying these parts and understanding their roles. It's also about developing a relationship with each part, understanding its intentions, and eventually leading it to a healthier role within our system. This process of self-discovery and self-understanding can be profoundly healing. It can transform our relationship with ourselves, with others, and with the world around us.

We can use IFS as a powerful tool in our journey towards mental health and wellbeing. It’s a journey of self-discovery, self-understanding, and self-compassion. As Dr. Gabor Maté, a renowned author and speaker on addiction and mental health, describes- the conflicts and struggles within us are not signs of weakness but rather a natural part of the human experience. As we embrace this understanding , it is already a powerful first step towards healing and growth. To explore this further, check out resources on IFS Therapy here


bottom of page