What is Internal Family Systems?
This is the space where you get to know the many parts of yourself and how they helped you cope.
When something traumatic happens to us and we don't have a supportive adult or person to help us process what happened, we have to internalize it.
This is where parts of our psyche are born and take on extreme roles like:
the people pleaser, the overachiever, the caretaker, the clown, the avoider, the armored guard; in order for us to be able to keep stumbling forward in life. And the younger parts of us that take on the burdens from the trauma, are exiled into the dark.
Our parts work very hard to keep this trauma (exile parts) from overwhelming the system. (But as we know, their antics don't usually work very well and tend to create beliefs and behavior patterns that keep us from a real connection with life.)
Finding who we are underneath the pain
When you can move into a space of curiosity and deep listening, you can start to sit with the ugliest parts of yourself instead of pushing them away. You can develop the willingness to understand the pain your parts hold and hear their fears that compels them into the roles they play.
Just by witnessing your internal system, you are transforming your relationship to the pain and your relationship to yourself.
This is where the healing begins.
This is IFS.