This article is about what Personal Growth can learn from IFS.
IFS stands for Internal Family Systems, a modern approach to therapy that is based on a very user-friendly approach to working with inner parts.
I want to present one of the fundamental perspectives in IFS and how it can benefit people interested in their personal growth, potential and transformation.
You do not have to buy into the complete IFS system or model to benefit from this perspective.
Accroding to IFS we all have many parts and one Self.
A Part is a part of our personality, also called a subpersonality. We all have different Parts and each one has a unique perspective on the world, including specific behaviours, feelings and beliefs.
Example: I am confident at work, I know what I am worth etc. Yet I feel weak and worthless as soon as I interact with a woman.
The Self is our True or Essential Being. It is not a Part of our personality, but an expression of who we really are. The Self encompasses certain qualities of presence that naturally arise when we are connected to our Essence, like clarity, compassion and courage.
Example: In meditation, we can experience a level of calm and connectedness beyond a conceptual level.
Different parts are active at different times. And the Self – even though we may not be aware of it – is always present and can be accessed through simple tools.
Personal growth is usually about 2 things:
The IFS perspective makes both undertakings very concrete and offers a simple perspective on what it means to reach either:
By starting to use the above distinction and perspectives we can develop fundamental skill every human should know. This is what I really care about because I think beyond being an approach to therapy, IFS teaches us how to be adult humans.
Some of the most fundamental skills are: