Basic assumptions of the IFS model

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I. BASIC ASSUMPTIONS OF THE IFS MODEL

  • It is the nature of the mind to be subdivided into an indeterminate
    number of sub-personalities or parts.
  • Everyone has a Self, and the Self can and should lead the individual’s
    internal system.
  • The non-extreme intention of each part is something positive for the
    individual. There are no “bad” parts, and the goal of therapy is not to
    eliminate parts but instead to help them find their non-extreme roles.
  • As we develop, our parts develop and form a complex system of
    interactions among themselves; therefore, systems theory can be
    applied to the internal system. When the system is reorganized, parts
    can change rapidly.
  • Changes in the internal system will affect changes in the external
    system and vice versa. The implication of this assumption is that both
    the internal and external levels of system should be assessed.

II. OVERALL GOALS OF THERAPY

  • To achieve balance and harmony within the internal system.
  • To differentiate and elevate the Self so it can be an effective leader in the
    system.
  • When the Self is in the lead, the parts will provide input to the Self but
    will respect the leadership and ultimate decision making of the Self.
  • All parts will exist and lend talents that reflect their non-extreme
    intentions.

III. PARTS IN IFS

  • Sub-personalities are aspects of our personality that interact internally
    in sequences and styles that are similar to the ways in which people
    interact.
  • Parts may be experienced in any number of ways – thoughts, feelings,
    sensations, images, and more.
  • All parts want something positive for the individual and will use a
    variety of strategies to gain influence within the internal system.
  • Parts develop a complex system of interactions among themselves.
    Polarizations develop as parts try to gain influence within the system.
  • While experiences affect parts, parts are not created by the experiences.
    They are always in existence, either as potential or actuality.
  • Parts that become extreme are carrying “burdens” – energies that are
    not inherent in the function of the part and don’t belong to the nature of
    the part, such as extreme beliefs, emotions, or fantasies. Parts can be
    helped to “unburden” and return to their natural balance.
  • Parts that have lost trust in the leadership of the Self will “blend” with or
    take over the Self.

About the author

Michael Pasterski
Michael Pasterski

The IFS Poland initiative has been started by Michael Pasterski, social skills coach who runs a popular blog in Poland, of over 1 million readers, on psychology, education and personal development Michalpasterski.pl. You will find his blog in English version on Pasterski.com.

Michael has accomplished the first level of education of the Internal Family Systems Model and as a practitioner of IFS Model runs individual and couples therapy with IFS.

The aim of the IFS Poland initiative is to introduce and popularize the IFS Model in Poland and make it a well-recognisable method of self-therapy and psychotherapy.

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The IFS Polska Project has been started by Michael Pasterski, social skills coach who runs a popular blog, of over 1 million readers, on psychology, education and personal development MichalPasterski.pl.

Michael has accomplished the first level of education of the Internal Family Systems Model and as a practitioner of IFS Model runs individual and couples therapy with IFS.

The aim of the IFS Polska Project is to introduce and popularize the IFS Model in Poland and make it a well-recognisable method of self-therapy and psychotherapy.