"Internal Family Systems (IFS) is an evidence-based and holistic modality also known as "parts work." IFS seeks to bring harmony into our internal world through dialoguing with our multiple parts and through the development of Self leadership.
We all have parts. For example, have you ever presented at work or school, and after the presentation, had an internal voice that criticized you and pointed out all of your mistakes while another voice reminded you that everyone in the room clapped and complemented your hard work?
These are "parts" within our own internal system that help us to function and cope throughout our day-to-day lives. Some therapeutic models call them archetypes, ego states, id/ego/superego, etc. We can experience these parts through thoughts, feelings, sensations, memories, symptoms, dreams, internal voices, images, and more. In IFS there is Self and our parts.
There are two types of protective parts: managers and firefighters. Protector parts work very hard and their main role is to help the individual function and suppress painful emotions.
Manager parts are preventative, controlling, and work hard to keep us safe; these parts make sure everything in our life runs as it needs to. Manager parts can be tough, critical, judging, planning, intellectual, etc
Firefighter parts are reactive jump in when we are triggered; they work hard to put out the pain. Firefighter parts often show up as substance addiction, suicidal thoughts, excess eating/not eating, excess spending, etc. Protectors and exiles are burdened.
Exiles are that parts carry intense emotion are suppressed by the protector parts. Exiled parts are often frozen in the past in some situation in which we felt rejected, shamed, or experienced deep wounds or trauma.
Self isn"t a part, it is us at our core. Self is something that we all have and cannot be harmed or lost. When we are in Self, we feel calm, grounded, and present.
The goal of IFS is to help the individual develop Self leadership and to develop a relationship with ourselves, eventually unburdening protectors and exiles, creating internal harmony.."