Finding an IFS Partner for Peer Counseling

We have now created a free website where you can find people to pair up with for doing IFS peer counseling. Click on

This is for people who have taken our IFS classes, who have read my book Self-Therapy, or who know IFS in some other way. If you are looking for people to work with doing IFS peer counseling, this is the place to find them. You can create a profile for yourself that lists your background with IFS and your interest in peer counseling. You can also browse through or search the profiles of other people on the site to find someone to work with. Let us know how this works for you and any suggestions you have for improving the service.

The Power Dimension

In the Power Dimension of the Pattern System, there are two healthy capacities that complement each other-Assertiveness and Cooperation.

  • Assertiveness means the ability to think and act for yourself and to exert power to get what you want, protect yourself, or achieve what you think is right.
  • Cooperation means the ability to be receptive and work well with others. [Read more…]

The Power of Social Media: Getting the conversation started continued

In March I posted a conversation between myself and a friend on facebook.   Since the post we have gone back and forth and I wanted to share the rest of the conversation with you.   To see the original post, click here.  I would love feedback or comments about how you feel on the matter.

Comment:  Gererald Rubin – Over a month later I am clearer on the role of Internal Family Systems in activism. It is a completely different approach than I had inquired about. I believe that it is probably impossible to deal with the managers of destructive leaders. There’s too much narcissism and grandiosity in them to deal with such people. I use these terms to be descriptive rather than pathologizing as IFS does not pathologize and I agree with that. [Read more…]

The Power of Social Media: Getting the conversation started

I recently posted the below in my status on Facebook and it generated a great conversation which I thought was worth sharing.

STATUS: Today I stand with the teachers, nurses, and all public employees of Wisconsin who are fighting for their rights. If you do too, change this to your status for the rest of the day.

COMMENT: Gerald Rubin – From an IFS perspective, I wonder how one can most effectively deal with the aggressive managers in politicians or corporate leaders. Richard Schwartz talks about Entitled managers that play a big role in such people. In my own dealings …with people, it is easy to see how they close down protectively and no real dialog is possible. For many, the adage of talking thing out just doesn’t work. Entitled managers are easily upset and are defensive and supported by managers who work by denying. Such people rarely get involved in therapy. Is it possible to use IFS approaches during dialogs with such people to bring more agreeable managers to the fore? [Read more…]

Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic

Jay Earley, PhD and Bonnie Weiss, LCSW

Do you struggle with bouts of depression and low self-esteem? Do you feel ashamed or guilty or hopeless at times? Take heart-this book offers a solution. Based on Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) a powerful form of psychotherapy, Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic can help you put an end to your painful feelings and help you grow into the person you’ve always dreamed of being. The surprising and wonderful news is that many people can achieve this transformation on their own, without the intervention of a psychotherapist. It’s time for your suffering to end because you can transform your life.

The Inner Critic is the part of you that judges you, demeans you, and tells you who you should be. It undermines your self-confidence and makes you feel bad about yourself. Since this is one of the most difficult and tenacious issues that people face, we have written this book to show you how to transform your Inner Critic using IFS.

Our core understanding is that self-esteem is your birthright. You deserve to feel good about yourself without having to earn it. Yet we’ve all had the experience of feeling bad about ourselves. Think of those times when you felt down and believed that you were worthless, stupid, incompetent, etc. That wasn’t the truth about you; it was a message from your Inner Critic.

What Makes This Book So Powerful

There isn’t just one Inner Critic part; most people have a number of self-judging protectors that operate in different ways. This book identifies seven types of Inner Critics with different motivations and strategies for controlling you.

When you go inside and actually get to know your Inner Critic using IFS, it’s surprising to learn that it is actually trying to help you (even though it is really causing trouble). This makes it possible to make a personal connection with your Critic and turn it into an ally rather than fighting it. Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic contains the details of exactly how to transform each of the seven Inner Critics through IFS.

Another exciting and hopeful outcome of the book: We have discovered that you can develop an aspect of your Self that we call the Inner Champion, which supports and encourages you. It is a magic bullet for dealing with the negative impacts of your Inner Critics. The adage “You can love yourself” is not just a platitude. Our book shows you how to do exactly that. Therefore you aren’t stuck with the anguish and difficulties that stem from your Inner Critic. Your inner world can change so that you feel confident and capable, allowing your life journey to unfold in an exciting way.

Foreword by James Flaherty

For everyone I know, including myself, the inner critic causes unnecessary suffering, smothers initiative, wreaks havoc in relationships, and defeats change efforts. It’s easy to locate–simply pay attention when you try something new, prepare for an important activity, or get introduced to a potential date or employer, and the critic will show up in full force. Undoubtedly you know what I’m talking about.

Distinguishing the critic is an essential first step in being able to intervene in its awkward, painful interruptions of our plans, self-development, and interactions with others. This extraordinarily helpful book-using transcripts from real conversations, playful illustrations, checklists, and questionnaires-makes taking this first step a sure and accurate one for any reader.

What to do once we find the critic? Ah, there’s the rub. Criticizing our critic doesn’t help; giving in to it diminishes us; trying to fight with it tangles us up in endless struggle. Here’s where the book’s real power comes into play. The authors, both deeply experienced in Internal Family Systems Therapy, clearly show a step-by-step process of diminishing the critic’s power and transforming it into an ally through psychological alchemy, which is at the heart of their therapeutic method. They’ve found the perfect balance point by writing a book that isn’t too dense in theory to be useful and isn’t too superficial to have much lasting impact.

The inner critic is often disguised, defended, and deeply enmeshed within us in contradictory thoughts, feelings, and sensations. In a further sign of the authors’ true mastery of the topic, they make this confusing bundle of reactions clear and accessible.

The book also shows how we can gain access to parts of ourselves that can bring encouragement, continuous learning and self-correction to our most important activities and relationships. As a consequence, readers can develop themselves into someone with much greater confidence and independence of thought and action.

Please jump into this book and take on its activities, at first for yourself; they will bring you immediate relief and learning. Then, if you’re someone who works with others, bring the book’s practical wisdom to your clients. They will be grateful, well served, and left with much greater self-knowledge and competence.

With  gratitude, respect, and admiration for Jay and Bonnie, I wholeheartedly recommend you bring your full commitment and dedication to this book.

James Flaherty
Founder of New Ventures West, Integral Coaching®
Author of Coaching: Evoking Excellence in Others

To purchase the book and read more about what People are Saying about Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic click here.

Assistants Wanted for Developing Psychological Application

I am looking for people to assist me in developing a computer program which allows a person to explore a psychological issue or relationship that they want to learn more about. They can get insight into themselves or a person they are relating to and work through the issue in order to change their feelings or behavior.

I don’t need assistance with the programming, but rather with developing the psychological content of the program. It is too large a project for me to do alone. I am not able to pay assistants at this time, though that may change in the future when the program is operating and making money. This might be a good student project or masters thesis. Please forward this to friends who might be interested. [Read more…]

IFS Book Now Available for Kindle and iPad

You can now purchase Self-Therapy: A Step-by Step Guide to Inner Wholeness using IFS as an ebook in either a Kindle version or an iBooks version to be read on an iPad, among other devices.  Go to and scroll down the page.

Becoming a Therapist and Adopting IFS

A reader asks:

I have read your biography, on your website, and am very impressed by (amongst other things) the fact that 1) you have already been a successful practicing psychotherapist for years before adopting IFS, and 2) you switched careers after already having made your mark in computer science, which would seem to be a drastically different field from psychotherapy, though I suspect that it’s not as different as it would first appear. Once I finish your book and have a bit more time to reflect on it, I will have some specific questions for you. In the mean time, I would like to know more about how you came to switch from computer science to psychotherapy and how you came to discover and adapt IFS into your practice. [Read more…]

Profile Your Inner Critic and Inner Champion

We have developed a free program in which you can choose from a list of statements and images to create a profile of each of your Inner Critic parts — what it says to you, its motivation, the situations that trigger it, and what it looks like. You can also create a profile for the ideal Inner Champion that is the magic bullet to help you deal with each Critic — the encouraging and supportive statements you would like it to say to you and what it looks like. [Read more…]

The 2010 IFS Annual Conference

Accessing and Embracing Self-energy:
Practicing the Art of Self-leadership

Pre-Conference Institute: Thursday, Oct 21st
Conference: Friday, Oct 22nd – Sunday, Oct 24th

For complete conference information and registration visit The Center for Self Leadership website.

Come join The Center for Self Leadership and the IFS community for a long weekend of Self, friends, learning, connections and growth.  This year’s theme is Accessing and Embracing Self-energy: Practicing the Art of Self-leadership.