The Origins of the IFS Self

What are The Origins of the IFS Self?

Even though IFS focuses on our parts, human beings are not simply a collection of parts. We are so much more than that. Our true Self is mature and loving and has the capacity to heal and integrate our parts.

In the early days of the development of IFS, Richard Schwartz was learning the model through feedback from his therapy clients. He had learned about parts, and when he worked with a client, he would often ask a protector to step aside so they could go deeper with a piece of work. Then another protector would emerge, and he would help the client to get that one to relax, too.

This would continue until eventually a different kind of presence would emerge. Dick would ask his clients what part that was, and they would say, “Well, it’s not a part exactly. It has a different quality to it. It doesn’t feel like all my other parts.” Then he would say, “Well, if it’s not a part, what is it?” And they would answer, “Well, I don’t know, it’s just me. It’s who I really am.” When the clients expanded on what they meant, they would usually say something like, “When my parts have all stepped aside, what is left is me.” And once this “me” was accessed, the therapy would flow effortlessly because now the person’s energy was freed up. It felt like a surfer who was in “the zone,” catching a wave and riding it smoothly and easily.

And so Dick learned about the Self.  This was wonderfully transformative, and a deeper level of the power of IFS was unleashed.

IFS Basic Course Starts February 17

This course will teach you how to use Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) to resolve psychological issues and heal underlying pain from the past, to enhance your self-confidence and well-being. IFS is a powerful, user friendly method of psychotherapy and personal growth work. IFS is a recognized, proven method for individual psychotherapy with a robust training program and thousands of certified therapists. It will help transform stuck parts of yourself into inner resources of strength, love, and freedom.

This course teaches you how to access Self (that core aspect of you that can heal your parts) and work with protectors (parts that defend us from pain and danger). It is the most basic course on IFS. It teaches you how to work on yourself using IFS and how to do peer IFS counseling with other people in the class. Therapists and coaches also take the class to learn about IFS, though it is not professional training in IFS.

The course is experiential; it includes practicing IFS sessions for homework in pairs, group exercises, and demonstration IFS sessions with volunteers from the class.

The text for the course is my book, Self-Therapy.

The course will be taught by videoconference, so we can see each other, which enhances the group connection, making it safe for you to be open and vulnerable in class. Each class is recorded, so you can watch the recording of any class you miss.

Feb. 17 – March 23 (6 meetings)
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Cost: $300, $250 if enrolled by Feb. 11
Click here to enroll