Modality Resources / Posted 6 months ago / 335 views
Richard C. Schwartz, who has a Ph.D. in marital and family therapy, and is one of the authors of this manual, developed internal family systems therapy (IFS) in the 1980’s while treating eating disordered (ED) adolescents who routinely spoke about internal conversations with what they called “different parts.” Following their vernacular lead, he referred to their subpersonalities as “parts.” While exploring options and encouraging the clients to interact with their ED parts the way members of a family interact, Schwartz learned that he and the client could persuade an extreme ED part to permit the client some mental separation from its distorted perspective, whereupon the client would spontaneously become mindful (nonjudgmental and curious) toward the part.
This kindly – ultimately compassionate – relational stance between client and parts proved crucial to healing and became the linchpin of IFS therapy. We’ve all had moments of clarity and balance when the incessant chatter inside our head ceases, we feel calm and spacious, as if our mind, heart and soul had brightened and expanded. At other times, we feel a wave of joyful connection with others that washes away irritation, distrust, and boredom. Schwartz observed that healing just happens when therapist and client achieve a critical mass of this phenomenon, which he dubbed the Self.