How Anyone Can Heal from Intense Trauma with Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems Therapy

At some point in everyone’s life, we all go through some traumatizing situations, and getting the best solution for mental health issues can be challenging sometimes. Most people do not actually know that there is more than one type of therapy to help people suffering from intense trauma.

Furthermore, there are several options available but finding the right type of therapy for you is as important as the therapy itself. So, Internal Family Systems Therapy is a type of therapy but not a popular type. However, we will explore how anyone can heal from intense trauma with IFS therapy.

What is Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy?

Internal family systems therapy is a different type of psychotherapy with proven methods that helps people going through intense trauma. It helps people understand how each person in their inner family systems has their individual thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.

This evidence-based practice is quite effective regardless of the type of trauma or emotional issue and also works well for anyone trying to overcome career or relational challenges. The internal family system also allows you to recognize all your strengths, and weaknesses, and heal internal conflicts with self-acceptance and love rather than any form of criticism from anyone outside the circle.

Understanding the Concept of Internal Family Systems Therapy

There are two types of sub-personalities which are the Self and the parts. We discuss parts and self as a concept of internal family systems theory.


The first concept of IFS institute is the recognition of the self. The self is the essential presence within a person that is the pure essence of that person. It is characteristically good and whole and cannot be corrupted or broken. When a person has self-leadership, it means their system will be balanced and all parts will act in harmony with one another. Typically, accessing the core Self is the first step to healing the system.


The second concept of IFS is parts, which are often referred to as sub-personalities. Each part has its individual beliefs, feelings, and thoughts but all parts act from a place of positive intention. This means that there are no bad parts, just bad roles. Whenever a part feels threatened and doesn’t trust the Self, it tends to act out to protect the system.

There are three subcategories of parts, and we discuss them below:


Exiles are a subcategory of parts that carry extreme feelings and memories. They are regarded as some of the youngest parts of the system. Exiles hold the experiences of neglect, shame, abuse, and humiliation. A part can become an exile when the emotional trauma they have endured is too much that other parts lock them away in a bid to protect the system from becoming overwhelmed.


Managers are another sub-category of parts and are referred to as the proactive protectors of the system. Managers’ goal is to effectively keep the system stable. They look for better ways to control the system so that the exiled parts are shut out of awareness. Sometimes, managers imitate the Self effectively so that they appear to be the Self and may take the form of an overbearing boss or even a critical parent.


Firefighters which are the last subcategory of the part are the reactive protectors of the system. They step in when an exile part breaks through the managers’ defenses. Firefighters’ goal is to ensure that the system does not feel the pain that exiles carry.

Most times, this starts with less intense behaviors like overworking, smoking, drinking, or even seeking out adrenaline-producing experiences. However, they often clash with managers who do not accept the ways of firefighters. This clash can cause firefighters’ tactics to escalate to extremes like suicide attempts, depressive symptoms, drug use, self-harm, or even binge eating.

Benefits of Internal Family Systems Therapy

There are so many benefits associated with adopting an internal system. Read on to discover some of these benefits associated with these evidence-based programs and family therapy.

Learning to Support Yourself

If you have been through intense traumatic situations as a child, you may sometimes find yourself looking out for support outside yourself. However, the Internal family systems model is designed to help you learn how to dedicate parts of yourself to difficult tasks and even validate the parts of yourself that are still scared.

So, even if you don’t have friends or a big support system, you will recognize that you have yourself and you are the most important support that you need to feel confident, hopeful, and strong.

It Reduces Anxiety

Internal Family Systems model helps to reduce anxiety and stress levels in many people who faithfully partake in this kind of therapy. This might be a result of increased self-awareness and better understanding. It could also be a result of exploring internal conflicts with the help of a professional IFS therapist.

It builds Self-Acceptance

At some point in our life, everyone has experienced rejection in one way or the other. So, IFS therapy helps you understand that you can handle rejection by accepting yourself and validating yourself even if others don’t. In addition, becoming aware of the parts of our system helps us to accept those things we learn about ourselves that may look perfect all the time. After all, that is still part of who we are as a person.

You Learn to Handle Helplessness

Most times, helplessness comes up in our day-to-day activities in simple situations like struggling to clean our house. Most people who have experienced childhood trauma end up becoming helpless as they grow. IFS therapy will teach you to respect yourself and see yourself as one who can make whatever choices you want and achieve whatsoever you want. 

It Builds Resilience

Resilience is the ability to bounce back even after experiencing a challenging situation. IFS therapy also helps people build resilience and learn to overcome life challenges easily. This type of therapy also gives you the opportunity to the exploration of internal conflicts and self-reflection.

Get Better with Intensive Therapy Retreats in Montreal, QC

Your mental health, emotional, psychological, and social well-being can absolutely affect every aspect of your life positively or negatively. With Intensive Therapy Retreat, you will be able to deal with and heal from any unprocessed trauma and also learn every crucial skill you need to understand your feelings better.

Internal Family Systems Therapy is an excellent solution that will produce results in no time. Furthermore, you will also gain a stronger sense of direction and purpose in your life and be able to build a therapeutic relationships with others. We offer intensive counseling and mental health services for cases such as child abuse, sexual abuse, trauma, and PTSD. Our team of mental health professionals and experienced IFS therapists are readily available to assist you on your journey of recovery. So, do not wait till the trauma consumes you, Contact us today!