My IFS Journey

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The Mind Is Multiple

There are many parts of me that love Star Trek. I appreciate the ideals of the Federation of Planets, as well as the practical difficulties of applying those ideals during the crew’s many adventures. In an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, an archeologist brings Captain Picard an artifact from an extinct civilization—their model of the mind. A rough, spherical rock opens to reveal many small stone figures inside—the mind is made of multiples. When I watched the episode, it struck me and stayed with me for reasons I didn’t understand.

There’s a part of me that . . .

Nearly twenty years later, I read an article in Psychotherapy Networker magazine about IFS and the connection to Star Trek for me became clear. The idea that our minds have many parts, often holding contradictory beliefs and strategies, helped me understand myself in a way I never had before. It comforted me. And, it made sense as a way to approach my clients. A client usually understands the meaning when you say, “there’s a part of you that . . .” 

Training and Experience

Over the course of a few years, I completed Level 1, 2, and 3 training. I’ve worked with an IFS therapist for my personal therapy and for case consultation, as well as participating in consultation groups and assisting at a Level 1 training. I am a certified IFS therapist and IFS Clinical Consultant.

IFS is an experiential therapy, and I believe practitioners must become familiar with their own systems to effectively use these techniques with clients. For this reason, I deeply appreciate being able to work with other practitioners as clients—it’s my small part in spreading the model. 

To learn more about the Internal Family Systems model: