I’ve had plenty of good things to say about Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy lately. IFS is a form of psychotherapy that offers the perspective that each person is made up of many sub-personalities or “parts.” These parts play distinct roles in our life — not always to our benefit. This, it can be healing to identify and address your sub-personalities.
Now, it’s time to get down to the question every client wants answered. How soon will I see the results? Obviously, this very much depends on the specifics of your circumstances. Even so, as you will soon see, there are some very usable and encouraging trends to discuss.
A Few More IFS Therapy Basics
A big part of IFS therapy is becoming familiar with your sub-personalities. This has nothing to do with concepts like “split personality.” Like everyone else, you are a complex blend of internal parts that should be secondary to your greater Self. When the sub-personalities behave difunctionally in the name of protecting the Self, that’s when you’ll notice counterproductive thoughts and actions. That’s when IFS therapy becomes indispensable.
In your IFS sessions, you learn to identify and name your different parts. You discern when, how, and why they do what they do. This information is what you need to get realigned. You better understand what does and doesn’t work for you. As a result, IFS therapy has been shown to be effective for a broad scope of conditions and issues, e.g. anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, low self-esteem, and matters pertaining to one’s physical health.
How Long Does It Take to See Results from IFS Therapy?
Like any form of treatment within any realm of healthcare, IFS therapy could provide some symptom relief immediately. The simple reality that you’re taking active, positive steps is often enough to get things started. That said, you should expect it to take a handful of sessions to get in a rhythm with exploring your sub-personalities. A few elements to factor into the equation:
- IFS therapy is a collaboration. Therefore, it is useful to start an ongoing conversation about results with your therapist. Remember, you get to set the pace.
- Your honest feedback will guide your therapist to make any necessary adjustments and thereby accelerate progress.
- Everyone is different so it’s not a single blueprint of recovery.
- Still, some general patterns have been identified. Once the flow of IFS therapy is grasped after about four sessions, palpable results can arrive shortly thereafter.
What Do “Results” Feel Like?
Following the “internal family system” paradigm, what you’re doing is creating conflict resolution amongst the members that make up your internal family. It requires patience and diligence to comprehend what is at the root of the problem. Hence, while it is accurate to call symptoms relief a version of “results,” we can go deeper with defining what it means. Some of the positive results IFS therapy can deliver include:
- Attaining a deeper understanding of who and what your greater Self is.
- Getting comfortable with learning self-reliance when it comes to identifying and addressing issues and concerns.
- Avoiding self-sabotage.
- Experiencing a balanced emotional life.
- Developing more clarity in your thought processes.
- Catching it early when your sub-personalities need some attention — and then knowing what to do!
What’s the Next Step?
Your entry point into Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy is just a phone call away. Get your questions together and let’s talk them through. Your greater Self will appreciate the support IFS therapy provides as you move toward balance and conscience in your everyday life. I’d love to chat with you about all of this very soon.