A Roadmap for Healing

Lucy Farmbrough
April 16, 2024
5 min read
Lucy Farmbrough
Founder, Keel Mental Fitness
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What if a clearly defined roadmap for healing existed?

What if we could address the internalised roots of struggles like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addiction, self-harm, and suicidality?

Imagine unlocking an internal reservoir of calm, clarity, compassion, creativity, courage, and curiosity. This is where Dick Schwartz's groundbreaking therapy - Internal Family Systems (IFS), comes into a league of its own.

This model reveals that within each of us exists an 'internal family' of distinct parts. Rather than labelling these parts as inherently bad, IFS recognises them as protective and often unconscious mechanisms—emphasising that there are 'No Bad Parts.' The essence of IFS involves comprehending and integrating these parts to foster inner harmony and healing.

Built on decades of research and clinical practice, Dick Schwartz's model has gained global recognition for its effectiveness in addressing entrenched, complex, and maladaptive behaviours.

Central to IFS is the healing relationship between the client's Self—the authentic, calm, and compassionate essence—and their young, injured parts. The goal is to cultivate and strengthen the Self's presence.

Parts in the IFS model fall into different categories.

Exiles hold memories of past traumas or painful experiences, often carrying strong emotions and are kept away from consciousness to prevent overwhelming feelings.

Firefighters are activated when exiles are stirred up, aiming to distract or numb the individual from painful emotions and can lead to impulsive behaviours, addictions, or other coping mechanisms.

Managers try to keep things under control and prevent vulnerability, and can manifest as perfectionism, overworking or maintaining rigid routines.

When an individual is overly identified with a particular part, losing connection with the Self, this is referred to as blending. IFS encourages individuals to ‘unblend’ from their parts and reconnect with the compassionate Self.

IFS involves facilitating a inner dialogue between different parts, helping them express themselves and be heard, which allows for understanding and integration.

The model aims to help individuals reprocess and heal traumatic or painful experiences by accessing and integrating exiled parts, often with the guidance of the Self.

It is through navigating and understanding the dynamics between these internal parts, that IFS aims to bring about inner harmony and healing.

In the shadows of our unconscious lie the keys to liberation. Only by bringing them into the light can we unlock the door to true self-mastery.

For those eager to learn more:

WATCH This insightful interview with Dick Schwartz from Keel’s partners at MindHealth360:

Finding your 'Self': How IFS is revolutionising psychotherapy and promoting healing for addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorder, self-harm and suicidality


To Dick's book "No Bad Parts": Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness


IFS meditations with Dick on Insight Timer:

To embark on a transformative journey with an IFS Therapist or an IFS Coach, book in for an initial discovery call here