Working with Inner Critics in Internal Family System
The Professional Development People
Working with Inner Critics in Internal Family Systems (IFS)
Presenter: Jennifer (Jen) Nield
Inner Critics are some of the most common entrenched and daunting parts clients and therapists meet in psychotherapy. Inner Critics trigger feelings of shame, guilt, loss of confidence, self-doubt, helplessness, and hopelessness. They criticise, negatively evaluate, choices, feelings and behaviours, minimise successes and tell clients what they should and shouldn’t do.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, one of the fastest-growing approaches to psychotherapy, has a specific protocol for working with Inner Critics that is empowering, effective, and non-pathologizing. IFS holds that Inner Critics are parts trying to protect our client from emotional and psychological pain using maladaptive and outdated strategies from their past. Also, that the critics believe that they are protecting the client from an even worse pain. Holding this in mind therapists and clients can approach the critic with an open and curious mind creating space for new strategies, inner forgiveness, and hope for change.
IFS is a powerful model of therapy that enhances mindful awareness and self-compassion through getting to know our Parts in a methodical yet intimate way. IFS also provides a framework for restoring a sense of worthiness and self-trust. Clients learn to listen inside themselves with self-compassion and curiosity (Self), and, in the process release beliefs, emotions, sensations, patterns and urges that have constrained their lives.
The Benefits of IFS for therapists:
- IFS offers a consistent way to respectfully enter and respond to a clients’ inner ecology without a need to interpret, pathologize or diagnose.
- IFS supports symptom reduction leading to improved functioning for clients through releasing, rather than overriding, maladaptive beliefs and behaviours.
- IFS supports client self-healing, re-establishing the Self to Part relationship developing the skills of self-awareness and self-compassion.
IFS advances treatment by:
- Working with parts rather than trying override them.
- Supporting the development of mindful self-awareness and self-compassion.
- Encouraging clients to attend to their Parts between sessions improving affect regulation and self-efficacy.
CPD Hours: This event counts as 7 hours of category A CPD for PACFA’s membership renewal requirements.
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