Internal Family Systems therapy - new ways to unlock your mind

Photo of Bruce Stevenson - internal Family Systems psychotherapist in the UKFeeling down, stressed or out of touch with yourself ?  I offer brief or long term therapy for individuals. (See Case study Gretchen for an example of what can be achieved in only three sessions).

Do your reactions run your life? Do you ever: Feel worthless, or shamed ? Go blank? Eat or drink too much? Need to be in control of everything? Feel run by anxiety? Feel depressed? Feel run by anger? Problems with relationships? Feel torn between different parts of yourself? When we are run by reactions like these, we feel like we are being taken over - and we are. The way back into the driver's seat, is to be empowered to find out what the reaction is trying to achieve. I can help you tune into the reaction and understand directly what your mind is on about. Oddly enough these reactions - which we often fight - like being understood, and soften up...

As you understand the reaction (s), you are able to separate from them, so that you can recover all the resources of your natural Self. In separating from what is really a defensive part of your Mind, you get to know a more vulnerable part of you, (which the reaction has been attempting to protect), but from the clarity and mindfulness that is your natural Self.

Mindfulness - your own power of knowing - has the capacity to heal your vulnerable parts and to see things in perspective. Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS) has developed an efficient way to reveal and set to one side the barriers to mindfulness, so that it becomes possible to heal the mind in an easier way than has previously been possible.  For more about this read the section on IFS...

As Goethe wrote, 'When you trust yourself, you will know how to live.'

I have been a psychotherapist in the integrative section of the UKCP for over twenty years utilising Internal Family Systems as well as some of the other most effective therapies and techniques.

Call me on 0208 766 7324, email me at [email protected] or message me directly here via the contact me link above (NOT always as reliable as it ought to be) and let's talk about what you may need. I increasingly work via Skype - with rabbis in Israel, or psychologists in Turkey, or someone in Majorca..- so distance is not a problem.  I usually charge £50-60 per hour/session, according to means.

Quote from Sylvia Polivoy: "We have to be aware that we are not only one personality. We are several inside one body. If we can get to know each of our other personalities or sub-personalities and integrate them in one superior then there will be a boss. If not we have lot of sub-personalities in a chaotic way. It’s chaos. so what we need is to introduce ourselves to each of our personalities and sometimes we have to negotiate between them and integrate them into a superior boss – wisdom. There must be a boss there. If you can do that and be aware of your interior voice you will solve a lot of problems."

To put the matter in a different way (this is excerpted from pathwork lecture 189):  "To the degree that struggle and tension exist in a personality, the various aspects of consciousness will be at odds with one another. You who are unaware of the meaning of the struggle are trying to identify with one or several of these aspects of consciousness without knowing what the true self is, where it is located, or how it can be found in this maze of discord.

You wonder if you are your best qualities, or if you are your over-severe conscience which annihilates you for your negative traits. Or are you perhaps the destructive demon within you? Which is your best self? Is it your rage at the demon in you or your total negation of its existence? Whether individuals know it or not, this inner struggle and search is ongoing, and the more conscious the struggle is, the better.

Any path of self-development must sooner or later come to terms with these questions -- with the deep problem of self-identity. It is a human distortion to identify with any of the above-mentioned aspects. You are neither your negative traits nor your self-punishing superimposed conscience, nor even your positive traits. Even though you have managed to integrate the latter into the fullness of your being, this is not the same as identifying with them.

It is more accurate to say that you are that part of you which managed this integration by determining, deciding, acting, thinking, and willing, so that you could absorb into your self what was previously an appendage. Each aspect of consciousness possesses a will of its own, as those of you who do the pathwork know.

As long as you are blindly involved in the struggle and therefore submerged in it, each of these various aspects will control you in turn because the real self that could determine your identification differently has not yet found its power. Your blind involvement enslaves you and inactivates your creative energy. This missing sense of self leads to despair."  

Get in touch. We can speak on 0208 766 7324, email me at [email protected] or or contact me directly at the contact me link above with a message to discuss your needs.