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Old 10-25-2021, 10:12 PM   #1
BeyondtheRainbow
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Default IFS (Internal family systems) therapy

Please leave this in the BP forum. I'm asking specifically if this treatment can help BP and am most comfortable getting answers here please.

Anyway, has anyone does this in therapy before? I think my therapist used it a little at first but at first for us is nearly 16 years ago. Today I said something that made him get up and get a book about it and he said it sounds like something that could be very helpful for me.

I'm just not used to using "types" of therapy. I did exposure therapy for PTSD 9 years ago and that's really the only therapy with a name I can come up with. Mostly we just talk.

I'm kind of excited to try this though based on what I read. And if it works it's really going to be good because we're looking at the problem that hasn't changed a whole lot in those 16 years.

Thank you!
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Old 10-26-2021, 03:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: IFS (Internal family systems) therapy

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondtheRainbow View Post
Please leave this in the BP forum. I'm asking specifically if this treatment can help BP and am most comfortable getting answers here please.

Anyway, has anyone does this in therapy before? I think my therapist used it a little at first but at first for us is nearly 16 years ago. Today I said something that made him get up and get a book about it and he said it sounds like something that could be very helpful for me.

I'm just not used to using "types" of therapy. I did exposure therapy for PTSD 9 years ago and that's really the only therapy with a name I can come up with. Mostly we just talk.

I'm kind of excited to try this though based on what I read. And if it works it's really going to be good because we're looking at the problem that hasn't changed a whole lot in those 16 years.

Thank you!

Hi BeyondtheRainbow. I'm glad you introduced me to this IFS therapy. I had never heard of it before, so therefore have no experience with it. Nonetheless, I was eager to read a bit more about it.

Some aspects of the description of IFS are still a little confusing to me, but what I heard from a man presenting it in a video was:
Each person has some personality "parts" that carry burdens. "Each person" truly means all people, though clearly those with some level of trauma or other psych challenges (anxiety, mood issues, anger) perhaps have more, or ones carrying stronger burdens. My interpretation was that therapy strives to alleviate the burdens.

Help to "get along" with your parts, by not labeling them as "bad". They are there for various reasons and purposes.

In the speaker's description, there seems to be a bit of a cognitive behavioral therapy element in IFS. What struck me most was the exploration of such parts and why burdens developed then exploring them in a way to alleviate them, thus making the "parts" serve more positive purposes.

I know that some traumas have affected a couple of my "parts" in ways that were initially meant to protect, but ultimately became burdens. For example, a figurative wall I put up between myself and many women. This stems from bad pain I endured as a result of negative interactions with girls and women in my youth.

Another was a type of perfectionism I developed for myself in my youth (high expectations). On one side, that can seem positive, but it can also bring burdens. I'm not entirely sure what sparked this. I think exploring it could help. Actually, I have made some progress with this, but it "seeps back" in some cases.

How the above might relate to bipolar disorder? Well, I'm sure there are links beyond just the stress that burdens bring. And maybe people prone to bipolar disorder are more likely to develop "parts" that have more challenging burdens? I can't be sure.

In any case, this topic provides a lot of food for thought.
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Old 10-26-2021, 04:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: IFS (Internal family systems) therapy

I don't have BP, but I saw this on the listing of new posts and was interested in the answers. I use IFS treatment to help me with my DID (dissociative identity disorder). My T's have also said that some PTSD clients also use IFS to work with "ego states" or their "inner child" or the different aspects of themselves if they have what some would call "multiplicity" (as opposed to the dissociative disorder). The goal of IFS, as I see it, is to connect different ego states or parts of self with one another - to feel more whole, to be more present, to be more connected to the here-and-now, and/or to be more co-conscious and grounded instead of dissociative.

It would depend on the symptoms and comorbidity with BP, but I could see how IFS therapy might help with the existential nature of BP symptoms.

Have you thought about asking your talk therapist to try IFS therapy on you? You could state why you think it might help you, based on what you've read and understood online. You could also ask for a second opinion from a different kind of therapist who is more familiar with IFS therapy and comorbid mental health disorders.
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Old 10-26-2021, 07:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: IFS (Internal family systems) therapy

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Originally Posted by SprinkL3 View Post
My T's have also said that some PTSD clients also use IFS to work with "ego states" or their "inner child" or the different aspects of themselves i

It would depend on the symptoms and comorbidity with BP, but I could see how IFS therapy might help with the existential nature of BP symptoms.

Have you thought about asking your talk therapist to try IFS therapy on you? .
The reason he brought it up is that I said something that sounded like a "protector" role or something like a role that he thought seemed consistent with the IFS. I trust him to try this and if it works great and if it doesn't we'll find something else. I very vaguely remember that when we started he told me he used IFS a lot but that was so long ago I could be wrong.

It sounds much more relevant for PTSD than BP but I definitely have PTSD and so treating it this way seems good. If it helps the BP too that's great.

I hope it is working well for you.
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Old 10-26-2021, 10:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeyondtheRainbow View Post
The reason he brought it up is that I said something that sounded like a "protector" role or something like a role that he thought seemed consistent with the IFS. I trust him to try this and if it works great and if it doesn't we'll find something else. I very vaguely remember that when we started he told me he used IFS a lot but that was so long ago I could be wrong.

It sounds much more relevant for PTSD than BP but I definitely have PTSD and so treating it this way seems good. If it helps the BP too that's great.

I hope it is working well for you.
Thank you for wishing me well, BeyondtheRainbow.

I'm so sorry you struggle with both BP and PTSD. I'm guessing that the BP could exacerbate the PTSD, and vice versa. I could see how IFS could maybe help with the exacerbated PTSD symptoms regarding the part of you who wants to protect (to fight, to remain hypervigilant against threats, etc.). I've often wondered about research on treatments for people with comorbid disorders that might have unique symptoms from multiple diagnoses, which may warrant different therapeutic approaches. So much research emphasizes only one diagnosis, without paying attention to the growing need to treat comorbid diagnoses - something that seems more common than singular diagnoses these days. That's just my opinion.

When I was in the trauma center and in the "ego states" module, there were many different patients in there with me - not just PTSD and DID patients, but also patients with comorbid PTSD and other disorders, including Bipolar. They touched on IFS in that group, I think. Thus, I think that is why it might be helpful. Only a licensed therapist could prescribe and administer that treatment to you, but it's worth asking.

I hope you are able to find more healing through IFS and other treatments.
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Old 04-28-2022, 11:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: IFS (Internal family systems) therapy

Thanks for posting this. (sorry I missed it before).
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