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Could Your Teen Benefit from Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy?

By Preety Kaur, MA AMFT,

Supervised by Marte J Matthews, LMFT

Have you ever been so indecisive about a decision that it felt like parts of you were just arguing back and forth and the internal dialogue wasn’t going anywhere?

It might sound like: “I want to take a vacation because I’m exhausted. But I shouldn’t spend money on that right now, I need to be saving money. But on the other hand, I’ve been working hard. I deserve it!” This is such a common and normal phenomenon for most people. Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a therapeutic approach that I use to help teens and parents identify the different parts of them (like angry, anxious, or depressed parts) that can unconsciously take the lead and can sometimes make poor decisions. Each part has its own beliefs, emotions, and behaviors that may or may not be in alignment with the goals of a person as a whole. My role as a therapist utilizing IFS with teens is to help them understand and validate each part instead of acting from the parts of them that feel angry, anxious, or depressed. Teens need to learn what they are feeling, thinking, and experiencing. This insight helps them learn what they are needing to soothe themselves. Guiding teens to get to know different aspects of themselves ultimately helps them better respond to everyday problems, conflicts, and decisions they have to make. IFS is a research-back model. Studies have shown that IFS has been effective in treatment for emotional and psychological issues, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, relationship problems, and addiction. My goal as a therapist who utilizes IFS is to help teens lead themselves so that they can become healthy, confident, and high-functioning young adults. Are you interested in learning more about how IFS could help your teen and family? Please contact CFCG by phone or email. Phone: 408-351-1044 and email

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