Applying somatic principles to the Internal Family Systems model
Somatic Internal Family Systems Therapy introduces a new therapeutic modality that blends principles of somatic therapy–like movement, touch, and breathwork–with the traditional tools of the Internal Family Systems framework. Broadening the benefits and applications of the IFS model, author Susan McConnell introduces 5 core practices that mental health professionals can apply to their practice: somatic awareness, conscious breathing, radical resonance, mindful movement, and attuned touch. Clinical applications include the treatment of depression, trauma, anxiety, eating disorders, chronic illness, and attachment disorders.
Within the IFS framework, clients will learn to identify their “inner worlds”–the discrete subpersonalities within each of us that hold emotions, perceptions, and belief systems, and that affect our behavior and emotional wellness. Body-based somatic tools are incorporated into therapy as patients learn to recognize different facets of their internal family and reconcile the needs of subpersonalities–like their inner child or internal manager–to bring more harmony to their physical and emotional well-being.