Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a model of therapy that views the mind as a system of sub-personalities or parts that hold different beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. IFS also believes that each person has a “Self” that has inherent wisdom or healing capacity.
When we apply IFS to couples, we help each partner become aware of their own parts and how they interact with their partners parts. This helps couples resolve conflicts that arise when their parts are in opposition to each other. IFS also helps each member of the couple identify and heal the wounds within them that can get in the way of intimacy in the relationship.
The overall goal of IFS in couples is to help individuals become more aware of their own parts, to access empathy for their partner’s parts, and release the blocks that cause conflicts to develop a more compassionate relationship within themselves and their relationship.
Frank Anderson, MD, completed his residency and was a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is both a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He specializes in the treatment of trauma and dissociation and is passionate about teaching brain-based psychotherapy and integrating current neuroscience knowledge with the IFS model of therapy.
Dr. Anderson is a Lead Trainer at the IFS Institute with Richard Schwartz and maintains a long affiliation with, and trains for, Bessel van der Kolk’s Trauma Center. He serves as an advisor to the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP) and was the former chair and director of the Foundation for Self Leadership.
Dr. Anderson has lectured extensively on the Neurobiology of PTSD and Dissociation and wrote the chapter “Who’s Taking What” Connecting Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology and Internal Family Systems for Trauma in Internal Family Systems Therapy-New Dimensions. He co-authored a chapter on “What IFS Brings to Trauma Treatment in Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy” and recently co-authored Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual.
His most recent book, entitled “Transcending Trauma: Healing Complex PTSD with Internal Family Systems” was released on May 19, 2021.
Dr. Anderson maintains a private practice in Concord, MA.