Internal Family Systems

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a type of psychotherapy that conceptualizes the mind of an individual as one family made up of various parts.

How Can IFS Help?

IFS is an integrative type of talk therapy that combines a systems thinking approach with the perspective that we are the sum of our parts. IFS can help in treating and managing:

  • Anxiety and panic disorders
  • Depression and grief
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Substance use disorders
  • Relationship issues
  • Personality disorders

The IFS process helps identify and understand the multiple sub-personalities, or parts, that make us who we are. When you are no longer a stranger to all the various parts that are individually unique, you can work to harmonize all these parts together. Each one serves a purpose in creating your true Self.

Parts of The Whole

IFS refers to you, the true you at the core, as “the Self.” The Self is the sum of all the parts, sub-personalities, or family members, and that are your thoughts, beliefs, memories, actions, and reactions. We are all made up of these various parts, but some are more domineering than others. The experiences that formed the dynamic among the parts are unique to each person. The Self is made up of three main parts that coexist together to guide our behavior and decision making.


The Exile is the part of you that holds hurt, from yourself and others. Exiles are feelings, memories, and emotions such as fear, shame, and trauma. They want to be seen but feel they are not good enough, shameful, harmful, or too much.


The manager refers to any behavior that acts as a proactive protector. It works daily for control of emotions, surroundings, tasks, judgment, and to hide or suppress any Exiles that may be peaking through.


The Firefighter is the reactive protector. When the exile is triggered, the firefighter will react to distract, numb, and inhibit threatening emotions by any means possible (often through anger, addiction, or other impulsive behaviors).

What We Treat

If you are struggling with your mental health, substance abuse, or both, we are here to help you regain control over your life. Our inpatient, outpatient, and partial hospitalization programs are designed to treat a wide variety of mental, behavioral, and co-occurring disorders in a comfortable setting.

Mental Health

We diagnose and treat a wide variety of mental health disorders, including trauma effects, dual diagnosis, depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, and codependency.


Substance use disorders we treat include addiction to alcohol, opiates, fentanyl and prescription opioids, methamphetamine and other stimulants, benzodiazepines, cannabis, and other psychoactive substances.

Other Behavioral Health Concerns

A mental health crisis can be layered and confusing. If you don’t see your disorder listed—or don’t know exactly why you are struggling—reach out to us to see how we can help. We treat each client at Sequoia on a personal level, and we’re ready to help you overcome whatever you may be facing.

Ready to Start Your Healing Journey?

Our experienced, compassionate team is here for you. Reach out to us today by calling us or scheduling a conversation at a time that works for you. All information will be kept private and confidential.

Sun setting behind some mountains.