The Unfolding of One's True Nature Through the Internal Family Systems Lens

In the mesmerizing world of Cirque du Soleil's "Kooza," the protagonist journeys through a child's dream reminded me of our true nature. An essence filled with curiosity, awe and the capacity to dream. However as life unfolds emotional wounds and traumas shape our perspectives leading us to develop coping mechanisms that assist in navigating the challenges of our environment. Within this set of survival behaviors, reactions, and learned ways of thinking/perceiving our genuine childlike core becomes concealed beneath these layers of coping mechanisms. We become survivors.


Zina Ortiz

8/25/20232 min read

EMDR Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Trauma Anxiety Denver Colorado
EMDR Psychedelic Assisted Therapy Trauma Anxiety Denver Colorado

The Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach provides a perspective, on how our inner selves interact. IFS recognizes that within each individual there are parts that embody roles, emotions, sensations and memories. These parts work together harmoniously to shape our personality and influence our thoughts, actions and relationships. When we encounter challenges in life certain parts naturally step forward to protect us by assuming roles that shield us from harm and difficulties.

Imagine a child who develops a part in response to adversity. This part takes care of the childs needs ensuring they meet expectations excel in school and feel a sense of control in the world. Another aspect may emerge as someone who aims to please others in search of acceptance and love by putting their own needs aside. Over time these protective aspects become ingrained in our identity and shape how we perceive ourselves and the world around us.

As we grow older certain events can trigger the presence of these aspects due, to wounds. The pain of rejection, loss or trauma can cause them to work harder to create defenses that shield us from harm. While these mechanisms initially serve as survival strategies they can also lead us to disconnect from our true selves.

Put simply if we neglect or ignore aspects of ourselves we may end up reacting to life's circumstances. However down, beneath those reactions lies our true nature. It's a part of us that's naturally inquisitive, creative and authentic.

To truly discover our selves we must embark on a journey of self exploration and healing. The Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach encourages us to approach these mechanisms and wounded parts with curiosity and understanding. By acknowledging their intentions and gently examining how they have influenced our lives we can gradually create space for our genuine core self to emerge. It's akin to a rebirth—a blending of the new and the old.

Healing from an IFS perspective involves peeling back the layers of defense mechanisms and uncovering the parts that have hindered our essence. As we let go of coping strategies we give our child a chance to heal as it integrates into our true selves. This inner journey of exploration and healing can lead us towards liberation and profound transformation allowing us to establish a connection with ourselves and those around us.

In the tapestry of our world each part, within ourselves has its voice that deserves recognition and understanding.

By taking care of our internal environments we create an environment where our inner childlike nature can flourish without being overshadowed by wounded aspects. Instead these transformed and healed parts empower us with their wisdom and strength. It's similar, to the dream world depicted in "Kooza," where a child's boundless imagination can rediscover the curiosity wonder and authenticity that reside within us. Embarking on a journey of self discovery, healing and personal growth is truly an experience! Yes it can be challenging at times as healing often is,. Would you prefer to remain stagnant and comfortable within a system of continuous suffering?

I provide treatment for Complex PTSD using healing methods that complement each other such as Psychedelic Assisted Therapy, EMDR, IFS, Somatic Experiencing, and many more. I myself have undergone a healing journey. From my experience I can confidently say that life, on this side is much sweeter and clearer.