Why I No Longer Practice IFS Therapy
More information will be added in due course as this article is a work in progress!
In early 2017 I completely stepped away from practicing IFS therapy (as therapist and client) following the guidance of that still, inner voice. This was a very important step in my journey. By stepping away, I was able to:
- Discover IFS therapy's blindspots.
- Explore other ways of working with myself and others.
- Discover the condition of the human soul and be open to God finding me!
- Discover how the IFS framework actually deviates from God's will.
Here are some of the ways IFS Therapy brings up red flags for me:
- Like many therapies based on psychospiritual principles, IFS contains conceptual inaccuracies which I've only discovered from experience. These innacuracies are related to its way of seeing "inner parts" and inner healing.
- Experience has shown me there is a spiritual world apart from what we see. The IFS way of seeing parts and blindspots of the spiritual world unfortunately opens many dangerous doors. Opening these doors makes IFS Therapy practitioners and clients vulnerable to increasing and new spiritual oppression and possession. Those without spiritual discernment will be oblivious to what is happening in themselves or their clients, even after a long period of time. Because of its inherent nature and how IFS is practiced, IFS (like other practices inspired by the occult or new-age) has far too many deviations from how things work spiritually to be spiritually safe. Even a little bit of ink in pure water changes the water. Likewise, a little bit of poison makes food dangerous, even if it keeps the taste. Both client and therapist are always affected by this "contamination" and so are left spiritually vulnerable.
- IFS Therapy causes confusion for the soul and our sense of who we are because of its spiritually inaccurate framework. We are spirit, soul and body -- rather than 'Self' and parts. IFS completely disregards the existence of God, our spirit and sin. The 'Self' in IFS is neither our spirit nor the Holy Spirit. Holiness in the IFS framework is a Godless holiness where sin does not really exist.
- One major weakness of IFS therapy that isn't and cannot be addressed is the lack of discernment present in ALL IFS therapists. Spiritual discernment cannot be taught through conventional means or by through IFS Therapy. It comes from the Holy Spirit, who would always want us to seek God and His will (and healing) directly.
- In my own experience, I've found IFS Therapy does nothing for our spirit which is where we encounter the deepest and purest level of true healing and empowerment.
- IFS therapists are trained about "unattached burdens" and "critters" -- i.e. demons in old fashioned terminology. Although the process appears to expel "burdens", the appearance of something doesn't necessarily make it so. Because of lack of discernment, IFS Therapy practitioners and clients themselves mistake spiritual entities/demons to be parts of the client. Rather than booting them out, clients are taught to normalize these entities as parts of themselves and see entity possession/oppression as an acceptable state of affairs. Only the obviously evil/nasty "parts" are seen as "unattached burdens".
- Furthermore, some therapists even encourage "spirit guides", thinking anything that appears positive, helpul and loving, has your best interests at heart. I've learnt spirit guides are never what they appear to be. It is never a good idea to talk to deceptive demons who pose as a part of us, angels, ETs or departed loved ones etc.
- The spiritual condition of a person may in fact be worse because of increasing spiritual deception and open doors caused by the trance state in IFS Therapy etc.
- Giving voice to our inner demons and "feeding" them actually disempowers us ultimately. Neither therapists nor clients ever realize how to mature in their spirit, through the Holy Spirit.
- .... and more!
From the perspective of Christianity specifically:
- IFS Therapy increases alienation to God. Our Self, the practitioner's Self and a "god-state" is exalted over God and the therapy actually crosses the line into witchcraft and mediumship, which deeply and cuttingly betrays the love our Creator has for us.
- IFS therapy does not heal like God does! In my own experience, the healing gained through IFS is not related to sanctification of the soul. It is false healing that changes who are made to be in God.
- IFS Therapy, like many things to do with healing may promote a kind of idolatry of the practitioner. Anything in creation can be an idol in our heart if we put it above God. In anything without a true understanding of God, there are no boundaries to do with idolatry.
- IFS Therapy promotes "love" towards all but paradoxically does not further the "Kingdom of God".
- The Abrahamic faiths are familiar with the idea of the serpent -- even if the serpent himself was whispering in our ear, IFS Therapy would take him to be a part of us or a spirit guide. It's unlikely satan himself would whisper in our ear, but any spiritual entity posing as an angel of light and rebellious to God would be taken as friend not foe.
- IFS therapy does not make us "Christ-like". It does not revive our spirit nor make us more holy because this is something only the God can do. Instead, IFS applies a temporary bandage over our soul.
- Part of the IFS process is the Self filling the needy "parts" of us with qualities our Self or "parts" deems we need. Any grace here may or may not come from God, but God is never attributed. We don't know if these qualities come from other entities even. Furthermore, God Himself touching us with His true Light, or the Holy Spirit filling us at a time He deems fit is completely different.
- Practicing IFS therapy hindered my own growth in using the Gifts of the Spirit I had received in childhood!
- When we know God, He teaches us about His love, which has the power to heal like nothing else
- and more reasons!
So, are there any "work-arounds" to these red flags?
After many, many months of deliberation I've had to conclude, unfortunately not. There is no doubt that IFS Therapy can be emotionally helpful. This is because the spiritual authority in practitioners is usually higher than in clients so can 'calm' the 'subpersonalities' in the clients. However, IFS Therapy cannot be practiced in a spiritually safe way because that authority comes from deceptive entities are higher up in the "chain of command", rather than God or the Holy Spirit.
God can help others through anyone, but if there is a better, much more effective option, why put ourselves in harm's way?
I hope my testimony helps therapists and clients in seeking deep healing that God wants for everyone!
After ceasing practice of IFS therapy and ArtIFS (Self Leadership through Creativity), I discovered we can use discernment and God-given gifts of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, when God delivers us from spiritual bondage, things automatically improve for us because we are naturally open to God's healing. Not only that, we are closer in our relationship with God. We see what God wants for us! God loves us more than we know but we need to walk away from anything that keeps us from Him.
I've found a direct relationship with God is far more healing, powerful, life-changing and supernatural than everything else combined!
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