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Internal Family Systems: A Mother's Parts

When asked how I cope with all that goes on in life, the answer is Internal Family Systems or IFS.

Today, I want to share with you my Internal Family Systems parts as a mother of a husband and  children with developmental and emotional disabilities.

This is probably the most intimate post I've ever written about myself, but I feel it's that important.

It's my hope that by doing so, I can help others feel more comfortable with the idea that we are all made up of parts, not just those with multiple personalities, etc.

As we understand our parts, how they feel and work, we can begin to care for them and unburden them, healing from trauma in our lives.

Internal Family Systems: A Mother's Parts

I have experienced trauma in my personal life while growing up before my husband and children came along.

I experience trauma up close and personal on a regular basis now.

Internal Family Systems is non-pathologizing, but for the sake of those who are curious...

In all the years I've worked with therapists (which has been a long time) I have only received two diagnoses.

I was diagnosed with an adjustment disorder after my boys were both diagnosed with autism AND Princess was diagnosed with Reactive Attachment Disorder in the course of two months, while at the same time my husband lost employment.

Currently my therapist uses the term Acute Stress Disorder when billing for what I experience now, due to the fact that none of the trauma is in the past. It is current and continues to be so. PTSD refers to traumatic events in the past, not present.

I do not suffer from depression, an anxiety disorder, or any other mental health disorders. This has been confirmed by multiple professionals.

Internal Family Systems: A Mother's Parts

Below are names and descriptions of each of my parts. On average an adult has between ten and twenty-two parts.

Each of my parts have names that I have selected. 

Naming parts helps communication between parts and the Self.

Each part also has an age, which is the age I was when the part developed. For the sake of this post I have not shared ages.

Suffocated Soul

Feels overwhelmed and panicked when there are too many demands from too many different people, or when the neediness of one or more person is too much or too prolonged without breaks. This part often works with the Dementor.  

When referring to parts, one refers to each part as "it" until the part establishes otherwise.

The Destroyer

Believes that no matter how much effort and work is put into a goal or task, the shoe will fall and the effort and progress will be ruined or taken away. This part often works with the Punisher.

The Punisher

Believes that failure to achieve should be punished. Punishment comes in the form of not taking care of the physical body because it’s not worth taking care of. This part often works with the Destroyer.

The Monster

Prefers to blame itself and take responsibility for bad things that have happened, instead of putting the responsibility on others for their actions. 

Taking responsibility is motivating to become better. Removing responsibility from others allows others to still be loved and respected. This part can sometimes work with Unlovable.

Judy Hopps

She is always willing to give 200% to get the job done and to do it the best it’s ever been done. There’s no task too difficult. This part love to work with the Problem Solver.

The Problem Solver

Has a talent for working through difficult situations, troubleshooting issues, planning, preparing for any scenario. Believes that every scenario can be worked through. This part enjoys working with Judy Hopps.


He is protective of those he loves, willing to do whatever it takes to obtain necessary help, even if it means fighting with others and being inflexible. 

This part often works with Not Good Enough and the Monster leaving me feeling awful when put in situations where I need to advocate for family member's needs.


She believes that no one can love or care for her because of the way she looks, feels, and acts. No matter how hard she tries or how much she changes, it doesn’t change the fact that she does not deserve to be loved because of who she is.

Special Love

She believes that everyone, no matter what they’ve done, how they behave, or what they look like, deserve to be loved. She has a deep love and dedication to those who have been cast out by others. She always sees the diamond in the rough. This part can sometimes work with Save the World.

Not Good Enough

No matter how hard she tries, or how much she does, it is never enough, and so she tries and does even more. She blames herself for everything that goes wrong, not taking into account other people’s choices and actions.

This part can be paralyzing at times, especially when working with the Monster or Wolverine.

Save the World

She is very passionate about standing up for others who don’t have a voice. She is dedicated to making the world a better place in as many ways she can. 

When this part leads the way, the Monster, Wolverine, and Not Good Enough sometimes step aside.


She feels left behind, cast out, or on her own, unaccepted for who she is, undeserving of support and love from others. This part often works with Not Good Enough.

Miss Independent

She feels she doesn’t need others and is completely fine on her own. She also longs for a time when others are not dependent on her and she is free to do as she wishes.

The Right Thing

He believes that there is a right answer in every scenario so long as you study all the moving parts long enough. By studying facts instead of the emotional reactions of others, the correct answer will be there. There are no regrets with this method.

The Wall

It forms as a protection during situations where there may be conflict to ensure safety, calm, and continued functioning.

The People Pleaser

When feeling misunderstood and judged, without a way out of the scenario, she will succumb to other people’s thoughts and ideas, instead of standing her ground, accepting responsibility, even when it isn’t hers.


This part informs others if situations are safe. If a situation is not safe, the part will help create a safe space for functioning.

The Dementor

He sucks the joy out of life, leaving feelings of emptiness, despair, and feeling trapped with no way out.

The Minimizer

When feeling overwhelmed, she is very quick to scan the situation and minimize as many aspects of it as possible to make it doable. The main idea is to get rid of anything unnecessary.

The Islander

She prefers to be alone on an island by herself without the worries and pressures of life. This part is perfectly content being isolated as relationships with people are too overwhelming and can be so much work.

The Internal Family Systems therapy model has completely changed my life for the better. 

It has helped me overcome trauma from my past, and also cope with current trauma in my life, as a mother of two adopted children with Reactive Attachment Disorder.

The process of unburdening parts has been fascinating and empowering. It feels so incredible not to be part led, but instead Self-led as often as possible, despite what's happening in life.

Internal Family Systems has helped me learn to communicate with family members more effectively, remaining calm in the most difficult of circumstances.

I'm able to pause and reflect on the Internal Family System of a family member who may be struggling at any given time, and provide the love and support that's needed, without taking things so personally.

It makes such a difference knowing that it's not the whole person who feels a certain way, but only parts of that person.

Internal Family Systems has helped me set healthy boundaries in relationships and find my Self to lead my parts in the healthiest of ways.

I am able to understand my own triggers and the whys behind them, which helps so much in relationships with family members, friends, and others.

I highly recommend Internal Family systems therapy!

For those who would like to follow our family journey, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter by clicking the link below.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.

Internal Family Systems: A Child's Parts When Traditional Therapy Doesn't Work Reactive Attachment Disorder Fits: Did I Do Something Wrong? Montessori-inspired Friendship Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Family Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Relationships Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Spiritual Needs of Man Printable Pack
Internal Family Systems: A Mother's Parts

1 comment:

  1. What a brave and amazing post! Thank you so much for sharing! I am impressed by and truly live all your parts! This is so inciteful!