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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Post

How Internal Family Systems Can Help with the Inner Critic

Updated: Jul 1, 2021

Do you struggle with self-esteem? Are you constantly comparing yourself to others? Do you have a belief that something is inherently wrong with you or that you are less than?

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, then you have an inner critic that is out of control!

How the Inner Critic Develops

It’s hard to imagine that anything labeled as a “critic” could have our best intentions at heart. But the truth is, for most of us, the inner critic, also referred to as the superego by Freud, developed to keep them safe.

Think of your inner critic as that drill sergeant that yells at the soldiers in order to keep them safe on the battlefield. Our inner critic is what often helps us achieve more, be tough, get it together and so on.

Some individuals grew up in households where one or more parents was very critical. For these people, the inner critic can indeed feel like an enemy; an extension of the parental’s critical voice that is extra sharp and cutting.

How Internal Family Systems Can Help

Internal Family Systems (IFS) was developed as a gentle way to unite aspects of your mind by changing learned behaviors and perspectives. IFS promotes self-compassion for all aspects of yourself, including the inner critic.

IFS relies on a concept called self-parenting or re-parenting. Through this modality an individual gets in touch with their inner child and helps release them from a painful past. Healing occurs when there is an integration of all parts of the self. Once integration happens, the individual feels calm and centered, and the main voice they hear moving forward is their inner champion.

Stephanie Post, PsyD. at Higher Self Psychotherapy specializes in trauma therapy, anxiety therapy, depression therapy, and self-esteem therapy online anywhere in California and in the Marina neighborhood of San Francisco.

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