Q & A – what are Internal family systems


Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a type of therapy that is based on the idea that each individual has different “parts” within them, and that these parts can become conflicted or imbalanced, leading to mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and relationship problems. IFS is a type of therapy that helps individuals understand and work with these internal parts to improve their overall well-being.

In IFS therapy, the therapist helps the individual identify and understand their internal parts and their relationships with one another. These parts may include “protectors” that are designed to keep the individual safe, “managers” that help the individual cope with difficult situations, and “exiles” that carry painful emotions or memories.

The goal of IFS therapy is to help individuals better understand and manage their internal parts in order to reduce internal conflict and improve mental health. This may involve techniques such as mindfulness, guided visualization, and dialogue with internal


©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

Q & A – Family systems therapy

Family systems therapy, also known as family therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on the relationships within a family and how they impact the psychological well-being of each family member. The goal of family systems therapy is to help family members better understand and communicate with each other in order to resolve conflicts and improve relationships.

Family systems therapy is based on the idea that the family is a complex system, and that the behavior of each family member is influenced by the behavior of other family members. In family systems therapy, the therapist works with the entire family, rather than just one individual, to identify and address the underlying issues that are contributing to family conflicts or difficulties.

Family systems therapy may involve a variety of techniques, including:

  1. Structural therapy: Structural therapy involves observing and analyzing the patterns of interaction within a family, and working to modify these patterns in order to improve communication and relationships.
  2. Strategic therapy: Strategic therapy involves developing specific interventions and tasks designed to address the specific issues identified within the family.
  3. Narrative therapy: Narrative therapy involves helping family members reframe their experiences and view them in a more positive and empowering light.
  4. Solution-focused therapy: Solution-focused therapy involves focusing on identifying and implementing solutions to specific problems within the family.

Family systems therapy can be effective in treating a wide range of issues, including communication difficulties, relationship conflicts, behavioral problems in children, and mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety. It’s important to work with a trained family therapist who can help identify the most appropriate approach for your specific needs.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

Q & A – what are evidence based therapies for PTSD?

There are several evidence-based therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that have been shown to be effective in treating the symptoms of PTSD. Here are a few examples:

  1. Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT): CPT is a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses on helping individuals change their negative thoughts and beliefs about themselves and the traumatic event. It also teaches individuals how to challenge and replace their negative thoughts with more positive ones.
  2. Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): PE is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that involves exposing individuals to the traumatic event in a safe and controlled environment. This helps individuals to process and come to terms with the traumatic event, reduce their avoidance behaviors, and decrease the intensity of their PTSD symptoms.
  3. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a form of therapy that combines elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements or hand tapping. This therapy helps individuals process traumatic memories and reduce the intensity of their PTSD symptoms.
  4. Stress Inoculation Training (SIT): SIT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that teaches individuals coping skills and techniques for managing stress and anxiety. It helps individuals develop a more positive outlook and approach to dealing with stress and traumatic events.
  5. Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET): NET is a type of therapy that involves telling and retelling the story of the traumatic event in a safe and controlled environment. This helps individuals to process and integrate their traumatic experience into their life story and reduce the intensity of their PTSD symptoms.

It is important to note that not all therapies work for everyone, and the choice of therapy will depend on the individual’s needs, preferences, and severity of symptoms. It is recommended to work with a qualified mental health professional who can help identify the most appropriate therapy and provide ongoing support throughout the treatment process.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023

Q & A – What is Trauma Typology

Trauma is a complex and multifaceted experience that can take many different forms. Trauma typology is a way of categorizing different types of trauma based on their source, duration, and impact. Here are some common types of trauma:

  1. Acute trauma: This is a single, brief event that causes intense distress, such as a car accident, physical assault, or natural disaster.
  2. Chronic trauma: This is ongoing trauma that occurs repeatedly over a period of time, such as living in a war zone, experiencing ongoing abuse or neglect, or being in a long-term abusive relationship.
  3. Complex trauma: This refers to exposure to multiple or ongoing traumatic events, often beginning in childhood, that have a cumulative impact on an individual’s emotional and psychological wellbeing.
  4. Secondary trauma: This occurs when individuals are exposed to the traumatic experiences of others, such as healthcare providers working with trauma survivors or first responders witnessing traumatic events.
  5. Vicarious trauma: This is a type of secondary trauma that occurs when individuals develop their own trauma-related symptoms as a result of repeatedly hearing about or witnessing traumatic events.
  6. Historical trauma: This refers to the collective trauma experienced by a group of people, such as the intergenerational trauma experienced by Indigenous peoples as a result of colonization and forced assimilation.

It’s important to note that these types of trauma are not mutually exclusive and can overlap in different ways. Understanding the different types of trauma can be helpful in identifying appropriate treatment approaches and supporting individuals in their healing journeys.

©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023


Q & A – What are what are emotional flashbacks?

Emotional flashbacks are a type of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom in which a person experiences intense emotions from a traumatic event as if it were happening in the present. These emotions can be overwhelming and can cause physical reactions such as sweating, trembling, and difficulty breathing. People may also experience intrusive thoughts, images, and memories related to the traumatic event.

What treatments are available for emotional flashbacks?

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of psychotherapy that helps people identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that are contributing to their emotional flashbacks.

2. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a type of psychotherapy that uses eye movements to help people process traumatic memories and reduce the intensity of their emotional flashbacks.

3. Medication: Certain medications, such as antidepressants.


©Linda Turner http://parentalalienationpas.com 2023


What is EMDR?

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a type of psychotherapy that uses bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, to help people process traumatic memories and other distressing experiences. It is based on the idea that when a traumatic or distressing experience is not fully processed, it can cause psychological distress. EMDR helps people to process these experiences in a more adaptive way, leading to reduced distress and improved functioning.

Does EMDR work better than standard behavior and cognitive-behavior therapies?

No. Most behavior and cognitive-behavior therapies for anxiety rely on a core principle of change: exposure. That is, these treatments work by exposing clients repeatedly to anxiety-provoking stimuli, either in their imagination (“imaginal exposure”) or in real life (“in vivo exposure”). When exposure to either type is sufficiently prolonged, clients’ anxiety dissipates within and across sessions, generating improvement.

When scientists have compared EMDR with imaginal exposure, they have found few or no differences. Nor have they found that EMDR works any more rapidly than imaginal exposure. Most researchers have taken these findings to mean that EMDR’s results derive from the exposure, because this treatment requires clients to visualize traumatic imagery repeatedly. Last, researchers have found scant evidence that the eye movements of EMDR are contributing anything to its effectiveness. When investigators have compared EMDR with a “fixed eye movement condition”—one in which clients keep their eyes fixed straight ahead—they have found no differences between conditions. In light of those findings, the panoply of hypotheses invoked for EMDR’s eye movements appears to be “explanations in search of a phenomenon.”

So, now to the bottom line: EMDR ameliorates symptoms of traumatic anxiety better than doing nothing and probably better than talking to a supportive listener. Yet not a shred of good evidence exists that EMDR is superior to exposure-based treatments that behavior and cognitive-behavior therapists have been administering routinely for decades. Paraphrasing British writer and critic Samuel Johnson, Harvard University psychologist Richard McNally nicely summed up the case for EMDR: “What is effective in EMDR is not new, and what is new is not effective.”



What’s the point of talking about the past?

When old ways of doing things are no longer helpful

So, our past experiences – and especially those from childhood – can lay down patterns for how we see and respond to the world, how we see ourselves and the relationship we have with our own feelings.

Whilst these patterns may serve us well for a time, there can come a point where they no longer fit or their effectiveness starts to wane.

For example, if we’re used to shutting down our feelings, we may find they eventually start to bubble up dressed as anxiety, depression, rage. If we experienced pain or abandonment at the hands of others, we might have learned to minimise the risk of this happening again through avoiding making meaningful connections, leading to difficulties sustaining relationships in adulthood.

So, whilst it is true that ‘dredging stuff up’ won’t change the past, talking about it can help us understand why we are the way we are and do the things we do. In turn, this insight can help put us in charge of how we live our lives going forwards.

Continue reading “What’s the point of talking about the past?”

Corrective Emotional Experience

Past hurts can influence your behaviors and relationships. Exploring your past can help how you react and behave in the future.

Some people don’t believe that rehashing past hurts help. You can’t change them, right?

How could reliving how your parents might have hurt you or how that ex might have treated you benefit you today? All it does is bring up painful memories. 

But the way you react or choose to do certain things might be connected to your past

Continue reading “Corrective Emotional Experience”

The CBTs in Later Life

Cognitive behavioral therapies (CBTs) and interventions have strong evidence of being effective for behavioral health conditions in diverse middle-aged and older adults. Not all aging individuals require adaptations of standard CBTs, yet some features of later life merit special attention. Culturally responsive CBTs include affirmation of personal strengths, along with consideration of modifications to improve clinical outcomes in later life. Stepped care approaches that utilize task shifting, along with innovative models of service delivery by video, telephone and the internet, can provide flexible methods to expand reach and enhance quality of life for aging populations across the globe.



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