Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is an evidence-based therapy based on the understanding that our personalities are made up of “parts” that hold our different—and often contradictory—feelings, beliefs, memories, and thoughts.

You’ve probably said something like this before: “Part of me wants this, but another part of me wants that.”

As a therapist specializing in Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy in Maryland and DC, I can help you learn about your parts and experience more calm, creativity, and confidence throughout your life.

Where do our parts come from?

Our parts were developed when we were children. They get “frozen in time … and keep doing whatever extreme things they did to protect [us] when [we] were young,” says Dr. Richard Schwartz, the therapist who developed IFS.

Some of our parts are afraid of being hurt or feel the shame of having been hurt, so they hide. Others are like little managers trying to get us to behave. These managers are “like internalized children who are in over their heads and don’t know how else to run the whole [internal] family other than by yelling and criticizing,” says Schwartz.

For example, maybe you have a tendency to work almost constantly, to always be checking off your to-do list, to worry about getting enough done. Through the lens of IFS, this tendency to hustle, strive, and grind would be viewed as coming from a part of you. It’s not all of you.

You have other parts that want to relax, have fun, connect with others, and veg out. It’s just that the part of you that worries about getting enough done is the loudest—it often takes the steering wheel of your life.

How I use Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy

I use IFS to help you map your different parts, relationships between those parts, and how they interact with your true, authentic self. We will get to know your parts and help them release their childlike, extreme beliefs about how you need to be.

IFS is very anti-shame. There are no “bad” parts of you. In fact, your parts are trying to protect you. They just have rigid, extreme, misguided ways of trying to do that—like children.

My goal is to help you get to know and even appreciate your parts. Once you get to know them and the conditions in your everyday life that cause them to show up, you’ll have more freedom and choice over what to say and how to act.

In my experience—just like children—when our parts feel seen, accepted, and appreciated, they tend to calm down and stop being so extreme.

FAQ about Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy

How will I know it’s working?

While you’ll likely feel some relief within a few sessions, long-lasting progress may take weeks, months, or even years. This is because therapy not only treats symptoms, but it also addresses root causes.

Eventually, addressing the experiences and healing the trauma that laid the foundation for your anxiety may allow you to fully let go of the habits and patterns that are causing you distress.  

How often should I do therapy and for how long?

As the client, you always control the frequency and number of sessions. Typically, I recommend that we meet weekly, especially in the beginning. It takes commitment and consistency to build trust and rapport.

But it’s ultimately your call. If you want to move to bi-weekly after a few months, that’s up to you.

How long we work together is up to you as well. I might recommend continuing or ending therapy based on your progress and goals. But you decide when you don’t need more sessions.

Some of my clients work with me for a few months as they navigate a difficult situation, while others have seen me as a helpful guide for years. Together, we will talk about what is most supportive to your ongoing growth and well-being.

How much does it cost?

My fee for a therapy session is $170 and will likely be reimbursed under most insurance plans. I accept credit card/debit card and HSA/FSA payments at the time of service.

I am considered “out-of-network” for all major insurance companies including Aetna, BlueCross, Cigna, Carefirst, and UHC. That means you pay the full fee at the time of service and can then choose to submit to your insurance for reimbursement through your out-of-network benefits.

The majority of clients have some out-of-network benefits, and benefits often cover 50 percent or more of my fee. You should check with your insurance to confirm.

I provide a Statement for Reimbursement (“superbill”) through a secure online portal to submit to your insurance company if you choose to seek reimbursement.

Your IFS therapist, Jeremy Mohler

Hi! I’m Jeremy, a licensed therapist with a passion for helping others find freedom from anxiety and stress.

Fill out the form below to get started with therapy for anxiety or learn more about me and my approach to therapy.

Scheduling Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy in Washington, D.C., Silver Spring, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Rockville, Baltimore, or other parts of Maryland

Click on the button below to fill out the form and I’ll reach out within 24 hours to set up a free introductory phone call. I’ll answer any questions you have, and if I’m not the right fit, I’ll help you find a therapist who is.