#419 – Internal Family Systems Therapy with Jay Earley PhD

Jay Earley


Jay Earley, PhD, is a psychotherapist, group leader, author, teacher, and theorist. He teaches Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) IFS to the general public as a practice for self-help and peer counseling. He also teaches a variety of classes and workshops applying IFS to specific psychological issues such as procrastination, communication, relationships, and the inner critic. He is the author of Self-Therapy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Inner Wholeness Using IFS, Freedom from Your Inner Critic, Resolving Inner Conflict, Working with Anger in IFS, and Negotiating for Self-Leadership in IFS. Jay Earley and Bonnie Weiss have published a series of audio products related to IFS, including IFS Courses, Guided Meditations, and Demonstration Sessions.

Jay has created the Pattern System, a method for understanding parts, behavior, healthy capacities, internal dynamics, and underlying psychological issues. It is useful for mapping the psyche, understanding how people act and relate to others, and guiding IFS work. He has published a book entitled The Pattern System, and a book Conflict, Care, and Love that helps you to understand your relationship patterns and transform them.
Jay is the creator of Self-Therapy Journey, a web application for psychological exploration and healing, which is based on IFS and the Pattern System.

Check out the following Psychology CE Courses based on listening to Shrink Rap Radio interviews:
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 1 (6 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 2 (7 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 3 (7 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 4 (6 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Part 5 (7 CEUs)
Jungian Psychotherapy Package of the Five Above (33 CEUs)
Wisdom of The Dream (4 CEUs)
Positive Psychology (6 CEUs)
Pros and Cons of Positive Psychology (5 CEUs)
NEW! The Fundamentals of Positive Psychology (6 CEUs)
Body-Mind: Goodbye to Dualism (6 CEUs)
Brain: Insights from Neuroscience (8 CEUs)
Meditation & Psychotherapy (8 CEUs)
NEW! Crisis & Trauma: Identification, Assessment, & Treatment (15 CEUs)
Neuroscience and Healing (8 CEUs)
NEW! The Psychology of Relationships (7 CEUs)

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A psychology podcast by David Van Nuys, Ph.D.

copyright 2014: David Van Nuys, Ph.D.



  1. Dr. Michael Ocana
    Posted September 13, 2014 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    This was an excellent interview. What stood out for me was the empathic style and deep trust that develops in establishing rapport with the defences. I agree that many therapeutic approaches are dismissive of defences and challenge them too aggressively leading to high failure rates. IFS goes a long way to explain the bizarre world of multiple personality disorder, which then becomes a simple elaboration of normal psychology rather than a bizarre anomaly. It is also easy to see how more or less regular folks can become convinced that they have this bizarre condition. Fortunately IFS seems to get around this very easily by never suggesting such a diagnosis. Again, excellent work!

  2. Rich Featherly
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    This was fascinating and sounds very much like Inner Relationship Focusing as promoted by Ann Weiser Cornell focusingresources dot com. Ann was a student of Gene Gendlin who was a student of Carl Rogers. One difference is that Inner relationship focusing takes care to avoid naming parts and avoids the use of the word parts. I’ve never heard her doing an interview, so I don’t know if she would be willing to talk with you but it might be worth a try..
    I’m going back into your archives since I only heard about you from Michelle Rosenthal when you interviewed her.

  3. Posted March 26, 2015 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Hi Rich,

    Thanks for you comment. Actually, I’ve interviewed Ann Weiser Cornell:


    Check it out! 🙂



  4. Dr. Michael Ocana
    Posted September 20, 2015 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Here’s my review of Earley’s book “Freedom from your Inner Critic” that I posted to Goodreads.

    “I heard Jay Earley present his “Self-therapy” approach on the Shrink Rap Radio podcast. I had recently finished Trauma and the Soul, by Donald Kalsched, which I loved, and I immediately noted the similarities in the basic principles. So I ordered his book. I was disappointed when it arrived, thinking perhaps Chapters had made a mistake. The book is very thin and it’s cover suggests a simplistic, self help approach. At first the exercised seem almost silly, gimmicky and oversimplified. But as I went on to read this book, I was struck by the power of this approach. Earley’s approach is both simple and incredibly potent. It strikes at the core of trauma and focuses on mindful approaches for developing self compassion. As much as I loved Kalsched’s book,Kalsched uses a Jungian psychoanalytic dream analysis approach which is too cumbersome for my practice. Earley’s work in fact lends itself to a short term model. I have been incorporating this model into my own work with terrific results already. Don’t underestimate this book! I recommend it to any psychotherapists out there, or anyone with an interest in mental health or self development.”

    5 stars

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