Roeland van Niele

internal family systems

IFS therapy setting


What brings you here?

When you choose to go to therapy, it usually means that something is bothering you, and that you are only partially succeeding in changing this. That something may be something big. At this point in your life perhaps so present that it affects you in such a negative way that you feel you cannot go on. It may also be that you feel a desire to explore more deeply certain patterns in which you feel unfree. Because our daily lives asks a lot of us. It confronts us with our fears and insecurities.

Each behavior has a positive intention

Sometimes it is necessary to go back before you can go forward. In our childhood, we were all presented with a reality that was as it was. We did not yet have the overview we would have later and we were completely dependent on our environment. As a child, you tuned into the explicit and implicit expectations of your environment. You behaved in such a way that your place was not compromised. You were not free in this and as an adult you often still carry this lack of freedom with you. This can manifest itself in many ways. Especially in our relationships do we find ourselves in situations that stir up overwhelming feelings that we seemingly have known for many years. Possible all our lives. To deal with these feelings we behave in ways that work in the short term but in the long term don’t solve our issues or even make things worse.  

“Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries.” Carl Jung

When we become aware of our lack of freedom, our negative patterns, our major or minor addictions, our survival strategies, it makes sense that we want to get rid of them as soon as possible. We can strengthen our “positive” qualities and achieve results, especially in the short term. Chances are, however, that in doing so, we are listening mainly to those parts of ourselves that focus on control, attenuation and avoidance. In the long run, this makes us tired and we see that what we are trying to get rid of cannot be done away with. What matters is that we learn to listen to it. So that those parts begin to feel heard and, often step by step, gain the confidence that there are other possibilities.