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The Unburdened System

All parts are welcome, because they hold gifts  


Created by Mariel Pastor with IFS founder Richard Schwartz, the Unburdened Internal System mandala presents a vision of what life can look like when we befriend and unburden our parts and discover their gifts, with Self Energy increasingly more available to tend and to lead.  The glow surrounding the mandala reminds us that we are all held within a greater sea of Self energy.

Like the IFS model itself, this mandala was inspired by clients - by those who took the plunge inward and made surprising and joyful discoveries about themselves, and by others initially skeptical about "going inside" and who needed a vision of hope.

With IFS, we know it's the painful burdens and entrenched polarizations inside us, and in the outer world, that constrain the flow of life.  Once our parts are unburdened, however, they reveal their inherent gifts and contribute to our sense of wholeness in harmony with Self energy, and allowing more awareness and choice in dealing with life stressors.

 “In IFS we put so much emphasis on how to release parts from their extreme roles that we sometimes neglect to give enough attention to that transition to a new role.   Mariel is an excellent IFS therapist and teacher who has developed a beautiful mandala and method for us to foster the transformation of burdened parts into their unburdened valuable roles.”

- Dick Schwartz

Developer of Internal Family Systems

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Click the mandala image above to download a PDF attachment and let your parts get inspired.   

This stunning visual aid can be used in treatment with clients, in the classroom with students, or for personal reflection in understanding your inner world. Please respect the copyright by giving proper credit on all uses.  Thank you.

Posters are available on the IFS Institute online bookstore if you'd like a glossy print.  
Available in English, Spanish, and French.

Dive Deeper into the Unburdened System 

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IFS Talks Podcast: Befriending Self-Like Parts
with Mariel Pastor


May 14, 2022

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IFS Talks Podcast: Common Pitfalls in IFS Language 
with Mariel Pastor


January 16, 2022


IFS Talks Podcast: Celebrating the Unburdened System with Mariel Pastor


February 19, 2020

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