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Internal Family Systems meets the System of Selves
Extraordinary "parts work" for storytellers

At the heart of Character Mapping is the System of Selves, a unique approach to the

inner workings of the mind and its many layers - the individual parts of ourselves that

come together as personality types - featuring the wildly popular Internal Family Systems

(IFS) developed by Richard Schwartz PhD.

Mariel Pastor has been deeply involved with IFS for all of her professional life, working

closely with family therapy historian Schwartz early on, when his model was seen as a

unique systemic approach to the mind’s natural multiplicity that radically asserted the

presence of a wise core Self inside everyone.   When the field of neuroscience and trauma

studies took off, IFS became more popular, as scores of therapists and clients were

relieved to find an approach that was accessible, intuitive, and deeply respectful of the

challenges and beauty of being human.


As an international lead trainer for IFS, Mariel Pastor is known for the clarity, warmth and humor she brings to this complex and nuanced work.  She is the principal author of the IFS official training manual as well as the Unburdened Internal System mandala, providing a vision of hope and relief.


IFS is much more than a transformative, evidence-based approach to psychotherapy.  For many it’s a practice for self-knowledge and compassion that marries well with other philosophies and practices that value wholeness, balance, harmony, and interconnectedness.  Many other fields including education, business, and community building have embraced the systemic wisdom this model has to offer.


With Character Mapping, Pastor creatively weaves together IFS and other body-mind approaches within an Integral framework as a way to appreciate the power of stories and the act of storytelling. This appreciation comes from facilitating clients and other storytellers as they take the journey of self-discovery, and from her own dedication to personal work.

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