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Richard Schwartz, PhD

Richard Schwartz, PhD

SKU: RShwartzInPerson
$725.00 Regular Price
$675.00Sale Price

The Internal Family Systems Model is a method of  therapy which fosters transformation, gently, quickly, and effectively.  It views multiplicity of mind as our natural state and our parts as sub personalities that may be healed and transformed by bringing the Self into its rightful role as leader of the internal system. The Self, a core of valuable leadership qualities, is our true nature compassionate and loving. Although IFS has been most widely used as a treatment for  trauma, it is a flexible model that provides abundant opportunities for application. IFS advances treatment in several areas: First, by showing respect and appreciation for the client's protective parts, it reduces resistance and backlash. Second, it helps clients fully unburden the extreme beliefs and emotions they accrued from their traumas. Third, affect is regulated in a simple and effective way so that clients are  not overwhelmed during sessions. Fourth, because it is the client's Self that is leading in the healing, transference is reduced and clients do  much of the work on their own, between sessions. Fifth, IFS gives therapists practical ways to understand and work with their countertransference so they can remain in the open-hearted state of Self leadership with clients. Sixth, it frees therapists from the role of trying to police clients' symptoms like suicide, eating disorders, addictions, and self-mutilation. Seventh, therapists are free to be themselves, without having to be clever or controlling, and come to enjoy partnering in the fascinating and sacred process that naturally unfolds as clients heal themselves.


This workshop is designed for therapists with  little exposure to IFS as well as those who know the basics of IFS, but have trouble when clients resist, have particularly difficult parts, or when it comes to using the model with couples or larger systems. We will  begin with an overview of IFS and then move on to the deeper exploration of issues that arise during treatment. This course will also provide the opportunity to participants to identify and work with the parts of themselves that interfere in their relationships with clients. The workshop will be a balance of lectures, demonstration, and experiential exercises.

  • About

    Richard Schwartz, PhD, began his career as a family therapist and an academic, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called parts.  These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s. IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and classrooms. The IFS Institute ( offers three levels of training and workshops in IFS for professionals, both nationally and abroad. Dr. Schwartz is a featured speaker for national professional organizations and a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

  • Course Title

    Internal Family Systems Workshop
  • Course Agenda


    • Introduction to IFS and overview of the process of IFS therapy


    • Working with resistant clients and/or difficult parts


    • IFS applied to couples


    • IFS applied to groups, families, and larger systems


    • How to work with parts of the therapist that interfere with IFS therapy

  • Course Objectives

    Course Objectives:

    Upon completion of this course participants will be able to:

    1. Describe the basic IFS model

    2. Discuss the observation of IFS live demonstration

    3. Discuss the impact of trauma on internal systems

    4. Discuss client protective parts

    5. List the six steps for healing exiled parts

    6. Describe how to work with difficult and/or resistant parts

    7. Discuss IFS affect management strategies

    8. Participate in experiential exercises that demonstrate affect management

    9. Summarize the IFS approach to couples' therapy

    10. Discuss case examples of couples using IFS

    11. Summarize IFS application to families

    12. Explain IFS application to groups and larger systems

    13. Indicate techniques to understand and deal with transference

    14. Use IFS methods to help therapists stay centered during sessions

    15. Describe how IFS helps therapists be freer in their work