Full Course Description

Internal Family Systems Step By Step - Session 1


  • Explain the Three-Group Model of Common Parts in the clinical application of IFS
  • Describe the differences between parts and Self and how it relates to client
Copyright : 02/10/2016

Internal Family Systems Step By Step Session 2


  • Describe the step-by-step process of unblending the Self from parts.
  • Explain IFS’s unique approach to managing flooding and dissociation
Copyright : 02/10/2016

Internal Family Systems Step By Step Session 3


  • Explain the process a therapist must take when a client begins to dissociate during IFS work.
  • Describe which parts take priority in the IFS process
Copyright : 02/10/2016

Dick Schwartz Answers Your Questions about IFS

Program Information


  1. Uncover the Internal Family Systems model, the clinical demonstrations, and how IFS can help you in your practice.


  • Richard Schwartz answers your questions.
  • Intro to call
  • Questions about the IFS process
  • Summary of Call

Copyright : 09/20/2016

The Myth of Unitary Self: A Dialogue on the Multiplicity of Mind with Daniel Siegel, MD and Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.

Program Information


Brief overview of interpersonal neurobiology

  • Presentation of using interpersonal to look at “triangle” of human experience - relationships, body and mind
    • False goals of “unitary” self
    • Integrated identity that makes up one’s “self”

Internal Family System (IFS) view of multiplicity

  • Presentation of IFS outlook of multiple parts within the person
    • Healing oneself internally through parts Eight “C” word qualities of self that aid in healing: curiosity, confidence, calm, compassion, creativity, clarity, connectedness and courage.

Discussion between presenters Daniel Siegel and Richard Schwartz on how to bring the concept of multiplicity into therapy

  • Helping client not over-identify with single part
  • Distinction between the self and the parts
  • Similarities and Differences between neurobiology and IFS

Exercise to overcome emotional obstacles
Concluding discussion between speakers

  • Case examples of multiplicity in psychotherapy
  • Techniques to use neurobiology and IFS within therapy sessions

Audience question and answer session with speakers


  1. Assess how to help clients not over-identify with a single part of themselves, and empower them to move beyond the diagnostic labels they feel define them
  2. Evaluate the concept of mindsight and how an enhanced ability to perceive the workings of one’s own mind can lead to greater levels of personal integration
  3. Assess the distinction between the Self and one’s parts and how it can help clients develop a capacity for self-leadership and self-regulation
  4. Communicate the practical similarities and differences between two widely influential models of personality and change

Copyright : 03/27/2015

The Inner Game of Psychotherapy

  1. List 3 protocols of IFS therapy and how to apply them when working with clients who have complex developmental trauma.


Family therapist, Richard Schwartz introduces the concept of Internal Family System (IFS)- a clear, systematic methodology for helping clients heal themselves.
A basic premise of IFS is that the “Inner Self” is not a single, monolithic persona, but in fact, a complex Internal Family System (IFS) of different parts-or sub-personalities-each with its own sometimes antagonistic memories, viewpoints, desires, and agendas.
Understanding IFS Parts

  • They are sub-personalities or aspects of our personality that interact internally in sequences and styles that are similar to the ways that people interact
  • All parts are valuable and want to have a positive role
  • Parts become extreme and can be destructive because of life experiences

Three most common roles played by internal parts

  • Exiles. Young, vulnerable parts that have experiences trauma and are isolated from the rest of the system for their own and the system’s protection. Exiles carry the memories, sensations, and emotions of the events and are stuck in the past
  • Managers. Parts that run the day-to-day life of the person trying to keep exiles exiled by staying in control of events or relationships, being perfect and pleasing, caretaking, scaring the person out of taking risks by criticizing, apathy, worry, etc.
  • Firefighters. Parts that react when exiles are activated in an effort to extinguish their feelings or dissociate the person from them. Common firefighter activities include: drug or alcohol use, self mutilation (cutting), binge-eating, sex binges, suicidal ideation, and rage. Firefighters have the same goals as managers (to keep exiles away), but different, more impulsive strategies

Understand the Self in IFS

  • The Self is a different level of entity than the parts
  • It is the seat of consciousness-sometimes called the “observing self.”
  • In IFS, the Self is known to contain qualities like compassion, confidence, curiosity, and perspective

Basic Goals of IFS:

  • To release parts from their extreme roles so they can find and adopt their preferred, valuable roles
  • To differentiate client’s Self so Self can help harmonize and balance a client’s inner and outer life

Introduction of case study: a clinical video demo using IFS with a client who has a history of complex developmental trauma
Video illustrates the key steps in the IFS model:

  • Assess the client’s external system to make sure it is safe to do work
  • Introduce IFS language to client
  • Ask what client would like to change
  • Explore the roles and relationships among prominent internal parts
  • Identify and work with managers first
  • Ask about and defuse any dangerous firefighters
  • With permission of managers, begin working with exiles
  • Notice how the client’s deeper Self-characterized by confidence, compassion, and wisdom-emerges during the process
  • Observe the Core Self assume a leadership role in integrating conflicted and disowned inner parts
  • Throughout the process, notice how the therapist keeps his own parts from interfering
Copyright : 05/26/2015