What is Internal Family Systems?

Transformative psychotherapy… and empowering paradigm.

Internal Family Systems is a powerfully transformative, evidence-based model of psychotherapy. We believe the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing.  Our inner parts contain valuable qualities and our core Self knows how to heal, allowing us to become integrated and whole. In IFS all parts are welcome.

IFS is a movement. A new, empowering paradigm for understanding and harmonizing the mind and, thereby, larger human systems. One that can help people heal and helps the world become a more compassionate place.

IFS Institute welcomes all people of any age, race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, class, ability, language or cultural background into the Internal Family Systems community. You are welcome here, and all of your parts are welcome too. Learn more about our Individual and Organizational IFS Training Scholarship opportunities which support our quest to expand diversity and inclusivity in our community.

The mission of IFS Institute is to bring more Self leadership to the world. 


An Overview of IFS


Professional IFS
Training and Certification

IFS Institute offers three progressive levels of professional training for those wishing to become IFS therapists and practitioners. A Level 1 training is the minimum requirement for practicing IFS in a clinical or professional setting.

IFS Certified Therapists and IFS Certified Practitioners carry a distinguished mark demonstrating competency and experience of the IFS model. Learn more about becoming IFS Certified here.

Online Learning

IFS Online Circle

IFS Online Circle

Our signature introductory online course taught by Dr. Richard Schwartz and Senior IFS trainers, Toni Herbine-Blank and Pam Krause. Enrollment will open in March 2020. Join the waitlist to be the first notified!

IFS Continuity Program

IFS Continuity Road Image

Our Continuity Membership Program is for those who are enrolled in or have completed an IFS Level 1 Training and those who have already participated in the Online Circle program. This online community is a global platform for continuous learning to deepen IFS knowledge and skills. Enrollment opens three times a year as we introduce each new four-month course.

Downtown Denver Skyline

IFS Annual Conference

October 8th-10th 2020
Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel
1550 Court Place
Denver, Colorado 80202

The IFS Conference is open to all – seasoned IFS practitioners as well as non-therapists -- interested in learning about or expanding their knowledge of IFS. Earn continuing education credits, discover a wide range of learning opportunities and connect with other IFS practitioners.

IFS News

Good Grief Performances in Boston

The Foundation for Self Leadership has proudly sponsored the presentation of Good Grief at the 2019 IFS Conference and, given enthusiastic reviews, is again pleased to sponsor this production in Boston. Presenting the show at these venues is made possible through funding from the New England Foundation for the Arts with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, along with generous special support from individual donors.
Workshops / Retreats

Negotiating Relationships with IFS: Self-Leadership for Healing


Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health
57 Interlaken Road
Stockbridge, MA 01262


March 8 - 13, 2020

Sunday 7:30–9:30 pm
Monday 8:30–11:30 am, 1:45–3:45 pm
Tuesday 8:30–11:30 am, 1:45–3:45 pm, 7:30–9:30 pm
Wednesday 8:30–11:30 am, 1:45–3:45 pm
Thursday 8:30–11:30 am, 1:45–3:45 pm
Friday 9:00–11:00 am

Presented by Richard Schwartz, PhD. & Sarah Stewart, PsyD.. For everyone, including therapists, non-therapists, and seasoned IFS practitioners. Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a highly effective way of guiding people to a sense of Self, a state of inner clarity and compassion from which they can see their reactivity to others as based in their own history. From the Self, one can calm and transform troubling inner voices and feelings of vulnerability, inadequacy, and overwhelm. Presented by Richard Schwartz, PhD. & Sarah Stewart, PsyD. .By utilizing IFS, therapists and lay people can hold this Self state of loving-kindness—allowing you to work with your own experience and thus maintain a center from which to engage with others and help them heal. Learn how to remain steady, centered, and openhearted in the face of your own and other’s reactivity in this program that offers:


IFS has been the single most influential model by which I view the world, my interactions with others and myself.  It is more than a model for professionals in the mental health field. It is a model that facilitates one's personal growth and is intuitive and easily accessible.  It is applicable and versatile for a myriad of contexts including corporate teams and school classrooms.

Ellyn, Chicago IL

Great insight is developing my own ability to have presence and help my coaching clients do the same - plus opportunity to connect to a unique, warm, and supportive community.

M. Hurwich

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