About Us

The Center for Self Leadership is now…IFS Institute

In 2000, Richard Schwartz founded The Center for Self Leadership as a training organization for the Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy.  For many years we’ve grown together as a community – learning, teaching and living the IFS experience. In 2019, due to the increasing global recognition of IFS, the organization was renamed to better fit our purpose and goals. We want to make it clear we are IFS. IFS Institute.


Welcome to IFS Institute

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. 

All about Internal Family System (17 minutes)

What we do?

The mission of IFS Institute is to bring more Self leadership to the world. We provide IFS training for professionals, a practitioner directory for those looking for IFS trained providers, and international learning opportunities for those exploring personal growth through IFS. We want to make our programs as inclusive and accessible as they are informative and inspiring.

What is Internal Family Systems?

IFS is a transformative tool that conceives every human being as a system of protective and wounded inner parts lead by a core Self. We believe the mind is naturally multiple and that is a good thing. Just like members of a family, inner parts are forced from their valuable states into extreme roles within us. Self is in everyone. It can’t be damaged. It knows how to heal. 

IFS is frequently used as an evidence-based psychotherapy, helping people heal by accessing and healing their protective and wounded inner parts. IFS creates inner and outer connectedness by helping people first access their Self and, from that core, come to understand and heal their parts.  

But IFS is much more than a non-pathologizing evidence-based psychotherapy to be used in a clinical setting. It is also a way of understanding personal and intimate relationships and stepping into life with the 8 Cs: confidence, calm, compassion, courage, creativity, clarity, curiosity, and connectedness. Professionals from many different backgrounds such as, but not limited to, legal mediation, school administration, life coaches and religious leaders may utilize IFS to inform and guide their work. Our growing list of educational programs aim to serve not only therapists but the wider public and other professions. 

Read more about the aspects of the Evolution of the IFS model.