Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D. - The Founder of Internal Family Systems

Richard Schwartz began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic. Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems (IFS) in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He focused on the relationships among these parts and noticed that there were systemic patterns to the way they were organized across clients. He also found that when the clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, the clients would experience spontaneously the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self. He found that when in that state of Self, clients would know how to heal their parts.

A featured speaker for national professional organizations, Dr. Schwartz has published many books and over fifty articles about IFS.


Richard Schwartz Appearances

Internal Family Systems Workshop


Richard C.Schwartz, PhD.


Cape Code Institute


July 13-17, 2020


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.

Trauma & The Internal Family Systems Model: Releasing Personal & Legacy Burdens


Richard C.Schwartz, PhD.


Hosted by Therapy Training Boston 

The Walker Center in Auburndale

Newton, MA 


Monday, July 27th, 2020

9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

9:00 am - 4:45 pm


This presentation will provide a brief review of the basics of the IFS model by Richard Schwartz, PhD, who developed the model, then will focus in detail on its use with attachment and trauma. IFS is a non-pathologizing, hopeful framework within which to practice psychotherapy now certified as an evidence-based practice by SAMHSA. IFS offers both a conceptual umbrella under which a variety of practices and different approaches can be grounded and guided, and a set of original techniques for creating safety and fostering Self-to-Self connection in individuals, couples and families.

The first day of the workshop will focus on helping clients release personal burdens related to traumatic experiences in their lives. An overview of the clinical applications of IFS in trauma work will be presented. You will learn through didactic teaching, interactive dialogue, demonstration and live interviews. 

During the second day, the focus will be on understanding and releasing legacy burdens. Legacy burdens are powerful organizers of our minds and behaviors. You will be become more aware of the beliefs and emotions we and our clients absorb from family, peers, ethnic groups and cultural contexts regarding ourselves and/or groups with whom we identify, as well as groups we consider “other.”  We will explore the sources of those burdens and the fears of releasing them. This work is critically important to create more peace and less divisiveness in our often fractured world.

New to this workshop, Dr. Schwartz will spend time focusing on how to support Self led activism. Dr. Schwartz will lay the foundation for and demonstrate how to work with personal and legacy burdens that get triggered in the context of political conflict and unrest. We will learn to work with what gets in the way of everyone's innate abilities to be an effective advocate, ally and activist. This will support our work as clinicians and citizens.

Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems SM, in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves.  He focused on the systemic relationships patterns among these parts that were similarly organized across clients.  He found that when clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, they would experience spontaneously the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self.  He will show us how to support clients in that state of Self, to facilitate their healing of their own parts. 


Individual Registration: Early rate by 6/11/19: $350, Regular rate:$370.

Group Registration: Early group rate $330 by 6/11/19: Regular rate: $350 per person for groups of two or more.

Groups must register and pay together to receive the discount.

PLEASE NOTE: Price of the event includes morning coffee/tea & breakfast snacks as well as lunch.
Clinicians United members may access a discounted rate of $33o.
Black Therapists Rock and NEAFAST members as well as and people working in Caring Together programs may access a discounted rate of $280


To register and learn more about this workshop, please click HERE