Introduction to Internal Family Systems

2nd Edition

The most wonderful discovery I have made is that as you do this work, you release, or liberate, what I call your Self or your True Self—the calm, compassionate essence of who you are
Headshot of Dick Schwartz wearing a black sweater with trees in the background
Richard C. Schwartz PhD

We’re all familiar with self-talk, self-doubt, self-judgment—yet most of us still view ourselves as if we have one uniform mind. Dr. Richard Schwartz’s breakthrough was recognizing that we each contain an “internal family” of distinct parts—and that treating these parts with curiosity, respect, and empathy vastly expands our capacity to heal. 

Over the past two decades, Internal Family Systems (IFS) has transformed the practice of psychotherapy. With Introduction to Internal Family Systems, the creator of IFS presents the ideal layperson’s guide for understanding this empowering, effective, and non-pathologizing approach to self-discovery and healing. Here, Dr. Schwartz shares evidence, case studies, and self-care tools to help you:

• Shift from the limiting “mono-mind” paradigm into an appreciation of your marvelous, multidimensional nature

• Unburden your wounded parts from extreme beliefs, emotions, and addictions

• Demystify the most commonly misunderstood parts—the Exiles, Managers, and Firefighters

• Transform your most challenging parts from inner obstacles to invaluable allies

• Embrace the existence of innate human goodness—in yourself and others

• Connect with the true Self that is greater than the sum of your parts

Sample Exercise - Becoming Aware of Inner Family Relationships