Effects of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD on self-experience

The lastest research on the utility of psychedelic agents for treating PTSD from Bessel van der Kolk and his MAPS team. 

Following the study of MDMA in the treatment if PTSD that was published 2 years ago in Nature Neuroscience, which the journal Science elected as one of the 10 most significant scientific breakthroughs of the year 2021, the team analyzed further data from this study on the effects of MDMA on self-experience. Half the group received 36 hours of psychotherapy from a team of 2 thoroughlly trained, experienced, therapists, while the other half received the same treatment, but...

New Article co-authored by Dick Schwartz Published in the journal Family Process

Title - Family Systems Contributions to the Development and Best Practice of IFS written by Elizabeth G. Brenner, LICSW, Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, and Carol Becker, PhD 

Abstract: We describe Richard Schwartz's Internal Family Systems model (IFS), developed from his position as a Structural/Strategic family therapist. The IFS model is explained by describing a range of family systems theories and practices that informed development of the model and contribute to its best practice. A composite client example illustrates the practice of IFS and the ways several family systems approaches are...

IFSI Staff Spotlight Fall 2023

The team at IFS Institute has grown significantly in 2023. We're pleased to share a summary of the talent that has joined us and is committed to the important work we do. 

Harriet O'NealHarriet O'Neal, Head of Legal - Harriet joined the IFSI team in July 2023. Harriet received her Juris Doctor from LSU’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center in 2014. Harriet is a true legal generalist with a background in corporate, government, labor, trademarks, and litigation


Marcia LeftwichMarcia Leftwich, Curriculum Manager - Marcia joined the IFSI team in July 2023. She is a Certified IFS Practitioner with a passion for destigmatizing...

Trainer Promotions - Spring 2023

We're delighted to share the latest round of IFS Trainer promotions. Imma Lloret, and Pilar De La Torre have been promoted to Lead Trainers. Dawn Balcazar has been promoted to Assistant Trainers, and Vanessa Peavy is now an Assistant Trainer Mentee. We're grateful to have these talented individuals working with us and helping meet the demand for IFS Trainings. Read more about each trainer below. 

Lead Trainers 

Headshot of Imma LloretImma Lloret, has been a psychologist and psychotherapist for more than 30 years in Barcelona. As co-founder of Instituto IFS in Spain, the IFS Institute Partner in Spain, she...

Recent Trainer Promotions - Fall 2022

We're delighted to share the latest round of IFS Trainer promotions. Sue Richmond, Terri Dalton, and Marina Hassanali have been promoted to Lead Trainers. Ellie Cunanan-Petty and Analia Castaños-Davis have been promoted to Assistant Trainers. We're grateful to have these talented individuals working with us and helping meet the demand for IFS Trainings. Read more about each trainer below. 

Headshot of Sue RichmondSue Richmond  

Sue Richmond has a private psychotherapy practice, as well as an IFS consultation practice in Rocky Hill, CT. She uses a compassionate, heart-centered approach in applying the IFS model with...

Staff Spotlight

As we continue to grow to meet the increased demand for our educational programs, we are excited to highlight some of the people making our growth possible. We’re currently recruiting for 2 new positions in our operations department - Community Access Manager and Central Operations Manager.     

We're also thrilled to announce that members of our Operations Team are moving into the following roles, some of them similar to their current roles, but with new titles; 

  • Mary Anne Gardner: Admissions Manager 
  • Jessy Daniels: Admissions Specialist 
  • Alexandra DeWald: Site Sourcing and Management...

IFS and Chronic Pain: Listening to Inner Parts that Hold the Hurt


IFS and Chronic Pain

Listening to Inner Parts that Hold the Hurt

By Howard SchubinerRichard SchwartzRonald Siegel

January/February 2021…;

Susan is a dance teacher in her mid-30s who performs regularly. For years now, she’s lived in constant fear that her back will go out. She’s haunted by chronic low-level backaches, which flare up without warning every few months, turning into days-long bouts of excruciating pain.

Two years ago, on the day of a big recital, she could barely get out of bed. Her...

The Viral Wake Up Call: An IFS Perspective

When people are dominated by striving, individualistic, and materialistic inner parts that, by certain measures, seem to bring them success, they won’t change regardless of any collateral damage to their other parts, relationships, or physical health. The same is true for countries that are dominated by similar forces; leaders ignore the damage to the majority of their people and the health of the climate and the earth.

Such domination, however, usually results in a crash of some kind that can be a wake-up call. For type A people, it might be the survivable heart attack, a divorce, or hitting...

IFSI Scholarship Recipients Introducing Clients to a Whole New World

Femi Olukoya and Victor Cabral are incorporating IFS teachings in their practices, and in the process, opening a whole new world of care and healing to clients in their communities that clients never knew existed. Both men continue to increase their community since completing the Level 1 training program (671) in Internal Family Systems therapy that took place from October 31, 2021 to February 23, 2022. Both men were a part of the Black Therapists Rock (BTR) community and applied for and received one of five IFS Level 1 scholarships that BTR administered.

They were grateful to have the...

Partner Highlight - IFS Portugal

Our mission to bring IFS to the world is being realized through the work that we are doing in North America as well as the strong international partnerships we have established with several international organizations. One such international partner who has been spreading the IFS word is IFS Portugal, led by its founder Aníbal Henriques.

Aníbal completed IFS Levels 1 and 2 training but developed his “first crush” on IFS in 2017 when he met Dick and Jeanne in London, where he went to complete his Level 3 that Dick led. Just over a year later, Aníbal became an international partner with a...

Pride and Prejudice

By Kate Lingren, LICSW

On behalf of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee of IFSI, I wish you all a belated Happy Pride Month! As many of you know, June has become a time to celebrate LGBTQI+ citizens in the United States. While Pride month may not be recognized internationally as Pride celebrations take place in many other places at different times, June is increasingly being recognized as Pride month outside of the United States as well.   

And what a time it is for us to take a moment to recognize, celebrate and honor our LGBTQI+ members of the IFS community. I never imagined I...

Recent IFS ® Trainer Promotions

We're delighted to share the latest round of IFS ® Trainer promotions. Tamala Floyd, Gwen Hurd, and Leslie Petruck have been promoted to Co-Leads; and Galit Arad-Trutner, Requina Barnes, Jenny Fiebig, Fatimah Finney, Carmen Jiminez-Pride and Crystal Jones have been promoted to Assistant Trainers. We're grateful to have these talented individuals working with us. Read more about each trainer below.


Headshot of Tamala FloydTamala Floyd, LCSW-BACS, has over 25 years of experience as a psychotherapist working with children, families, and women with trauma histories. She has expertise in childhood sexual abuse...

IFSI Welcomes New Team Members

At the Institute, we are building a strong organization by strengthening our team, its leadership and management. Since we last communicated with you, we have added more people to our team and we currently have open roles. 

Luis Vega Sorrosal  

Headshot of Luis Vega SorrosalLuis Vega Sorrosal re-joined the Institute in mid-May as the Director of International. Luis returned to the organization after holding the same role in 2011. He said, “I feel really excited to re-join this amazing organization and hope to contribute my best to continue IFSI's international expansion." 

Luis focuses on the Institute’s International...

IFS’s Viewpoint on Dieting and Cultural Harm

If you’re like many people, you start the new year focused on one body project or another. Whether it’s weight loss, fitness, clean eating, or sobriety, you feel some pressure to make up for the excess of the past weeks or renew your attempts to live more like parts of you believe you should.

This annual commitment to self-improvement is likely an uptick in the dissatisfaction you generally feel about your body. You’re so used to it that you probably don’t question the decision to “do something about it”. After all, shouldn’t you be trying to feel and look better? How many people do you know...

Introducing 24 Leadership Fellows – Inaugural Cohort

The Foundation for Self Leadership created the Leadership Fellows Program, in partnership with the IFS Institute, to support current and future leaders from the Global Majority and LGBTQIA+ communities that have been traditionally marginalized by society.  

The 24 champions and leaders were selected using a rigorous process and are currently engaged or willing to actively engage to make a difference in their community. They include community agency directors, coordinators, and psychotherapists; leaders of human-services or faith-based organizations; and social activists and advocates for the...

IFS Institute Welcomes Three New Team Members!

In the January issue of our newsletter, we announced that we were hiring for three roles. We had a considerable response to our job postings and are pleased to announce that Anna Rubley is now our Director of Operations and Donna Carter is our Director of Talent Management. We have also hired Jennifer Tewell as our Digital Community Manager to manage our growing social media community.  

Anna Rubley, Director of Operations

Headshot of Anna Rubley

Anna brings a wealth of experience in operations and administration in a variety of fields including mental health, direct care services, operations and special...

An IFS Approach to Working with Children and Adolescents – A New Level 2 Training Program


The demand for IFS Institute training programs is growing and the Institute is focused on delivering programs  to help professionals grow and develop. We are excited to introduce a new Level 2 intensive training program entitled, An IFS Approach to Working with Children and Adolescents”.  IFS Senior Trainer Pam Krause (MSW, LCSW) and Subject Matter Expert Carmen Jiminez-Pride, (LCSW, Registered Play Therapist), developed the program curriculum together, and are eagerly looking forward to sharing their expertise with participants.

This Level 2 program, which will launch in July, is already...

Evolution of The Internal Family Systems Model By Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph. D.

The Internal Family Systems Model (IFS) has evolved over the past twenty years into a comprehensive approach that includes guidelines for working with individuals, couples, and families. The IFS Model represents a new synthesis of two already-existing paradigms: systems thinking and the multiplicity of the mind. It brings concepts and methods from the structural, strategic, narrative, and Bowenian schools of family therapy to the world of subpersonalities. This synthesis was the natural outcome that evolved after I, as a young, fervent family therapist, began hearing from my clients about...

The Internal Family Systems Model Outline


  • It is the nature of the mind to be subdivided into an indeterminate number of subpersonalities or parts.
  • Everyone has a Self, and the Self can and should lead the individual's internal system.
  • The non-extreme intention of each part is something positive for the individual. There are no "bad" parts, and the goal of therapy is not to eliminate parts but instead to help them find their non-extreme roles.
  • As we develop, our parts develop and form a complex system of interactions among themselves; therefore, systems theory can be applied to the internal...

The Larger Self

By Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.

We all know about those luminous moments of clarity and balance, in our own lives and in those of our clients, which come briefly now and again. However we get there, we suddenly encounter a feeling of inner plenitude and open heartedness to the world that wasn’t there the moment before. The incessant nasty chatter inside our heads ceases, we have a sense of calm spaciousness, as if our minds and hearts and souls had expanded and brightened. Sometimes, these evanescent experiences come in a bright glow of peaceful certainty that everything in the universe is truly...