Internal Family Systems (IFS) Treatment for PTSD and Comorbid Conditions: A Pilot Study

Authors: Hilary Hodgdon, Ph.D., Frank G. Anderson, M.D., Elizabeth Southwell, B.A., Wendy Hrubec, LICSW, Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.

This pilot study, which has been accepted by the journal Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice and Policy, had remarkable results. Of the thirteen subjects who were diagnosed with PTSD and completed the 16 sessions of IFS, only 1 still qualified for the diagnosis at the end of the study and at the one-month follow-up. That is, 92% of the participants no longer met the PTSD criteria, which translates into a huge effect size of -4.46. In addition, there were significant decreases in depression, affect dysregulation, dissociation, disrupted self-perception, interpersonal relationships, and systems of meaning.

Based on these promising results we are planning a larger randomized control study of IFS and PTSD