Richard Schwartz

Founder Internal Family Systems and The Center for Self Leadership

Richard Schwartz began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s.

IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and and classrooms.

In 2013 Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

11:15

Wednesday 23 June

Presentation One - Richard Schwartz

Introduction to Internal Family Systems Model (IFS)

IFS is a transformative, evidence-based psychotherapy that helps people heal by accessing and loving their protective and wounded inner parts. 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. We also all have a core Self, Self is in everyone. It can't be damaged, it knows how to heal. By helping first access their Self and, from that core, come to understand and heal their parts, IFS creates inner and outer connectedness. Richard is the Founder of IFS and will present on how IFS can heal and bring relaxation to help treat inner traumas.

12:30

Wednesday 23 June

Q & A Session - Richard Schwartz

Richard Schwartz earned his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University, after which he began a long association with the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and more recently at The Family Institute at Northwestern University, attaining the status of Associate Professor at both institutions. He is co-author, with Michael Nichols, of Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, the most widely used family therapy text in the United States.

 

Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems in response to clients’ descriptions of experiencing various parts–many extreme–within themselves. He noticed that when these parts felt safe and had their concerns addressed, they were less disruptive and would accede to the wise leadership of what Dr. Schwartz came to call the “Self.” In developing IFS, he recognized that, as in systemic family theory, parts take on characteristic roles that help define the inner world of the client. The coordinating Self, which embodies qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion, acts as a center around which the various parts constellate.

 

In 2000, Richard Schwartz founded The Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois. He is a featured speaker for many national psychotherapy organisations and a fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and he serves on the editorial boards of four professional journals. He has published four books and over fifty articles about IFS. His books include Internal Family Systems Therapy, Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model, and The Mosaic Mind (with Regina Goulding), as well as Metaframeworks (with Doug Breunlin and Betty Karrer). His most recent book is about using IFS with couples, titled You Are The One You’ve Been Waiting For, under the Trailheads imprint of The Center for Self Leadership. Dr. Schwartz lives and practices in Brookline, MA.