VIDEO: Richard Schwartz on Healing Our Wounded Inner Parts

The Originator of IFS on Helping Clients Awaken Self-Healing

Richard Schwartz

When it comes to working with traumatized clients, it helps for them to have a strong attachment figure, says Richard Schwartz, the originator of Internal Family Systems. And often, he adds, a good therapist fills that role by being present and attuned. But what if clients could become their own best ally in healing, and take fuller agency in their own recovery?

According to Schwartz, IFS allows exactly this. "There's an essence within people that already has the qualities of a good attachment figure and can become a good parent to wounded inner parts," he says.

In this clip from his Networker Symposium keynote address, "The Inner Game of Psychotherapy," Schwartz explains how getting to know inner parts can help clients unload the wounds of trauma.

Richard Schwartz, PhD, is director of the Center for Self Leadership and the originator of the IFS model. He’s on the faculty of Harvard Medical School and the author of Internal Family Systems Therapy.

"The primary obstacle to treating ourselves more kindly is the fact that most of us are addicted to self-criticism," Schwartz says. "Who among us hasn’t had the experience of learning to be judgmental of ourselves as a teenager, when we’re so worried about how we’re going to appear to others?" IFS, he adds, allows us to better understand our inner critics as vigilant protectors, and embrace the full range of all our parts and achieve an inner harmony.

"In my own work, I greet my inner parts fondly before sessions, especially when I suspect they’ll be triggered, and ask that they leave the office until the session is over," Schwartz says. "Then I check with myself frequently during the session to ensure I’m present and my heart is open."


Did you enjoy this video? Check out Schwartz's other work, including his Networker articles, Facing Our Dark Side and When Meditation Isn't Enough.

Topic: Mindfulness | Trauma

Tags: attachment | Attachment Theory | childhood trauma | complex trauma | Dick Schwartz | early childhood trauma | IFS | inner parts | internal family systems | mindful | Mindfulness | post traumatic stress | Richard Schwartz | Self | trauma recovery

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1 Comment

Saturday, December 31, 2016 6:22:00 AM | posted by Gertrude van Voorden
Is it not most likely, logical, that those surviving early childhood trauma, severe attachment disorders, always did parent themselves? Therapists used to call that dissociation. All therapists are always subjective, reacting from their own perspective, and can, in case of severe early childhood trauma never be safe or trustworthy enough. With intelligent clients who did their own homework, it is also very unlikely they are up to date as to the newest theories on trauma and traumahealing. Founded in outmoded university studies and some upgrade through workshops, never having lived the experiences the client had, often being in a relationship with a therapist is just more of the old adaptive to other behaviour and never healing. And why this BS about trusting in a world full of wars, where the USA invaded more then 72 sovereign countries after WW II. Some of us being extreme empaths, not only have to transcend our own traumatic histories, but also the dis eases caused in our physical bodies/stress disorders, but also have the world at large on our shoulders. Parenting oneself takes unconditional love for wounded parts, Letting those prevail even on the interests of one's adult children/grandchildren. Hurting those one loves in the process, whilst trying to courageously heal and feel what is there. The world, nor families are anything like this pretend therapist surroundings and one comes to have false expectations of how normal people/familymembers etc. should be, should act toward us. Then science now teaches us that those children we birthed are infected with intergenerational trauma, stress disorders, just because we or the sire suffered trauma/extreme stress. How to prevent further damage? How to speed up returning to one's baseline, if positive, after having been triggered into a fulblown traumastate, or when having absorbed negative energy of others or the world at large, because one is an extreme empath, feels what others feel, what is happening in the world.