Contributed by Richard Schwartz

14 Results

Reflections on Rich

Friends Celebrate His Life and Legacy

Sharing how Rich Simon impacted our lives—and the field as a whole. Read more

IFS and Chronic Pain

Listening to Inner Parts that Hold the Hurt

If most chronic pain is maintained by complex mind–body interactions, how can therapists help treat it? Read more

Working With Internalized Racism

From Shame to Unburdening with IFS

While the Black Lives Matter movement has increased the country’s understanding of the pernicious impact of racism, how do people actually do the internal... Read more

The Viral Wake-up Call

Questioning Core Beliefs

Amid the pandemic, the pain and vulnerability of the majority of Americans, who live on the financial edge and can’t afford a crisis like this, are glaringly... Read more

Symposium Highlight December 11, 2019

VIDEO: Richard Schwartz on Healing Our Wounded Inner Parts

The Originator of IFS on Helping Clients Awaken Self-Healing

Internal Family Systems (IFS) has allowed therapists to awaken the capacity for deep self-healing within even their most troubled clients. In this video clip... Read more

VIDEO: How Symptoms Reveal the Path to Growth

IFS Developer Richard Schwartz on Befriending the Inner "Protector"

Often, our attitudes toward anxiety symptoms are misguided, says Richard Schwartz, the originator of Internal Family Systems. By understanding responses... Read more

Symposium Highlight September 6, 2017

VIDEO: Richard Schwartz on Being a Compassionate Witness to Yourself

How Internal Family Systems Gives Traumatized Clients Their Power Back

According to Richard Schwartz, the originator of Internal Family Systems therapy, the natural state of the mind is to be subdivided into parts, which carry the... Read more

Facing Our Dark Side

Some Forms of Self-Compassion Are Harder than Others

Achieving a genuine state of self-compassion is a more challenging undertaking than many realize. Far from a little feel-better incantation you offer yourself... Read more

VIDEO: Helping Traumatized Clients Understand their Automatic Responses

Richard Schwartz Explains Why Panicked Trauma Responses are Also Defensive Ones

In this brief video clip, Richard explains how trauma survivors can have a dialogue with the damaged inner parts—the “Exiles”—by first consulting their... Read more

VIDEO: Working With The Borderline Client

Dick Schwartz Demonstrates How to Minimize Reactivity

When a deeply troubled client begins a first session by shifting erratically through different mood states and periodically going numb, many therapists... Read more

Depathologizing The Borderline Client

Learning to Manage Our Fears

Inevitably, given their history of trauma, many borderline clients will trigger their therapists from time to time. But forgoing the urge to blame these... Read more

When Meditation Isn't Enough

Going Beyond Acceptance to Healing

A psychotherapist discusses the next step: how to help clients transform the disruptive feelings and thoughts that they’ve learned to simply observe during... Read more

The Larger Self

Discovering the Core Within Our Multiplicity

The practice of therapy, for both therapist and client, is transformed when we connect with our fundamental core, a process that involves learning to listen... Read more

No Contest

How a therapist learned to listen

A take-charge clinician meets his match and finally learns to listen to his clients-and himself. Read more

Richard Schwartz

Richard Schwartz, PhD, 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 clients. The coordinating Self, which embodies qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion, acts as a center around which the various parts constellate. Because IFS locates the source of healing within the client, the therapist is freed to focus on guiding the client’s access to his or her true Self and supporting the client in harnessing its wisdom. This approach makes IFS a non-pathologizing, hopeful framework within which to practice psychotherapy. It provides an alternative understanding of psychic functioning and healing that allows for innovative techniques in relieving clients symptoms and suffering.