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VIDEO: How Symptoms Reveal the Path to Growth

IFS Developer Richard Schwartz on Befriending the Inner "Protector"

Richard Schwartz

Often, our attitudes toward anxiety symptoms are misguided, says Richard Schwartz, the originator of Internal Family Systems. By understanding responses like cold sweats and heavy breathing, for instance, as positive expressions of a wish to protect oneself, rather than simply negative symptoms, Schwartz says, trauma survivors are in a better position to begin the process of healing.

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VIDEO: Richard Schwartz on Healing Our Wounded Inner Parts

The Originator of IFS on Helping Clients Awaken Self-Healing

Richard Schwartz

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 from his 2015 Symposium keynote, Richard Schwartz, the originator of IFS, explains the transformative power of connecting with our wounded inner parts.

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Helping Clients Access Their True Selves

Dick Schwartz on Changing Outer Dialogues by Changing Inner Dialogues

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - As clients embody more Self, their inner dialogues change spontaneously. They stop berating themselves and, instead, get to know, rather than try to eliminate, the extreme inner voices or emotions that have plagued them. Even clients who've shown little insight into their problems are suddenly able to trace the trajectory of their own feelings and emotional histories with startling clarity and understanding.

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Helping Struggling Couples Get to the Root of Intimacy Problems

Richard Schwartz's Internal Family Systems Approach to Couples Therapy

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - No other area of a couple's life holds as much promise for achieving intimacy as sex. Indeed, the promise of intimacy may be as important as lust for drawing human beings toward sex in the first place. My goal now is to help partners reach the kind of soul-deep connectedness in their sexual encounters that can transform their lives and their relationship with each other.

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VIDEO: Richard Schwartz on Being a Compassionate Witness to Yourself

How Internal Family Systems Gives Traumatized Clients Their Power Back

Richard Schwartz

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 memories, beliefs, and emotions that make up what we call our personality. In the following video from his 2015 Networker Symposium keynote address, he explains how we can become healing attachment figures for these wounded inner parts.

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The Paradox of Acceptance

Richard Schwartz Shares What Wise Buddhists Have Known for Centuries

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - We normally think of the attachment process as happening between caretakers and young children, but the more you explore how the inner world functions, the more you find that it parallels external relationships, and that we have an inner capacity to extend mindful caretaking to aspects of ourselves that are frozen in time and excluded from our normal consciousness.

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Mindfulness Meets Internal Family Systems

Helping Clients Move from Acceptance to Transformation

Richard Schwartz

By Richard Schwartz - Many therapeutic attempts to integrate mindfulness help clients notice negative emotions from a place of separation and extend acceptance toward them. But what if it were possible to transform this inner drama, rather than just keep it at arm’s length? The goal of Internal Family Systems (IFS) is to build on this important first step of separating from and accepting these impulses, and then take a second step of helping clients transform them.

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Healing Early Attachment Injuries by Listening to Our Trauma

Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to Speak with Shameful Inner Parts

Janina Fisher

As therapists, we often encounter clients who are so mired in self-hatred that our best efforts to support a sense of self-worth only seem to dig the hole of judgment and self-loathing deeper. Eventually, I began to wonder if the resulting clinical quagmire might be a reflection of a kind of "internal attachment disorder" mirroring the emotional injuries of early childhood. Was it possible that alienation from self and others had become an essential survival strategy early in life? Using Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, I guide my clients in "befriending" the parts they unconsciously disown.

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Going Beyond Mindfulness with Internal Family Systems

Dick Schwartz on Achieving Awareness and Healing with IFS Therapy

Richard Schwartz

A perennial quandary in psychotherapy, as well as spirituality, is whether the goal is to help people come to accept the inevitable pain of the human condition with more equanimity or to actually transform and heal the pain, shame, or terror, so that it’s no longer a problem. The goal of the therapeutic approach that I use, Internal Family Systems (IFS), is to build on the important first step of separating from and accepting self-destructive impulses, and then take a second step of helping clients transform them.

 

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Using Internal Family Systems to Reduce Self-Criticism

Dick Schwartz Offers an IFS Approach to Self-Compassion

Richard Schwartz

When you think of yourself as being psychosocially monolithic, instead of comprising a range of different parts, having self-compassion seems simple: you just relate to the self you happen to identify with at the moment with warmth, rather than harshness. But once you recognize that you’ve got many selves in there, things become more complicated, and it becomes crucial to recognize that there are levels of self-compassion, some of which need much more effort, awareness, and emotional resilience than others.

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