An exploration of Internal Family Systems therapy with Dr Richard Schwartz

Updated: Sep 14

My latest podcast is with creator of Internal Family Systems therapy, Dr Richard Schwartz.

Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed a therapeutic technique called Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) in the 1980’s after working with a number of clients who claimed to recognize that they had several components, or parts, to themselves. Schwartz observed that his clients’ parts were often rebellious and troublesome when unattended to and more compliant and obedient to what Schwartz termed the larger self when they were acknowledged, and their needs were addressed.


He also found that when the clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, the clients would experience spontaneously the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self.

IFS has become a widely used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It is a non-pathologizing technique that is evidence based and grounded in compassion, trust, honesty, and encouragement. It invites clients to acknowledge each unique part of themselves and to recognize the strengths and weaknesses within them and how they influence behaviours and emotions. It’s an amazing therapy and you may have heard of it before as ‘parts therapy’

Dr Schwartz is an important therapist who has helped many through their trauma with his work. . IFS is mind-blowing to say the least - during this podcast, I was lucky to have Dr Schwartz apply his therapy to me – it was an amazing experience.


IFS is a powerful tool to help with inner activity and more specifically your ‘reactivity’. There are different parts in everyone and they all have a part to play – from our protectors and managers, that keep us safe, and our exiles (which is why you feel so delicate) Working with your different parts you are able to manager triggers and view others with more compassion. During the discussion, Dr Schwartz walks us through the different kinds of parts there are and how protector parts can help you manage your life.


I love the fact that IFS can also be used as a daily practice - as a beautiful, gentle, loving mediation to bring us closer to our truer Self, learning to use compassion instead of judging and blaming


IFS is a wonderful gift to help you look within. 19.59 Dr Schwartz introduces us to IFS, what it is and how it helps – we talk about how IFS is a powerful tool t o help with inner activity – managing triggers.

20.43 How IFS is a gift to help you look within

24.17 Dr Schwartz walks us through the different kinds of parts there are including exiles (why you feel so delicate) and how protector parts can help you manage your life.

29.15 Things get really interesting as Dr Schwartz provides a live coaching session to me, using the IFS therapy! This was truly astounding and wonderful! Learn about the Self and Self Energy.

45.00 We talk about coaching and how IFS works to help us find our truest self.

48.03 We explore how IFS and knowledge of your parts will ensure you never see anyone the same again! IFS is a gift. Learn how to use compassion instead of judging through an understanding of your parts.

52.00 Stay on until then end when we cover the ways IFS can be used in a Daily Practice to bring us closer to our truer self’ and how IFS is a beautiful, gentle, compassionate, loving, meditation.

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