[UNION NJ, December 27, 2021] The Foundation for Self Leadership is very pleased to announce that its first funded, independently administered IFS study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.
The grant-funded research was led by Hilary Hodgdon, PhD, at the Trauma Center, Justice Research Institute, in Brookline, MA, USA. The study, which was an uncontrolled, feasibility pilot, sought to assess the efficacy of IFS on patient outcomes. It was conducted in an ethnically and socio-economically diverse, large metropolitan area in the Northeastern United States. There were 17 adult participants who received 16 weekly, 90-minute sessions of IFS Therapy.
The results showed that IFS therapy had significantly positive effects on adults with PTSD and histories of exposure to multiple forms of childhood trauma. Multiple validated scales were administered: PTSD symptom severity was assessed through the CAPS diagnostic tool, a 30-item semi-structured clinical interview assessing PTSD diagnosis corresponding to DSM-IV-TR criteria and symptom severity over the prior month. The Davidson Trauma Scale was administered to assess change and rate of change in self-reported PTSD symptoms. Other scales were used to measure symptoms of depression (BDI) as well as dissociation, somatization, affect regulation, and disrupted self-perception (SIDES-SR). Self-compassion and interoceptive awareness were assessed using the SCS and the MAIA respectively.
It was shown that, following the sessions, PTSD and depressive symptoms were significantly reduced, with an overall time effect observed, as were associated symptoms related to affect dysregulation, somatization, and dissociation (all with a significant overall time effect, and large statistical significance and effect size). Increases in self-compassion and interoceptive awareness were also seen. Notably, at the one-month follow-up assessment, 92% of participants no longer met criteria for PTSD.
“We are indeed most encouraged at the Foundation that our initial research funding has led to a publication in a peer-reviewed journal,” said Toufic Hakim, PhD, Executive Director of the Foundation. "And, while the Foundation operates at arm's length when it comes to the research and we defer to the rigors of science,” he continued, “we are ecstatic that the results are very promising.” The study concluded that IFS is feasible and acceptable for patients with multiple childhood trauma and may help alleviate symptoms of PTSD and comorbid conditions in a population that shows considerable clinical complexity. The authors further suggested that future efficacy trials are warranted.
To ensure fidelity to the IFS protocol, an IFS adherence scale was used and certified IFS therapists were involved in providing the treatment. All therapists involved received clinical supervision from Frank Anderson, MD, Richard Schwartz, PhD (co-authors on the research paper), and/or Lead IFS Trainer Ann Sinko, LMFT. The Foundation recognizes all those involved in the study, applauds their significant contributions, and is grateful to friends of the Foundation who helped fund this study and made it possible.
The full study article may be accessible through the Taylor & Francis Online.