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From the Board

Welcome to a new edition of OUTLOOK and to Spring.

We are pleased to share with you that the Foundation for Self Leadership continues to work creatively and with great dedication toward advancing research to enhance our understanding and use of the IFS model, expanding its application in different settings, and increasing support for IFS trainings to serve marginalized communities.

OUTLOOK is one of our vehicles for sharing with our community developments in these areas and for broadly promoting IFS. We refer to it as our community bulletin; we are delighted to bring you this current issue.

We place high priority on deepening the presence of IFS within the realm of psychotherapy and promoting innovations and applications in clinical settings. The recent acknowledgment by SAMHSA that IFS is now evidence-based, which the Shadick/Sowell research paper and Foundation made possible, has generated a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. Like you, we see a vast potential here and look forward to building on this foundation.

Our first funded independent research study is producing encouraging results. We are embarking, with your help, on funding a second one. We are happy to announce that we are assembling a group of IFS certified therapists to serve as raters for research studies that would allow researchers to examine the fidelity of the model using the adherence scale whose development the Foundation has previously sponsored.

We continue to develop a global advocacy campaign about self-awareness and emotional connection with Education 4 Peace and continue our conversations with Pixar around the use of the characters from the Oscar-winning Inside Out film. We will share more with you about this exciting initiative in due time.

As you will learn in this edition of OUTLOOK, we have restructured the Board and tapped volunteers as Senior Coordinators in an effort to enhance the Foundation’s operational and programmatic effectiveness. We invite members of the community to stay involved.

You will be pleased to know that 2015 was a very successful year in many ways. Your generosity of time, ideas, and financial support allowed us to move forward on a number of fronts. Thank you for your friendship. We share with you a brief fundraising report in this issue. As always, we appreciate those who are able to help support Foundation activities, whether as volunteers, advocates, or through financial giving. Thank you all for your interest in, and engagement with, the Foundation for Self Leadership! With your help, we will continue to build IFS opportunities in the world.  

On behalf of the Foundation for Self Leadership’s Board,


Harley Goldberg, D.O.
Chair, Board of Directors


Letter from OUTLOOK Editor

From the Editor

With this edition of OUTLOOK, we bring to you the inside developments within the Foundation, such as the restructuring of the Board and introduction of our two Senior Coordinators; as well as hear from voices within our larger community about the impact IFS has had upon them both personally and professionally. From recent Level One graduates and IFS innovations to IFS email and social media groups and a personal healing account, we aspire to broaden your vantage and foster connections. We extend an invitation to you, a member of our community, to engage with Foundation activities in whatever capacity suitable.




 Inward & 





Funding IFS Research...

One of the Foundation’s key strategic priorities is to advance rigorous IFS research through funding and stewardship.

Owing to your support, our first funded project, a pilot study on the effects of IFS on complex trauma, conducted by the Trauma Center and a group of IFS certified therapists, will be completed around July 2016. Preliminary results, shared by PI Hilary Hogdgon, PhD, at the 2015 IFS Conference are very promising. Please stay tuned for the final research outcomes, which will be formally shared after they appear in peer-reviewed publications.

Since then, the Foundation has reviewed two proposals through an independent review council and will announce to the community projects approved for funding in a timely manner. Funding will be sought from various sources in support of these projects.

Request for Research Proposals

The Foundation’s Board invites additional IFS research proposals for funding from the IFS community as well as nominations of researchers outside this community who may be interested in conducting research on the effects of IFS in treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, and general addiction.

Review criteria include intellectual merit, research readiness, breadth of impact, and likelihood of success and impact.

Detailed instructions for preparing and submitting research applications, along with criteria for funding, are available online on our Research Review Guidelines.

IFS Now Recognized as Effective & Promising by SAMHSA* 
  • Improving General Functioning & Well-being (effective)
  • Reducing Phobia, Panic, & Generalized Anxiety Disorders & Symptoms (promising)
  • Improving Physical Health Conditions & Symptoms (promising)
  • Improving Personal Resilience/Self-Concept (promising)
  • Reducing Depression & Depressive Symptoms (promising)

* Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices – NREPP.SAMHSA.gov




Increasing numbers of practitioners and therapists are creating innovative ways of introducing and utilizing IFS with others, broadening the reach of IFS within and beyond psychotherapy. Creative and clear innovations, such as these, make IFS more accessible and easy to grasp for all populations. We showcase two examples here: Jay Earley, PhD, and Bruce Hersey, LCSW.

Self-Therapy Journey (STJ) is a web application based on IFS that allows users to work on psychological issues via the Internet.

Through this application, individuals identify a pattern they would like to change. They are guided through a learning process to their part that has the pattern and then given guided meditations designed to take them through segments of an IFS session. In addition, they can set up a personal practice to help them change their behavior.

STJ is the brainchild and life purpose of Jay Earley, PhD. It brings together the two professional sides of him that had been separate up till now—the computer scientist and the psychologist. “It is very exciting to integrate these two disparate sides of me in this amazing project,” says Jay.

When he began creation of STJ in November 2010, he had no idea how complex and difficult a project it would be. “I can see why no one else has done something like this. It has been quite a stretch,” he says of the development process. Testing STJ with volunteers for two years before launching it in January of 2014 was very satisfying for him because he was able to observe the deep healing and transformation that people were actually able to achieve. Feedback from over 100 volunteers and his staff were reflected in the final product.

Jay discovered IFS in 2002, saying, “It is such a powerful and effective tool that it has transformed everything I do as a therapist.” Since then he has not only been using it with his clients, he has been teaching and writing books about IFS. He is excited that even more people will be introduced to IFS through Self-Therapy Journey.

Those who are curious to learn about the IFS model and are active YouTube surfers can find two animation videos that introduce IFS.

The Finding Your Parts animation conveys an experiential feel of the IFS process while at the same time develops the concepts of the model. Published in February of 2015, it has been seen by over 5,600 viewers and has a runtime of less than ten minutes. Following quick on its heals, is a shorter video entitled What IF? What is IFS? This video, released in March 2015, focuses on generating hope and creating interest in IFS and parts. It has received 1,600 views and is under three minutes in length.

These animated videos evolved from a PowerPoint slideshow that Bruce Hersey, LCSW, developed after presenting introductory IFS workshops in central Pennsylvania for 8 years, alongside his presenting partner, Lois Ehrmann, PhD. The slideshow used stick figure graphics available commercially to depict key concepts of the model. These seemed to Bruce to represent universal icons for parts. The slideshow seems to be a success and many therapists participating in the workshops requested copies to use with their clients. Bruce then decided to develop this further into a video. Thus began the placement on YouTube.

Finding Your Parts “was a labor of love, and so much fun to make,” says Bruce, who took his Level One in 2007. Adapting to feedback, the music was edited on concern from various viewers. This edited version, entitled Finding Your Parts: foundationifs was released a month later. It has 1,100 views and was co-narrated by Bruce’s wife, Teresa Hersey.

“My love for IFS and what it has done for me professionally and personally has led me to want to help as many others as possible to experience its benefits. Finding Your Parts is a way to lead people to that experience,” says Bruce. He has plenty of ideas for future videos which he will produce as time allows, so stay tuned.

Meet a Few Recent Level One Graduates...

The ever-increasing numbers of IFS practitioners and therapists hasten the expansion of the IFS model across the globe. IFS trainees repeatedly report great appreciation for the model, both on personal and professional levels. Individual accounts of graduates bring a palpable energy to our ever-widening circle of community. Please welcome and meet two recent Level One graduates.



“I love the way it instills hope in an experiential way. Clients and therapists don’t have to try to convince themselves to hope, they get to feel it."  - Katie Andrews

Clare Brown, MA, LPC, LCAT, LFYP-1 of Elmira, New York has attended Dick Schwartz’s workshops at the annual Psychotherapy Networker Symposium for more than ten years. It was after introducing IFS to clients and witnessing the benefits they received that she signed up for her Level One in 2015. She has incorporated IFS in art therapy groups, group therapy, meditation groups, and LifeForce yoga groups in both her private practice and at Sol Stone Center, the partial hospitalization program that she directs. Her clinical staff responded positively to incorporating IFS into the PHP and in the coming year she anticipates offering IFS training for the administrative staff. “Personally, IFS has transformed my life, as I have experienced what it is to be in Self and the difference that has made in my relationships with friends, family, and with clients and staff,” says Clare, who enjoys witnessing clients reclaim their lives and exiled parts. She was recently accepted to the Trauma and Neuroscience Level Two and plans to complete Level Three as well.

Katie Andrews, M.Ed, NCC, LPC, of St. Louis, Missouri, found IFS through her own personal therapy beginning in 2011. A deep respect for, and trust of, the model grew through her personal sessions and informed her decision to become a counselor. After opening her practice in 2015, she enrolled in Level One and anticipates taking Level Two in 2017. Says Katie of IFS, “I love the way it instills hope in an experiential way. Clients and therapists don’t have to try to convince themselves to hope, they get to feel it.” It is her personal experience that brings appreciation for and trust of the model, which she feels greatly helps her practice. hope, they get to feel it.” Katie Andrews She finds the unburdening process poignant and beautiful, while a few of her parts feel like “it’s magic that works!” In addition, she notes she feels connected to and welcomed by the IFS community.






Over the years a number of email lists and social media outlets have formed expanding connections of many IFS therapists and practitioners across the globe. These online mediums provide a wellspring for sharing IFS related discus- sions, questions, networking, and referrals with others. To better connect with our growing IFS community consider joining one or more of these lists or groups.


John Palmer, LCSW, created this listserv in 2012 with fifteen members, which has grown to approxi- mately forty. Being a smaller listserv, activity is low with content being related to general announce- ments. John envisions its expansion and encourages more discussions and referrals. He likes that the group gives everyone a way to stay connected and “up-to-date” on relevant IFS/CSL information. Those who either live in Texas and/or received their IFS training in Texas may request membership by contacting John at jpalmerlcsw@gmail.com.

IFS (Internal Family Systems) Community Page on Facebook:

Jenn Matheson, PhD, LMFT, is the creator and moderator of this Facebook page, which began in 2012 and has grown to about 1,200 members. Jenn estimates that about ten percent of the members are active posters with the group averaging three to five posts per week. It becomes very active around the IFS Annual Conference as a place to share topics with those who could not attend. This is an open and all-inclusive online group. Care is exercised remind- ing members that it is not an avenue for therapeutic advice or interventions. Jenn likes the opportunity to hear perspectives from people all over the world whether they are clients or practitioners of IFS. If interested in joining look for IFS (Internal Family Systems) Community Page on Facebook and send a request to join.

IFS Mid-Atlantic:

Keith Miller, LICSW, LCSW-C, created this group after his IFS Level One training in 2008 with a desire to enhance communication with other IFS practitioners. He envisions a CSL supported formation of local chapters of online IFS groups. In 2016, he turned moderatorship over to Hetty Irmer, LCSW-C, and Laura Taylor, JD. Hetty recently imported the list with approximately 200 members to Google Groups. Laura enjoys feeling a sense of contribution to supporting the foundations that allow for IFS to grow and thrive. Criteria for inclusion are in flux, however people who are IFS therapists or practitioners by their own definition (certification is not required) or interested in IFS may inquire to Hetty at hettyirmer@yahoo.com.


Liz Zoob, MSW, LICSW, is the moderator of this list, which began as an online mailbox created by Paul Neustadt, MS, LICSW, and IFS Co-Lead Trainer, in 2008 as part of his vision for a New England IFS community, now known as IFS New England. Liz is joined by Patti Levin, LICSW, PsyD, and Cathy Liu, JD, MSW, who provide technical and administrative assistance. Beginning with a small group of members, this very active group has grown to roughly 610, with about 300-400 posts per month. “Our members love and rely on our list,” says Liz, who believes that the list fosters Self Leadership and supports a sense of community among its members. Those who are either based in and/or received their IFS training in the New England area and have completed at least three weekends of Level One may request to join by writing to ifsnewengland@gmail.com.

Internal Family Systems Network LinkedIn Group:

Bruce Hersey, LCSW, started this group in April of 2010 as a networking and discussion group and has been aided along the way with fellow moderators: Lois Ehrmann, PhD, Melissa Sandfort, IFSCP, Mark Hurwich, and Laura Taylor, JD. Welcoming all parts, they intend to invite open and free Self-led participation and discussion for like-minded individuals and promote the emergence of an online community of Self for any IFS practitioner (therapist, counselor, coach, etc.), including graduate students. “For the entire life of the Group, the virtual space has been Self-led,” reports Bruce of this very active group of 2,114 members. Those interested may either be invited by current members or, after creating a LinkedIn account, search under Groups for the Internal Family Systems Network and request membership.


Peter Gambino, PhD, is the moderator of the IFSNY list, which was born in September of 2015 and currently has approximately 98 members. Its inception began after a staff meeting with Peter, Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW, and Steve Krantz, DSW, LCSW, who felt this to be a valuable community effort. Fostering a deep sense of community, the IFS motto “All parts are welcome,” was paramount in the criteria for inclusion, which is simply anyone who has had at least two weekends of Level One training, including folks from beyond the tri-state NY area. The group is fairly active with about four posts per week involving referral requests, networking notices, consultation opportunities, and workshop information. A few stimulating discussions have begun with hopes they increase as membership grows and evolves. Peter enjoys creating a place for IFSers in the metro NY area to come together for mutual benefit. If interested contact Peter at peterg4995@gmail.com.

IFS West Coast Email Group, Website, and Directory:

Grant Leitheiser, LMFT, created this email group in July of 2014, which now has over 100 members. Individuals who considers themselves “West Coast” and have completed Level One may join. Around 20 new conversations a month take place regarding new trainings, consult groups, referrals, and clinical discussions. A long-held dream of Grant’s has been to create a map of IFS practitioners, where they can add themselves to a growing directory for referrals and to locate consultation groups. “This will help unite the west coast and bring more awareness to IFS to ultimately better support our clients,” says Grant. The website, map, and directory were recently released in March. To join the email group and/or directory please visit IFS on the West Coast.

Notable mentions:

IFS Seattle and IFS Antiracism are in the process of establishment.


Stories of
Personal Transformation


Paths to healing made possible through IFS are diverse; and so too are the stories of those have taken such journeys. This section makes room for short stories of self-awareness, shared by individuals in their own words, giving personal account of personal transformation, which seems to happen in a moment after a long struggle and last a lifetime.

Often, getting to know one’s Self and Parts sets in motion life-changing thoughts, feelings, and actions that we never thought possible. Day in and day out, IFS practitioners and therapists like you facilitate emotional connections, healing, and wellbeing in your communities. We celebrate your collective work and its growing impact.






“My work with IFS helped me to get back a sense of freedom that I long thought would remain elusive to me for the rest of my life.”

- CEO, Media/Communications Firm & Oscar-Winning Producer/Screenwriter, Hollywood, CA

Freeway Phobia Girl...

As a true ‘California Girl,’ and a native born Angelino, I started driving at 15 years of age. I passed the drivers license test on my first try and got in my first accident –a minor fender bender, three days later. Over time, I got into several more minor accidents. Yet, I was a confident driver and fan of moving quickly down the Southern California highways and freeways.

Then, around the time I became pregnant at 35 with my first child, I lost my freedom. It was a gradual erosion of ease. First, I had a very hard time driving in the left lane on the freeway and if there were a concrete wall on the left side instead of a fence, I would literally break out in a sweat. Then I started having a hard time breathing and calming my heart when I drove in any lane on the freeway. The year my daughter was born, I had to be finally rescued by my father from an island in the middle of an inter- section of multiple freeways. Sadly, and to my great embarrassment, I swore off freeway driving. The problem didn’t stop with freeway driving and ultimately I couldn’t drive in the left lane without panicking.

This year marked my twentieth year of being unable to drive on the freeway. In these years, I’ve won three Oscars and numerous other professional awards, written and produced countless feature films and TV movies, and successfully run both entertainment and other media companies. With all my life’s successes, I still could not achieve success in conquering four to six lanes of blacktop.

As a take-charge film producer, I began to search for a cure to this debilitating handicap I had acquired out of nowhere. I went to several psychiatrists, psychologists, and hypnotherapists. None of these practitioners were able to effect much of a change and yes, I tried an assortment of psychopharmacological aids.

When Mark Hurwich, who is a business friend, reached out to me to see if I was interested in a new type of coaching, I eagerly jumped at the offer. To be honest, his description of how it worked sounded like a bunch of new age BS to me, but I was willing to do anything to get back on the freeway.

In one of our conversations, Mark invited me to close my eyes and try to find the part of me that didn’t want me to drive on the freeway. To my surprise, I did with complete ease. A cute little twelve-year-old girl, her hair in pigtails, freckles on her nose, who was as sassy as all get out and wasn’t going to let me drive on the freeway, said it wasn’t safe. It turns out this girl’s job is to keep me safe.

Once I knew this, I was able to build a partnership with her. We made a deal, her and me: if I would take it very gradually and not scare her too much, she’d let me try and start making that left turn on my drive home.

I spent about ten minutes a day slowly and with ‘respect’ for my twelve year old friend’s desire to keep me safe, making the left turn. Finally, after ten days, I drove on the freeway for the first time in twenty years. It was only in the entry lane, from one on ramp to another, but it felt like I had just won an Olympic event.

Some days I can move over; some days, I can’t. But every day, I think of myself holding her hand as I enter the freeway and of us working together to conquer this fear, turning us into a team with one goal, instead of two people warring inside of me.

Do I feel stupid talking to an imaginary twelve-year- old inside of myself? It actually feels right to be talking to her, and she feels as real to me now, as my arms and legs, and the lines on my face. “My work with IFS helped me to get back a sense of freedom that I long thought would remain elusive to me for the rest of my life.”

A full account of this story may be found here.



The Foundation is pleased to announce the appointment of Harley Goldberg, DO, as the new Chair of its Board. Harley is director of medical education and a physician executive with The Permanente Group, Northern California Kaiser Permanente. He has served on the Board since the Foundation was activated in August 2013, and will serve in this new capacity for a three-year term. He was appointment by a unanimous approval of his colleague members of the Board and remarks, “What an honor it is to be allowed to meet and work with such high-value friends, on the Board and in the community, while also doing good for the world. To be able to bring IFS into my life, the medical examination room, and organizational development (and to be thinking about IFS in conjunction with empirical research, to boot) is a blessing.” He looks forward to sharing opportunities with the IFS community adding: “There is so much we can do to support the IFS community, and so much need and opportunity to develop applications of the IFS model in the world. The agenda for the Foundation Board is unfolding before us as the IFS universe expands.”

Harley follows Frank Anderson, MD, who served as the first Chair of the Board and who now transitions to Executive Director of Development and Research. Frank, a guest IFS trainer, is a psychiatrist in private practice with a specialty in treating effects of trauma and has developed and presented IFS-related workshops at many conferences and in various settings. As he shifts to his new role, he underscores, “what an honor it has been for me to have served as Chair and worked hard in the Foundation’s start-up phase of development. We accomplished a lot in a very short time. As the Foundation moves into a new phase of growth and expansion, having developed a great team of very talented people, I am looking forward to a new role in which I can engage, along with Toufic and my colleagues and friends on the Board and in the community, in projects which I am very passionate about.”

The Board has also appointed Lester Fagen, JD, and Toufic Hakim, PhD, as its new members and expressed its warm gratitude to Ilina Singh, PhD, who rotated off. In addition, the Board assigned executive leadership roles to Frank and Toufic, who will work collaboratively to manage the Foundation, overseeing respectively (a) development and research; and (b) operations and communications.

A former university professor in physics and engineering and senior research and grants officer, Toufic leads a consulting firm focused on funding, evaluation, and organizational capacity development. Honored and humbled by this formal assignment to serve the Foundation and the larger community, he sees, “this new responsibility as a culmination of efforts I have wholeheartedly provided over the last few years as an active member of this community in support of CSL and the Foundation, both as a volunteer and as a consulting advisor. I am glad that I have the opportunity to give back,” he added, “considering that I discovered through IFS, like many, a healthier view of myself and others. I look forward to continuing this meaningful work with a wonderful group of mindful, peacemaking individuals.”

The Board will be adding three more members within the next few months, after reviewing qualifications and interests of nominees. Members of the community are invited to submit nominations. Please send them to harley@foundationifs.org.

Charter members of the Board (which included, in addition to Frank and Harley, Mark Milton, Nancy Shadick, MD, MPH; and Ilina Singh, PhD) served for an initial two-year term. With the IFS Conference as the starting date, each member will serve a three-year term, twice renewable. Members will serve for staggered terms for a couple of years to ensure the three-year cycle is in place. You may read biographies of each board member here.

“To be able to bring IFS into my life, the medical examination room, and organizational development (and to be thinking about IFS in conjunction with empirical research, to boot) is a blessing.” - Harley Goldberg, DO

Senior Coordinators...

The Foundation is pleased to have recruited two of our four Senior Coordinators who, as volunteers, will coordinate and help secure funding for select areas of priority in the development and execution of our missions. Please join the Foundation in extending a warm welcome.

Libby headshotLibby Halstead, MBA, Senior Coordinator for IFS Dissemination and Advocacy Beyond Psychotherapy, has over 15 years experience in strategy implementation, organizational learning, and executive coaching. She works with Change Logic, LLC in Boston, and was formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Co. She designs and implements leadership programs in industries from financial services to healthcare to high tech. A native speaker of French and fluent in German, she previously lived in Europe for 20 years. Libby completed IFS Level II Training and is a past presenter at the IFS Conference. “I am excited to help amplify and provide connectivity as people translate and apply IFS principles to promote peace, human health and development,” says Libby in response to her new position.

JennMathesonpic2Jenn Matheson, Ph.D., LMFT, Senior Coordinator for IFS Research & Expansion within Psychotherapy, led and completed the first phase of the IFS Annotation Project. She runs her own private psychotherapy practice, specializing in grief, loss, and trauma. She also serves as President of the Colorado Association for Marriage and Family Therapists and as Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado-Denver. In her previous role as tenured Associate Professor at Colorado State University, Jenn conducted NIDA-funded research, advised master’s and doctoral research projects, and presented on clinical case study research. “I am dedicated to the advancement of IFS research and spreading the clinical reach of the model across all mental health professions,” she shares about her new role, and “excited to be working in this new capacity with IFS practitioners and researchers.”

“I support the Foundation because of what IFS has given to me - the profound growth it has fostered in my own life and then what it has allowed me to offer on.”- Joan L. Murphy, LMFT



Why do you donate to the Foundation?... IFS has changed the way I experience and understand this strange adventure of being human. It has helped me to feel more at home in the world, and more welcome. The idea of parts, the sense that if we come with an open heart and curiosity, we discover that “no wonder” you and I have a part that feels a particular way, and “of course” that would be true - so much is illuminated, so much more feels possible. I’ve come to believe that there is almost nothing we can’t talk about, whether those conversations are occurring within my own relationships, or with the clients I see as a therapist.

No wonder Dick Schwartz is bringing this way of understanding to parts of the world that have been entrenched in old patterns of blame, hostility and aggression. IFS brings a grounded sense of hope and belief that change can actually happen, and then a way to experience that change and healing. When has there ever been a time that the world needs this more? ~ Joan L. Murphy, LMFT, San Diego, CA

2015 Report...


The Foundation imparts our sincerest gratitude to all of our donors who helped us reach 122,480 USD in 2015, sparked by an anonymous 25,000 USD donation and another 25,000 USD challenge donation, which the community more than matched.

Join us in appreciating our community by viewing all donors.

Wondering how you can support the Foundation?

You can see a complete list of ways you can support us here. The Foundation is now prepared to accept stocks and in the near future will be able to accept wills, bequests, and large gifts of planes, trains, and automobiles.


Paying it Forward

Clients who feel appreciation for the healing IFS brings may be inspired to catalyze our efforts in research, scholarships, and dissemination of IFS around the world. IFS practitioners and therapists may download these flyers to place in their offices. You may do so by visiting http://www.foundationifs.org/donate/ways-to-give.

IFS Fall2015 Image1 IFS Fall2015 Image2 IFS Fall2015 Image3IFS Fall2015 Image4



The IFS community is a critical partner in the work of the Foundation for Self Leadership. A few hundred of us gather annually at the IFS Conference, which has played an important role in building this vibrant community. The Conference continues to present a significant oppor- tunity for us, individuals practicing and interested in IFS, to learn from each other about promising applications of the model, and to engage in conversations about strategic ways to broaden and deepen the effects of the model on establishing harmony within our own selves and our clients’, and in our interactions with others. It is within this context that the Foundation chooses to engage with the community in meaningful ways at the annual Conference.

...the Foundation organized its first Silent Auction event, to which 34 individuals and the Center for Self Leadership contributed 48 items valued at more than 25,000 USD...

This past year, our involvement grew to what is now called Foundation Friday. For those of you who could not attend the Conference, we’d like to share with you the tremendous success of our debut for Foundation Friday.

The day was planned by Pamela Krause, LCSW, IFS Lead Trainer; Jenn Matheson, PhD, LMFT; and Laura Crandall, M.Ed; and initiated by Frank Anderson, MD, and then-Chair, on behalf of the Board. Jon Schwartz, M.Ed, opened the morning plenary, welcoming the morning presenters.

Frank Anderson informed the audience about the latest developments in IFS and was joined by Nancy Sowell MSW, LICSW, who announced a special and timely declaration regarding the posting of IFS on the U.S. SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). “All of us who have been using IFS for many years have finally received validation for our practice,” said Nancy. “What we have known anecdotally has now become credible. Acknowledgment in the value of IFS by a governing institution with far-reaching impact and the power to open new opportunities is especially sweet.” Please see Nancy’s full statement.

This announcement received emotionally electrifying applause, as you may imagine. This was followed by an overview of the first Foundation-funded PTSD pilot study at the Trauma Center by PI Hilary Hogdon, PhD, and a keynote address by Michael Mithoefer, MD, on the very promising results of his effective MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research and its effects on treating individuals suffering from PTSD.

During lunch on Foundation Friday, the Board recognized three volunteers: Michelle Glass, Grant Leitheiser, LMFT, and Barbara Levine, LICSW, for outstanding volunteer contributions to advancing IFS and strengthening the Foundation’s communi- cation and development efforts, and two associates: Wendy Hrubec, LICSW, for consistent efforts in coordinating and implementing the IFS treatment component of the IFS trauma study, and Mary Mitrovich, for great dedication and diligent effort in support of the Foundation’s financial management activities.

Through Pamela’s efforts, the Foundation organized its first Silent Auction event, to which 34 individuals and the Center for Self Leadership contributed 48 items valued at more than 25,000 USD, and in which a large number of attendees participated throughout the day. Thanks to the generosity of our members, by evenings end, the Silent Auction raised 12,603 USD in support of the strategic priorities of the Foundation. The Foundation offers a not-so-silent shout of thanks to the auction’s coordinating volunteers and acknowledges all contributors. A listing of all donors and contributions, including in-kind contributions for the Silent Auction, can be seen here.

Owing to its great success, this event will be seriously considered to be hosted again at the 2016 Foundation Friday. You are all invited to participate and we hope to see you there. You may be interested to read Foundation Friday’s full report online.

About IFS

Founded in the early 1980’s by family therapist and author Richard Schwartz, PhD, Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy suggests that the “inner self” is not a single persona but rather a complex system of distinct parts (thoughts, feelings, and beliefs), each with its own viewpoints, desires and agendas. The main agenda of these parts is to protect us from inner pain generated through developmental and life traumas. The model rejects psychopathology and posits that there is an undamaged Self with healing attributes that is at the core of each individual, even in the presence of extreme behavior.


The model continues to generate growing interest among psychotherapists and practitioners outside the realm of psychotherapy, where it promises a myriad of applications simply as a thought process. Thousands of practitioners have been trained in IFS through a rigorous training program, administered by the Center for Self Leadership; and tens of thousands of therapy clients and workshop attendees have experienced personal transformations through the IFS paradigm. Read more about IFS at FoundationIFS.org.


OUTLOOK is an occasional bulletin that the Foundation for Self Leadership will publish to share news relevant to IFS, the IFS community, and developments relating to the Foundation. It is not intended to appear solely and passively in the conventional print mode; rather, it is designed to interface with the Foundation’s social media and online platforms. Nor is it a venue for sending information out; it is envisioned more so as an attempt to generate discussions within the community around issues and ideas of general interest and great impact.

The ultimate purpose of OUTLOOK is to support the Foundation’s mission of promoting the notion and agency of Self leadership. By naming it OUTLOOK, we hope it stands as a reminder that IFS is at once an external as much as an internal peace-seeking model, while holding a far-reaching view of the future.

The Foundation is grateful to Advisor Toufic Hakim, PhD, and Editor Michelle Glass, who play key roles in its production; Sylvia Miller for layout and graphic design; Grant Leitheiser, LMFT, for online content; and Keren Fortier, MSW, LICSW; Kira Freed, MA, LPC; Karen Locke, MA; Laura Taylor, JD; and Casita Wild, MA, for proofreading.

What would you like to see in OUTLOOK?

Do you know of any IFS-related news our community would like to know? Do you know of a client eager to share about their transformation? Please share with us such developments or happenings within one of these categories: IFS research, IFS within psychotherapy or programming, and IFS applications beyond psychotherapy. Please complete the online form or send general information in a short email to Michelle Glass at outlook@foundationifs.org. We will reach out to you for additional details or specific guidelines. Thank you for your submissions and helping keep our community apprised of IFS-related endeavors. Editors of OUTLOOK reserve the right to make final decisions regarding content of OUTLOOK.



The Foundation for Self Leadership is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization registered in Illinois, U.S.A. Its mission is to advance IFS research, promote the IFS model far and wide within and beyond psychotherapy, and increase access to IFS trainings through scholarships, especially among groups with limited financial ability.

Board of Directors:

  • Harley Goldberg, DO; Physician Executive, Kaiser Permanente, U.S.A.; Chair (2018)
  • Frank G. Anderson, MD; Practicing Psychiatrist and Certified IFS Therapist, U.S.A.; Vice Chair and Executive Director, Development and Research (2018)
  • Lester Fagen, MA, JD; Partner in Business Office of Cooley, LLP, U.S.A. (2017)
  • Toufic Hakim, PhD; Senior Managing Principal, Group i&i Consultancy, U.S.A; Executive Director, Operations and Communications (2016)
  • Mark Milton; Founding Director, Education 4 Peace, Switzerland (2017)
  • Nancy Shadick, MD, MPH; Director and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, U.S.A. (2016)

The Board and Foundation are supported by a number of associates and volunteers:

Mary Mitrovich, providing financial management support; Barbara Levine, LICSW, serving as Secretary to the Board; Casita Wild & Michele Bruce serving as part-time administrative staff; Jenn Matheson, PhD, LMFT & Libby Halstead, MBA serving as Senior Coordinators; Grant Leitheiser, LMFT, serving as Website Programmer and Developer; and Michelle Glass serving as Editor of OUTLOOK and as Donor Stewardship Associate.