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From the Board

Dear IFS Friends and Colleagues:

We hope this seventh edition of OUTLOOK finds you in good spirit, welcoming a new spring, no matter how slow it took for it to blossom. Spring brings us a promise of change and renewal; and so does this edition, highlighting once more the depth of innovation within our IFS community and our shared commitment to making a significant difference in our world.

Sharing notions of Self and parts offers people life-changing insights about how the inner world works. Through the window of IFS, the very promise of experiencing inner calm and harmony becomes the promise of equanimity in our interactions with others, and that is empowering and transformative. Many of us have known and/or observed this firsthand; studies are now gradually producing new evidence to help us understand it better.

Just as you endeavor incessantly to broaden the reach of IFS, your friends on the Foundation’s Board vigorously and continuously explore opportunities to disseminate the IFS viewpoints of the human psyche—who, where, when and how to do so. Our intent is to spread the hope of bringing balance to one’s inner system of parts and gaining readier access to qualities of Self-leadership. We establish strategies and programs to take us there. And we look for effective ways to communicate compellingly how IFS has changed and can change lives for the better.

We do all this on behalf of, and in collaboration with the community and CSL, propelled by quite a few passionate individuals like you, many volunteers, a lean team of staff associates, and a dedicated board of directors.

Moving this agenda forward requires your help, be it as a donor, connector, volunteer, or ambassador for our work:

  • We envision making the language and perspective of parts and Self common among future generations. Toward that end, we launched the IFS-in-Schools programs by first immersing teachers at two Minneapolis middle schools in the IFS experience. We need your support to take it to other schools in Minnesota and elsewhere.
  • We need your support to fund additional rigorous research studies around the efficacy of IFS in treating PTSD, depression, and general addiction.
  • We need your support to make IFS accessible to military veterans and to individuals in marginalized communities as we look to sponsor research-combined IFS trainings for community agencies and VA centers.

Our collective task is vast. A simple look at the world around us is a loud reminder of the unmet need.Ours will always be a labor of love, to be sure, as we give back and pay it forward.

Please stay connected with us and let us hear from you.


HarleySignature Toufic signature
Harley Goldberg, D.O., Chair     Toufic Hakim, PhD, Executive Director


Frank Anderson, MD, Vice Chair & Director of Research Development Les Fagen, MA, JD; Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW; Vicki McCoy, MA; and Mark Milton

To reach a board member, please write FirstName@FoundationIFS.org.





From the Editor

One result of working with our parts and embodying the IFS Model is a consistent ability to remain calmly in center – being the eye of the storm – amid the chaos of the world. Whether disruption is individual, familial, local or global, one constant is that we each can tap into our Selves at any given moment. With regular connection with our parts, this becomes effortless over time. One drop raises the sea and so it is, that as each individual changes, the world changes.

In this issue, we bring to you articles that illustrate various ways in which individuals of our ever-growing global IFS community both use the Model with others to foster Self-leadership as well as share what it means to them. From mainstream peer support in China, widespread trainings in Australia, and warriors of compassion on Syrian or any front line, to community interest groups, addiction, trauma, and children, the drops of IFS are raising the sea, one drop at a time. In addition, we share with you the Foundation’s annual report and a list of our 2017 donors—thank you!

We invite you to unite with us and share the Foundation with everyone in your community, so that our own sea raises higher to meet the growing demand of Self-leadership in our world. We need each of you.__MLG


 Inward & 


Shifting Paradigms: Bringing Compassion to the Opiate Crisis

According to the U. S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, 63,600 people1 died in the U.S. from drug overdose in 2016, with over 20,000 of those being from opioids. Some estimate opiate overdoses for 2017 to be between 33,0002 – 42,000. With more than 115 Americans dying per day from opioid overdose alone, new and effective approaches in treatment are of utmost importance. Our IFS community is gifted with two therapists who bring many years of experience working with the addictive process— Cece Sykes, LCSW, ACSW, IFS Senior Lead Trainer; and Mary Kruger, MS, LMFT, IFS Lead Trainer. They share with us their thoughts on this crisis and what it will take to shift it.

OUTLOOK: Welcome, Cece and Mary. Together, you bring nearly 68 years of dedication and caring to the world as psychotherapists, many of those years focused on working with addiction and trauma recovery. Can you each share how you became interested in working with the addictive process?

CECE: I was first exposed to the addictive process through my work in trauma with child abuse cases, trauma survivors, and eating disorders. I experi- enced the complicated internal systems and extreme protectors that come from trauma, whether one is a survivor or an abuser. Even though their compulsive processes are destructive to themselves and others, I could see the humanity in people in very degraded situations. Later, I took another dive into my own therapy and learned about the legacy of trauma history in my family and its connection to alcoholism, drug and sexual abuse, and eating disorders, and its effect on me and my extended family. I understood why I was so comfortable sitting with people with so much drama and danger in their lives—they were familiar. There is so much to like in these intense parts!

MARY: I also come from a family of addiction. Prior to becoming a therapist, I attended Adult Children of Alcoholics to put together the pieces of how I developed. I had always thought there was something flawed in me. As I began to create the bigger picture of my life and as I studied to become a therapist, I knew I wanted to work with addiction and eating disorders because I felt there had to be a better way to address them. I witnessed the process of change and got very curious to see how positive shifts could happen in people with very difficult histories. I feel it is my mission to change our approach to treating addiction and to introduce IFS to people so that they may see the possibility of creating bigger shifts. I like being able to offer the possibility of hope to the hopeless as well as the complexity of befriending entrenched protector parts.

O: You both can relate well to this population from your personal experiences and have been on a parallel process. I know you began working together in 2006. Before we speak about the opiate crisis, can you briefly share when you came to IFS and what you like most about it?

sunray“The fact that we unburden exiles lessens relapse and brings hope to otherwise hopeless systems.”

M: In 1999, I took part in one of Dick’s first trainings outside of Chicago. It melded together with the work I was doing already, and it addressed the issues that addiction work was stuck in. For example, IFS provides a real way to energetically unload burdens, especially around shame. I really love that we work with, rather than demonizing, protectors. Also that it’s not only psychotherapy—it brings together and honors different aspects of spiritual connection. I’m an out-of-the-box person, and so is IFS, so it fits me.

C: Likewise, I began in 1998 here in Chicago, where I’d first met Dick through our family therapy community. When he spoke of how the IFS Model has compassion for firefighter parts and their positive intentions, and of the connection to traumatized exiles, it gave me a new language for whom I’d been working with and a new way to see my family’s issues. Sharing that clarity and compassion is so powerful with suffering clients, and it really hits home for people in the field when I am teaching how we can work with extreme parts. We explore what it means to “love our firefighters” and find ways to address the whole system, whether individually or collectively, about the addictive process.

O: That’s wonderful! There’s so much to be said for befriending, working with, and being openheartedly curious about parts. While it is clear that addiction increases in people with trauma histories, what do you feel is the cause of the opiate epidemic?


C: While the dramatic increases in opiate overdoses are disturbing, they are one example of a serious addictive process. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, deaths due to tobacco and alcohol use far exceed those of opiates (400,000 and 88,000, respectively, every year), not to mention the deaths related to obesity. In IFS terms, these are all firefighter behaviors medicating stress and pain, and needing attention and support. Regarding drugs, the over-prescription of “painkillers” led to massive increases in opiate addiction, which is spreading across many social and age groups. Lack of funding for treatment, lack of resources in rural areas, and ambivalence about how to treat users— as criminals, typically—greatly impact the epidemic. We learned from safe-needle programs that people are more likely to seek treatment when they are not stigmatized, although currently our criminal justice system lacks access to treatment alternatives. Some municipalities are suing drug manufacturers for failure of oversight, which may lead to better practices. In the meantime, many patients get hooked through prescription use and then turn to cheaper street opiates, like heroin.

M: Yes. In the 1980s, doctors who had once been conservative about prescribing opiates began doing so more liberally after pharmaceutical companies touted new classes of opioids, such as OxyContin, as nonaddictive. There’s also been an increase in what I believe is a cultural burden that parts carry about pain. Some parts believe pain is not to be felt or isn’t part of life, is to be gotten rid of, and is intolerable, while other parts magnify pain. Another piece that adds to these burdens is that we’ve eliminated cigarette and alcohol ads, but we allow mass-marketing of pharmaceutical ads, which encourage people to self-diagnose and seek out specific medication. Opiates block our own natural opioid production, so once we take prescription or street opiates, it’s a set-up for addiction. It can really get anyone, but especially personality types looking to calm their systems.

O: With cultural, biological and psychological influences at play, how do you feel IFS can impact this crisis and addiction in general?

C: I believe IFS can be tremendously helpful. It is a clear, sophisticated, boundaried, and nonjudgmental way to illuminate and understand the user’s systems and triggers while not denying or endorsing the using behavior. We hold that everyone has a Self that wants to get better and unburdening exiles lead to stronger foundations. We start with bringing benevolence to their system and assume the positive intentions of their parts, believing that there is something to save. The Model brings a non-pathologizing and hopeful approach to otherwise hopeless systems and their families, which reduces use because it begins to relieve their shame and hopelessness.

M: That’s right, Cece. IFS honors the person, empowers people who feel powerless, and creates compassionate, connected understanding of using parts who have often never been understood. A huge thing it offers is that IFS therapists work on our therapist parts so that we can be Self-led with clients—to be the calm in the addictive storm. It shifts away from the sabotage of parts who are frustrated and angry at clients who don’t progress by being overly care-taking or agenda-driven, which is more common in traditional addiction treatment. These parts collude with managers who want to eradicate addictions, which ultimately intensifies polarities. With IFS, this is absent or lessened. When people are hopeless, it leads to chronic relapse. The fact that we unburden exiles lessens relapse and brings hope to otherwise hopeless systems.

O: Bringing more Self-energy toward users and their families does have a tremendous impact on change. What is needed to address this issue on a systemic level?

M: First, we need to take a real and broad look at how it developed and address it on a different level by considering our beliefs about pain (physical and emotional)—both culturally and individually. In addition, it is important to consider widespread marketing practices, our beliefs about drug addiction, why it occurs, and why we need drugs. We need more integrative and comprehensive long-term (more than 30-day) treatment centers, as well as to examine how insurance companies play a role in the structuring of treatment and why it’s not working. And we need to bring a whole lot of Self-leadership to every aspect of the conversation and solution.

C: I completely agree with Mary. We need a new, broader look on individual, cultural, and governmental levels. We need to look at how our moralistic manag- ers get in the way of effective treatment approaches when it comes to policy and law. Currently, there is much controversy about regulated decriminalization of drugs that could direct people to addiction treatment rather than through the correctional system. There must be a middle way. We need to look more benevolently within our own internal worlds at how we deal with suffering, pain, grief, loss, and isolation so we can bring compassion and Self-leadership to public policy.

O: I have confidence that the work you are each doing is bringing compassion to help shift this crisis. Thank you so much for your time in sharing your wisdom with us.

M AND C: You’re welcome, Michelle. Thank you for bringing this important issue to our IFS community.

US timeline. Drugs involved in overdose deaths
Cece Sykes ImgsmMary Kruger Photosm
Cece Sykes (left), LCSW, ACSW, Senior Lead Trainer, can be reached at cecesykes427@gmail.com. Mary Kruger (right), MS, LMFT, Lead Trainer, can be reached at marykruger@sbcglobal.net. Both teach the Voices of Addiction (winter module) in the IFS Online Continuity Program, available through CSL.

Expanding Trauma-Informed Treatment and IFS

Remaining on Amazon.com’s best-seller list for trauma for several weeks after publication, Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD & Substance Abuse continues to receive a warm reception. The manual, authored by Frank Anderson, MD; Martha Sweezy, PhD; and Richard Schwartz, PhD, is aimed at therapists, yet clients are finding the manual useful as well.

“Although the book includes a great deal about trauma, it can serve as a basic manual for anyone who is interested in learning more about the basics of the IFS Model,” the authors share. Case examples, exercises, meditations, the origin of IFS, and steps for working with protective parts as well as the neurobiology of PTSD and relevant neuroscience knowledge provide readers with a framework for using IFS with traumatized clients.

The manual began while Frank was teaching a regular course on IFS and trauma for PESI. He approached Dick and Martha to create a compan- ion book to the course, which PESI was enthusiastic about publishing. Martha contributed exercises, which are downloadable; Frank provided the neuro- science sections; and both supplied meditations and case examples. Martha wrote for eight months to put all the pieces together so the manual would be clear and easy to read. Dick provided content and functioned as a consultant to the overall process. So the book was truly a collaborative venture. Though the manual is comprehensive and is a terrific tool, the last steps, which involve unburdening and healing, are described but are not given in full detail because the authors believe therapists can learn these sensitive, crucial steps best in formal teaching settings—including CSL trainings, supervision, and personal therapy. Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual can be purchased through the CSL website, Amazon.com, or PESI. Please see the CSL website for further IFS training opportunities.

IFS Manual FrankDickMartha Cover2

Remember that when you purchase through Smile.Amazon.com and set your charity to the Foundation for Self Leadership (EIN 20-1318139), we receive contributions via Amazon toward our missions.
Thank you!


IFS Training on a Grand Scale: Genuine Embodiment of IFS in Mainstream China

The increasing interest in IFS continues to spread far and wide across the globe. In November 2017, Richard Schwartz, PhD, led a group of participants—not the typical 30, but 320 this time—in Hangzhou, China, in a six-day workshop on IFS. He was accompanied by his wife, Jeanne Catanzaro, PhD, who helped develop the format. The workshop, which focused on an overview of the Model, parts and Self, and working with protector parts, became the genesis of Phase One of a modified training in China for peer support.

IFS China 2017 Nov DickJeanne

Collaborative efforts between CSL and Hailan Guo, MD, PhD, NCC, LPC-MHSP, and founder of Hailan Family Well-Being (HFW), supported by Joy Huang, HFW’s Director of International Affairs, are currently underway. Dick remarks, “Jeanne and I felt honored and embraced by Hailan and the HFW group. I’m so excited by this collaboration!” The training was also supplemented by a small study designed and implemented in conversation with the Foundation.

In 2016, Hailan learned about IFS through Chris Germer, PhD, founder of Mindful Self-Compassion. She quickly fell in love with the Model, appreciating that IFS believes we are all born with the eight C’s and have innate wisdom and compassion. “I think IFS is the most significant and meaningful discovery in human psychology development since Freud,” Hailan exclaims. “The fact that there are no bad or mentally ill people—just people whose inner parts are out of balance—will bring revolutionary healing to the world.” Hailan, who is a Mindful Self-Compassion teacher trainer and trauma and relationship specialist has written two bestselling books in a series, Imperfection is Perfection: Emotions Determining Your Fate. Her mission is simple: “We want to spread IFS all over the world. Knowing and applying IFS will relieve millions and millions of people worldwide from their suffering.” With a following of over 800,000 people and appearing frequently on public television and in magazines, she has the potential to achieve this.

Hailan’s team is a dedicated peer education organization that offers comprehensive personal growth programs specializing in emotional regulation, relational issues, and trauma treatment. Since 2012, it has served the general public of all ages—focusing on working with the whole family, with teams throughout China and remotely via online technologies, and at their two retreat centers, one nestled at the foot of Mutianyu Great Wall in Beijing, and the other being built in Zhongshan, a one-hour drive from Hong Kong. The focus on peer support is a cultural application. A 2015 HFW survey of over 12,000 people revealed that only two percent of people would seek out therapists or counselors for facing life’s difficulties and challenges, while 44 percent seek out friends and colleagues.

As such, the cornerstone at HFW’s two-year Jing Xiu Sheng (Dedicated Mindful Practitioner) program is a Four Pillar formula for change

in quality of life: 1) Self-Exploration provides questions for individuals to evince their personal answers about the meaning of their own lives; 2) Continuous Practice places an extremely high priority on daily practice, in which participants connect via WeChat and Zoom to share ongoing revelations and growth; 3) Peer Support involves each participant in healing and being healed, building safe connections, and enhancing insights; and 4) Coaching & Consultation ensures safety and security through both daily inquiry in a safe, loving, and open container, and ad hoc support to participant when they encounter major growth challenges. The program, likened to a “mental fitness center,” offers daily 24-hour support, which makes it more effective than individual counseling, and creates a strong community through peer support.

HFW is working with CSL to develop a modified L1, which will encompass three phases totaling 108 hours, for what will be called IFS-Based Inner Peace Coach (IPC). Phase One will be a six-day IFS experiential, much like the November 2017 workshop, available to the general public. Phase Two will target coaches for the Four Pillar formula, in which six to ten consultation sessions via teleconferences will deepen coaches’ experience of IFS. Phase Three will be a six-day training concentrating on teaching coaches to lead others through embodiment. Research on the effectiveness of Self-leadership and improvement in mental, physical, and emotional changes will be conducted throughout trainings using Lia Deland’s IFS Scale in consultation with the Foundation. Preliminary findings from the Hangzhou training revealed statistically significant (p<0.001) pre- and post-workshop changes in higher Self-leadership and lower parts activation. Similar results are anticipated for future trainings.

A strategic partnership is currently being explored by HFW and CSL. Thinking broadly, Joy remarks, “Our goal is really creating an entire ecosystem for IFS development in China with a view to bringing the IPC system to the world. Our mission is not only telling people about IFS, but really helping them to live up to it. Thus, we teach by embodiment and daily practice, which is at the heart of our program.” Dick’s book Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model, translated in Mandarin as Parts Psychology with English Subtitles of Internal Family Systems, was released one week before the Hangzhou workshop, hitting first place in new book billboards and stayed there for four consecutive weeks. For more information on HFW visit their website. Hailan may be contacted at drhailan@hailanxfj.com and Joy at huangxy@hailanxfj.com.

“Our goal is really creating an entire ecosystem for IFS development in China with a view to bringing the IPC system to the world. Our mission is not only telling people about IFS, but really helping them to live up to it. Thus, we teach by embodiment and daily practice, which is at the heart of our program.”


IFS China 2017 Nov


KidsWorld: Inside & Out Psychotherapeutic Board Game

For over 43-years, Art Mones, PhD, ABPP, has been obsessed in his search for the essence of healing. Meeting Richard Schwartz, PhD, in the 1980’s went a long way toward his goal, as he saw IFS to be a courageous step towards radical healing. In 2014, Art, who is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and Faculty in the Postgraduate Programs in Child-Family and Couples Therapy at the Derner Institute, Adelphi University, wrote his first book, Transforming Troubled Children, Teens, and Their Families: An Internal Family Systems Model for Healing, applying IFS to youth and their families. In his book, he brings IFS concepts to the understanding of children and to the interaction among them and their families. We look at “what goes awry and how to bring healing to problem- saturated cycles,” he explains.

Very quickly he saw the need of a non-pathologizing, direct channel to kids themselves—applied to the natural habitat of child-therapist healing, via expressive play. Thus, KidsWorld Board Game was born. This fun and engaging game, for children ages 5-14, is a therapeutic journey of healing with 264 color-coded cards: KidsWord Cards tap into every aspect of a child’s life—parents, siblings, school, peer group, legacy burdens and the wider world; Calm Corner Cards provide the opportunity for kids to learn and practice mindfulness; and Fun Corner Cards is all about having fun! Drawing on the creativity of Self and to just be goofy and laugh, provides release and builds a connection between therapist and child. Shaped in accordance with the age of the child, relying largely on Direct Access, for those under age 7, and increasingly on Insight, as the child matures neurobiologically and emotionally, cards are designed to go to deeper layers of the child’s internal experience. Here are some examples:

A boy was acting very “hyper” in school. Tell me what you think was going on inside him. What can he do to calm himself down?

Did you ever say, “I’m fine,” when really you were upset inside? How does this feel in your body?

The game is very effective in defining trailheads for direct work with parent-child issues, sibling interaction, peer conflict and school struggles. “KidsWorld celebrates the Self of the child and focuses on promoting the understanding that symptoms or problems are generated from overworking their very own smart, creative survival strategies or protective

KidsWorldGame img

parts (managers and firefighters),” Art explains, “and gently and safely allows children to gain access to their exiles and creates pathways for unburdening.” While playing a game, the child experiences unblending so that protective parts can step back and allow Self to be in the lead.

The game has been popular among child and family therapists since its publication in 2014, receiving tremendous feedback on its therapeutic potency. In response, Art published, A Therapist’s Guide to KidsWorld Inside & Out Psychotherapeutic Board Game, which covers the philosophy and focus of the game and provides many case examples of the myriad child-focused topics covered by it. All are available via the CSL website, through the Publisher, Stoelting Company, as well as on Amazon.com. For more information contact Art at amonesphd@gmail.com.


Free IFS Interest Groups: Building Skills and Community

For the past two years, Carl Marcus, MS, MSS, LCSW, has engaged therapists in the Philadelphia metro area in free IFS Interest Groups. These groups are an outgrowth of for-fee half- and full-day IFS workshops that he began offering in 2013. Because finances are often an issue for IFS trainings, he wants to provide educational opportunities until therapists can invest in a L1 training. Carl, who was IFS Certified in 2007 and who is an avid Program Assistant in IFS trainings, declares, “I want to spread IFS and move it further into the world. I care a lot about the Model and believe it is the best therapy modality there is.”

Meeting once a month for two hours, he teaches the basics of the Model, which includes practice time, case consultation, demonstration sessions, and videos of Dick doing sessions. Three small existing groups and a larger fourth one recently underway provide several opportunities for those curious about the Model. All groups together total about 45 students. Last fall, friend and colleague Mary Steege, M.Div, LMFT, IFS Certified Therapist, and author of The Spirit-Led Life, began coleading the largest group with Carl. A natural teacher, Mary brings a layer of depth as a Presbyterian minister to the groups as well as years of IFS experience.

The demand for IFS is greater than available trainings, and while many of the participants have taken the online IFS programs and find great value in Carl’s groups, he cautions that this intermediate learning is not a replacement for L1. One of the challenges of the Interest Groups is how far can he take students

who have not yet had L1 without going into exile work while still doing deep work. Despite the challenges, participants not only find their confidence increasing, but also enjoy the connection of a growing local IFS community. Many go on to take a Level 1 training.

Carl hopes to inspire other IFS therapists and prac- titioners to create their own IFS Interest Groups in their communities. He is enthusiastic about helping others do so by providing potential IFS group leaders with teaching materials and documents that provide a framework for these groups. He suggests sending solicitation emails targeted at clinical social workers, psychologists, counselors, and coaches with the word “free” in the subject line since this received the most response. Should you be interested in creating similar offerings for your community—as all good things often start with a personal interest—and would like Carl’s support, please contact him at carlmarcus@comcast.net.






Beyond Psychotherapy
& Counseling

IFS Support for Those Working with Syrian Refugees

For the past 20 years, Tom Holmes, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus, at Western Michigan University, College of Health and Human Services, has been bringing IFS and parts work around the world—mostly in Germany, but also to the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Korea. In Fall 2016, he began training Jordanian therapists who work with Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan, which is where his focus remains.

Tom, author of the well-known book Parts Work: An Illustrated Guide to Your Inner Life, has developed a mental health model that is harmonious with the Islamic culture. With his wide range of knowledge of spiritual traditions, he incorporates into his work the 11th-century Islamic scholar Al Ghazali’s views of the personality, which are highly respected within the Sunni community and fit well with IFS. His presentations of this integration of IFS and


Islamic psychology to a variety of academic andclinical audiences in Jordan have been very well received. “People really grasp what the IFS Model is all about, even in cultures as varied as Korea and Jordan. It is truly universal,” Tom observes.

Initially concerned about the high burnout of those working with refugees, he began offering free self- care workshops to professionals who worked with refugees, noting that integrating IFS with spirituality was effective with burnout prevention. In Spring 2017, he began working in Jordan with therapists at the Center for Victims of Torture in Amman and with social work students at Yarmouk University in Irbid, introducing them to the integration of IFS and Islamic psychology. Lecturing to over 200 faculty members and students at Yarmouk University sparked interest in IFS as well as in translating his book into Arabic. (It has already been translated into German, Korean, and Italian.) Additionally, artists who are refugees in the oldest Syrian refugee camp, Zaatari, near the Syrian border, are helping Tom create illustrations that will be used in the translation of his book as well as in a supplemental edition of the Inner Active Cards, by Sharon Eckstein, and a new book he is writing in collaboration with psychologists in Jordan on the integration of IFS and Islamic psychology. These images are more reflective of the experiences and the appearance of people in this region.

Tom now offers IFS as a psychoeducational model to the mental health unit of the International Medical Group (IMC), one of the important mental health service providers to refugees in Jordan. He is currently training psychologists there on IFS for self-care and burnout prevention. Syrian IFS TherapistsHe is also working with translators, as new research shows that 20 percent of translators working with refugees show significant PTSD symptoms, and many others display burnout symptoms. Together with a professor at Yarmouk University, he is developing a model for using IFS as a way to reduce secondary trauma in translators who will likely be translating stories of war trauma in various NGO jobs in Jordan.

The Foundation has started early conversation with Tom to learn from his experience about how to bring IFS to immigrant populations in the U.S. and build upon his groundbreaking work to support refugees in other corners of the world. Please see Tom’s website for more information. He may be reached at tomholmes42@gmail.com.


Improving the Lives of Actors, Writers, and Directors: IFS and Character MappingSM

MarielPastor HeadshotHave you ever been so captivated by a character onscreen or on a stage that you felt you were right there in the story? When an actor embodies a character so fully and realistically, it briefly takes us out of our own lives, temporarily transporting us to another world. What makes a character’s life truly believable? “It all comes down to knowing the inner workings of the character’s mind—knowing its motivations, burdens, and inner polarities,” reflects Mariel Pastor, LMFT, and IFS Lead Trainer. For the past 15 years, Mariel has been bridging IFS and creative artists, two interests she holds dear. Her passion for this work has led to the development of Character MappingSM, a master class in character development for actors, writers, and directors, to help them hone in on a character’s psychology as well as getting to know themselves.

Mariel’s desire to better understand the “tortured artist” and what inspires creativity also led her to study psychology after spending a decade in the entertainment industry, first as a performer and later as a publicist and marketing director. It was in MFT graduate school where she learned about IFS be- fore the first text was even published. She took to it instantly and was in the first Seattle IFS cohort, later becoming a trainer in 2006. She was surprised to discover that there was no psychological theory, aside from brief mentions of Freud and Jung, in any of the Masters of Fine Arts classes. “It is

no wonder that actors and storytellers lose themselves in their characters and hold those burdens as their muse. Most in the arts are unfamiliar with the concept of de-roling from their characters,” she says. “This was a huge surprise and hugely concerning.”

This is where Character Mapping comes in. Heavily influenced by IFS, Mariel begins with Integral Theory and weaves in Family Systems, Myers-Briggs, the Enneagram, and mindfulness practices to help storytellers build their characters and find Self. As part of Character Mapping’s System of Selves, IFS concepts and techniques focus on artistic health, creating more safety for storytellers to plumb the depths of any character. In 2017, Mariel taught Character Mapping on the campus of the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, assisted by IFS practitioner and writer/director Jen Kleiner, MFA. Over the course of seven months, the cohort of dedicated actors, writers, and directors devoured the material with great enthusiasm and found the process a fascinating and much-needed tool for their craft. Later this spring, Character Mapping will be relaunched with a new website, online program, and marketing. The System of Selves, featuring IFS, is the first course offering and will allow storytellers to study at their own pace with live support through a private Facebook group.

The benefits of Character Mapping are spreading in the U.S. from coast to coast. This past winter, her work with New York stage director Michael Heitzman helped his production of 42nd Street in Chicago receive rave reviews for character depth. For more information on Character Mapping, please visit Mariel’s website or email her at marielpdx@gmail.com.Character Mapping Logo


A Compass for Warrior Compassion


“We live in challenging times; it is easy to scream our dignity with little loving concern for the humanity of the other; or to so give ourselves to cultivating compassion for another that we neglect the dignity of those harmed. The compass offers direction through the challenges, a way of being a warrior for healing and justice within a world of violence, yet a warrior whose weapons are those of compassion,”

To a standing ovation, Frank Rogers Jr., PhD, delivered a highly engaging and inspiring keynote address at the 2017 IFS Conference, “Warriors of Compassion: Contributions of IFS to Self-Led Activism.” The rich ideas and moving stories were presented in a thoughtful context with contagious enthusiasm and entertaining humor.

Frank is the Muriel Bernice Roberts Professor of Spiritual Formation and Narrative Pedagogy and Co-Director of the Center for Engaged Compassion (CEC) at the Claremont School of Theology, and teaches inter-religious graduate students compassion-based social transformation. CEC’s program integrates IFS, compassion-based communication skills, restorative justice, conflict transformation, and nonviolent social action with the contemplative resources and practices of the world’s spiritual traditions. He and his students creatively and courageously bring empowered compassionate social action into a wide array of contexts working with people and communities victimized by violence, including sexual abuse survivors, youth living in gang-saturated neighborhoods, and those incarcerated in jails and prisons; and working with communities and organizations polarized around issues of race, LGBTQ rights, and the current political climate. They also work with activist organizations dedicated to interfaith dialogue and immigration rights; and international communities living within oppressive conditions, such as in Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Indonesia, and Pakistan.

Through the early 2000s and prior to learning IFS, Frank developed an approach to compassion that may sound familiar. He explains, “My approach emphasized a radical self-compassion in which every interior movement within us (emotions, self-talk, impulses, etc.) is rooted in some internal cry that could be heard, honored, and restored. This restorative self-compassion accesses our capacities for cultivating compassion toward others through listening to and honoring the cry hidden within their interior movements, no matter how destructively they manifest themselves.” Many of his students saw the resemblance to IFS and related to him the similarities. After meeting Dick at an Esalen retreat in 2011, he dove in to trainings straight away.


Many people, whom Frank calls “real warriors of compassion,” taught him that empowered love is not only possible in this world but is the only spiritual power that can transform hate and violence. One such warrior was an Italian Catholic grandmotherwho brought into her home a gay man dying of AIDS and then befriended his reject- ing parents. Inspired to help others meet life with such compassion, he developed the Compass for Warrior Compassion when he compiled important CEC principles that held creative tension with one another. “That’s when the image of the compass came to me. It felt like a gift from guides,” he remarked. The eight C’s (the C-qualities) of Self fell right into place in the coordinates of the compass.

People far and wide have found that his IFS presentation synthesizes the various factors, tensions, and qualities that inform the kind of truly transformative activism that comes from our best Self. Perhaps most satisfying for him has been sharing the compass with seasoned activists—who have never heard of IFS—who have found that it reminds them of what energized their commitments to activism in the first place and reconnects them with the spirit that they want all of their actions to embody.

Frank hopes his compass will help bring peace on Earth—where all are treated with dignity, are allowed to flourish, and are held in compassionate care. “We live in challenging times; it is easy to scream our dignity with little loving concern for the humanity of the other; or to so give ourselves to cultivating compassion for another that we neglect the dignity of those harmed. The compass offers direction through the challenges, a way of being a warrior for healing and justice within a world of violence, yet a warrior whose weapons are those of compassion,” Frank explains. He encourages us each to be Warriors of Compassion and start a movement #CompassforWarriorCompassion.


Frank is the author of four books—Practicing Compassion; Compassion in Practice: The Way of Jesus; The God of Shattered Glass, A Novel; and Finding God in the Graffiti: Empowering Teenagers through Stories. He can be reached at frogers@cst.edu or 951-415-5021.



Dedication and Expansion of IFS: A CSL Update

IFS trainings are more popular and in demand than ever—recent trainings have taken place in China, Australia, and Israel, as well as Portugal, Italy, and many other countries in Europe. There is also new interest for trainings in Viet Nam, South Korea, and several African and South American countries. To meet this demand, CSL will increase the total number of US trainings by a minimum of 50 percent in the next two years, and significant increases will also be seen internationally. Please see two examples of IFS stories across the globe: IFS Training on a Grand Scale: Genuine Embodiment of IFS in Main-Stream China and Vibrant Roots for IFS Down Under on pages 9 and 20, respectively.

Editor’s Note: Considering that the work of IFS is carried out by members of this community, the Center for Self Leadership (CSL), and the Foundation, OUTLOOK will be regularly featuring CSL updates in its semi-annual editions.

Vibrant Roots for IFS Down Under

IFS seeds of compassionate change and growth continue to spread like wildfire across the globe. As mentioned in previous articles in this edition of OUTLOOK, interest in the Model has surpassed the availability of trainings. For more than a decade, therapists and practitioners in Australia have yearned for IFS training on their continent.

This February, thirty Australian therapists graduated in the country’s first Level 1 training. The training, taught by IFS Senior Lead Trainer Paul Ginter and supported by a very skilled and dedicated international Program Assistant (PA) staff of twelve (eight who participated for both weeks and four for one week each), found the Australians exceptionally receptive to the process. “It was a privilege to be involved with this training,” reflects Paul. “What an experience to be surrounded by such skillful and committed PAs and such an impressive group of participants!” Until this training, many Australians read and watched as much as they could about the Model and took IFS workshops, which prepared them well.

CSL has also included new training scholarship criteria for minority and marginalized applicants, students, and those whose life work supports minority and marginalized populations. Having implemented this scholarship expansion, CSL has already awarded substantial scholarship support in these areas.

CSL is partnering with organizations whose mission is to support minority and marginalized populations to provide Level 1 IFS training for their staff, volunteers, and other organization personnel. Four new such recipients have been selected for the Organization Training Program and will be announced soon. “We are proud to have awarded more than $1 million in IFS trainings scholarship support in the past eight years,” shared Jon Schwartz, MA, Executive Director. “We look forward to witnessing the far-reaching benefits of the Model in the coming years throughout the world, and especially to minority and marginalized communities as the IFS community grows ever more diverse and inclusive.” Scholarship criteria can be found here.

The Foundation shares and applauds CSL’s commitment to bringing IFS to marginalized communities and considers such a goal one of its priorities as well. The Foundation is collaborating with CSL to determine how to fund rigorous IFS-based research combined as a component of L1 trainings at select community agencies that serve at-risk populations.

Australia IFS L1 Group2222

Simon d’Orsogna, Master of Clinical Family Therapy and Associate Trainer in Coherence Therapy, worked with CSL for over a year to bring this inaugural training to his colleagues and community. The training filled within six weeks of announcement, necessitating a second L1 to be offered right on the heels of the first. Transpersonal Counselor and Meditation Teacher Aine Marron assisted Simon with the many details involved in putting together a large training. Together, the two made the entire process a smooth one for everyone near and far. Now with officially trained IFS therapists present, and knowing that it takes a village, they hope a strong sense of community will emerge over time. Aine will focus her time on the embryonic movement of the inaugural L1 community, which is steadily growing. Psychiatrist and Program Assistant Christine Jackson, MBBS, FRANZCP, who flew to America for many years to take all three level trainings and more remarks, “Words could not possibly express the excitement I have felt being part of this training. I look forward to catalyzing growth in our new community, right here in my backyard!”

Having been part of the Advanced Practice Group online with Jay Earley, PhD, and having initially brought Bonnie Weiss, MA, LCSW, to Melbourne and Sydney twice for IFS workshops over the last few years, Simon learned enough about the Model to then offer his own, which kept interest in the Model growing. Keen to bring as much IFS as he can to the region, he is always on the lookout for those who know the Model well. Alongside the first L1 training and to supplement their learning, Simon brought Certified IFS

practitioner Michelle Glass (Editor of OUTLOOK), who was also a PA, to teach her Daily Parts Meditation Practice process. Among many others, future workshops presenters include IFS Lead Trainer Mariel Pastor, LMFT, providing a two-day skills lab for L1 graduates in June 2018 and Bruce Hersey, MA, LCSW, integrating IFS and EMDR in February 2019. “These workshops and trainings provide a base and scaffold for a growing number of competent IFS practitioners across the continent and into the South- east Asian region,” reports Simon. One participant, Leona Dawson, MCAP, who is stepping into Aine’s role of assistant, validates this notion. “I have more confidence and clarity utilizing the IFS protocol as a therapist and for my own personal development. The biggest outcome has been a growing sense of congruence between my inner and outer lives.”

In May, three months after the first L1 completed, IFS Lead Trainer Mary Kruger, MS, LMFT, will propagate the IFS root structure in their second L1, adding to their growing database of IFS-trained practitioners. On the horizon will be a L1 with IFS Lead Trainer Einat Bronstein, MSW, LCSW, in August and October 2018, and a L2 in December 2018 on Trauma and Neuroscience with Frank Anderson, MD, which will be offered in Viet Nam to bridge the Australia-Asia region. Much as CSL and the Foundation are facilitating here in the United States, Simon would like to see culturally appropriate and sustainable ways for practitioners from services supporting disadvantaged communities to learn IFS and hopes the bursary program will target that into the future. “All in all, I feel excited and thrillingly alive to see this great balloon lift off! Hooray!” exclaims Simon.




The Foundation continues to focus its programming and activities in three areas of engagement: research, education and advocacy. Below are some noteworthy highlights.

About Research

Physiology Study: The IFS Physiology Pilot Study, funded with the community’s generous support, is proceeding apace. Most of the clinical data has been gathered to date. The team at Northeastern University’s Computational Behavioral Science Lab (Prof. Matthew Goodwin, PhD, co-PI, and a new post-doctoral fellow, James Heathers, PhD) are in the throes of analyzing a set of physiological data gathered from both IFS therapists and clients during live sessions.

The intent is to gain a peek into “IFS-oriented relationships between subjective, behavioral and physiological processes within the client-therapist dyads.”

Research Grant Applications: The Foundation will review rigorous studies seeking funding. See guidelines on our website.

Trauma Pilot Study: The first project funded by the Foundation has been completed by researchers at the Trauma Center, supported by a large team of therapists. As stated in earlier editions of OUTLOOK, the study shows promising results about the efficacy of IFS in treating symptoms of complex trauma. The study is being submitted for publication in an appropriate peer-reviewed journal. Please stay tuned.

Publications Database & IFS Syllabi: Designed to assist researchers, the searchable database of select IFS papers and manuscripts is now live on the website under the new Resources tab. In addition, with the goal of encouraging the development of university-level IFS modules and courses, four syllabi have been gathered and are being posted on the site. The Foundation is grateful to contributors, Ralph Cohen, LMFT, PhD; Bill Collins, PhD; Angela Huebner, PhD; and Robin Warsh, LICSW, who have successfully taught such courses at their own institutions.

About Education

IFS for School Teachers: Our pilot school program in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which was launched with funding from the community is in full swing. Staff and teachers from two middle schools attended introductory sessions about general constructs of IFS and sixteen teachers have been regularly engaged in learning about Self- leadership. The teachers will explore together how to apply IFS concepts in their classroom (for the benefits of modeling to students AND access themselves qualities of Self—preventing burn- out and emotional triggers from student actions). An independent evaluator is examining a set of outcomes and will be reviewing student data early next fall.

Advisory Team: The Foundation is assembling an Advisory Team to examine how to expand, replicate, and fund similar projects at other schools in Minnesota and around the country. Bringing IFS to schools is timely, especially as it promises to nurture hope and cultivate individual resilience and responsible interactions in the face of adversity. Our schools face challenging issues daily: mounting pressure on teachers, stress that students of all ages experience in and out of the classroom— exacerbated by the threat of violence, close social interactions, and addictions. The Foundation is intent on contributing through IFS to emotional wellbeing of teachers and, through teachers, to students’ greater social and emotional learning. We invite you to help support our efforts.

About Advocacy

IFS for Populations at Risk: The Foundation is engaged in serious conversation with three community agencies in the U.S. to develop, in partnership with CSL, research-supplemented trainings of staff within these agencies.

The agencies, each having at least one IFS champion (using the Foundation’s language), consist of a Veterans Health Administration center, a public county health services agency, and a private community agency. All operate in areas of high need (in terms of both demographics and behavioral health), serving at-risk populations and marginalized communities.

Our intent, consistent with the Foundation’s strategic priorities, is to make IFS accessible to indi- viduals in communities that are not otherwise reached by IFS. Our pilot efforts, once funded and in place, would touch thousands of lives and give us rich data about the efficacy of IFS in achieving desired outcomes—for both patients and therapists in such settings.

We remain very interested in introducing IFS to immigrants and refugees, struggling with life transitions, and are in the early stages of exploring with members of the IFS community ways to achieve these objectives. Interested in engaging with us? We welcome your participation; please write us at Outreach@FoundationIFS.org.

Self-Awareness and Sports: Valuable life lessons can be learned from sports—activities that can trigger high emotions. Among such lessons: how to keep our emotions in check and hold them in perspective despite the pressure-to-win environment.

We previously shared with the community our preliminary work regarding “The Inside Team,” a public media campaign with youth, parents and sports coaches as intended audiences. The planned public service announcements would focus on lessons from famous athletes about self-awareness, emotional connection, and resilience learned over time from their behaviors and experiences on and off the field.

A lot has happened since our initial announcement. A small team remains highly engaged, working diligently to develop this campaign, designing prototypes, reaching out to athletes, building partnerships, and seeking funds.

If you have connections with, or to, celebrity athletes, we invite you to connect with us at InsideTeam@FoundationIFS.org. We hope to share more details when key partners are on board.


Annual Report

The Foundation’s Board and Staff Associates are grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts since 2013, and especially this past year.
For those who financially gave what you could, we thank you. For others who volunteered your precious time and insights, we thank you. For those who made your purchases through Amazon Smile benefiting the Foundation, we thank you.

For all of you, we ask that you imagine the life-changing possibilities ahead through the dissemination of IFS. We invite you to engage with us as we take the language and lens of parts and Self and their promising effects far and wide.

Whether to gather and examine empirical evidence through rigorous studies...or introduce school teachers to their inner worlds, inspiring to find calm and composure within themselves and their students in the face of difficult situations...or bring constructs of the Model and qualities of Self to community agencies that serve military veterans and marginalized populations...Whatever the program we undertake, our goal is the same: to promote emotional healing and well-being for all though the process of Self-discovery.

Collectively, you generously helped raise $127,303 on your own or in response to planned appeals or events as displayed in the pie chart below.


The Foundation depends on our annual giving campaigns to operate. Your support has made it possible for us to launch a new program, bringing IFS to teachers at two middle schools in Minneapolis, MN, USA; continue funding a second physiology-of-IFS research study, with the Trauma Center and Northeastern University in Massachusetts; design the research-focused searchable online database of IFS publications; and expand our communication program.

Funding a lean operational infrastructure continues to be necessary for sustaining our momentum.

Please join us in recognizing and appreciating our community of donors by viewing all donors below and on our website.

Circle of Visionaries

Anonymous Funding Source
John & Mildred Holmes Family Fund
The Center for Self Leadership

Circle of Luminaries

Fagen Family Fund
Michelle Glass
Vicki J. McCoy

Circle of Advocates

Frank Anderson
Kim DeHarb
Toufic Hakim and Robyn Rajs
Barbara Landau
Elizabeth Liebow
Glenn Reinl
Joyce Seng
Shepard Family Foundation

Circle of Stewards

Lisa Alber
Rachelle Alkemade
Judith Asner
Mona Barbera
Nancy Berkowitz
Karen Berman
Thomas Berry
Wende Birtch
Deborah Block
Evan Bollinger
Frances Booth
Nancy Bravman
Elizabeth E. Brenner
Dorie Cameron
Kyunga Choi
Jill Chrisman
Diane Cullem-Dugan
Donna Dellal-Ferne
Elizabeth E. Davenport
Marjorie H. Davis
Ann Drouilhet
Mary Eggert

Lois Ehrmann
Michele Fishel
Bette Galen
Dana Gillispie
Paul Ginter
Rue Ann Glass
Harley Goldberg
Elizabeth Goodell
Regina Gorman
Group i&i Consultancy LLC
Karen Harber
Gail Hardenbergh
Andrea Hartnett
Hills Family Drug Centers
Brenda Hollingsworth
Angelo Horatagis
Hailan Family Wellbeing
Chris Huff
Ken Jaeger
Molly Kellogg
Steven Krantz
Pamela Krause
Molly La Croix
Laura Leslie
Barbara Levine
Karen Locke
Kirsten Lundeberg
Tracy MacNab
Vivie Mayer
Daniel Miller
Nancy Morgan
Joan Murphy
Amanda Peacock
Sue Perry
John Peters
Lena Plamondon
Katherine Pomeroy
Michele Quesenberry
Dierdri Reddington
Patricia Rich
Lawrence Rosenberg
Guthrie Sayen
Jeri Schroeder
Timothy Schuback
Jon Schwartz

Constance Seligman
Susan Sidway
Marla Silverman
Cece Sykes
Don Tyler
Marilyn Unger-Riepe
Lindsa Vallee
Janet Weathers
Eva Wenger
Megan Wuest
Cumulative donations through the community via Amazon Smile Foundation

Circle of Supporters

Susan Aeschbach
Galit Arad-Trutner
Osnat Arbel
Jennifer Barney
Rebecca Bass
Brecher/Moskowitz Family
Jane F. Broederick-Danforth
Clare Brown
Suzanne Burger
Pamela Carey
Douglas Carpenter
Ralph Cohen
Emma Corcoran
Kathleen Cowie
Terri David
Rina Dubin
Richard Foster
Robert Fox
Randa Gahin
Carol Gillen
Jamie Goodman
Nitsan Gordon
J. Hawkes
Patricia Heyman
Dorothea Hrossowyc
Kristina Johansson
Tulasi Jordan
Cynthia Jutras
Brown Lynn Kearney
Loch Kelly

Jen Kleiner
Linda Kroll
Demetra LaCrosse
Susan Littlefield
Carl & Karin Marcus
Evan Markham
Maura Matarese
Susie Melnick
Mary Mitrovich
Frank & Kelly Mogharrabi
Arthur Mones
Judith Morris
Ray Mount
Terry Nathanson
Nancy Novak
Janet Noyes
Lynn O’Hara
Lauretta Ometshinko
Roberta Omin
Laura Orth
Pia Rockhold
Steven Roof
Michi Rose
Geffen Rothe
Kendra Schpok
Ellen Sears
Virginia Seewaldt
Anne Spang
Christa Suggs
Julie S. Warren
Madeleine Warren
Ellen Weaver
Elizabeth Wheeler
Mary Lynn Wiseman
James Wratkowski
Yvette Yeager
Edward Yeats
Sherry Zitter
Jo Ann Zucker
Additional anonymous donors at the Annual Conference
For more information please see our website.


The Foundation Warmly Welcomes...

KellyGaule photo

Kelly Gaule has recently joined the Foundation as Senior Development Advisor & Associate. At this time in our critical organizational development, it is important for the Foundation to work closely with a seasoned professional to help build out our development and friend-raising program. Despite significantly growing demand for training, IFS still appears to many of us as a best-kept secret. We would like to work with the community to change that, especially that many within and outside our community would love to engage and support our work. Kelly will be involved to help raise the visibility of our programs and priorities and establish relationships with a broadening network of supporters.

Kelly has operated successfully in the development space for two decades. Over the last decade, she has built her Promus+ practice, effectively serving numerous nonprofits with diverse missions. For her, the engagement with the Foundation is well aligned with her personal interest of doing work that has significant social meaning and deep impact on our world and humanity. Kelly may be reached at Kelly@FoundationIFS.org.

Please note that our small number of staff associates are engaged part-time, giving to the Foundation and our collective cause generously of their time (and heart), far beyond their compensation.

DFermin Foundation

Daniel Fermin is now serving as the Foundation’s Controller. We embrace Daniel’s involvement and send at the same time our warmest expression of gratitude to Mary Mitrovich, who had served us in this capacity outstandingly well since 2013 when the Foundation was reactivated.

Daniel worked previously with two nonprofits as a financial supervisor and coordinator of financial and accounting processes and budgeting, monitoring compliance with standards and regulations, tracking and reporting on financial transactions, and supporting the development of financial policies and procedures. His work with grants will be quite valu- able for us as we enter a new grant-seeking phase in support of our new strategic priorities. You may reach Daniel at Daniel@FoundationIFS.org.




In each of your own ways, you are instrumental in creating a better world. Community members expand the depth and breadth of IFS healing in small and ever growing larger circles. Together, we are achieving the Foundation’s missions. We are forever grateful for everyone’s contributions, whether financial, with volunteer time, or in myriad other ways, large and small. Thank you!


Why do you donate to the Foundation?...

“I have many parts who love to donate to the Foundation for Self Leadership. My research scientist parts savor every tasty morsel of research data that shows that IFS works, and that sheds light on how parts play their role. I’m particularly curious about the relationship between parts and the body. I was fascinated by the research on rheumatoid arthritis and IFS. My IFS client parts are so grateful for the healing power of IFS and how it has transformed my life, and are thrilled to support the effort of broad- ening access to IFS training. These parts want to cover the entire planet with millions upon millions of IFS practitioners so that everyone can have access to its healing power! My IFS practitioner parts and my spiritual parts hold dear in their hearts the effort to expand the use of IFS in everyday life so that communities around the world can experience how the warm light of Self presence can weave oneness at every level: personally, socially, politically, and spiritually. Like John Lennon sang: ‘I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one’.” ~ Lena Plamondon, Ph.D, CPC, Weaver of Oneness, Woodside, California

What inspires you to donate?

Please share your story at OUTLOOK@FoundationIFS.org.



Be counted as an active member of our growing caring global community. Foster compassionate Self-leadership with your support. Impart the wisdom of IFS and advance the work of the Foundation to those in your circle. It takes a village, please join our efforts!

To keep abreast of a wide range of developments around IFS and our community, please sign up at Join the Movement.



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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 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.



Outlook is an occasional bulletin that the Foundation for Self Leadership publishes 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 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; Sylvie Miller for layout and graphics design; Grant Leitheiser, LMFT, for online content; and Keren Fortier, MSW, LICSW; Kira Freed, MA, LPC; Karen Locke, MA; and Laura Taylor, JD, for proofreading.


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 here.



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 promote and accelerate emotional healing and well-being across the world by advancing research on the efficacy of IFS in various settings, bringing the language and lens of parts and Self to schools, and increase access to IFS trainings for military veterans and in marginalized communities.

The Board and Foundation are supported by a number of part-time staff associates and volunteers:

Michele Bruce, Events Planner; Daniel Fermin, Financial Controller; Kelly Gaule, Development Advisor; Michelle Glass (Certified IFS practitioner), Stewardship Coordinator & Editor of OUTLOOK; Grant Leitheiser, LMFT, NCC, Web Developer; Barbara Levine, LICSW, Secretary to the Board; and Jenn Matheson, PhD, LMFT, Research Coordinator. Group i&i Consultancy principals and associates are also engaged in providing assistance to the Foundation.

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; Clinical Supervisor for IFS Research Studies (2018)
  • Lester Fagen, MA, JD; Partner in Business Office of Cooley, LLP, U.S.A. (2020)
  • Toufic Hakim, PhD; Senior Managing Principal, Group i&i Consultancy, U.S.A.; Executive Director, Operations and Communications; Publisher of OUTLOOK & Other Print/Online Media Content (2019)
  • Pamela Krause, LCSW; Lead IFS Trainer, in Private Practice, U.S.A. (2019)
  • Vicki McCoy, MA; President, McCoy Communications and Training, U.S.A. (2020)
  • Mark Milton, Founding Director, Education 4 Peace, Switzerland (2020)