• 1



From the Foundation Board
to the IFS Community


That is a question we deliberated at our September Board meeting. We were thinking specifically about who provides support, encouragement, and resources to you, members of the IFS community. You no doubt spend your days helping people of all ages, backgrounds, and circumstances find resilience and peace in a world where little of either is on display. We are hoping that, as you ponder such a question for yourself, you keep in mind that the Foundation’s core intention is to be there for you.

The IFS Model rests on a fundamental idea that harnessing resilience to deal with the exigencies of life starts with an internal mission of search and discovery. Peaceful parts, peaceful world.

As a Board, we tap into the power of the IFS Model each time we gather. We begin our monthly meeting with a time of sharing about where we are as individuals. The act of letting our parts have their say, rather than pretending that all is well with us even if it isn’t, inevitably leads us to a more Self-led meeting. We listen to one another, without judgment, then we go inward for a few minutes of silent reflection.

This simple process, consistent with our promise to embody through our work a Self-led organization, puts us in a frame of mind to better serve each of you who are IFS practitioners, whether you have taken on the IFS practice as a vocation, as an avocation, or as a parent, a partner, or a friend. Our deep desire is that the Foundation’s work will have direct, positive impacts on your ability to make your contribution of bringing hope to a world in desperate need.

All of us in the IFS community are being called upon to be on the “front line” in our efforts to offer to others this profound understanding of the innate human capacity to be led by Self even in the worst of circumstances.

Think of the child who now attends tele-school and has little interaction with friends; the protesters in the streets powerfully proclaiming their anger and frustration at societal inequity and callousness that cost Black lives; the COVID-19 ICU patients and their families who are separated from one another as they walk through the valley of the shadow of death; the politicians and social media participants who launch offensives against caring for their neighbors by wearing masks—all are in need of an awareness that they could have ready access to Self leadership, providing calm in the midst of chaos, compassion that restrains aggression, and creativity that finds solutions.

As your Foundation, we are supporting your front-line efforts by advocating for the IFS Model to be applied in many areas of life, from school classrooms to courtrooms to board rooms. We are advancing research that builds the credibility of the Model and extends its reach. We are endeavoring to take IFS into under-served communities, including veterans and marginalized groups. And we are deeply focused on creating connection by engaging with you, the IFS community. In OUTLOOK and on the Foundation website, we are telling your stories and sharing your wisdom. We are also doing what we can to provide you with access to webinars that we hope will nurture your well-being and “fill your cup” as you do work that only you can do. What we most need is for you to give us feedback.

What can we start doing or do better that will care for the caregivers who are at the heart of our mission?

As we move through this extraordinary time in world history together, we look forward to connecting with you. We will hold one another up and encourage one another on the important work at hand.

Vicki McCoy, MA, Chair; Toufic Hakim, PhD, Executive Director; and Board Members Requina Barnes, LICSW; Les Fagen, MA, JD; Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW; and Mark Milton

To contact a board member, please email FirstName@FoundationIFS.org (example: Toufic@FoundationIFS.org).



From the Editor


Opportunities to grow and heal through challenges remain a constant throughout our lives. The year 2020 brought with it unexpected radical shifts in all of our lives.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to interface with life in ways many of us could not have imagined. The wearing of masks, physical distancing, and diligent handwashing and sanitizers have, by now, become a way of life. The message: “Go inside.”

Not long thereafter, spotlights on the unjust deaths of our brothers and sisters of color and the consequences of systemic racism illuminated (if one was not already aware) that some of us are safer than others. The necessity of reparations became much more tangible. Until then, one could take the message: “It’s only safe inside.”

Months later, much of the west coast of the United States was ablaze with extreme forest fires which threatened and consumed homes and towns—and while they burned produced extremely hazardous air quality for weeks driving people indoors. The existential threat of climate change presented itself to us once again, much like the fires in Australia in 2019. One could take the message: “Stay inside.”

Those messages, taken literally fall short in what is genuinely being asked of each of us: To sincerely “go inside,” into our own inner landscapes, to be with the various parts of us—to witness both current and past traumas, release burdens, and retrieve them—so that we may step forward each day with more and more Self leadership with ourselves and one another. Rather than being propelled into isolation and apathy, the IFS Model affords us with the ability to make conscious decisions and take meaningful action—generating hope.

Here in these pages of OUTLOOK are examples of how members of our IFS community have utilized the Model personally and brought it themSelves to the world through articles such as Hope in the Time of COVID, about the Foundation’s urging us to go inside through its “innervention” program; Greater Racial Equity and Justice: Toward an Evolved Humanity; Uncovering Legacy Burdens of Racism; and It Takes a Village: Meet Chris Burris, LPC, LMFT. Sprinkled throughout the edition, we highlight the written works of our community in the IFS Gallery 35. We also share important IFS-Institute Updates, a look at Foundation Milestones from 2013 – 2020 and our public statement: We Stand with Equity & Justice for All, and feature another Story of Transformation. It is our aspiration that sharing articles and stories brings you confidence to both “go inside” and return to the world bringing forth your unique gifts in making it a better world for all. __MLG

Do you enjoy reading OUTLOOK?
Don’t recycle. Reuse!… Place in your office
for clients to enjoy. Similarly, provide a link for
OUTLOOK on your website or your resource page
and forward to anyone who may benefit.



IFS Gallery 35


We do so to commemorate 35 years since the IFS Model was first publicly presented, opening a new window into the human mind.

We do so in recognition of the thousands of IFS practitioners and tens of thousands of individuals and couples who have found deeper healing and inner well-being by discovering and harnessing the wisdom and resources of Self.

We do so to honor Richard Schwartz, PhD, who uncovered the Model, a beautiful contribution to human self-understanding and development, and has been promoting inner healing and serenity through IFS as his life’s mission.

We do so in great appreciation for the dozens of authors whose creative and applied IFS-oriented works are spreading notions and constructs of IFS among readers across ages and professions.


This Gallery is an expression of vigorous applause and deep gratitude for these authors’ vision, scholarship, persistence, and determination to make a positive difference in the world. Through these works, they are facilitating for our shared world a state of overall peacefulness, one that must be anchored in a state of inner peace, equanimity, and harmony.

As you wander through the pages of this issue of OUTLOOK, not unlike a deliberate, eye-opening stroll through an art gallery, you will meet a sampling of these works. Beyond the expansive listing below and many published chapters and articles remembered but not listed, we present a few with the delicate touch of precious paintings in dignified frames…

And when you meet each of them, we invite you to spend a moment imagining the journey it took to bring such a creation to fruition and, even more significantly, imagine the journey toward self-discovery and growth experienced by every reader or listener… and how these works collectively contribute to the sort of world and future we all desire.

IFS Gallery 35 was assembled and coordinated by Beau Laviolette, LCSW, LAC; conceived and curated by Toufic Hakim, PhD; and visually produced by Sylvia Miller of Amboss Design, OUTLOOK graphic designer.

OUTLOOK thanks the many donors who have made the production of this gallery possible; we thank them by framing their works spread across the gallery’s various pages…

PS. There may have been other IFS works, in English or in other languages, that we might have missed in the listing. If so, please write us to Outreach@FoundationIFS.org with relevant information and we’ll endeavor to make the correction in the online version of OUTLOOK.


The pages below exhibit a listing of books that focus on IFS or that represent models and analyses related to, informed by, or inspired by IFS. Since the first book on Internal Family Systems as a stand-alone psychotherapeutic modality was published in 1995, many have been produced for therapists, clients, children, parents and teachers, and practitioners.

There have been guided meditations, poetry, games, songs, and skits over the years inspired by the IFS view of human nature and how inner and relational harmony and healing may be achieved.

This list does not include numerous chapters written about IFS by many of these authors and others in various manuscripts. While their names may not appear below, these authors are also celebrated here in absentia.

In addition to books, IFS articles appeared across a diverse range of journals. To browse through some of these articles, visit the Foundation’s searchable e-database at: grantuoso.org/IFSsearch/.

Please note that this book listing is presented in the style of a gallery exhibit rather than a bibliography of formal citations à la APA- or Chicago-style guide.

Imagine a lit candle by every book entry below, symbolizing both celebration and acknowledgment of the broadened sharing and diffusion of knowledge and experience as they relate to the presence and role of parts of the human mind and capacity for leadership of Self.



Internal Family Systems Therapy - Richard C. Schwartz - The Guilford Press, New York, NY [Second edition published in 2020 (Guilford Press) by Richard C. Schwartz and Martha Sweezy] (Translated into many languages) [Note: IFS was described earlier, in 1992, as a modality in the family-therapy context in Metaframeworks: Transcending the Models of Family Therapy - Douglas C. Breunlin, Richard C. Schwartz & Betty Mac Kune-Karrer - Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, CA.]

The Mosaic of the Mind: Empowering the Tormented Selves of Child Abuse Survivors - Regina A. Goulding & Richard C. Schwartz - Norton & Co., New York, NY (by Trailheads Press, Oak Park, IL, 2002)


Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model - Richard C. Schwartz - Trailheads Publications, The Center for Self Leadership, Oak Park, IL (Translated into many languages)


Creativity in Psychotherapy: Reaching New Heights with Individuals, Couples, and Families - David K. Carson & Kent W. Becker - Haworth Clinical Practice Press, Binghamton, NY (IFS is presented in this book as a creative intervention.)


Parts Work: An Illustrated Guide to Your Inner Life - Tom Holmes - Winged Heart Press, Kalamazoo, MI (Four editions by 2020; translated into many languages) & Deck of companion cards: Inner Active Cards for Parts Work - Sharon Eckstein - published by Back Woods Press in 2015, 3rd edition in 2018)

The Big Bright Ball Answers the Call: A Love Story of Inner Proportions Storybook - David Cantor (also in Spanish and a 2017 edition), along with a YOUniverse Self-Leadership Tool and Manual - Light On Publications, West Hartford, CT


Bring Yourself to Love: How Couples Can Turn Disconnection into Intimacy - Mona Barbera - Dos Monos Press, Boston, MA

You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting for: Bringing Courageous Love to Intimate Relationships - Richard C. Schwartz - Trailheads Publications, The Center for Self Leadership, Oak Park, IL


Self-Therapy: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-edge Psychotherapy (1st ed.) - Jay Earley - Pattern System Books, Larkspur, CA (with a second edition published in 2012 and two additional volumes; translated into many languages)

Why Did I Do That? How You Make Sense and Why There is Hope - Dorie Cameron - Threshold Therapeutics Media, Natick, MA


The Spirit-Led Life: Christianity and the Internal Family System - Mary K. Steege - CreateSpace Independent Publishing


Illustrated Workbook for Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic: Transforming Self-Criticism into Self-Confidence - Bonnie Weiss - Pattern System Books, Larkspur, CA


Nathan Meets His Monsters - Joseph Kropp - Day to Day Enterprises, Lake Shore, MD

Negotiating for Self-Leadership in Internal Family Systems Therapy - Jay Earley - Pattern System Books, Larkspur, CA

Resolving Inner Conflict: Working Through Polarization Using Internal Family Systems Therapy - Jay Earley - Pattern System Books, Larkspur, CA

Working with Anger in Internal Family Systems Therapy - Jay Earley - Pattern System Books, Larkspur, CA


Freedom from Your Inner Critic: A Self-Therapy Approach - Jay Earley & Bonnie Weiss - Sounds True, Louisville, CO

Internal Family Systems Therapy: New Dimensions - Martha Sweezy and Ellen Ziskind - Routledge, New York, NY (with 11 chapters authored by IFS practitioners)

Polly & Her Parts - Alison Biggs - Font and Center Press, Orleans, MA

Self-therapy Workbook: An Exercise Book for the IFS Process - Bonnie Weiss - Pattern System Books, B. Larkspur, CA

Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t - Particia L. Papernow - Routledge, New York, NY (IFS is presented within as a tool for intrapsychic work.)

There’s a Part of Me… - Jon Schwartz & Bill Brennan - Trailheads Press, Oak Park, IL


The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma - Bessel A. Van der Kolk - Viking Press, New York, NY (One full chapter is dedicated to IFS.)

Froggie’s Mysterious Dream: How I Found Myself in my Drawings - Kat Taylor - Self-Published

Transforming Troubled Children, Teens, and Their Families: An Internal Family Systems Model for Healing - Art Mones - Routledge, New York, NY


Inner Harmony: Putting Your Self Back in Charge - Beth Rogerson - Self-Published

Intimacy from the Inside Out: Courage and Compassion in Couple Therapy - Toni Herbine-Blank, Donna Kerpelman, and Martha Sweezy - Routledge, London, UK

Self-Therapy, Volume 2: A Step-by-Step Guide to Advanced IFS Techniques for Working with Protectors – Jay Earley – Pattern System Books, Larkspur, CA


Compassionate Mediation® for Relationships at a Crossroad: How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce - Linda Kroll - Compassionate Communication, CreateSpace

Organize Your Emotions, Optimize Your Life - Margaret Moore, Edward Phillips, and John Hanc - Harper Collins, New York, NY

Relationship Power in Health Care: Science of Behavior Change, Decision Making, and Clinician Self-Care - John B. Livingstone and Joanne Gaffney - Routledge, London, UK (New applications of IFS theory, strategy, and tactics are incorporated, as they’re shown to improve health outcomes outside the realm of psychotherapy in acute and chronic conditions and wellness efforts.)

Daily Parts Meditation Practice©: A Journey of Embodied Integration for Clients and Therapists - Michelle Glass - CreateSpace Independent Publishing (Second Edition, 2017 and Spanish translation in 2021)

Self-Therapy, Volume 3: A Step-by-Step Guide to Using IFS for Eating Issues, Procrastination, the Inner Critic, Depression, Perfectionism, Anger, Communication, and More – Jay Earley – Pattern System Books, Larkspur, CA


A Therapist’s Guide to KidsWorld Inside & Out Therapeutic Board Game (and actual board game) - Arthur Mones - Stoelting, Wood Dale, IL

Attachment-Based Yoga & Meditation for Trauma Recovery: Simple, Safe, and Effective Practices for Therapy - Deirdre Fay - Norton & Company, New York, NY

Be the One to Heal Your Self: A Workbook for People Who Want Results Now - Beth Rogerson - Moondog Marketing & Media, Stockholm, Sweden

Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy - Martha Sweezy and Ellen Ziskind - Routledge, New York, NY (with 10 chapters authored by IFS practitioners)

Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD & Substance Abuse - Frank G. Anderson, Martha Sweezy, and Richard Schwartz - PESI Publishing, Eau Claire, WI (Translated into other languages)

Internal Family Systems Therapy with Children - Lisa Spiegel - Routledge, New York, NY

Living the Deeper YES: Discovering the Finest, Truest Place Within You - Anna Huckabee Tull - Balboa Press, Hay House, Bloomington, IN

Many Minds, One Self - Richard Schwartz & Robert Falconer - Trailheads Press, Oak Park, IL

The Little Book of Self Leadership: Daily Self Leadership Made Simple - Dave Williams - SLR Coaching & Consulting, New South Wales, AU (Second Edition published in 2018)


7 Keys to Connection: How to Move Beyond the Physical and Emotional Trauma of a Disconnected Culture - Joy Freeman - SoundStar Productions, Lake Worth, FL

A Mangle of Monsters - Lia DeLand - Balboa Press, Hay House, Carlsbad, CA

An Internal Family Systems Guide to Recovery from Eating Disorders: Healing Part by Part - Amy Yandel Grabowski - Routledge, New York, NY

Boundaries for Your Soul: How to Turn Your Overwhelming Thoughts and Feelings into Your Greatest Allies - Alison Cook & Kimberly Miller - Nelson Books, Nashville, TN

In Me We Trust: A Discovery of Self After Sexual Trauma - Anna Gulden A - Mental Health Education Press, Seaside, CA

Loving & Leading from the Inside Out: A Guide to Healing and Inspired Change - Wende Birtch - Epigraph Books, Rhinebeck, NY

The Inner Curriculum: How to Nourish Wellbeing, Resilience and Self-Leadership - Neil & Jane Hawkes - John Catt Educational Ltd, Woodbridge, UK

The Process: A Technique for Using Drawing and Journaling to Understand Your Inner “SELF” - Kat G. Taylor - Self-Published


A Bedside Book About Us: From Attachment to the Infinite - Laura Bafford Leslie - Self-Published A Cup of Tea with Sadness - Ron Chelsvig - BookBaby, Pennsauken, NJ

Living from My Centered Self - An IFS Wisdom Journal (Volume I: Courage & Creativity) - Elaine Casquarelli & Karen Lubin - Quantum Leap Coaching and Consulting, Santa Fe, NM (Volume II: Curiosity & Clarity published in 2020)

Self-Compassion Day by Day: Daily Reflections with Internal Family Systems - Karen Locke - Self-Published

The Conscious Road Home: A Revolutionary Approach to Healing Yourself and Your Love Relationship - Marvin Allen - Gatekeeper Press, Columbus, OH

The Elusive Self: Reflections of an Internal Family Therapist - Marcel A. Duclos - Black Forest Publishing, Peyton, CO

The IFS Parent Manual: Internal Family Systems to Build Your Child’s School and Life Success - Rodger Goddard - Success Skills, South Orange, NJ (a separate mini-manual published)

The IFS Teacher Manual: A Training Handbook for Using Internal Family Systems to Improve Teacher Effectiveness and Student Success – Rodger Goddard - Success Skills, South Orange, NJ (a separate mini-manual also published)

We All Have Parts - A Little Book with Big Ideas About Healing Trauma - Colleen West - El Cerrito, CA


A Return to Civility and a Path to Get There: An Exploration of Accountability, Responsibility, and Compassion - David Medeiros - Stillwater River Publications, Pawtucket, RI

Altogether YOU: Experiencing Personal and Spiritual Transformation with Internal Family Systems Therapy - Jenna Riemersma - Pivotal Press, Marietta, GA

Internal Family Systems Institute Level I Training Manual – Mariel Pastor & Jennifer Gauvain – Trailhead Publications, Oak Park, IL

Restoring Relationship: Transforming Fear into Love Through Connection - Molly LaCroix - Self-Published

Somatic Internal Family Systems Therapy: Awareness, Breath, Resonance, Movement, and Touch in Practice - Susan McConnell - North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA

Surviving Difficult People: When Your Faith and Feelings Clash - Audrey Davidheiser - Aim for Breakthrough, Sherman Oaks, CA (Includes an IFS exercise)

The Parts Inside of Me - Shelly Johnson - Archway Publishing, Bloomington, IN


The book that started it all! The story of the origin of IFS… detailed explanations of its theoretical and conceptual underpinnings… and illustration of IFS techniques with case examples in second edition.

First edition published in November 1994 | Translated into French, German, Turkish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, and Spanish | Second edition translated into Chinese, French, German, Korean, and Polish


“What a long, strange (and wonderful) trip this has been to birth IFS and I’ve been lucky to have been accompanied by so many talented, dedicated, and Self-led people. This is an empowering view of human nature that, if more widely adopted, could change many things about how humans relate to themselves, to one another, and to the planet. We’ve come a long way and yet there are miles to go—let’s continue to patiently persist together!”
—Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, Developer of IFS and Founder of IFS Institute (formerly The Center for Self Leadership)


Inward and


We are excited to share that the Foundation recently reached its primary goal since inception to approve its largest funded project to date, a two-year, randomized clinical trial with the aim of studying IFS vs. a nature-based reduction program as a treatment for PTSD and opioid use.

The study will be conducted at a Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance community mental health center, led by an IFS Level 2-trained addiction psychiatrist, Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD. Dr. Schuman-Olivier, is Director for the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Medical Director for Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, faculty member in Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry and Director of the Clinical Core for NCCIH’s only P01 center grant focused on mind-body mechanisms for chronic pain.


Given the scope of the research study and the quality of its design and research team, the study promises to expand empirical evidence significantly, inspire new studies and researchers, and secure federal funding to support future IFS research which will itself have unspoken positive consequences.

The Foundation has already raised funds to cover two-thirds of the total study cost, and needs your support to get the rest of the way there.

Please consider a generous donation to the Foundation.

As always, keep in mind that we are also here to support clinicians who might want to contribute by sharing case studies of interesting concepts or clients. We look forward to hearing from you at research@FoundationIFS.org about your research plans, achievements, volunteer aspirations, and inquiries and we welcome any introductions to researchers or research funders in your personal and professional networks! —IT


First edition Published in October 2016 Two editions, Spanish translation in 2021

“Written for therapists, practitioners, and clients, this book inspires between session integrative exercises for our busy managers who have relaxed back during sessions. Each of us is invited to create our own unique Daily Parts Meditation Practice to keep regular connection with our inner system and generate creative ways to externalize and commemorate each part. This book (and workshops internationally and online) include six tools to deepen IFS integration between sessions, create coherent narratives, and as a way of intimately knowing systems.”

My internal system whole-heartedly celebrates Dick and these 35 years of IFS history with deep gratitude. It’s only the beginning. I’m honored to be of service to IFS and the community on many fronts.”

—Michelle Glass, Certified IFS Practitioner, Alternative Counselor






Members of the Foundation’s staff and board of directors extend their profound gratitude to all caregivers and first-responders as well as to those who helped sustain society’s basic needs all around the world. There is great sadness in the face of the severe loss of lives and deep compassion toward individuals and families affected by loss, loneliness, or the economic downturn. For all those who suffered during these unprecedented times, cared for others, or showed sensitivity to the other during these difficult times: you are heroes in the eyes of this community.


Published in November 2017 | Translated into German, Spanish, Dutch, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, and Korean

“This manual provides an IFS overview. In it, we illustrated theory and technique with many case examples as well as creating exercises and meditations for therapists to use personally and with clients.

“I’m eternally grateful to Dick Schwartz for his steadfast, unwavering drive to bring IFS, a life-changing therapeutic modality to our community and to the world. I’m honored that our book has been a welcome addition to this community.”

—Frank Anderson, MD; IFS Certified Therapist, IFS Lead Trainer & Program Consultant for IFS Institute


“... we have the capacity to intervene internally to help create a space for inner safety, peace, and harmony… and to emerge resilient and whole on the other side.”


Whether you are serving on the front lines or struggling to breathe, committing special acts of kindness or helping to keep people safe or supported, trying hard to cultivate calm and hope while sheltering at home or without a home, or adjusting to a new reality of schooling and work, the Foundation’s “innervention” program was designed with you in mind.

During May and June 2020, in the early months of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Foundation hosted a series of free workshops for members of the IFS community, their families, and anyone who cared to join. The program was dubbed “innervention” to remind us all that in the midst of crises and external pressure, we have the capacity to intervene internally to help create a space for inner safety, peace, and harmony… and to emerge resilient and whole on the other side.

This program was designed in partnership with IFS practitioners who created the content of the presentations, molded the character of the online experience, and ran the workshops. Over 1,000 individuals participated across the various sessions. The Foundation is indebted to practitioners who took part in this effort, addressing parents, educators, business owners, entrepreneurs, first-responders, and caregivers:

Joanna Curry-Sartori, LMFT; leading the five-session series Connecting to Self While Nurturing Others (with educators in mind)

Brian Jaudon, Master Coach; leading the three-session series Navigating Uncharted Waters (with business owners in mind)

Ray Mount, PhD; producing a series of messages around healing with nature (with first-responders in mind)

Seth Kopald, PhD; leading the three-session series Finding More Ease with Home Learning (with parents in mind)

Anna Tansi, BS Org Psych; Jacqueline Germain, MS, ND; and Theresa Velednzas, MS; leading the two-session series and a large “care package” (with caregivers in mind).

All sessions were video-recorded. Recordings and auxiliary materials are made available through the Foundation’s website and may also be accessed through the Foundation’s YouTube® channel.

In the pages that follow, “innervention” program leaders share in their own words observations from their own experiences navigating this season of COVID, along with a few tips that could be of value to OUTLOOK readers…

1. Teaching by Being in Self

In challenging times, a common question often is, “What can I do? How can I help?” There is a beautiful rising up of the human spirit, a longing to fulfill our unique role, seek solutions, and be of service. I certainly have felt this longing during the pandemic, as have many of my clients. With the knowledge and tools of IFS as a resource, we are equipped to tap into our inner resource (our core Self), perceive the needs and opportunities of any given moment, and show up in our full capacity to advance the well-being of others and the world.

As a therapist and consultant to school districts, each day I encounter the very real and hard challenges our children, families, and educators have faced and are facing, before and during this pandemic. When I pause to connect to Self-leadership, I am able to recognize my role and my gifts to give.

As I then work with my clients, I’ve witnessed them shift into more Self-leadership and identify what they want to do and how they can be of service. So, you can imagine that when I was approached by the Foundation for Self Leadership and invited to partner as a part of “innervention,” I was honored and grateful. During my partnership with schools throughout the months of the global pandemic, we endeavored to navigate whole-school social and emotional wellness. Each Sunday in May, I hosted an online webinar for educators and was joined by many amazing IFS colleagues from around the world. We delved into the simple and specific ways we can bring the gift of Self-leadership into our school communities. What I observed is that a few fundamental keys from IFS appear to resonate deeply and have the power to transform our experience as educators interacting with our students. Here are a few key takeaways discussed in this series that are inspired by IFS and have the power to transform our experience as educators and with our students:

REMEMBER YOUR ESSENTIAL SELF: In the intensity and constancy of our experience, we may forget that in addition to the physiology of “fight, flight, or freeze,” we have the innate capacity to operate from our whole brain. We can be calm, regulated, and wise. As we lead from Self, we easily discover extraordinary ways to care, connect, and collaborate to bring forth the best in each other.

STEP BACK AND ACKNOWLEDGE: It is powerful to pause, to step back, and to name and appreciate our own experience. In this, we can recognize the myriad parts of us rising up. Just this witnessing and unblending from the complexity of our reality can profoundly shift our experience from overwhelm and frustration to one of confidence and compassion. Even in brief moments, we can befriend ourselves on the inside, be kind to ourselves on the inside, and value our innate, inner self-worth.

LISTEN DEEPLY: From this space of Self, we can be with each other. Where there is much that appears out of our control, unexpected, and un-fixable, we do have the power to listen, witness, acknowledge, and understand each other’s experience. In this Self-led listening, there is acceptance, integration, and peace; we make meaning of this time and know that we are okay and not alone. From this springs the possibility for resilience, hope, and the power to envision and move forward. Moment by moment, one interaction at a time, if we offer deep listening, we heal, we grow... and then we are ready to learn anew!

Through my experience this spring offering the “innervention” webinars, I have witnessed that when we practice connecting to and acting from Self together, greater shifts, healing, discoveries, and unimagined possibilities emerge. As we make it a daily practice to live from Self together, we can not only survive this pandemic, but emerge more compassionate, connected, wise, and resilient, prepared to care for humanity and our world.

Joanna Curry-Sartori, LMFT, is the founding executive director of the Self-Leadership Collaborative, an organization championing the development and integration of a new social and emotional learning model for schools inspired by Internal Family Systems. Joanna has been a leader, teacher, and program director in the field of wellness, mindfulness, and yoga for over 20 years and since 2013 has implemented her training as a Marriage and Family Therapist to support well-being at all levels in school systems.



First edition published in June 2008 Two editions (second edition in 2016)

“My intent in writing this book is to help couples move from the dreary routines of Managers and the counterproductive anger of Firefighters to the fresh, connected, lively, realness of Self energy. IFS opens up space for partners to be who they are, together, connected, and living the love they dreamed of… Happy 35th IFS! I wish you many more anniversaries as you continue to bring love and light to this planet.”

—Mona R. Barbera, PhD, Certified IFS Therapist & Assistant Trainer


2. Small Businesses Showing Adaptability & Resilience

Early on, I began calling the COVID pandemic “The Great Disruption.” Everything was disrupted—our ways of doing business, our daily routines, how we relate to each other and much, much more.

The impact on those of us who own our own businesses has been profound. Many of us wondered early on whether we’d even have a business on the other side of the pandemic.

For some, especially those with core services that depended on in-person contact such as the restaurant industry, they had to completely shutter their businesses—at least for a time. Others have had to completely reinvent themselves and develop offerings to meet the moment and the shifting needs of their clients and customers.

With this as context, the Foundation for Self Leadership offered a series of three webinars for small business owners and entrepreneurs to share their stories and ways they have navigated the challenges presented by the pandemic. Featured were businesses in a number of different industries around the United States, including a restaurant owner in Michigan, a hair-salon owner in North Carolina, and a small healthcare organization in California.

What we found in listening to these entrepreneurs was that the disruption of the pandemic has been an opportunity for many to rethink not only what products and services they offered but their mission and vision in the world as well. In essence, these business owners were asking anew—how can I be of most service in the world?

Tommy York, owner of York Ann Arbor—a wine, bar, and specialty food shop in Michigan—had long been a fixture in the region’s food and beverage industry. What Tommy was reminded of during shuttered days of the pandemic was that his customers were also his community. He gave out his cell phone number and had customers calling him for instructions on how to cook items they purchased in take-out fashion from his store. Connection, one of the eight Cs of Self leadership, became a staple of his business.

Audra Lowray-Upchurch, owner of Meaningful Manuscripts in Virginia, decided to contact her clients directly and ask them what they needed regarding their writing and getting their books published. What she learned led her to adapt her business model including taking online a long-planned, in-person summit for writers which proved to be hugely successful.

Hearing about the resilience and courage of these business owners to adapt their offerings was very inspirational. While I’m sure they, and all of us, have had parts that have worried about our livelihoods and the sustainability of our businesses, many have demonstrated the ability to pause and discern how they and their services needed to evolve. For some, this has allowed them not just to survive in the pandemic but to thrive.

Based on the wisdom shared in the webinar series, I have the following recommendations for business owners:

  • Do an inventory of all the things you assumed to be true about your business (your services, your customers, the market, etc.) before the pandemic and clarify what’s true now.

  • Conduct a survey (online and/or interviews) with a healthy sampling of your clients/ customers and ask them what they are needing now.

  • Revisit your business vision, mission, and high-level strategy (with a business coach if needed) and evaluate to see what course corrections may be needed.

  • Talk to other business owners in your industry to see what they have learned and how they have adapted to survive and even thrive during the pandemic.

  • Pay attention to your own self-care and development—discover what burdens you may be carrying that may be hindering your business success and what is surfacing to be healed or renegotiated.

  • Reflect on what gifts the pandemic has brought to you personally and professionally—perhaps in the form of learning new ways of being, relating, and doing business.

Brian Jaudon is an organizational coach based in Greenville, South Carolina. A business coach and alchemist specializing in team development and creating values-driven organizations, he guides teams and companies in creating true alignment between their vision, strategy and values. Brian’s clients range from small family-owned businesses to large corporations in multiple industries throughout North America. He draws on his extensive training in the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model and is the co-author of the IFS-Inspired Coaching course delivered in partnership with IFS Institute.


3. Home Learning — Lessons Learned

The last five months have slowed some things down and revved other things up. As some of the machinery of society slowed to a halt, it seems we all experienced a bit of a break. Yet, we have no time for anything beyond surviving. Parents are home, some working—others tragically not—helping children with home learning. Holding it all together is a challenge. My school-aged child is now sixteen, and he pretty much was able to manage himself and engage in the minimal amount of schoolwork requested to end the school year. But here we go again, fall is afoot and now living with the pandemic is the new (hopefully temporary) normal.


The Foundation’s website provides videos to watch about home learning, as well as many other topics to support people during this challenging time, see the “innervention” Tools page. Whether your school is starting in-person, online, or in a hybrid model, my hunch is that home learning will continue. I call what we do now home learning, because we are not home schooling and students are not only doing homework. Here are some tips that may help home learning go more smoothly.

Tips for Home Learning

Create an environment that supports curiosity and dialogue. When you find a moment, you may pose open-ended questions to your children, or share your thoughts on various topics. When children are used to engaging in dialogue at home, or discussing current events with parents, they can write their arguments or dive into topics in class with more skill.

Remember that stress makes learning more challenging for students. Notice when you feel urgency, pressure, or annoyance, and check which parts of you are activated. Find enough space to breathe and then talk to your child from that more grounded place—your Self.

Allow children to help set up their schedules and drive their own learning as much as possible. Autonomy is shown to increase engagement in learning. When you choose what you want to do, you tend to get more involved.

Let teachers guide the learning while you play a supportive role. If your child is stuck or confused about the work, you may ask, “What did your teacher say about this?” or “Can you ask your teacher, or another student?” You may also offer ideas for how to find answers through books or online research.

Don’t correct your children’s work, otherwise teachers cannot assess what children are and are not learning.

Protect your children’s concentration. When they are engaged, do not interrupt or help. When students are engaged, learning is happening. You can check in when they stop or take a break.

Seth Kopald, PhD, is an Insight Coach who leads individual sessions, couple communication sessions, and groups, creating a safe space and guiding people to care for themselves in a loving and insightful way. Seth became an IFS practitioner in 2012 and has contributed to the IFS community by initiating the IFS Self-led Parenting and the Parts Art Facebook pages. He has developed IFS-related parenting videos and podcasts, and written articles on parenting and couples’ communication. He is also a staff member for IFS trainings. Most recently, he coaches principals participating in bringing IFS to their schools. Seth holds a PhD in Organizational Management with a Specialization in Leadership, and holds a Master’s in Education.



Published in February 2020

“When difficult people provoke us, responding to them scripturally can be tricky. This book, featuring an IFS exercise, is my attempt to demonstrate how to deal with challenging interactions without sacrificing our feelings. I’m so thankful to Dr. Schwartz for birthing an elegant Model to dialogue with all of our parts, including those who occupy our unconscious.”

—Audrey Davidheiser, PhD



Published in September 2009

“Deep appreciation to Dick Schwartz and the IFS community for 35 years of helping people harmonize their inner worlds while bringing a healing paradigm to the broader world. Hope abounds!”

—Dorie Cameron, LICSW, Certified IFS Therapist


4. Self-Care for the Caregiver

How to Continue Building Resilience

Much of what keeps us healthy and content may seem like common sense—though it doesn’t necessarily make it easy to do. We reflected on that common sense during these uncommon times. Here is what we identified that helps us maintain and restore resilience.


Book first published in April 2007 Translated into Spanish | Two Editions

“In order to be a light to ourselves and lead, we need to see our light (first). Through the YOUniverse Feeling Wheel and the Big Bright, I hope to provide some guidance for us to see our light so we can be a light to our feelings (our parts) and lead. To Dick Schwartz, I extend my heartfelt gratitude for giving us IFS, the most inspiring and practical Model of healing and leadership that I, my clients, and my family continue to live by. ”

—David Cantor, LMFT




First Volume Published in September 2019 “Our four-volume journal supports clients in staying connected with their inner system in between therapy sessions. The theme for each volume focuses on two of the eight qualities of Self. Our intention is to provide a supportive therapeutic structure in between sessions for IFS clients to practice and experience self-empowerment and healing.

We congratulate Dick Schwartz and all his colleagues who worked so tirelessly to promote the healing potential of IFS over the past 35 years, and we are honored to be a part of that tradition.”

—Elaine Casquarelli, PhD, LPCC; and Karin Lubin, EdD


Keeping up with routines. The ones that are truly calming to us. Eating well. Getting outside to exercise daily, and adhering to a normal sleep schedule. Simple, but not easy, yet all help to normalize this time.

Managing the media diet. Checking in online with a few trusted sources for information, while keeping the television off, except for enriching programs. Avoidance does not make fear go away, so choose news carefully and in small doses.

Talking about other things. Whether with family, clients, friends, or co-workers, inject a heartfelt story, a recipe, or a book recommendation to lift the mood.

Creating quiet time during the day. Allowing these “be here now” moments to interrupt the stress can provide the calming awareness to just “be.” Getting lost in something that captivates you, like gardening or doing a puzzle or a simple craft. Several gifts of mindfulness throughout the day contribute to a sense of safety and peace.

Expressing gratitude. Engaging in activities which connect you to your body and inspire your heart. Smiles and appreciation are contagious and de-stressing. All of these habits and practices can help create contentment and “enoughness” amidst this new era.

Caring for Yourself with Kindness is…

Compassionate to your needs
Creative and flexible
Clear about your intentions
Curious to try new things
Connected with others and Self
Confident that you are enough
Courageous to leave unhealthy patterns
Calm knowing you can regulate
your system inside and out


Two editions | First edition published in September 2009 | Two additional Volumes | Translated into Korean, German, Spanish, Polish, and Taiwan Chinese “The IFS Model has changed my life in so many ways. It has completely transformed my therapy work so that I do IFS with everyone.”

—Jay Earley, PhD, Certified IFS Therapist


Anna Tansi, MS Org Psych, began her career as a registered dietitian, focused on the whole health of human beings. After she got her MS in Org Psychology, she re-tooled her focus to supporting the health of human systems as people collaborate to get work done. She provides facilitation, coaching, and consulting expertise to organizations of all kinds, as they explore how to care for and optimize the work environment while also attending to/caring for their own inner systems.

Jaqueline Germain, MS, ND, is a co-founder of The Connecticut Center for Health and has practiced natural family medicine since 1983. Prior to medical school, she studied botany, religious studies, and environmental science. She recently completed Internal Family Systems levels 1 and 2 at Central Connecticut State University and completed a certificate program in narrative medicine at Columbia University. She is passionate about overall well-being integrating these modalities with individuals and groups as well as organizations.

Theresa Velendzas, MS, is the founder of Altraform where she helps clients with wellness self-advocacy, a core life principle that she learned from the beloved elderly she worked with in various long-term care settings. In addition to her studies in psychology and health care management, Theresa holds certifications in fitness and Internal Family Systems (IFS). A mom and spouse to an ER physician on the frontlines of COVID-19, she offers tools for grounding ourselves so that we can help others.


5. Befriending our Fear in a Time of Pandemic

I have been using the IFS Model on my daily hikes during this horrific pandemic. It has kept me sane. In April, my liver shut down from a hepatitis infection, so I landed in the hospital for a week, fearful that I was dying. Of course, no visitors were allowed, though friends and family frequently called.

What got me through were hours of meditation in a hospital bed, and then being back in the woods when I was finally discharged. The meditations were about holding and loving the “panicked” and “grieving” parts that believed life was over. We were actually able to find peace with that belief. Now that I am back to 100% health, I experience so much gratitude just to be able to hike in nature—no matter the weather or what might be weighing on my mind.

Like the virus itself, I believe we can be infected by strong feelings, like fear of being deathly sick. IFS calls this “blending,” where the feeling and thoughts supporting it consume our conscious awareness. The first step in resolving our situation is to retrieve enough of our Self energy so its qualities can again be available to us (the 8Cs that most have come to recognize: calm, curiosity, confidence, courage, creativity, compassion, clarity, and connectedness).

As I think back, here is what helped me navigate the Coronavirus panic. I hope these steps—that you may want to consider—can help you, too:

  • Allow the feeling to be recognized as fear and worry rather than as an annoyance to be pushed aside.

  • Focus on the disturbance (feelings and thoughts around it) as an entity separate from yourself. This is the critical first step in our IFS Model called unblending.

  • Check that other parts which may be trying to help you are relaxed and trusting you to focus on “the disturbance.”

  • Get to know this part of yourself. For me, I often spend days getting to know this part by taking hikes together or during meditation sessions.

  • Befriending this part helps us begin our journey of healing together by ending the confusion, fear, and denial that was overtaking us whenever this part was activated.

Ray Mount, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and a certified IFS therapist. He is practicing as a “guide” in a new wilderness-based IFS-informed therapy program. The objective of this approach is to work with our “parts” while experiencing the combined healing power of nature and Self energy. Dr. Mount believes that this program is ideally suited for those who already connect with outdoor activities and nature while feeling confined or restricted in an office setting.

The “innervention” Program was led by Executive Director Toufic Hakim, PhD. All videos in the toolbox were produced by Jason Malli, MFA, MALS, who also contributed to the Program by adding calming original music videos to the toolkit.



First published in 2013 | Translated into Taiwanese and German

“The explosion of the IFS Model in the world speaks volumes for the efficacy of the work and the impact that it has made on countless lives and their capacity to heal and transform. I am ever grateful for the opportunity to teach and utilize this Model to deepen this impact.”

—Bonnie Weiss, MA, LCSW


Greater Racial Equity and Justice: Toward an Evolved Humanity

Consistent with the attributes of Self leadership—which the Foundation pledges to exemplify through its organizational values, character, and actions—the Foundation joined thousands of individuals and organizations taking a stand for justice and equity for all in the United States and elsewhere.

The recent tragic events that renewed and energized the movement toward greater racial justice were a stark affirming reminder that Black lives do matter and that any human life is sacred and must be treated with dignity and fairness.

Beyond establishing adequate laws to ensure justice, we need love to emerge; it is through love and by seeing the other as equal in all human aspects that we can establish social equity and harmony.

Our societies hold unresolved individual and collective trauma, which gets deepened with new, exacerbating injuries. Fear and anger weaken our ability to dialogue and work together. By facing them and following their tracks, we may be able to transcend and possibly address past wrongs, which need to be examined head-on. We need to muster the courage to treat and heal each other’s resulting injuries, whether moral, emotional, cultural, or economic. And we must hold onto hope, tightly, and engage in whatever action is possible—no action is too small—to bring about desired change.

In view of this social reawakening, the Foundation engaged in the following activities as signs of unwavering support to its brothers and sisters in the Black community:

  • Produced and posted a public statement on racial equity and justice (reproduced below).

  • Hosted the first of what is hoped to be a series of panel discussions on “Uncovering Legacy Burdens of Racism,” as a Phase II effort in its “innervention” program.

  • Organized the launch of an IFS Leadership Fellows Program to recruit ten promising leaders from marginalized communities in which IFS has been commonly inaccessible, provided them with IFS trainings, mentored them, and involved them in formal leadership development experiences (more on this in as a Phase II effort in its “innervention” program. as a Phase II effort in its “innervention” program. future communiqués). —THM

“The arc of the moral
universe is long, but it
bends toward justice.”
__Martin Luther King


Published in November 2018

“Jane and I chose to write this book to bring the worlds of education and psychotherapy together. Our intent has been to teach people of all ages how to be in harmonious control of their internal world of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. The outcome is the nurturing of Self-leadership. We hope, as Dick Schwartz suggested, that this book will find its way to teachers and school leaders and help “transform education in the direction needed to address the massive problems our planet is facing.” We believe that IFS and Values-based Education are great partners working to transform school systems.”

—Neil Hawkes, DPhil, FRSA

We Stand with Equity & Justice for All

At the Foundation for Self Leadership, we stand in solidarity with all those across the United States and the world who are seeking equity and justice for all.

The events of this past week* underscore the reality that our Black sisters and brothers continue to experience the effects of inequality and acts of injustice at the hands of individuals, institutions, and governments.

We stand in solidarity with you, fully aware that we can no longer look the other way. We recognize that the pain of generations has spilled over. We hold you in our hearts, empathize with your struggles, and mourn the many senseless deaths and the suffering that ensues and lingers. We respect and defend your rights to stand tall, march with purpose, express your concerns with audacity and nonviolence, and speak truth to power. In so doing, you give voice not only to Black people everywhere but also to every member of a minority community who lives in fear for being who they are.

We stand ever hopeful that you will be fully visible and fully heard, and that we, as a society, will find the Self-led courage to face our individual and institutional racism and our conscious and unconscious biases with humility, honesty, and a commitment to change. We acknowledge that such change means, in the words of social scientist Dolly Chugh, moving from being believers in a just, fair, and welcoming society into being builders of that new world.

We stand recommitted as an organization to our mission of promoting inner harmony to help create a more peaceful, inclusive world in which differences in gender, ethnicity, culture, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, or any other differentiating characteristic are welcomed and affirmed. Our board members and associates are committed to identifying and addressing our own unconscious biases as we seek to serve our community, and to expanding our board membership to ensure a wide diversity of representation, thought, perspectives, and sensibilities.

We stand with those who understand that it is often through suffering that wholeness and self-actualization may be achieved. We recognize that we can tap into our deep inner wisdom and harness its qualities of courage and compassion for self and others that will lead us through our suffering into a space of inner harmony. We know that this inner harmony can then source our contribution to a more just and peaceful world. We acknowledge that anger, fear, insecurity, and outrage are also companions on our human journey. We notice them, we engage with them, and we allow our inner wisdom to lead them and to place their experiences in perspective lest they rob us and the world of the peace, harmony, and connection we so deeply desire.

We stand with our community and with all people everywhere who believe that each of us holds the right, as a breathing human, to think independently, speak freely, and be treated with dignity.

We stand with all those who proactively strive for equity, justice, and peace and who desire to bring hope and be a light in the world that reaches every corner of darkness.

We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of every color and creed; every background, identity, and experience; who place love above hate and a strong desire to learn and understand before judgment and condemnation. Foundation for Self Leadership | June 6, 2020*


Published in September 2007 | Now in its 4th edition Translated into five languages

“This book was written to offer clinicians and clients an easy, non-academic way to understand the IFS Model through examples from everyday life, illustrations, and clinical examples. It was born out of a creative collaboration with artist and psychologist, Sharon Eckstein. By using her art to illustrate the parts in my lectures, my students’ puzzled looks turned into excitement and a ready grasp of the IFS Model. The clear simplicity of the IFS Model comes to life so well when combined with art.

I thank my wife Lauri for dragging me to Dick’s IFS workshop in the 80’s and for her editorial skills, clinical insights, and efforts to keep my professor part’s academic language in check…

I am grateful for Dick’s creativity in bringing this Model into the world and to all those who have been involved in developing, teaching, and using the Model to bring healing to those in need.”

—Tom Holmes, PhD

Uncovering Legacy Burdens of Racism | Panel Discussion

The Foundation organized and presented an online 90-minute panel discussion on July 19, 2020 titled Uncovering Legacy Burdens of Racism. This interactive event, which was very well attended, sought to meet the following objectives:

  • Explore ways to be and behave during times of racial tension.

  • Acknowledge the collective trauma & grief.

  • Showcase how IFS can be helpful in times like these.

The panel consisted of active members of the IFS community:

Requina Barnes, LICSW (moderator), specializes in relationships, attachment, and trauma. Through her Boston, MA, private practice, she works primarily with men, women, and couples of color. Requina is a member of the Foundation for Self Leadership Board of Directors.

Chris Burris, LPC, LMFT, is a Senior Lead Trainer who serves on the Diversity Committee for IFS Institute. In addition to having an active clinical practice, Chris’s focus has been on social engagement, eldering, and diversity issues—supporting a dedication to making the IFS Model available and accessible to diverse populations as well as supporting more holistic care of the greater global community.

Fatimah Finney, LMHC, is an IFS therapist and a yoga instructor. She provides therapy, workshops, and yoga experiences centered on holistic wellness. Her private practice is in Boston, MA, and she is passionate about helping underserved communities access mental health services.

Nancy Sowell, MSW, LICSW, is an IFS Senior Lead Trainer who frequently teaches in Europe and the United States. She is a teaching associate at Harvard Medical School, where she has been a clinical supervisor for over 20 years.

Deran Young, LCSW, is the Founder of Black Therapists Rock™, an organization that includes over 20,000 professionals committed to reducing intergenerational trauma in marginalized communities. Earlier this year, she was personally recruited by Brené Brown to consult on the inclusiveness of Brown’s current Belonging Statement and to inspire other corporate leaders to operationalize diversity in their organizational practices and policies.

Executive Director Toufic Hakim, PhD, and Jason Malli, MFA, MALS produced the event. The Foundation expresses deep gratitude to these panelists for their willingness to engage in this program and share their views and experiences. A video of the event is available on the Foundation’s website and its YouTube® channel.

A summary of the panelists’ conversation follows.


Uncovering Legacy Burdens of Racism | What Panelists Shared by Desmond Butler, MA

The Internal Family Systems Model can be used as a way of understanding societal racism and the underlying causes of the behaviors that propagate it. Whereas many discussions of racism are focused on economics or education or culture, this panel sought to identify: (1) what parts of ourselves can contribute to thoughts or actions that can affect how we perceive other people around us; (2) the role of cultural and family legacy in deriving these thoughts and actions; and (3) how we can tap into our inner wisdom and goodness to reframe them. If we can identify the obstacles to racial equality and understanding that exist within all of us, we can better understand those around us and contribute to the struggle for equality.

The moderator posed the question, “What parts have been most activated in your system today, given the current events in the societal calls for greater racial equity and justice?”

One of the panelists brought up that the current fight for civil rights activated her “self-righteous” part, before explaining how her kneejerk reaction is to be annoyed with those who aren’t concerned for, or fighting for, civil rights the way she and others are. She explained, “I wanna force people to see things my way, I want them to disregard all their parts and just jump into the wagon that I’m in. Just believe as I believe, see things as I see them, and the world will be right.” If we identify this part of ourselves that gets annoyed with those who don’t think or see as we think or see, it’s similar to white supremacy culture in the sense that we perceive our own value to be greater than that of those around us while seeking to dictate their beliefs. It is incumbent on us all to honor everyone’s own individual journey and experiences.


Another panelist referred to a part of herself that is afraid of the conversation. This part is fearful of joining the conversation and making a mistake or offending others. It is important for all of us to “show up” and have the conversation, keep an open mind, and not be afraid of being wrong or learning something new. Racism and inequality cannot be addressed if people are sitting out conversations due to fear of their own ignorance or imperfections. In order to be allies to those fighting for civil rights and equality, we must be able to learn from others, hear painful truths, and broaden our own understanding of how inequality touches all our lives. This fearful part can also manifest as numbness; out of fear or feeling sadness or pain or fear, we turn away from it. We must seek to understand it—otherwise, it cannot be engaged with or remedied and can act as an obstacle to growth and understanding.

Knowing the parts of ourselves who can undermine the pursuit of equality allows us to engage with them creatively and allows us to sustain our engagement with the fight for equality and the dismantling of systemic racism. It is important to know the difference between working on our own personal racism (the individual manifestations and influence of broader systemic discrimination) and the fight against systemic racism. One panelist expressed concern that confronting our own personal racism could also bog down the fight to reform our societal systems. We must be able to do both without letting our own insecurities prevent us from confronting these conditions, as it’s important to not let fear prevent us from doing our best to grow, evolve, and contribute in a productive and understanding fashion.

Racism and inequality cannot be addressed if people are sitting out conversations due to fear of their own ignorance or imperfections.

An important point is that guilt and shame are not useful tools for change; instead, they help us get defensive. If we’re feeling guilty about our own parts or past actions, we need to be able to look at those parts and understand why we acted or thought the way we did. Self-compassion is essential in order to have the broader compassion and empathy that one can extend to others. The IFS Model encourages us to understand our own parts and seek to understand the parts in others, since without that understanding, it’s too easy for us to get defensive or indifferent and close ourselves off to our own potential evolution and growth. Once we gain awareness and endeavor to overcome the trap of guilt and shame, we become more curious… which allows for a more fluid conversation.

Ultimately racism and inequality, while systemic in nature, are fundamentally rooted in all of us. Our own biases, fears, insecurities, guilt, and desires can all be fuel to this inequality and racism. IFS provides a useful framework tool to look inward and address these feelings in a way that allows us to be more receptive to those around us and better equipped to join the march of progress that society as a whole seems to be on. If we turn away from these painful truths and uncomfortable conversations, we prevent ourselves from learning or understanding others, and only by being able to better understand those around us can we address the parts of us that hold keys to healing.

Panelists collectively urged everyone to reach out and get involved, whether through internal or external work. And they suggested a series of calls to action for us to consider.

  • Listen carefully to what is coming up inside each of us. Why are we activated? What is causing our discomfort or pain?

  • Find and connect with people who can help us and in turn whom we can help so we do not get isolated and overwhelmed by the task at hand.

  • Stay “courageously engaged” to the extent we can in the social movements of our time and not let our own fear or uncertainty prevent us from taking steps to action.

  • Make sure to practice our own self-awareness about our parts and potential invisible spots, be compassionate with ourselves and others, and reach out when there is something we do not understand or something that may be impeding our growth.

  • Wake up to our own identities and explore how these identifies show up in our system—how each shapes the way we view others and how others view us. There are plenty of resources on the Internet, in books, and within the IFS community that can help with this.

There is tangible value in learning through IFS about our parts and racism, and then actually going and doing the work. It is easy to get caught up in the “how” and “why,” which can lead to inaction, instead of trusting our own abilities and moving forward. While inquiry is an essential first step, at some point all of us must do our part and act, whether through self-improvement, contributing to the larger conversation, or any other type of positive contribution to the IFS community and the larger struggle for racial equality.


Published in December 2017

An uplifting invitation to discover The Finest, Truest Place Within You | An award-winning journey into expansive, engaging inner dialogues filled with wonder and infused with Self energy and a sense of possibility.

"I am deeply grateful to the IFS Model and its developer, Dick Schwartz, for illuminating the path to Self and inspiring me to write this book—not so much to describe Self energy, but rather to speak more directly from Self energy, and in so doing, encourage others to do the same, bringing all of us closer to a deep, resonant YES!"

—Anna Huckabee Tull, MA, Master Life Coach and Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter




Published in Fall 2018

“How deeply ingrained are shame and trauma in the fabric of modern culture? 7 Keys is designed to help clinicians help their clients, presenting many practices along with the why’s and how’s of our work. IFS has been embedded within the 7 Keys and two separate chapters have been dedicated to IFS considering it has framed, as I see it, my most potent work ever. Thank you so much, Dick, for creating this amazing practice-changing work and congratulations for how this Model has grown over these past 35 years.”

-Joy Freeman, PhD (candidate)



First edition Published in Fall 2013 | Three editions |

An accessible way to give an image and voice to the sub-personalities within us called Parts | 75 durable, full-color cards that illustrate the inner active life of our Parts | Blank cards for creating personalized images available

“The Inner Active Cards were designed to serve as a visual access to the Internal System of our “Parts,” as presented in Tom Holmes’s book, Parts Work: An Illustrated Guide to your Inner Life. lFS has proven to be powerfully transformative, recognizing the ego’s multiplicity and the core Wisdom of Self. My hope is that the cards give form to the many voices in our heads… Our lauds and deepest gratitude to Dick Schwartz for his contribution to the healing of our world.”

—Sharon Sargent Eckstein, MFA, MA (Counseling Psychology), LLP, and LPC (Holistic Health)


IMAGINE with Us…

A day in the not-so-distant future…

when the pursuit of truth is deemed a sacred pledge and truth is honored without fail
when endeavoring to make peace becomes an imperative of life with unwavering commitment
when goodness is seen not as a choice that one makes, rather a compass set to guide one’s choices
when what one’s eyes see, as a flimsy piece of data, gets balanced by what doesn’t meet the eye.
Imagine an hour on a planet nearby…
when empathy for the other flows unhindered, abundantly, and with no hesitation or doubt
when power is no longer being right or strong, but instead having the strength to do what’s right
when advancing the collective’s well-being is at least on the same ledger as advancing one’s own
when forgiveness follows the realization that the offender harbors pain, deeply unresolved
when healing is to lean into one’s own pain and, beyond letting go of it, to befriend and console it.
Imagine a fleeting moment…
when the core humanity within the other is valued as much as one’s own, bright as a morning sun.
Imagine with us, especially today, as the world around us seems to be closing in on us…
with political polarizations stretched to the extreme
with a public-health crisis, rarely as severe and still spreading
with societal struggles, calling for human equity and fairness long overdue
and with natural disasters, ever merciless, reminding us Mother Nature does not need us*…
Imagine that each of us will find…
ample strength, infinite hopefulness, and total serenity inside of us
no matter how harder and harder they may be to find today.
But imagine no more…
Isn’t this who we are in essence, what we hold within us—an indestructible Self?
And if we can harness it, when we harness it,
the skies will provide relief as they lift and recede again… and WE will create the world we desire
committing ourselves to pursuing truth and making peace, regardless
cultivating goodness, regardless, and seeing the world through our mind’s eye
whole, colorful with joy and sadness, ephemeral…


Just like the DREAM WITH US snippets in past OUTLOOK editions, we share these visions driven by vivid day-dreams and imaginings, to remind us we must hold tight onto ideals of a better future and the hope they represent, promising never to be tempted by cynicism or callousness, to keep trying and never surrender—and if we are to surrender, then only to accepting whatever outcomes emerge without giving up our responsibility to act and our desire to leave the world a better place than it was when it welcomed us in…

The Foundation is doing all in our capacity, with our little engine that can, however much it can, to invite others to open a window into their own Self and embrace all that they’ve experienced today, generated through life… and believe they have what it takes to overcome it all.

Through the self-empowering and healing notions, language, and practice of parts and Self (which IFS therapists and practitioners have experienced, individuals exposed to the IFS paradigm have affirmed thousands of times over, and empirical evidence is now starting to indicate), our view of ourselves and the world gets transformed and with it our relationships with others, at home, at work, and everywhere in between.

In support of numerous initiatives of an entrepreneurial IFS community, and in close collaboration with IFS Institute, the Foundation will continue to incubate new applications of IFS in more and more settings… And as individuals “meet themselves and Self” in various settings (see the Universe of IFS below), what was imagined above may one day, for one hour or one moment, become possible… and all of us will be better for it.

Imagine the possibilities.

We invite you to take on a sliver of this universe and engage, where you feel called to do so, in the cause of IFS advocacy and advancement… across all settings. And, if you’re able and willing, support the Foundation in our effort to keep moving. —TMH


(*) See the article Nature is Speaking - Conservation International


Community Connections

An IFS Institute Update

Editors’ Note: The Foundation, through OUTLOOK, seeks to keep the IFS community aware of recent IFS Institute (IFSI) developments. As separate, yet related organizations, it’s important to highlight and applaud the Institute’s progress. See what’s new at the Institute. __MLG

  • Shawn Casselberry, new Director of Staffing Assistant, as well as Kimberly Plaxton, new Training Program Admissions and Records Manager, were recently hired. We extend a warm welcome to them both.

  • Ashley Curley has temporarily taken over the position of International Training Director. She will most likely return to her role as Annual Conference Coordinator when it is safe to hold large in-person gatherings again.

  • Jon Schwartz, MEd, is stepping down as CEO. We wish Jon well and thank him for his many years of service to IFS Institute and support of the Foundation. The search for his replacement continues and the position will be filled in the last quarter of 2020. He will stay on for 90 days through the transition.

  • All training programs transitioned into the online realm in 2020, as a result of the pandemic. Training programs are filling faster than ever before. The most recent training programs filled within 10 minutes. IFSI is dramatically increasing the number of trainings available each year.

  • In the interest of increasing the number of IFS trainers to meet the demand, while improving the trainer training experience, IFSI began its first Leadership Training Program (LTP) in September, 2020. The 2020 LTP is completely online and is a one-year training program led by Senior Solo-Lead Trainers Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW, and Toni Herbine-Blank, MS, RN, C-SP, with 15 Assistant Trainers. Successful completion of the program will result in promotion to the Co-Lead Trainer.

  • Also in the interest of increasing the number of IFS trainers, and in the interest of increasing a younger and more diverse leadership in the IFS community, IFSI will begin its first Accelerated Training Program (ATP) in January, 2021. The ATP is an online, nine-month program led by Senior Solo Lead Trainers Toni Herbine-Blank, MS, RN, C-SP, and Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW, with as many as 16 participants. Successful completion of the program will result in promotion to Assistant Trainer positions.


Published in September 2013

“There’s a Part of Me... was written to add to the IFS canon by providing a quick and easy read about IFS for the lay audience. Co-author Bill Brennan and I wanted to convey the experience of our parts and internal system by inviting stories from the public and reflecting on those stories, which illustrate how our parts interact within us and impact our lives. I’m always gratified to hear from IFS therapists who outfit their offices with copies of the book for their clients, and others who found it enriching and helpful.”

—Jon Schwartz, MEd, 2008-2020 CEO of IFS Institute (formerly The Center for Self Leadership)



Published in December 2018

“I am indescribably grateful to Dick for this work; I’m a very different person than I used to be.”

—Lia DeLand, MS, LCMHC, NCC


Editor’s Note: In the Rain is a song about Self meeting a young lost and burdened part and being able to help her. In it, there is a sense of connection to nature, hope of connection to other people and to something greater. “It gave me hope that there could be something good in me, and a sense of timeless existence in the Universe,” shares author Kari Viken, MD, a recent Level 1 graduate. —MLG


In the Rain

Out in the heavy rain
I’m watching you girl
watching you
the world is dripping wet
all the way through
so are you

don’t seem to mind
the rain on you is kind

like blessings from above
fall on your face
leaving a trace of hope

like tears that rinse the soul
wash out the sand
leaving the gold


you think there is something basically wrong
a darkness inside of you all along

you need a caring hand
crossing the street
I rush to meet you
and take you to the park
swing on the swings
push you so high, so high

a crack in the sky
a sunbeam escape through layers of grey
join in the laugh
join in the play
in the rain
in the rain
oh, girl

there’s light in this world
for you
there are people too
and there’s you
there’s light
in you

Kari Viken


What is the difference between the Foundation and IFS Institute?

The Foundation for Self Leadership and IFS Institute are engaged in significant efforts, with great common determination and towards a shared vision: to facilitate Self-discovery and promote Self leadership across the world. Yet, they have separate and independent legal, fiscal, and governance systems.


“We get together on the basis of our similarities; we grow on the basis of our differences.”

-Virginia Satir

The Foundation for Self Leadership, creator of OUTLOOK, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to supporting robust research to establish IFS as evidence-based, broadening access to IFS in communities otherwise underserved by IFS, such as schools and veteran groups, and expanding the outreach and advocacy of IFS across the globe. The Foundation was established in 2013.


The IFS Institute is dedicated to ensuring consistency in the education of IFS Model. The Institute, while originally called The Center for Self Leadership (CSL), was established in 2000 and is home to all formal IFS in-person trainings and online programs, hosts the annual conference, and manages a growing store of IFS books and resources.


Published January 2020

“Writing this book, with multiple audiences ranging from teens to adults in mind, was a way of honoring my Parts as well as celebrating the immense gift that IFS has become. My hope is that it illuminates in an accessible way the celestial power of Self and invites each and every one of us to bring healing to our world by healing our own Parts… I want to celebrate you, Dick, and the incredible IFS community for 35 years and many more...”

—Shelly Johnson, MA LMHC


Trainers’ Corner

Editor’s Note: For a man with big ideas, Chris Burris LPC, LMFT, eschews the notion of being idealistic and instead oozes a calm pragmatism and no-nonsense approach which is nicely in rhythm with the counseling service he provides in the heart of North Carolina. With a family legacy steeped in the farming, building, and bricklaying work of his forebears, Chris is also known for his work with men’s groups and conscious eldering. He has been a Lead Trainer with IFSI since 2008. Chris has a keen interest in racial equity and has been active with Black Therapists Rock™. In June this year, he participated in Uncovering Legacy Burdens of Racism (see pg 32). In this conversation, Chris shares with us his story of being introduced to IFS and his thoughts about its direction in the future.

Chris first met Dick Schwartz at a family therapy networker conference in 1999 where Dick was conducting a book signing. He had only a working understanding of Internal Family Systems theory but was experiencing the feeling of being ‘therapeutically stuck’ with a complex client and so consulted Dick about the case. This was a turning point for Chris, who noted that, “Dick was so generous and helpful.” Soon after, Chris commenced IFS training and became aware that when observing Dick do his demonstrations, “the client’s authentic Self just seemed to emerge like magic and they were able to come into their fullness.” For Chris, who had previously observed psychotherapy’s tendency to focus on neurosis and dysfunction, the approach of IFS with its emphasis on Self energy and honoring the whole and complete individual was a breath of fresh air. “From that moment, I was hooked,” he said.

“I found that the precise language and concepts of IFS made it easier for folks to negotiate their inner landscape—the language is so much more adaptable and user-friendly,”

Chris has a background as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a Licensed Professional Counselor, and has more recently obtained the status of Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor. Feeling that he works best with clients where the process is collaborative, he allows for exploration of the presenting issues from a non-pathological perspective while taking into consideration a multidimensional approach. Before being formally introduced to IFS, some of his influences were Salvador Minuchin, Jay Haley, Milton Erickson, and Marianne Walters—all significant contributors to the development of family therapy in its formative years. “I found that the precise language and concepts of IFS made it easier for folks to negotiate their inner landscape—the language is so much more adaptable and user-friendly,” he comments, observing that psychotherapeutic theory relating to the inner psyche is mysterious and complicated.

Having completed Level 1 in 1999, Chris was then a Program Assistant (PA) for Dick Schwartz, PhD, and Susan McConnell, MA, CHT, for a Level 1 training, working his way through the various levels of training as a PA before becoming an Assistant Trainer and then a Lead Trainer in 2008. He notes with some wryness that he is currently the youngest Senior Lead Trainer in the team; a point which contains some inherent irony considering his interest in conscious eldering specifically, and his interest in men’s groups, rites of passage, and psycho-spiritual transitions in general.

In terms of the links between men’s groups, rites of passage work, and IFS, Chris notes that even though we might go through a transition process using intention and ritual in the outer world, some of our internal parts don’t get the message and therefore stay stuck in that earlier developmental stage. So, Chris uses IFS to build the bridge between our parts’ former state of egocentrism and helps them move toward what he calls a state of ‘ecocentrism.’ In that process, younger parts who have been left out of the loop are acknowledged and assisted to transition into the state of elderhood, too. Chris observes that, “parts get trapped or locked in time through trauma and so they remain in the past. While ceremony is largely about creating intention, all parts need to be updated into the present moment and that’s where IFS comes in.”


Having fun is one of the things Chris enjoys most about being a lead trainer. “If I’m having fun, then I know it’s a good training,” he reflects. Chris also notes that for those therapists who have been working for a long time, providing training allows them the opportunity to know themselves in a new and better way, which of course impacts positively on their clients. Being a lead trainer provides Chris with the opportunity to reach a wider group of people and he gains a great deal of enjoyment from mentoring other trainers and being part of the staff team responsible for the provision of IFS training around the globe.

When asked about where he sees IFS heading in 10 to 20 years’ time, Chris observes that IFS is likely to be ‘infused everywhere,’ noting its potential for creating collaborative conversations—a dynamic he says is much needed in the polarized state of the United States these days. He gives the example of meeting a group of trial lawyers involved in activism to help them better access Self energy and be more authentic in their relationships. “Using IFS in this way can help influence human society and change the world,” he says. It doesn’t get more pragmatic or no-nonsense than that! Chris can be contacted on mountainself@gmail.com. __SD


Published in September 2020

“In this book, I explore the question, ‘Why do we talk so much about love, but often fail to be loving?’ Dick’s steadfast confidence and the exceptional training I received through the Institute helped me access the courage to write this for Christians and therapists with clients burdened through encounters with the Christian community. I join the many people impacted by 35 years of access to IFS in bringing attention to the importance of loving all parts of us, removing constraints to unconditional love, and facilitating healing and transformation.”

—Molly LaCroix, LMFT, Certified IFS Therapist


Editor’s Note: Each one of us contains many stories of our lives. Sometimes they record the mundane, and sometimes they represent the raw experiences we’ve been through. For those who have experienced the incredible healing potential of IFS, these stories illustrate this transformative process. To transcend trauma and difficult circumstances, and through that come closer to our essential nature, is one of the greatest gifts of life.

OUTLOOK has featured Stories of Transformation in several editions. We do so with the knowledge that by sharing our experiences, we touch the lives of others, and in turn encourage them to embark upon their own inner work. We also believe such stories, much like the concrete research which is currently being conducted, lend confidence in the Model and provide an example of how circumstances can change dramatically. We hope that Dan’s story, below, inspires you. __MLG


Stories of Transformation


Published April 2019

“I offer this book to all readers as a thoughtprovoking mosaic of topics supporting the eight C’s of Self, with a gentle introduction to IFS… For his 35 years of exceptional insight, hard work and dedication, I send my heartfelt gratitude to Dick for supplying the world with a framework that elucidates Self and facets of who we are as central to the exploration of our true nature and incalculable potential. HAPPY 35!”

—Laura Bafford Leslie, LCSW, PhD (Candidate)


When the Psychotherapist Gets Cancer: Managing Life and Practice

After extreme GI discomfort, I had a much-delayed colonoscopy. I was so fit, healthy, and physically invincible. How was it possible, my dismissive, avoidant part claimed, that results could be anything but clean? When the doctor told us that there was a strong possibility of a malignant tumor, the earth moved off its axis, and we were catapulted into an alien world.

There was a part of me that felt invulnerable and wanted to deny a genetic legacy. My inner critic was quite angry at this complacent and reckless part. In shock and feeling overwhelmed, I remember so clearly my wife Felice holding me and declaring, “You will not be alone on this journey and we will get through it together.” The young and vulnerable inner child within who had been abandoned by a sick, inconsistent, and neglectful mom, relaxed and folded into his wife’s arms.

Soon after, the doctors confirmed that I had Stage III colorectal cancer. I was now forced to cope with a massive crisis in my life and a three-part treatment protocol (chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery). As my grieving parts settled down, effective internal manager parts asserted themselves and Felice and I gathered our internal and external resources to cope with this threat.

The next month was an ordeal that tested my tolerance for pain and physical and psychological discomfort. I was dealing with the psychological stress of the unknown and uncontrollable. I feared the worst and worked to unblend from the cascade of catastrophic thinking. Social support, courage, and self-compassion were required to meet these challenges and I reached deep inside for these resources.

Today, I continue to pursue aggressive treatment at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston. IFS and the perspective it provides has helped me cope with my new reality. My own IFS psychotherapy helped me traverse the difficulties I encountered in having to step away from my practice on medical leave and then resume it. It helped me gain clarity on how having cancer impacted my psychotherapeutic work.

My therapist manager parts were highly reactive, anxious, and worried about leaving my practice and abandoning my patients without any warning. I couldn’t figure out how to communicate to my patients that I would return but needed this time to take care of myself. I was the epitome of the reliable and consistent therapist, and I was able to unblend or separate from protectors who had blocked clarity and confidence that would benefit my patients. I crafted a letter letting my patients know that I needed time to deal with an emergent and serious medical matter and would get back to them when I was ready to resume. This allowed parts to relax so that I could fully turn to making my recovery a full-time job.

After six weeks of medical leave, I felt physically and psychologically ready to resume work part time. I sent my patients a letter that described my diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment demands. They wanted to be there for me and would not abandon me or their treatment. In my IFS therapy, I became aware of a polarization or conflict between workaholic, compulsive parts and the part that wanted to reduce my workload and increase self-care. In my practice of experiential IFS therapy, patients are encouraged and supported to be vulnerable and trust the process. If I was to be authentic, could I not go there myself? My inner struggle around resuming treatment suggested that I needed therapeutic help.

Serendipitously, I had made a connection with Richard Schwartz, PhD. In IFS sessions, Dick directed me to my protectors first: “super-coper,” “critics,” “perfect therapist,” “driven man,” and “care-taker,” to name the gang. Hearing from these parts allowed access to my inner child exile parts. From Self, I connected with a six-year-old part that had experienced his mother’s abandonment following the death of her beloved sister in a tragic accident. Prior to this trauma, my mother was active, responsive, and loving. After the trauma, she withdrew into chronic pain and was in and out of hospitals. She never played with me again. In the session, I put my arm around the little scared boy and we cried over my loss and the loneliness and emptiness that followed.

The deep dive into the unconscious process of my exile world allowed other parts to be accessed and unburdened. I developed an understanding and respect towards my protectors. I could appreciate their positive intention, as well as the harmful long-term effects of having my life driven by these well-intentioned protectors. Eventually, the “care-taker” who couldn’t help his mother and had worked so hard caring for others in his practice, gave up this role and relaxed. The “perfectionistic high achieving” parts that worked to garner attention and validation from neglectful and distracted parents also learned to accept new roles. This deeply embedded adaptation, so good at making me successful, was literally killing me.

This work helped me cope with the personal challenges imposed by symptoms of cancer and the existential threat that cancer poses. IFS provided a methodology towards connecting with Self energy, the mindfully aware compassionate consciousness, that is so important when you treat patients. IFS helped me feel confident in being open and transparent to patients needing to process what my cancer diagnosis meant to them.

Returning to work after an unplanned absence with a diagnosis that could threaten long-term treatment with patients imposes special demands and exigencies on the psychotherapist. Body and mind must be ready to assume the responsibilities and emotional pressures that the therapeutic relationship imposes. The therapist must be open to having their personal ordeal reflected in patient’s feelings, associations, and parts. For me, accessing help from a variety of mind/body, eastern/ western treatment modalities was helpful to regain optimal functioning; this included acupuncture, yoga, meditation, peer supervision, IFS therapy, and a massive dose of love and care from my close relationships. The journey back is long and arduous, but there is gratitude and grace (“post-traumatic growth”) to be gained along the way.

Dan F. Pollets, PhD
Brookline, MA
He can be reached at drdanpollets@gmail.com.


Published in December 2019

“Readers seeking Self-leadership are given a variety of daily prompts to listen inside, reflect from Self, and meet the needs of their parts. IFS gives us hope that we can indeed heal inner wounds, leading to a more calm, compassionate, and Self-led life. I am eternally grateful for IFS—my life and the lives of my clients have been amazingly transformed through this work.”

—Karen Locke, MA, Certified IFS Practitioner



Published in September 2020

“This book is the culmination of my years of experience with somatic practices and psychotherapy. Weaving together scientific research, universal spiritual traditions, illustrative case examples, and experiential practices, my intention is to provide a path for both professionals and laypersons for witnessing and healing the body stories of the internal system. With gratitude for Dick and the entire IFS community for their devotion to bringing this transformational Model to the world.”

—Susan McConnell, MA, CHT, IFS Certified Therapist & Senior Lead Trainer



Operational Update


Since the Foundation was activated seven years ago, quite a bit has been accomplished to advance IFS research, development, and advocacy toward promoting emotional healing and well-being. None of it would have been possible without the community’s generous support, the hard work of few staff associates engaged in a labor of love of sorts, a large number of volunteers, and the high creativity of IFS practitioners and researchers who are dedicated to advancing a better world for all. Here is a sample list of what has been achieved to date [and funded amount]...

Formal acknowledgment of IFS as an evidence-based psychotherapy secured The application that led, through an independent and rigorous review, to the recognition of IFS therapy as an evidence-based practice was developed and submitted by the Foundation to the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. As a result, IFS is considered effective for (1) improving general function and well-being. It is also deemed promising for enhancing (2) physical conditions and symptoms and (3) personal resilience and self-concept; and for reducing (4) phobia, panic, and generalized anxiety disorders and symptoms and (5) depression and depressive symptoms. (Please click here for more information.) [$5,500 USD]

Development and validation of an IFS adherence/fidelity scale completed With the help of volunteer coordinators and raters, the Foundation facilitated the crafting of IFS psychotherapy protocol and constructs as well as the development and initial statistical validation of an IFS adherence scale. The fidelity scale is an essential tool for researchers. The Foundation is now committed to ensuring that the scale is used and gets validated with every new research project. (Please click here for more information.) [$5,500 USD]

Transparent review process for IFS research grant proposals established In order to maintain research integrity and independence of its funded studies, the Foundation has set in place a review process with clearly articulated merit criteria. An independent review council of researchers has been identified for the purpose of conducting anonymous and objective assessment of the quality and likelihood of carrying out proposed research studies. The council reviews all grant applications submitted to the Foundation requesting IFS-focused research funding. (Please click here for more information.) [$3,500 USD]

Pilot study funded on the effects of IFS treatment on PTSD and complex trauma symptoms This study, led by the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston and supported by a group of IFS-certified therapists who are conducting the clinical work, has been completed and submitted for review to the peer-reviewed Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma. It has shown highly positive results. [$45,000 USD]

Study funded on the physiological effects of IFS on client and therapist in a clinical session This pioneering study, co-led by the Trauma Center and the Computational Behavioral Science Lab at Northeastern University, observed the client-therapist process during IFS sessions, measuring through high-tech sensors parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous signals as well as cardiovascular, respiratory, and electrodermal responses. Data collection is complete; the study is in the final stages of analysis. [$75,000 USD]

First phase of an IFS annotation project completed This project involved the review and crafting of editorial commentary on some 70+ publications (journal papers, manuscripts, doctoral theses) that focused on or alluded to IFS. The work was commissioned to a team of academic researchers, among them graduate students, and is now accessible online (see next item). [$7,500 USD] Online searchable database of IFS-related papers and books to support researchers built In an attempt to support researchers, the Foundation published on its website a new Resources page that includes a searchable list of IFS-related publications (books, articles, theses), designed with researchers in mind, to showcase the depth and breadth of IFS development. [$12,500 USD]

Media campaign on self-awareness and emotional connections explored In partnership with Education 4 Peace, a Swiss nonprofit, the Foundation engaged in the planning and design of a global animated video campaign. Its key message, to be conveyed primarily to youth by celebrity athletes, is to inspire positive behavior among sports players through self-awareness and emotional fitness. The partnership signed a licensing agreement with Disney/Pixar in Summer 2018 to use the Inside Out characters as a part of this campaign. The project has been recently tabled due to challenges in securing celebrities and funding as well as changes at Pixar. [$10,000 USD for initial design phase]

First IFS-in-Schools pilot program launched Extending access to notions of Self and parts among school students, a new pilot program was funded and launched at two middle schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, serving at-risk student populations. Designed by IFS practitioners with deep connections with the schools, the program engaged 16 teachers in a 10-month intensive IFS-based experience and developed agendas for transferring what they discovered and learned to the classroom. The project, which was completed in September 2018, was independently evaluated; findings were summarized in OUTLOOK’s April 2019 edition and are being prepared for publication. [$45,000 USD]

Second and expansive three-school IFS program funded Building on the success of the Minnesota project (previous item), the Foundation sponsored, in Summer 2019, a two-year Self leadership development program for teachers, staff, and administrators at three schools (a high school, a middle school, and an elementary school) in the Hartford, Connecticut area, USA. The program, currently in its second year, is designed by a IFS marriage and family therapist with experience managing a mindfulness center. It is conducted in partnership with these schools and involves workshops and coaching as well as the exploration of educational resources and ways to bring emotional learning into both the classroom and student-facing policy decisions. An independent outcomes evaluation is also being conducted. (Please click here for more information.) [$80,000 USD]

Large RCT study funded on IFS as a treatment for PTSD and opioid use An extensive research study was launched in Summer 2020 at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance community mental health center, Massachusetts, USA. This rigorous, randomized clinical trial will examine IFS vs. a nature-based stress reduction program as a treatment for PTSD and opioid use. Building on a previous pilot study of IFS for PTSD treatment (see above), this two-year study will assess the effects of a 16-week IFS protocol on a randomized group from among 60 participants and will also include a feasibility and acceptability single-arm study of an IFS treatment for 12 individuals with PTSD and comorbid substance abuse disorder. [$325,000 USD, 2/3 of the study funded to-date]


Community-facing online program organized during the summer COVID-19 months With the leadership of seven IFS practitioners, a series of free workshops and resources were designed and offered to the IFS community and anyone looking for inner strength, calm, and hope during a time of unprecedented crisis. The online program, dubbed “innervention,” was designed for various groups: school educators, small business owners and executives, parents, and first responders and caregivers. The program’s 40-some videos and tools were produced and posted on the Foundation’s YouTube® channel. (Please click here for more information.) [$6,000 USD]

Comprehensive communication & outreach strategy implemented The Foundation has developed an expansive website and launched a series of social media platforms. In addition, it has created OUTLOOK (now in its 12th issue), OUTLOOK Shorts, and a series of collateral pieces, including two case statements for funding, to share news, showcase IFS-related stories and people, and deepen connections within the IFS community. An online database of friends and constituents has been set up and a digital communication platform established to manage this effort. [$127,500 USD]

Elements of a lean operational infrastructure set up to support organizational development The Foundation continues to implement its programs through a small team of staff associates, who receive relatively modest honoraria, and the dedication of many volunteers. Among them: an executive director and associates focused on research, development, and communications, finance, and web programming. All are engaged in a time-limited capacity and draw their livelihood from other professional involvements. [$134,640 USD or 18% of total expenses]

(Dollar amounts are 2013–2020 cumulative.)

Provides a predictable source of revenue so the Foundation can continue to advance notions of IFS.We have been sufficiently fortunate at the Foundation to be continually supported by committed and creative people. We have a richness of ideas and ambitious plans. We have the know-how and passion to contribute significantly toward helping our world heal. What we need is funding.

We need funding to help achieve our priorities through 2023:

  1. fully funding the current RCT study and sponsoring more rigorous IFS studies for deeper empirical evidence on the treatment of PTSD, depression, and addiction;

  2. supporting IFS programs for agencies that serve military veterans;

  3. bringing IFS to teachers (and students) at more schools (both 2 & 3 combined with evaluation and research);

  4. launching an IFS Leadership Fellows Program to bring the IFS Model to marginalized communities; and

  5. engaging in public advocacy for healing and well-being through IFS.


Help launch us into the next phase of development.

Board Member Update

The Board welcomes Kelly Gaule, CAP, who started her tenure as the newest member in late summer 2020.

Kelly served as the Foundation’s Senior Development Advisor and Associate in 2018 and 2019.

She is leading principal with PROMUS+, a development consulting practice driven by a passion for the ability of diverse nonprofits to change lives and the possibility that they can secure funds for doing so through thoughtful and well-executed plans. Kelly has operated successfully in the development space for two decades and directed development and marketing programs with social-impact-conscious organizations.

“We’re so pleased to have Kelly on board with us,” says Vicki McCoy, MA, Chair of the Board. “Along with her long-standing resource-development expertise, she has a keen sense of what makes organizations tick and a deep interest in public advocacy. Even more importantly, she strongly shares our values of ‘beloved community’ and a vision of a better world through Self leadership.”

For Kelly, 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. When she was introduced to the Model, she was “immediately struck by how simple the concept was—to change the world, we needed to look no further than ourselves. Little did I know,” she added, “I was about to begin a journey that has no end, just a continuous commitment to the health and well-being of Self.”

To welcome Kelly or reach her directly, please write her at: Kelly@FoundationIFS.org.



Published in October 2020

“This book was written during divisive times in our nation and across the world with the hope and urging that we can, on individual and collective levels, recommit to a sense of responsibility and get back on path toward civility. The Internal Family Systems Model can provide a clear, practical, and elegant framework that we can apply to ourselves and our actions and improve the way we relate to and acknowledge the dignity and humanity of others… I have found my village in the IFS community.”

—David Medeiros, LICSW



Published in June 2018

“This book is our attempt to show how a You-Turn can help us befriend the parts of ourselves carrying fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, guilt, and shame by practicing Spirit-led self leadership. We chose to write about IFS because we’ve seen firsthand how powerful it is, through our counseling work and in our own lives, and we believe it can change your life, too. We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to Dick Schwartz and the entire IFS community for all of the insights that have benefited us beyond measure.”

—Alison Cook, PhD & Kimberly Miller, MTH, LMFT; Certified IFS Practitioners


Introducing New Volunteers

As IFS and the Foundation continue to grow, so does our need of volunteers. We would not be able to support the community without our volunteers’ dedication, skill, enthusiasm, and energy. We are pleased to introduce you to our newest volunteers. Please welcome and meet Beau Laviolette, LCSW, LAC, and Kathleen Johnson, MD.

Beau Laviolette, LCSW, LAC, serves as our IFS Gallery 35 Outreach Coordinator. In this edition, you’ve walked through this gallery, which was a labor of love and required much of his time and attention. Beau is a therapist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana specializing in addictions and PTSD, with special attention on serving military veterans. He is Level 1 trained, in addition to being certified in EMDR. He provides consultation for therapists who want to learn how to incorporate IFS with EMDR and offers three-day retreats that incorporate IFS and nature.


“I engaged open-heartedly with my community outreach with my Foundation endeavors,” Beau shares enthusiastically. Reaching out to authors of IFS-related books and assembling the celebratory gallery was a meaningful activity for him, “ I, too, honor 35 years of emotional healing through IFS,” he shares. As a Marine Corps Veteran, he feels privileged to be working alongside the Foundation and other IFS-trained therapists toward increasing access to IFS therapy at military organizations to help suffering veterans, active-duty personnel, and their families find relief and feel whole again.

When not engaged with work and volunteer activities, Beau enjoys making wonderful memories with his wife and two boys, who all love the outdoors and being in nature.

Kathleen Johnson, MD, joins us as our volunteer Data-entry Support Associate. She worked for over twenty years as a physician/psychiatrist/ psychoanalyst, then studied computer science and worked for several years as a database web programmer. In 2004, she began transitioning to online progressive activism. When her husband became terminally ill in 2009, she retired.


“I am grateful for this connection with the Foundation, because I’m eager to see IFS brought to every area of life,” Kathy shares. She believes hope for the world starts with interrupting the cycles of familial dysfunction and abuse, and building healthier schools, communities, and organizations at every level. “I would like to be more involved with this effort,” she continues.

Kathy became interested in the new treatments around childhood trauma, including IFS, and became involved with ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholic and Dysfunctional Families). She organized the running of several online ACA meetings, and worked to incorporate the new knowledge on healing trauma. She devoured all the books on IFS, completed the IFS Circle and Continuity courses, and is excited to begin a Level 1 training in December. She is working with some online ACA groups introducing the concepts of IFS and hopes eventually to begin some online ACA IFS therapy groups.

Outside of work and volunteering, Kathy loves ballroom dancing and pre-pandemic had been studying waltz seriously with a world champion dancer. She enjoys reading, hiking, and running. Her son, who is currently Director of Voter Protection for WI, has currently kept her busy working on the campaign.

Introducing Our Graphic Designer

Introducing the Foundation’s graphic designer, who has touched every publication of the Foundation, is long overdue. We are at the Foundation thankful for her inspiringly beautiful contributions.

Sylvia Miller has served the Foundation as its Graphic Designer since 2014. She has produced the visual elements of OUTLOOK for all twelve editions. Outside of the magazine’s focus, she designed two case statements for funding, conference signs, our initial website look, and thank-you cards, among others. Although she has not studied IFS, she remarks, “I love the IFS Model and how many people find harmony and mental balance because of it.” Of her work on OUTLOOK, she relates, “I am thankful to be part of the team and work on the layouts with everyone.”


Sylvia established Amboss Design in 2004, which is named after the German word, amboss, meaning anvil. Sylvia grew up in Germany, with her father’s familyowned blacksmith business creating beautiful iron work by hand for many generations. This inspired her to keep the tradition going by incorporating something from the family’s creative past in her business name. “I think growing up in East Germany really shaped who I am today and my design style,” she reflects.

She loves being outside with her two twin girls or taking her dog for long walks on the beach. “Sometimes, when looking for a design solution, being outside helps me clear my head and come up with new ideas,” she shared. Sylvia can be reached at sylvia@ambossdesign.com or via ambossdesign.com.


A cornerstone is the first stone set in a masonry foundation. It is the one that determines the position of every other stone and the entire structure.

The Annual Fund is the cornerstone of the Foundation for Self Leadership. Gifts to the fund provide essential support for our work to advance the practice of Self-leadership.

Our most loyal donors ensure that the Annual Fund continues year after year, and so we recognize these supporters as our Cornerstone Partners.

Become a Cornerstone Partner

  • Simply set up a recurring gift to the
    Annual Fund for a three-year term.

  • You choose the payment amount.
    You choose the payment schedule.

  • Rest easy knowing your gifts will be
    made according to your intentions.

Benefits of Cornerstone Partnerships

  • Spread out the payments on a meaningful
    gift, timed to your budget.

  • You don’t have to remember to make your
    annual contribution and you won’t be asked
    for another Annual Fund gift while your
    recurring gift schedule is active.

  • Provides a predictable source of revenue so
    the Foundation can continue to notions of IFS.

Go to FoundationIFS.org/support to become a Cornerstone Partner today.


Book published in June 2014
(Game: 2015 & Guide to Game: 2017)

“With great appreciation to Dick Schwartz and IFS for 35 years of bringing courage and compassion to our clients and to the world. I am so delighted to have been on this journey and have had the opportunity to expand the Model to a comprehensive approach for working with kids and their families with two books and psychotherapeutic board game, KidsWorld! May the healing journey continue.”

—Art Mones, PhD, Certified IFS Therapist



Plan your long-term gift to the Foundation!

Leave a good legacy for a better future. Please remember the Foundation for Self Leadership in your will or estate planning.

Help sustain its global mission of research, service, and advocacy into the next generation. All it takes is a quick phone call to your attorney to add a charitable gift to your will.

To leave a gift in your will, simply share this sentence with your attorney or financial planner:

“I bequeath $ ________________ or ________________ % of my estate or ________________ shares of ________________ equity stock or ________________ (valuable physical property) to the Foundation for Self Leadership, c/o David Bea, Esq.; Bea & VandenBerk Attorneys at Law; 225 West Washington, Suite #1010; Chicago, Illinois 60606, USA (+1.312.442.9076)

I have included the Foundation for Self Leadership in my will.

Better yet, engage the Foundation in a conversation early on to identify optimal ways to channel your gift to support strategic priorities in alignment with your personal and/or professional interests.

Write us at Outreach@FoundationIFS.org


Published in September 2016

“In this Harvard Health book, my co-authors, a Harvard physician and a professional writer, and I adapted the IFS therapeutic Model to a strengths-based Model of multiplicity of mind so that everyone can understand, appreciate, and access the diverse capacities of the human mind. We explored nine universal personality parts, each grounded in the scientific literature. I am eternally grateful to Dick Schwartz’s discoveries and leadership. The profound impact of the IFS Model on my life and work cannot be overstated. Deep love and appreciation on the 35th birthday of IFS.”

—Margaret Moore, MBA, aka Coach Meg,
Executive Coach



Published in May 2020

“I am honored to lend my voice to the chorus celebrating the IFS Model’s 35th anniversary! Heartfelt thanks to Dick and the entire IFS team for changing my life with these powerful principles. It is a privilege to be a part of this incredible community of IFS supporters, and I hope my book will be one way the Model can reach more readers.

Altogether You is an integration of the IFS Model with spirituality, specifically for readers of Christian faith, as well as those who have been wounded by faith communities. While written in a casual and engaging style, this book endeavors to tackle the tough issues that often keep adherents of traditional faith perspectives from embracing IFS… I’m forever grateful to the IFS Model for showing me a new way to live out my faith. Happy 35th birthday IFS!”

—Jenna Riemersma, LPC



As an independent not-for-profit partner to IFS Institute, your Foundation for Self Leadership is an active member of the IFS community, working with you to bring Self-leadership to the world. This work is possible because of contributions from IFS practitioners, researchers, advocates, and clients like you. Through monthly gifts to the Annual Fund and multi-year pledges, your support is broadening access to IFS in schools, among the military and across underserved communities; and expanding rigorous IFS research and the gathering of empirical evidence.

For all of those who desire to give others the gift to discover their parts and lead from a place of Self, thank you.

Building Community
The Foundation for Self Leadership is your foundation. The Foundation exists to further the mission of the IFS community. The Foundation supports and is supported by the IFS community.

This twelfth edition of our semi-annual OUTLOOK magazine is the perfect example. It serves to keep our community connected to the work of the Foundation and one another.

We are celebrating more than three decades of the scholarship by and for the IFS community, beginning with Dick Schwartz’s seminal work. And we were able to publish this issue because of generous community members who stepped up to provide funding during this critical time.

This issue features timely programs that were incubated this year by the Foundation in partnership with the IFS community: from the “innervention” series for educators, healthcare workers, business owners and caregivers coping with the pandemic to Uncovering Legacy Burdens of Racism.

Let’s continue working together to foster peace of mind for a more peaceful world.

Join us today, click here.

Thanks to the CARES Act in the U.S., your charitable gift in 2020 to the Foundation for Self Leadership qualifies as a deduction on your federal income.

Why do you donate to the Foundation?

“I donate to the Foundation for Self Leadership each year because its mission and priorities address issues that are important to me: expanding access to IFS training, especially in underserved communities; and supporting research that provides empirical evidence of IFS’s contribution to psychological and medical well-being. These priorities make my donations meaningful and satisfying.

Beyond this, I am deeply aware of the way that IFS has enhanced my life personally and professionally. I utilize IFS daily in my work as a trauma therapist and am grateful for the way it facilitates profound connections with clients in a way that enhances their Self energy, reduces the pain and burdens carried by their parts, and potentiates healing.

IFS is an ever-present gift to my clients and to me. I am thankful that through my Foundation for Self Leadership donations, I have an opportunity to give back.”

N.B., New York City

Why do you donate to your Foundation?

Help inspire others to contribute.

Please share your story with us today.

Thank you!

Have You Moved in the Last Year or Have a New Email Address?

Don’t miss out on important Foundation updates and latest editions of OUTLOOK.

Please update your address and email address so that you can receive the latest from your Foundation here or OUTLOOK@FoundationIFS.org.

Join the Movement!

We are your Foundation. The Foundation is yours. It takes a village…it takes you.

Do you want to be counted as an active member of our growing caring global community? Do you promote compassionate Self-leadership in your daily life with others? Do you impart the wisdom of IFS and advance the work of the Foundation with those in your circles? If you answered yes, please join our efforts!

To receive OUTLOOK and brief periodic communiqué to keep abreast of a wide range of developments around IFS and our community, please visit Join us as a Friend of the Foundation. Remember, we are separate from IFS Institute.

Community: a unified body of individuals, such as a body of persons of common and especially professional interests scattered through a larger society.

Merriam-Webster online


Published in April 2017

“To Dick: your genius has lessened suffering and multiplied compassion in this complicated world. Your vision was the foundation of my book, which I hope builds upon what you have begun.”

—Lisa Spiegel, MA, LMHC,
Certified IFS Therapist



OUTLOOK is a semi-annual magazine 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 and Publisher Toufic Hakim, PhD; Editor Michelle Glass, BA; and Assistant Editor Shaun Dempsey, PhD, who play key roles in its production; Sylvia Miller for layout and graphics design; Joshua Lisojo, MS, for online content; and Kira Freed, MA, BCC, LPC (ret.); Brenda Hollingsworth, MSW, LCSW; Karen Locke, MA; and Laura Taylor, JD, 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 their personal Story of 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.


Published in October 2019

“I see this little illustrated book as a bridge between the effects of severe early trauma and the IFS inner world of parts. My desire was for the wider world of trauma treatment to understand the immense healing potential of this Model.

For me, IFS has been the answer to a 30-year search for how to treat the buried trauma that exceeded the reach of other therapies, both personally and professionally. Thank you, Dick, for your boundless love and commitment to this work. I will carry the torch.”

—Colleen West, LMFT,
Certified IFS Therapist



New Dimensions Published in September 2013;
Innovations in September 2017

“Authors in these two edited chapter books discussed how IFS is used with a variety of populations and topics, including transference and countertransference, shame, child and couple therapy, dissociative disorders, somatics, chronic illness, psychopharmacology, health coaching, pornography addiction, and sexuality (New Dimensions) as well as therapeutic impasses, addiction, eating disorders, parenting, grieving, perpetrator parts, racism, trauma, unburdening methods, and legacy burdens.”

—Martha Sweezy, PhD (co-author on a number of other IFS books)


First edition published in November 2017 | Two editions (Second published June 2018)

“I see this book as a companion for daily life, a comforting voice with practical reminders of how to heal and grow our Self-leadership with our families, work colleagues, and communities. In a world of inconsistencies, IFS explains our world and ourselves with such clarity and kindness that I felt compelled to write about IFS and contribute to making a difference… Like the man, the IFS Model is humble, yet explains so much so elegantly. Thirty-five years ago, there were many more critics, yet Dick persisted. Today, Self-leadership is source of hope for the world. Congratulations, Dick.”

—Dave Williams, Registered
Psychologist, Certified IFS Therapist


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 IFS Institute; and tens of thousands of therapy clients and workshop attendees have experienced personal transformations through the IFS paradigm. Read more about IFS here.


Requina Barnes, LICSW; Practicing Therapist,
USA (2022)

Lester Fagen, MA, JD; Partner in Business Office
of Cooley, LLP, USA (2020)

Kelly Gaule, CAP, Leading Principal, Promus+ Consulting (2023)

Toufic Hakim, PhD; (Executive Director) Senior
Managing Principal, Group i&i Consultancy, USA;
Executive Advisor and Publisher of
OUTLOOK (2022)

Pamela Krause, LCSW, Lead IFS Trainer,
in Private Practice, USA (2020)

Vicki McCoy, MA, (Chair) President, McCoy
Communications and Training, USA (2022)

Mark Milton; Founder and Executive Director,
Education 4 Peace, Switzerland (2020)

About The Foundation

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.


The board and the Foundation’s executive function are supported by a number of associates and volunteers. All staff and volunteer associates serve in a part-time capacity; their time and effort on behalf of the Foundation amount to a 1.47 full-time equivalent.

Shaun Dempsey, PhD, Assistant Editor of OUTLOOK; Anne Eberhardt, Dipl-Psych, Operational Associate (Volunteer); Daniel Fermin, Financial Controller; Audrey Fernandez-Fraser, LCSW, MDiv, Social Media Coordinator (Volunteer); Michelle Glass, BA, CIFSP, Editor of OUTLOOK; Marilyn Hunt, MS, LMFT, Donor Steward Associate; Kathleen Johnson, MD, Data-entry Support Associate (Volunteer); Joshua Lisojo, MS, Website Programmer and Developer; Beau Laviolette, LCSW, LAC, IFS Gallery 35 Outreach Coordinator (Volunteer); Jason Malli, MFA, MALS, Video Production Associate; Ilpa Patel, MPA, Administrative Support; Barbara Perkins, MA, Senior Associate Director for Development & Communications; Amy Shaefer, MA, Social-Media Support Associate (Volunteer); and Ilanit Tal, PhD, Associate Director for Research.




Visit us at www.FoundationIFS.org


Copyright © 2020 Foundation for Self Leadership | P.O. Box 873 | Union, NJ 07083