As you may recall from the latest issue of the OUTLOOK magazine,
the IFS community recently celebrated 35 years since the creation/discovery of IFS. In honor of this special milestone and the expansive developments occurring during this period, an IFS-book-gallery was featured in the magazine. Showcasing the broad range of published IFS-related works, the Gallery affirmed both the extensive dissemination of the Model and the deep engagement of the community in spreading it as a paradigm and practice for healing and well-being in various settings.
While the Gallery was being curated, it was noticed that the earliest IFS resource commonly cited in various IFS publications is the seminal first 1995 edition of the Internal Family Systems Therapy
book by IFS Developer Richard Schwartz, PhD (Guilford Press, which has been since translated into many languages. (A 2020 Edition was co-authored with Martha Sweezy, PhD).
What seemed to have gone unnoticed is Dick's article published in Family Therapy Networker
in 1987 entitled Our Multiple Selves
(Schwartz, Richard C.; Family Therapy Networker;
1987, Mar/Apr; 11, 24-31 and 80-83], which could be reviewed here
in its entirety.
In this paper, Schwartz urged family therapists to consider intrapyschic foundations to family dynamics, an approach that is offered to "bridge the gap between family and individual therapy." (This approach, which would end up revolutionizing family therapy, has significantly influenced the very nature and process of therapy and emotional healing.) He applied "many concepts and techniques of the structural/strategic family therapy to the inner domain of the internal family" and stated in the article that "what is crucial to inner well-being is the relationship among the parts." He also introduced the Self and suggested that its engagement would "develop the kind of harmonious relationships that characterize healthy functioning."
You will be pleased to know that this article
and many other IFS resources appear (with detailed annotation) in the evolving Foundation's searchable online database of IFS-related publications
, a community resource (designed initially for researchers) which has been online for six years now. The Foundation is grateful to Jenn Matheson, PhD, LMFT, for designing and populating this database, her team of volunteers for maintaining it, and Josh Lisojo, MS, for programming it as an online system. Check it out!