Observations enthusiastically praising the effects of IFS are relayed by hundreds of individuals. We anticipate that scientific investigations will provide further support for such observations.
A program of independent research will tell us how and under which conditions IFS works.
To that end, this campaign makes it possible for us to fund independent research into the efficacy of the IFS model in individual and organizational settings.
Please note that the Foundation has instituted an independent criteria-based grant review process to ensure that our funded projects are scientifically sound and funded researchers are qualified to conduct and complete the research. The Foundation will not influence in any way the development or findings of its funded research.
Your financial contributions will help fund independent IFS research to expand its empirical base.
Prescription Drugs Alone Are Not the Answer. IFS can be an effective clinical psychotherapy as a companion to psychiatric medication-based treatments. IFS may accelerate healing and help reduce total dependency on medicine.
Long-term consumption of prescription drugs, research suggests, leads in certain cases to unintended negative health outcomes, worsening the condition they are intended to treat and/or causing serious physical health implications. A steep rise in prescriptions worldwide is causing serious concern (in the U.S., one in 8 individuals is on some psychiatric prescription, CDC) and provides another reason to explore the complementary benefits of IFS Therapy.
Hard science and rigorous research will investigate and build empirical evidence about various IFS outcomes in clinical settings. The evidence, in turn, will deepen the value of IFS and help refine its approach, bringing IFS into the mainstream. IFS will be included in lists of endorsed evidence-based treatment protocols for greater recognition among policymaking bodies and clinicians and taught in graduate schools of psychology and related fields.
Once in the mainstream, IFS offers the promise and hope of emotional health to thousands of patients not fully or effectively served by other conventional therapies. The IFS model is intriguing and engaging: patients respond well and take active part in their own healing.
We will fund research that examines physiological effects of IFS Therapy, taking advantage of recent advances in brain imaging technology. We will also support case studies and longitudinal observations of patients undergoing IFS treatment and seek to understand the positive effects of IFS as a modality on the therapists themselves.
Funded research will study IFS as a preventive measure in mental health. As an accelerated, non-intrusive, guided psychotherapy, IFS can help save lives in indirect ways as well. We see IFS as a viable alternative for reducing patients’ dependency on psychotropic drugs and controlling the mental health providers’ impulse to recommend them or refill them repeatedly when they may only be needed in the short term. Short-term medication regimens may be valuable and in some cases necessary and may need to be accompanied with an IFS treatment protocol.
The Need is Pressing. Our world is in need of deeper emotional healing. Nearly one million individuals worldwide are lost to suicide every year (World Health Organization), with depression as the leading cause. In the U.S., suicide claims more lives than car accidents, with a troublesome surge among middle-aged Americans (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC). Of particular concern, the suicide rate among military veterans is disturbingly high, and twice that for non-veterans, according to the U.S. Army. Beyond the statistics, losing even a single life to mental illness constitutes an unspeakable loss to family and friends. IFS has potential to prevent such senseless loss.
We Have Evidence. There is abundant anecdotal evidence and an accumulation of professional judgments from expert clinicians pointing to the efficacy of the IFS model in clinical settings: psychotherapists and practitioners emphasize its transformative outcomes on their own practice. “IFS has taken my effectiveness as a therapist,” Chris Gough, LCPC, states, “and, dare I say, as a person to a higher level.”
Patients share that they readily “get it” and through guided protocols find their path to healing. In a 2012 survey of IFS practitioners, an overwhelming majority among 179 respondents stated that “by using IFS in their practice, their ability to facilitate positive outcomes for their client increased either significantly (54%) or moderately (39%). IFS is commonly referred to as life-changing.
In an early affirmation of such conclusions, a rigorous proof-of-concept study, published in 2013 in a leading peer-reviewed journal, found that IFS Therapy has positive effects on reducing depressive symptoms among other outcomes. “IFS post treatment improvements were sustained 1 year later in depressive symptoms, self-compassion, and self-assessed joint pain.” __N. Shadick, N. Sowell, et al., Journal of Rheumatoid Arthritis. LINK TO PAPER
This evidence calls for a more deliberate effort to generate additional empirical data and to facilitate scientifically vetted analyses regarding the efficacy of IFS.
It is our conviction that IFS holds the promise of a new science of intrapersonal and interpersonal engagement. The notion of parts of the mind and Self Leadership is an intuitively accurate model of individual reality.