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Formerly the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology (MSPP)

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Integrating Spirituality and Psychotherapy: The Internal Family Systems Model

Apr 06, 2013 9:00 am -
Apr 06, 2013 4:30 pm

Event Description

Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., instructor

The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., over the past 25 years as he learned to set aside his trained assumptions and truly listen to his clients. It is a highly efficient and effective way of guiding clients to a state of inner clarity and compassion, the Self, from which they know how to heal themselves. From the Self, clients are able to calm and transform their troubling inner voices, the critical and anxious chatter, the compulsive distractions, their feelings of vulnerability, inadequacy and of being overwhelmed. These parts of the psyche are surprisingly responsive and resilient when addressed with respect and patience. They readily forsake their inner battles and take on valuable inner roles once they are accepted and witnessed. This application of family systems principles and techniques to inner systems is now widely used internationally in the treatment of trauma and severe diagnoses as well as in non-clinical applications such as business consulting and spiritual practice.  It is one of the most rapidly growing psychotherapies in the United States and is spreading in Europe and Israel. Therapists’ ability to remain steady, centered and open-hearted in the face of their clients’ extreme emotions or predicaments is central to their effectiveness.  This is because, in part, that kind of Self leadership in the therapist acts like a tuning fork, activating the Self of the client and allowing the differentiation necessary for the client to heal his or her own wounded parts.  The Internal Family Systems model provides concrete ways for therapists to find and calm the parts of them that are triggered by the client, so they can hold this Self state of loving kindness that allows clients to heal themselves.  This workshop will introduce the IFS model for working with clients to help clinicians achieve a state of inner clarity and compassion so that clients will be able to heal. Dr. Schwartz will demonstrate how to help clients calm their inner critical and anxious voices and overcome their feelings of inadequacy and vulnerability as well as how therapists can apply the IFS model to their own countertransference.

Program Code: ISP6
6 CE Credits
Location: at MSPP, Newton


Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic. He co-authored, with Michael Nichols, Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, the most widely used family therapy text in the U.S. Dr. Schwartz was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Juvenile Research and later at The Family Institute at Northwestern University.

Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family SystemsSM in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He focused on the relationships among these parts and noticed that there were systemic patterns to the way they were organized across clients. He also found that when the clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, the clients would experience spontaneously the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self. He found that when in that state of Self, clients would know how to heal their parts.

This approach to psychotherapy suggested alternative ways of understanding psychic functioning and healing, and lent itself to innovative techniques for relieving clients’ suffering and symptoms. IFS is a nonpathologizing, hopeful framework within which to practice psychotherapy.

In 2000, Richard Schwartz founded the Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois. CSL offers three levels of training in IFS, workshops for professionals and for the general public, an annual national conference, publications, and DVDs of Dr. Schwartz’s work through its web site at www.selfleadership.org. IFS trainings and workshops are also being held in several European countries.

A featured speaker for national professional organizations, Dr. Schwartz is a fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and serves on editorial boards of four professional journals. He has published five books and over fifty articles about IFS. His books include: You Are The One You’ve Been Waiting For: Bringing Courageous Love to Intimate Relationships; Internal Family Systems Therapy; Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model; and The Mosaic Mind: Empowering the Tormented Selves of Child Abuse Survivors (with Regina Goulding); as well as Metaframeworks (with Doug Breunlin and Betty Karrer), about transcending current models of family therapy.

Event Type:Continuing Education Program
Category:Innovators - Clinical Practice
Early registration ends on Aug 07, 2012.
Regular registration starts on Aug 08, 2012 and ends on Mar 26, 2013.
Late registration starts on Mar 27, 2013.


Registration Fees
Fee TypeEarlyRegularLate
 Integrating Spirituality and Psychotherapy: The IFS Model (ISP6)
Member Fee: $155.00$155.00$155.00
Non-Member Fee: $155.00$155.00$155.00

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