Richard Schwartz: Internal Family Systems

Richard Schwartz earned his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Purdue University, after which he began a long association with the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and more recently at The Family Institute at Northwestern University. He is coauthor, with Michael Nichols, of Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, the most widely used family therapy text in the United States.
Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems (IFS) in response to clients’ descriptions of experiencing various parts within themselves. He saw these parts as forming an “internal family” within an individual, and started to work with the parts from a systems perspective. He noticed that addressing the parts’ concerns reduced disruptions. This helps the client to accede to the wise leadership of what Dr. Schwartz came to call the “Self.” In 2000, Richard Schwartz founded The Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois. Dr. Schwartz has published four books and over fifty articles about IFS.

February 2010. See: Printable PDF transcript . See also conversation with Richard Schwartz, about inner conflicts.