Now significantly revised with over 70% new material, this is the authoritative presentation of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, which is taught and practiced around the world. IFS reveals how the subpersonalities or "parts" of each individual''s psyche relate to each other like members of a family, and how--just as in a family--polarization among parts can lead to emotional suffering. IFS originator Richard Schwartz and master clinician Martha Sweezy explain core concepts and provide practical guidelines for implementing IFS with clients who are struggling with trauma, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, and other behavioral problems. They also address strategies for treating families and couples. IFS therapy is listed in SAMHSA''s National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
New to This Edition
*Extensively revised to reflect 25 years of conceptual refinement, expansion of IFS techniques, and a growing evidence base.
*Chapters on the Self, the body and physical illness, the role of the therapist, specific clinical strategies, and couple therapy.
*Enhanced clinical utility, with significantly more "how-to" details, case examples, and sample dialogues.
*Quick-reference boxes summarizing key points, and end-of-chapter summaries.
"We are indeed the sum of our parts, and, for over 25 years, Schwartz has been acquainting us with the exiles, managers, and firefighters battling within our psyches. In the second edition of this seminal book, Schwartz and Sweezy provide a more extensive overview of IFS therapy. New chapters address individual and systemic work with each component of the internal family system, as well as research attesting to the model’s effectiveness. This is an invaluable resource for both beginning and experienced practitioners who seek self-integration for their clients--and themselves."--Michael C. LaSala, PhD, LCSW, School of Social Work, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
"Since this book was originally published, the thoroughly innovative principles and practices of IFS therapy have been studied, applied, and advanced by thousands of psychotherapists. The second edition is extensively revised and updated--effective clinical strategies are illustrated with engaging therapist–client dialogues; cutting-edge research reveals the promise of IFS for conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder; and IFS concepts are applied at and between multiple levels, from the individual to the whole society. Psychotherapists at any stage of their careers will find stimulating concepts and carefully designed tools that will enrich their thinking and improve their practices."--Richard Chasin, MD, former president, American Family Therapy Academy
“The outstanding second edition of this classic book presents the preeminent research-supported, integrative family systems approach to working with individuals as well as their couple and family relationships in their larger cultural contexts. The book is beautifully written, the theory is sophisticated and nuanced, and the clinical vignettes demonstrate the details of putting IFS into practice. IFS therapy dovetails wonderfully with the emerging emphasis on body-based psychotherapies, mindfulness practices, and the role of spirituality in mental health and well-being. This book should be read by all therapists--not just those who align with family systems--and should be a core text for graduate programs in all forms of psychotherapy. I will use it in my graduate courses!”--Peter Fraenkel, PhD, Department of Psychology, The City College of the City University of New York
“In this updated second edition, Schwartz candidly shares how his work with clients has helped him expand his original thoughts regarding IFS and embrace a more client-led process. Schwartz and Sweezy define the concepts of IFS well, and the book is easy to read. I appreciate the addition of updated IFS research and the way the authors promote healing beyond the individual and family by extending IFS concepts to communities. Master’s- and doctoral-level students may further their ability to address self-of-the-therapist issues by reflecting on how their ‘parts’ interact with the ‘parts’ of clients, thus promoting better therapy outcomes.”--Jenene Case Pease, PhD, LMFT, Department of Human Development and Family Science, Virginia Tech; Clinical Director, The Family Therapy Center of Virginia Tech
"This book illustrates how the parts who populate our clients'' inner worlds are trying to manage an underlying threat that others may not see. The only credible offer of help is one that can resolve this threat. IFS guides us to offer deep understanding and meaningful assistance to clients who long to transform but are stuck in extreme, destructive roles."--Leslie S. Greenberg, PhD, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology, York University, Canada
Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, the developer of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, is on the adjunct faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He has devoted his career to evolving and disseminating IFS, which now is being taught all over the world. Dr. Schwartz founded the Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois, which coordinates IFS trainings in the United States and internationally. He is a featured speaker at many national conferences and has published more than 50 articles and books about IFS and other psychotherapy topics. His website is
Martha Sweezy, PhD, is Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, part-time; Program Consultant and Supervisor at Cambridge Health Alliance; and former Assistant Director and Director of Training for the Dialectical Behavior Therapy Program at Cambridge Health Alliance. She has a therapy and consultation practice in Northampton, Massachusetts, and has a particular interest in how shame and guilt affect human behavior. Dr. Sweezy has published several articles and books on Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy.