Internal Family Systems Therapy with Couples

Presented by Richard C. Schwartz, PhD on 06-26-2009 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 10:30 a.m. Pacific (1:30 p.m. Eastern)

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a powerful form of depth psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and families. It was developed by carefully listening to clients, rather than trying to fit clients into a preconceived model, and it offers a clear, non-pathological, and empowering understanding of human problems. It is extremely effective at healing the root causes which underlie symptoms. The IFS Model has been taught to thousands of practitioners around the world and is one of the fastest growing models of therapy in use today.

This intuitive method helps people separate their extreme beliefs and emotions so as to release a healing state called the Self that we all contain. In this compassionate and wise Self-state, people are able to transform their inner relationships with extreme parts of them and their outer relationships with people around them. They find that they know how to heal themselves and to relate harmoniously. In addition, the Internal Family Systems Model offers an approach to harmonizing larger human systems like polarized communities, corporations, and countries.

In this brief introductory workshop, Dr. Richard Schwartz, the developer of IFS, will present ideas based on the framework of Internal Family Systems therapy: ideas about what makes relationships work, what makes them challenging, and what is possible for a conscious, connected, satisfying partnership.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

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Meet the Presenter

Richard C. Schwartz, PhD

Richard C. Schwartz, PhD

Richard Schwartz 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 Systems 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 (CSL) 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. 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
  • The Mosaic Mind: Empowering the Tormented Selves of Child Abuse Survivors (with Regina Goulding)
  • Metaframeworks (with Doug Breunlin and Betty Karrer)

If you're interested in any of Dr. Schwartz's books you can purchase them on the Center for Self-Leadership Website. There you can also find more information on regional workshops and over 20 training programs offered across the United States and Canada. Dr. Schwartz maintains a private practice in Oak Park, Illinois.

    Continuing Education Provider Approvals

    • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
    • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
    •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
    •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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