Richard Schwartz, PhD, began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois and at Northwestern University. Grounded in systems thinking, Schwartz developed the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He noticed that when these parts felt safe and had their concerns addressed, they were less disruptive and would accede to the wise leadership of what Schwartz came to call the “Self.” The coordinating “Self,” which embodies qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion, acts as a center around which the various parts constellate. Because IFS locates the source of healing within the client, it is a nonpathologizing, hopeful framework for psychotherapy.
Richard Schwartz is founder of the Center for Self Leadership, which offers three levels of trainings and workshops in Internal Family Systems internationally, both for professionals and the general public. A fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, he has published five books and more than 50 articles about Internal Family Systems and is a featured speaker for many national psychotherapy organizations.
What People are Saying About Richard Schwartz
“Schwartz makes the invisible visible in ways that are compelling, lucid, and clinically useful. He shows how the psyche is both systemic and accessible, and his model could well revolutionize family therapy.”
—Douglas H. Sprenkle, PhD, editor of the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy
“Each of us is lobbied by a clamor of disembodied inner voices. In his clinical work, Richard Schwartz engages with each of these voices....By applying family systems approaches to this interior assembly, Schwartz enables the client to comprehend and grapple effectively with many problems, even with such bedeviling maladies as bulimia and self-mutilation. ”
— Richard Chasin, MD, associate clinical professor of psychiatry, Harvard Medical School