Season 2 Episode 2: The ‘I’ in the Storm: A Conversation with Richard Schwartz

Join us for a wide ranging conversation with Dick Schwartz where we discuss everything from the origins of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model to the role of Self-Leadership in contemporary social justice movements.

Topics we discuss include:

  • How it’s the nature of the mind to have multiple parts
  • The role of legacy burdens in what gets called “mental illness”
  • The visionary history of systemic family therapy
  • The potential synergy of Open Dialogue and Internal Family Systems
  • Why it’s much easier to train non-therapists in IFS
  • The potential role of Self-Leadership in contemporary social justice movements 

About Dick Schwartz:

Richard Schwartz began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s. 

IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and classrooms. 

In 2013 Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where he is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Find Dick online:

On the web: IFS Institute 

On Social Media:

Links to relevant resources:

Links to So Many Wings’ social media and website

On the web:

On Instagram:

On Facebook:

On Patreon: