A Letter From Harley Goldberg

What an opportunity to serve and do good – A Note to the Community

My wife came home one evening and said there was a weekend workshop she thought we should go to with this guy named Swartz.  (You should be smiling now).  That quickly became a week-long workshop, and then another, and so it began.  

When I first encountered Dick Swartz and IFS, I had the sense of coming home. The recognition and value of Self rang deeply in and through all my years of exploring spiritual traditions. The simple, yet dramatically profound and useful, model of multiplicity of mind, in relation to Self, resonated and relaxed the parts of me looking for the model that explained not only the spiritual and mental realms, but also the 'elephant in the room' - the emotional patterns that drive me, at times so relentlessly. It was as if all my life experiences came settling to quiet.  

IFS gave me a model to use for myself, in my life, and it also gave me a model to use in my clinical practice of medicine. Bringing Self presence into the exam room of course made all the difference. Bringing IFS into the exam room meant "all parts are welcome", and tensions melted and opportunities opened.  Bringing IFS into the organizational development work I was engaged in was even more surprising!  

At one workshop, I was sitting with Dick and a physician colleague of his at dinner, and we began talking about the applications of IFS in clinical medicine. We began to list all the medical issues for which there was a known significant psychosocial component. I had an active research portfolio, so we began 'designing trials' at the dinner table. We talked about the need to validate the IFS model with high-quality research for a number of reasons, most of them good reasons. It was fortuitous that a short time later, Dick thought of re-kindling the Foundation, to develop the research needed to explore IFS.

When I had the opportunity to meet the others who had been appointed to the Foundation for Self Leadership’s Board of Directors, it became clear that the opportunity to serve with colleagues who shared the same values, was in itself nourishing and rewarding. To be allowed to meet and work with such high-value friends while also doing good for the world - what a blessing!  

It was an honor to be appointed to the Foundation of Self Leadership Board of Directors, and as need arose, to serve for a while as Chair. There is so much we can do to support the IFS community, and so much need and opportunity to develop applications of the IFS model in the world, that the agenda for the Foundation Board is unfolding before us as the IFS universe expands.

I look forward to sharing the opportunities with you!  

Harley Goldberg, DO
February 2016