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The Foundation is pleased to release the May 2018 Edition of OUTLOOK.

Read about how IFS practitioners continue to build bridges and cross barriers, from treating opioid addictions to helping and providing support to refugees; about growing interest in the constructs of IFS in China; and about an emerging framework or IFS-inspired Self-led activism.

Other updates include the global expansion of IFS trainings, from China and Australia to Portugal; the publication of a new manual at the intersection of IFS and trauma-informed treatments for anxiety, depression, PTSD and substance abuse; and fun ways to brings IFS to kids' therapy. 

This issue of OUTLOOK contains other stories, a view of local IFS community engagement, and a number of Foundation's operational updates.


We are pleased to share with you the May 2018 edition of OUTLOOK.  Click on titles below or go online to read full articles.

IFS Support for Those Working with Syrian Refugees
For the past 20 years, Tom Holmes, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor Emeritus, at Western Michigan University, College of Health and Human Services, has been bringing IFS and parts work around the world—mostly in Germany, but also to the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Korea. In Fall 2016, he began training Jordanian therapists who work with Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Jordan, which is where his focus remains. [Read more…

ShiftingParadigms: Bringing Compassion to the Opiate Crisis
According to the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, 63,600 people died in the U.S. from drug overdose1 in 2016, with over 20,000 oft hose being from opioids. Some estimate opiate overdoses for 2017 to be between 33,000 – 42,000. With more than 115 Americans dying per day from opioid overdose2 alone, new and effective approaches in treatment are of utmost importance. Our IFS community is gifted with two therapists who bring many years of experience working with the addictive process—Cece Sykes, LCSW, ACSW,  IFS Senior Lead Trainer; and Mary Kruger, MS, LMFT, IFS Lead Trainer. They share with us their thoughts on this crisis and what it will take to shift it. [Read more…

IFS Training on a Grand Scale: Genuine Embodiment of IFS in Mainstream China
The increasing interest in IFS continues to spread far and wide across the globe. In November 2017, Richard Schwartz, PhD, led a group of participants—not the typical 30, but 320 this time—in Hangzhou, China, in a six-day workshop on IFS. He was accompanied by his wife, Jeanne Catanzaro, PhD, who helped develop the format. The workshop, which focused on an overview of the Model, parts and Self, and working with protector parts, became the genesis of Phase One of a modified training in China for peer support. [Read more…

We invite you to dream with us...
Of a world in which individuals, regardless of age, profession, or geography, are aware of their own internal system of parts and Self... A world in which it is commonplace for people to navigate their own lives and interactions well, listening with interest and no judgment, and experiencing composure, calm, and even compassion in the face of adversity. Now imagine how you would feel in such a wonderful world. [Read more…

From the Board

Dear IFS Community,

We hope this seventh edition of OUTLOOK finds you in good spirit, welcoming a new spring, no matter how slow it took for it to blossom. Spring brings us a promise of change and renewal; and so does this edition, highlighting once more the depth of innovation within our IFS community and our shared commitment to making a significant difference in our world. [Read more…


A Compass for Warrior Compassion

Frank is the Muriel Bernice Roberts Professor of Spiritual Formation and Narrative Pedagogy and Co-Director of the Center for Engaged Compassion (CEC) at the Claremont School of Theology, and teaches inter-religious graduate students compas- sion-based social transformation. CEC’s program integrates IFS, compassion-based communication skills, restorative justice, conflict transformation, and nonviolent social action with the contemplative resources and practices of the world’s spiritual tradi- tions. He and his students creatively and courageously bring empowered compassionate social action into... [Read more…

Be counted as an active member of our growing caring global community. To keep abreast of a wide range of developments around IFS and our community, please sign up at www.FoundationIFS.org/donate/ join-the-movement.

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Dedication and Expansion of IFS: A CSL Update
IFS trainings are more popular and in demand than ever—recent trainings have taken place in China, Australia, and Israel, as well as Portugal, Italy, and many other countries in Europe. There is also new interest for trainings in Viet Nam, South Korea, and several African and South American countries. To meet this demand, CSL will increase the total number of US trainings by a minimum of 50 percent in the next two years, and significant increases will also be seen internationally. [Read more…

Expanding Trauma-Informed Treatment and IFS
Remaining on Amazon.com’s best-seller list for trauma for several weeks after publication, Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD & Substance Abuse continues to receive a warm reception. The manual, authored by Frank Anderson, MD; Martha Sweezy, PhD; and Richard Schwartz, PhD, is aimed at therapists, yet clients are finding the manual useful as well. [Read more…

Free IFS Interest Groups: Building Skills and Community
For the past two years, Carl Marcus, MS, MSS, LCSW, has engaged therapists in the Philadelphia metro area in free IFS Interest Groups. These groups are an outgrowth of for-fee half- and full-day IFS workshops that he began offering in 2013. Because finances are often an issue for IFS trainings, he wants to provide educational opportunities until therapists can invest in a L1 training. Carl, who was IFS Certified in 2007 and who is an avid Program Assistant in IFS trainings, declares, “I want to spread IFS and move it further into the world. I care a lot about the Model and believe it is the best therapy modality there is.” [Read more…

Vibrant Roots for IFS Down Under
IFS seeds of compassionate change and growth continue to spread like wildfire across the globe. As mentioned in previous articles in this edition of OUTLOOK, interest in the Model has surpassed the availability of trainings. For more than a decade, therapists and practitioners in Australia have yearned for IFS training on their continent. 
This February, thirty Australian therapists graduated in the country’s first Level 1 training. [Read more…

Improving the Lives of Actors, Writers, and Directors: IFS and Character MappingSM
Have you ever been so captivated by a character onscreen or on a stage that you felt you were right there in the story? When an actor embodies a character so fully and realistically, it briefly takes us out of our own lives, temporarily transporting us to another world. What makes a character’s life truly believable? “It all comes down to knowing the inner workings of the character’s mind—knowing its motivations, burdens, and inner polarities,” reflects Mariel Pastor, LMFT, and IFS Lead Trainer. For the past 15 years, Mariel has been bridging IFS and creative artists, two interests she holds dear. Her passion for this work has led to the development of Character MappingSM, a master class in character development for actors, writers, and directors, to help them hone in on a character’s psychology as well as getting to know themselves. [Read more…

KidsWorld:  Inside & Out Psychotherapeutic Board Game               
For over 43-years, Art Mones Ph.D., ABPP, has been obsessed in his search for the essence of healing. Meet Richard Schwartz, PhD in the 1980’s went a long way toward his goal, as he saw IFS to be a courageous step towards radical healing. In 2014, Art, who is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and Faculty in the Postgraduate Programs in Child-Family and Couples Therapy at the Derner Institute, Adelphi University, wrote his first book,Transforming Troubled Children, Teens, and Their Families: An Internal Family Systems Model for Healing, applying IFS to youth and their families. In his book, he brings IFS concepts to the understanding of children and to the interaction among them and their families. We look at “what goes awry and how to bring healing to problem-saturated cycles,” he explains. [Read more…] 

A Foundation Operational Brief
The Foundation continues to focus its programming and activities in three areas of engagement: research, education and advocacy. Below are some noteworthy highlights. [Read more…

2017 Foundation Annual Report
The Foundation’s Board and Staff Associates are grateful to everyone who has supported our efforts since 2013, and especially this past year. [Read more…


Why do you donate to the Foundation?

“I have many parts who love to donate to the Foundation for Self Leadership. My research scientist parts savor every tasty morsel of research data that shows that IFS works, and that sheds light on how parts play their role. I’m particularly curious about the relationship between parts and the body. I was fascinated by the research on rheumatoid arthritis and IFS. My IFS client parts are so grateful for the healing power of IFS and how it has transformed my life, and are thrilled to support the effort of broadening access to IFS training." [Read more…

From the Editor

One result of working with our parts and embodying the IFS Model is a consistent ability to remain calmly in center – being the eye of the storm – amid the chaos of the world. Whether disruption is individual, familial, local or global, one constant is that we each can tap into our Selves at any given moment. With regular connection with our parts, this becomes effortless over time. One drop raises the sea and so it is, that as each individual changes, the world changes. [Read more…]  


OUTLOOK is an occasional bulletin that the Foundation for Self Leadership will publish to share news relevant to IFS, the IFS community, and developments relating to the Foundation. The ultimate purpose of OUTLOOK is to support the Foundation's mission of promoting the notion and agency of Self-leadership.

Do you know of any IFS-related news our community would like to know?  Please share with us such developments or happenings within one of these categories: IFS research, IFS within psychotherapy or programming, and IFS applications beyond psychotherapy. Please complete the form on our website or send general information in a short email to Michelle Glass at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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