The Foundation for Self Leadership is very pleased to announce that, following a rigorous independent review, it has approved the funding for a second study of IFS as a treatment of PTSD. This new large study will build on a previous pilot study of IFS and complex trauma, also funded by the Foundation through generous community support.

Referred to as Program for Alleviating and Resolving Trauma and Stress (PARTS Study), this rigorous Phase II randomized clinical trial will be formally launched on September 1, 2020. It will examine over the next two years IFS vs. a nature-based stress reduction program as a treatment for PTSD and opioid use. It will be conducted at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance community mental health center in Massachusetts, USA.

The study will be led by Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD, an addiction psychiatrist who has completed Level 2 IFS training and has used IFS clinically since 2015, and engage a team of researchers and clinicians. The IFS-training readiness of the center's clinical staff and the active participation of a core of leading IFS therapists for supervision purposes are key to the study's success.

Dr. Schuman-Olivier serves as Director for the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion, Medical Director for Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance, a faculty member in the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry. He has led a large number of research studies supported by U.S. federal grants from NIDA, NCCIH, NCI, and CDC; directs the Clinical Core for NCCIH’s only P01 center grant focused on mind-body mechanisms for chronic pain; and serves as Principal Investigator for the NIH-funded MINDFUL-PC project, integrating mindfulness into primary care.

The main segment of the study will examine the effects of a 16-week IFS protocol on a randomized group from among 60 participants. The primary outcome examined will be change in PTSD severity from baseline to weeks 16 and 24 as measured by blinded raters with the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-5). A set of secondary outcomes will be also measured. The study will also include a feasibility and acceptability single-arm study of an IFS treatment for 12 individuals with PTSD and co-morbid substance abuse disorder.

"Given the scope of this phase II research study and the quality of its robust design and experience of the research team," said Toufic Hakim, PhD, Executive Director, “we anticipate it will expand empirical evidence significantly, inspire new studies and researchers, and secure federal funding to support future IFS research.” Such events will lead to unspoken positive consequences.

The Foundation has already raised almost two thirds ($200,000) of the study’s budget and invites additional support to fund the balance and make this critical study possible.

Members of the IFS community, who have experienced the promise and power of IFS to accelerate and sustain emotional healing and well-being, are invited to support this study and help make this transformative experience possible for others. To offer support, please go to

Please contact Ilanit Tal, PhD, Associate Director for Research, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.