Dilara Ally, PhD, MSW will join the Center for Mindfulness and Compassion to conduct Internal Family Systems Research, funded by the Foundation for Self Leadership

“We are thrilled to fund this fellowship in honor of the significant contributions that Dr. Richard Schwartz has made to the mental health field. We are especially pleased to have it housed at the Cambridge Health Alliance/Harvard Medical School where Dr. Schwartz has been a faculty member for the past decade, and at CMC, which has been developing an academic Center of Excellence for IFS training, research and clinical practice”, said Toufic Hakim, PhD, Executive Director of the Foundation for Self Leadership.

The Foundation for Self Leadership and Center for Mindfulness and Compassion (CMC) are pleased to introduce Dilara Ally, PhD, MSW—the first recipient of the new Richard C. Schwartz Research Fellowship. The purpose of this fellowship is to expand the number of clinical researchers investigating the increasingly popular IFS Model.

The independent research studies will be conducted at CMC with mentorship from Dr. Schwartz and Zev Schuman-Olivier, MD at Harvard Medical School. During the fellowship, Dr. Ally will build her own research career incorporating health equity research methodologies into IFS clinical research, in collaboration with CHA’s Health Equity Research Lab. She will be clinically trained in IFS by Dr. Schwartz and other key CHA faculty (including Martha Sweezy, PhD; Nancy Sowell, LICSW; Larry Rosenberg, PhD; Hanna Soumerai, LICSW).

“I am touched and humbled to be honored in this way and excited to have the opportunity to mentor Dilara Ally who is an exceptional choice,” said Richard Schwartz, creator of the IFS model.

Dr. Ally holds a PhD in Statistical Genetics with extensive quantitative-based research experience and more than a decade of leadership in the life sciences industry. Her clinical background includes working with veterans, refugees, and ovarian cancer patients dealing with effects of trauma, depression, anxiety, and illness. She completed her clinical social work degree at Smith College and also has completed the IMP Certificate course in Meditation and Psychotherapy.

“I am so honored to be the inaugural Richard C. Schwartz Research Fellow and eager to start this important research at CMC,” said Ally. “Central to my work has been a commitment to an ecological perspective of mental health, the creation of more equitable partnerships between researchers and those researched, and the legitimization of different ways of knowing. This fellowship continues that work in a deeply meaningful way.”

About Dr. Richard Schwartz: Dr. Schwartz began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic. Grounded in systems thinking, he developed Internal Family Systems (IFS) in 1985 in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He then founded and led what is now known as the IFS Institute, which is a vibrant and rapidly growing organization today. Dr. Schwartz is a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and senior faculty at the Cambridge Health Alliance Center for Mindfulness and Compassion. Learn more at www.chacmc.org/richard-schwartz.

About CMC: Established in 2014, The Center for Mindfulness and Compassion (CMC) is part of the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA) healthcare system, a Harvard Medical School (HMS) teaching hospital. Operating in the CHA Department of Psychiatry, CMC is a research, training, and clinical center, working to integrate evidence-based mindfulness and compassion practices into primary care, mental health, and outpatient healthcare settings.

About the Foundation: The Foundation for Self Leadership, a US-based nonprofit organization with an international scope, seeks to foster greater emotional, relational and societal healing and well-being in our world through the IFS paradigm and practice. This mission is advanced by funding empirical research, incubating programs that deepen access to the model as a self-empowering philosophy and approach, and advocating for its broader applications through outreach.

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