10 Year Logo


The Foundation for Self Leadership has achieved many significant milestones over the last decade—toward bringing emotional and relational healing to a world in need—by strategically advancing the IFS paradigm and the practice of Self leadership.

10 Years

As we enter our tenth year of work, let us remember that these milestones were achieved through a partnership of philanthropic support from Friends of the Foundation and IFS Institute (total expenditures included); leadership and dedication from within our lean organization; and creative energy from IFS practitioners, researchers and partners.

Together, we have accomplished much in the Foundation’s focus areas: adding to the evidence about IFS, catalyzing access to IFS by broadening applications in various settings, and expanding the visibility of IFS.


We funded independent research that increased the literature on IFS.

10 Years

First study funded by Foundation published in peer-reviewed journal | $45,000 USD

Led by the Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute in Boston (Massachusetts, USA), this 2014-15 study provided evidence that IFS therapy had significantly positive effects on adults with PTSD. Notably, at the one-month follow-up assessment, 92% of participants no longer met criteria for PTSD. The resulting paper was published in 2021 in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma in 2021. LEARN MORE

Set standards for IFS research and practice | $11,000 USD

IFS practitioners, working with the Foundation, volunteered their time and expertise to design the first fidelity scale to measure adherence with the IFS psychotherapeutic modality, which was examined independent for inter-rater reliability. To maintain research integrity and independence, the Foundation articulated merit criteria and established an independent council of researchers to review grant applications. LEARN MORE

Secured designation for IFS as an evidence-based practice | $5,500 USD

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (USA) first recognized IFS psychotherapy as an evidence-based practice in 2015 as the result of an application prepared and submitted by the Foundation for Self Leadership based on a research study published by Nancy Shadick, MD, MPH and Nancy Sowell, MSW, LICSW. LEARN MORE

Funded study on the physiological effects of IFS on client and therapist | $75,000 USD

The Trauma Center and the Computational Behavioral Science Lab at Northeastern University co-led this pioneering work. The study sought to measure parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous signals, as well as cardiovascular, respiratory, and electrodermal responses, during the client-therapist process.

Built online resources for researchers | $20,000 USD

The Foundation maintains a searchable list of IFS-related books, papers, articles, and theses to showcase the depth and breadth of IFS research. A team of academic researchers has reviewed and provided editorial commentary on numerous publications to aid researchers. LEARN MORE

Launched RCT on IFS as treatment for PTSD and opioid use | $325,000 USD

In 2020, the Foundation secured initial funding for a randomized clinical trial at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance (Massachusetts, USA). The research is currently assessing the effects of an IFS protocol for trauma as well as for individuals with PTSD and comorbid substance abuse disorder. The RCT continues through 2023 and the Foundation will provide the remaining $150,000 in funding with support from Friends of the Foundation. LEARN MORE


We incubated pilot projects that took IFS beyond clinical applications, into traumatized communities.

Introduced notions of Self and parts to educators | $45,000 USD

Partnering with IFS practitioners who specialize in serving K12 educators, we funded a pilot project at two middle schools in Minneapolis, (Minnesota, USA) serving at-risk student populations. Teachers participated in a 10-month IFS experience that enabled them to be more Self led in the classroom. An independent evaluation of the pilot, which was completed in September 2018, is available. LEARN MORE

10 Years

Funded expanded second “IFS in Schools” project | $80,000 USD

This two-year professional development experience for teachers, staff, and administrators began at a high school, middle school, and elementary school in the Hartford area (Connecticut, USA) in Fall 2019. The following Spring, schools in the US went online because of Covid-19. The Self-leadership project continued through the pandemic and provided educators with invaluable inner resources to meet the moment. The manuscript for this program is now being considered for publication. An independent outcomes evaluation is available. LEARN MORE

Developed plan to scale-up “IFS in Schools” | $3,500 USD to date

Building on the positive results and evaluations from the Minnesota and Connecticut pilot projects, an IFS-in-Schools Advisory Council was formed in 2021 and continued working last year to identify strategies for scaling up efforts to establish Self-led school districts, at all levels.

Designed “Helping the Helpers” strategy

Over the past decade, we have brought together IFS practitioners who lent their knowledge and time to our Healing Corps. Healing Corps volunteers are mental health first-responders working to address crisis situations, currently in two identified areas of need. LEARN MORE

10 YearsMilitary Veterans | $5,500 USD to-date

IFS therapists—who are veterans themselves—work with veterans and active-duty military to address the trauma of service and related suicide epidemic. Two initial retreat-style programs combining IFS in nature received funding in early 2023 with more planned for the future.

10 YearsUkrainian Relief Initiative | $5,000 USD to-date

We are supporting the people of Ukraine through a peer-to-peer initiative, designed with input from Ukrainian therapists and an IFS advisory team. The initiative prepares and brings IFS practitioners, with the help of translators, together into “communities” with Ukrainian therapists who are serving refugees and survivors of the war on Ukraine. The IFS practitioners serve as mentors and provide emotional support to the therapists who are on the front-lines of the mental health crisis in Ukraine.

Opening doors: toward healing in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities

The inaugural IFS Leadership Fellows kicked off in 2022 with IFS Level I training for 24 fellows. The program supports leaders from communities that have been traditionally marginalized by society due to such issues as race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomics, immigration. LEARN MORE


We nurtured communities of practice through outreach and support.

Brought IFS to bear on pressing social needs | $6,000 USD

In the depths of the pandemic and a time of political turbulence, the Foundation brought together IFS practitioners to present free webinars with timely insights and information. LEARN MORE

10 Yearsinnervention
focused on those immediately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic including educators, small business owners and other executives, parents, first responders and caregivers.

10 YearsLegacy Burdens of Racism,
developed during the Black Lives Matter movement, examined how racism can be understood and addressed by using the IFS model.

10 YearsA Bridge Between US
explored ways to rebuild dialogue during a time of increasing social and political divide in the United States.

Produced online resources for the helpers | $7,500 USD

In recent years, the Foundation has increasingly focused on “helping the helpers” as a means for a small organization to have maximum impact. We produced and presented webinars targeted to two key audiences in 2021.

10 YearsResolving the War Within: IFS & the Military
enhanced the capacity of IFS practitioners to serve clients from the military community.

10 YearsSustaining Hope & Self-Empowerment in Our Schools: Greater Clarity Through the IFS Lens
demonstrated how educators are producing promising results that are not only practical and measurable, but seemingly empowering, sustainable, and even healing.

Published periodicals that elevated the conversation about IFS | $157,500 USD

The Foundation has created connections within and beyond the IFS community through our website, social media channels and IFS-focused periodicals. In 2022, we closed the cover on OUTLOOK magazine after 14 issues and launched PARTS & SELF, a web-based publication that highlights thought-leadership and cutting-edge practices. LEARN MORE

10 Years

Sustained quality operations, communication efforts and programming

The Fund for Self Leadership received $236,000 USD in 2022. These funds were immediately invested in our part-time staff and associates who plan, implement and manage every Foundation-driven project and program. These funds secured all the resources needed to run an efficient and effective organization and expand public knowledge of IFS. In 2021, 84% of our total expenditures were for research, access and advocacy programs. LEARN MORE

Earned the 2023 Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar/Candid

The Foundation for Self Leadership ranks among the top 1% of nonprofits nationally who share information about their mission, vision, objectives, activity and outcomes with the public. LEARN MORE

August 2023 marks 10 years of the Foundation’s work in advancing the IFS paradigm and practice of Self leadership

Our strategic priorities for 2023 and beyond build on our achievements to-date. These priorities will continue our mission to increase the credibility, applicability and visibility of the IFS model, and make the practice of Self leadership accessible to all.

Complete grant for current RCT study at Cambridge Health Alliance, leading to evidence about the efficacy of IFS as a treatment for PTSD. Just as importantly, it will establish an IFS-treatment approach for community agencies, which support diverse groups.

Build on the Foundation’s record over the last ten years of funding research that contributes to the scientific literature on IFS (ensuring that IFS research continues for the next ten) with a new, quasi-endowed post-doctoral research fellowship.

Sustain a lean and enterprising organization through unrestricted, annual charitable contributions to the Fund for Self Leadership, especially by our Cornerstone Partners.

Begin planning, recruiting and funding the 2024-25 cohort of IFS Leadership Fellows, taking into account experiences and outcomes from the inaugural group.

Expand the Ukraine Relief Initiative to better support therapists who are addressing the need for trauma-informed approaches, as they help internal and external exiles of the on-going war.

Partner with us on the life-changing work still ahead.