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Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

Program Description

Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy is a psychotherapeutic modality developed in the mid-1980s, based on the observation that clients sometimes experience subpersonalities that come into internal conflict when dealing with challenges. The IFS model likens these subpersonalities to an “internal family.” 

The IFS model uses mindfulness-based and other strategies to help people resolve internal conflicts in a satisfactory way. During sessions, therapists actively encourage participants to practice self-compassion toward subpersonalities and an internal dialogue. Participants attend individual sessions or group meetings with trained IFS therapists.

The Center for Self Leadership offers progressive levels of training in IFS, from beginning (Level 1) through advanced (Level 3). Participants in these trainings learn both IFS theory and technique, gaining the knowledge and skills needed to understand and actively use IFS with individuals, couples, children, families, and groups. Information and training regarding IFS is provided through multiple sources.

Program Snapshot
Evidence Ratings
General Functioning and Well-Being
Anxiety Disorders and Symptoms
Physical Health Conditions and Symptoms
Depression and Depressive Symptoms
Program Contact
Jon Schwartz
Executive Director, Center for Self Leadership

Center for Self Leadership; P.O. Box 3969; Oak Park, IL 60303


Dissemination/Implementation Contact
Mary Anne Gardner
IFS Training Program Coordinator

Center for Self Leadership; P.O. Box 3969; Oak Park, IL 60303


Program Type
Mental health treatment


26-55 (Adult)
55+ (Older adult)

Geographic Locations
Not Specified

Hospital / Medical Center


Implementation materials available
Dissemination materials available