Internal Family Systems Therapy: New Dimensions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Internal Family Systems Therapy

New Dimensions, 1st Edition

Edited by Martha Sweezy, Ellen L. Ziskind


232 pages

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pub: 2013-03-13
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Internal family systems therapy, or IFS, is one of the fastest growing models of psychotherapy today.  Focused on psychic multiplicity and the healing effects of compassion, this non-pathologizing therapy has been adopted by clinicians around the world. Internal Family Systems Therapy builds on Richard Schwartz’s foundational introductory texts, illustrating how the IFS protocol can be applied to a variety of therapy modalities and patient populations.Each chapter provides clear, practical guidance and clinical illustrations. While addressing questions from therapists who are exploring the model or wonder about its applicability, Internal Family Systems Therapy is also essential reading for knowledgeable IFS clinicians.


"This thoughtful and readable volume addresses the questions that enter most clinicians' minds when first encountering Internal Family Systems: "How will IFS work for me in encountering the kinds of populations and issues I face every day in my practice?" Full of actual case illustrations, Internal Family Systems Therapy brings this new, exciting form of treatment into the therapy room in a way that is substantive, alive, relevant, and exciting."

—Terrence Real, author of I Don't Want to Talk About It and The New Rules of Marriage

"IFS is a profound and truly innovative treatment method that is based on self-leadership rather than prescriptions from outside. Psychological problems have their origins in attempts to protect a person's fundamental integrity. We all have angry, depressed, confused and seductive parts that started off as ways to cope with life's challenges. Rather than trying to banish them IFS helps us welcome our parts and enlist them to release the burdens we carry from our past. Sweezy and Ziskind's book on IFS is filled with wise and practical chapters from experienced IFS practitioners and teachers to guide clients and therapists alike with the work of healing. I highly recommend it".

—Bessel van der Kolk, MD, professor of psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, and author of Traumatic Stress

"As a mindfulness-based treatment, IFS is inherently compassionate, gentle, and respectful, allowing therapist and client access to places of deep healing and self-connection. This book beautifully illustrates the power of IFS therapy to reframe many common clinical challenges as internal struggles between parts of us and to open up new possibilities for resolution."

— Janina Fisher, PhD, coauthor of the forthcoming book, The Body as a Resource

Table of Contents

Foreword Richard C. Schwartz An Introduction to IFS Jack Engler 1. The Therapist-Client Relationship and the Transformative Power of Self Richard C. Schwartz 2. Emotional Cannibalism: Shame in Action Martha Sweezy 3. IFS with Children and Adolescents Pamela Krause 4. Self in Relationship: An Introduction to IFS Couple Therapy Toni Herbine-Blank 5. Integrating IFS with Phase Oriented Treatment of Dissociative Disordered Clients Joanne Twombly 6. Embodying the Internal Family Susan McConnell 7. "Who’s Taking What?" Connecting Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology and Internal Family Systems For Trauma Frank Gustella Anderson 8. The Internal Family System and Adult Health: Changing the Course of Chronic Illness Nancy Sowell 9. IFS and Health Coaching: A New Model of Behavior Change and Medical Decision Making John B. Livingstone & Joanne Gaffney 10. Treating Pornography Addiction with IFS Nancy Wonder 11. Welcoming All Erotic Parts: Our Reactions to the Sexual and Using Polarities to Enhance Erotic Excitement Lawrence G. Rosenberg

About the Author/Editors

Martha Sweezy, PhD, is the associate director and director of training for the dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) program at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a lecturer on psychiatry at Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School, and assists at IFS trainings. She is the author of two articles on IFS, "Treating Trauma After Dialectical Behavioral Therapy" in the Journal of Psychotherapy Integration (2011, Vol. 21, No. 1, 90–102) and "The Teenager’s Confession: Regulating Shame in Internal Family Systems Therapy"in the American Journal of Psychotherapy (2011, Vol. 65, Issue 2, 179-188). She has a therapy and consultation practice in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Ellen L. Ziskind, LICSW, has been affiliated with Harvard Medical School at Cambridge Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Institute for Psychotherapy and Two Brattle Center, leading staff groups and doing group consultation. Currently she is on the faculty at Northeastern Society for Group Psychotherapy. IFS is an integral part of her work with individuals, couples and groups. She has a private practice in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychotherapy / General
PSYCHOLOGY / Mental Health