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Internal Family Systems Therapy

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  375 ratings  ·  22 reviews
This book has been replaced by Internal Family Systems Therapy, Second Edition, ISBN 978-1-4625-4146-1.
Paperback, 248 pages
Published July 11th 1997 by The Guilford Press (first published 1994)
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Average rating 4.29  · 
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Jeanine Marie Swenson
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This psychotherapeutic model really resonates with me and all of my parts.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love parts work big-time. I just wished it didn't focus so heavily on eating disorders. However, it is well worth a read for its richness, it's depth and it's clear explanation of the way in which the multiplicity of self can be honored in therapy and attended to in the service of healing.
Apr 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
For the more advanced seeker. This book provides an applicable theory to how emotions work and why we make the decisions we make. It has changed my whole world view and is a tool that has allowed me to learn how to have more grace toward myself and as a result, I have more grace to give to others.
Keith Wilson
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
You are divided. You must have noticed this when you’re trying to decide whether to have that chocolate cake, or stick to your diet; when you rise, groaning from your bed, despite how comfortable that pillow looks; when you want to tell your boss to shove it, but instead say, Yes Sir. It’s like, up there in your mind, you have a boardroom with an array of directors all around the table. Your mother’s voice is heard sometimes. Also your father, your big brother, who called you a spoiled brat, and ...more
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I learned about Internal Family Systems Therapy in van der Kolk's landmark reference book on trauma "The Body Keeps the Score". Based on this and a podcast interview with Schwartz, I began to intuitively use ego states work in my clinical process and found the approach extremely useful. In going back to Schwartz' original book I very much appreciate the genius in this model. Schwartz' introductory book on his method is wonderfully easy to read and filled with excellent case examples from his ...more
Lora Rivera
Oct 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
This model seems to make a lot of intuitive sense. Well-laid out. I would've liked the chance to look at a single-parent situation. I also expected a less simplified analysis of societal/cultural burdens...
Luiz Fabricio Calland Cerqueira
I took a really long time to read it and didnt really finish it. I used the 70% rule. Its good, but feels like an overcomplicated ego-state therapy. I already read the self-therapy version of this approach and I suppose it makes more sense in that case... but in real therapy, I get the use of around 50% of it. The rest seems like over doing it. ...more
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
An interesting but dry read.
Jan 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: psychology, identity
About how we internalize and deal with pain. Really insightful.
Nadya De Angelis
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Much I owe to the Land that grew
More to the Life that fed
But most to Allah Who gave me two
Separate sides to my head.


The book's central thesis is that there are not two, but many separate sides within us, and this has nothing to do with a "Multiple Personality Disorder". Like different characters in a play, they behave more or less like real people within a family circle: some dominate, some block what they think is harmful for you, some push you to do bad things, some constantly
Stephanie Mitchell
The seminal book on this topic. If you are learning IFS then read all of these books! Richard Schwartz is an exceptional therapist who has dedicated his life to really listening to his clients. The only trauma therapy approach that I believe has consistently done this!!! A radically different approach to other trauma processing approaches, changed my life and changed my clinical practice.
May 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychotherapy, ifs
This was a strong foundational book as an introduction to Internal Family Systems Therapy. I also appreciated how the author gave attention to the role of each family member's internal system on the overall family system.
Roberta Fish
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent information about internal family systems. Helpful to therapy.
Jun 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Very difficult to understand if you are just beginning to learn about dissociation and your “parts.” It seemed more relevant to a trained professional.
John Voigts
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Game changer for me
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Много эзотерики
Anne Kadet
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A whole new and super helpful way of looking at everything.
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got a lot out of this book! It provides a detailed overview of the model, with case examples interspersed throughout. I fell in love with IFS.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting theory
Johna Van
Nov 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: therapy
This is an interesting form of therapy that breaks apart our psyche into separate parts that are separate from the real us, and how we deal with these parts. By actually speaking to these parts, we can remove conflict and internal termoil that causes suffering. Very enlightening.
Mar 25, 2015 added it
really dry! but good applications.
Colleen Hannush
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Mar 18, 2017
Tracy Wicherts
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Jul 21, 2019
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Jan 31, 2015
Diego Monteagudo
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Dec 29, 2013
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Dec 30, 2019
Ian White
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Feb 14, 2020
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Feb 10, 2010
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Jan 30, 2015
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Nov 25, 2017
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“Imbalanced systems,whether internal or external, will tend to polarize.” 4 likes
“A part is not just a temporary emotional state or habitual thought pattern. Instead, it is a discrete and autonomous mental system that has an idiosyncratic range of emotion, style of expression, set of abilities, desires, and view of the world. In other words, it is as if we each contain a society of people, each of whom is at a different age and has different interests, talents, and temperaments. In” 3 likes
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