Interview with Dr Richard Schwartz for the British Psychological Society

“Through my decades of work as a researcher and therapist I found the natural state of the mind is to have what I call ‘parts’ – to be multiple, to have these internal sub-personalities. These ‘parts’ are natural, not the product of trauma, and when they start out all of them have valuable qualities and resources that help us in our lives. So we’re born with them, either manifest or dormant, and they pop out at different times in our lives and start to help. But at some point trauma and attachment injuries force them out of their naturally valuable states into roles that can be destructive, that might have been needed when you were young to protect you but that later became anachronistic and outdated. “ see the link for the full interview

IFS – a revolution in mental health care

Inside the Revolutionary Treatment That Could Change Psychotherapy Forever, IFS therapy is upending the thinking around schizophrenia, depression, OCD, and more

” Eventually, Schwartz did come up with names for the most common roles he saw parts taking on in their relationships with each other. Parts that he called protectors used a vast array of coping strategies, sometimes very extreme ones, to manage the emotional pain of deeply buried parts that Schwartz called exiles. Exiles were often very young and lived in a nightmarish limbo, interpreting even minor adult pain through the lens of the childhood memories they were trapped in. Because they were so vulnerable, exiles were hard to access. You had to go through protectors to get to them, and protectors could be tough customers.  …”
Read the full article at the link here, an overview of Internal Family Systems written for the general reader.

Deb Dana’s Rhythm of Regulation & Porge’s Polyvagal Theory – free podcast on the Science of Psychotherapy

Deb Dana has brought the Polyvagal Theory to life in a very accessible way for therapists. The Neuropsychotherapist team of Matt Dahlitz and Richard Hill in this PODCAST catches up with Deb and they talk about a number of things including the difficulties and opportunities of co-regulation over the internet in a time of lock down.

See Deb Dana’s 1 hour FREE webinar hosted by Simon d’Orsogna here.  Use the access password DDANA5AP20 – Note the presentation starts 6min in, goes for 40 minutes, and then 20min Q&A. 

Online Workshop for Australian Eastern timezone:

The Rhythm of Regulation – Polyvagal Theory with Deb Dana – Foundation I – Online Workshop Saturdays, from 6 June 2020 – each session from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm (AEST)

COVID-19 – another take – Letter to the pupils of the Lycée Volta.

The Italian authorities have closed schools, but the most dangerous virus is not called Covid-19: it is the one that, carried by fear, poisons human relationships. 
Building on Manzoni, Domenico Squillace, director of the Volta technical high school in Milan, wrote to his students. His letter caused a buzz, A delicious antidote to panic.

Translated by Anna Lietti

To the pupils of the Lycée Volta.

“The plague, which the health court had feared entering the Milanese with the German bands, had indeed entered it with them, as the reader is aware; and he also knows that it did not stop there, but that it invaded and ravaged a large part of Italy… ”

With these words opens chapter 31 of Fiancés  [novel by Alessandro Manzoni and great school classic, editor’s note ], a chapter, with the following, entirely devoted to the epidemic of plague which fell on Milan in 1630. It is a luminous text of extraordinary modernity that I advise you to read carefully, especially in these days of confusion. 

There is already everything in these pages: the certainty that foreigners are dangerous, dissension within the authorities, the spasmodic search for said patient zero, contempt for experts, the hunt for oilers [accused, during the Milan epidemic, to spread the disease via infected ointments, note], wild rumors, the most absurd remedies, the raid on essential goods, the health emergency …

In these pages, you will come across, among other things, names that you surely know since you frequent the neighboring streets of our high school and that the latter is erected, let us not forget, in the middle of what was the lazaretto of Milan: Ludovico Settala, Alessandro Tadino, Felice Casati among others. All this to say that these pages seem straight out of a newspaper today, even more than the novel by Manzoni.

Les Fiancés , Milanese history from the 17th century.

Dear students, there is nothing new under the sun I think, and yet our establishment is closed and I must speak to you. Our institution is one of those which, with its rhythms and rites, punctuates the course of time and harmonious life in society; it is no coincidence that the obligation to close schools is only decided by the authorities in very rare and truly exceptional cases. It is not for me to judge the advisability of the present measure, I am not an expert, I respect the authorities, I trust them and I scrupulously observe the advice to the population. 

But also I want to tell you: keep your cool, avoid getting caught up in the collective delirium, continue – with the usual precautions – to lead a normal life. Take advantage of these days to go for walks, to read a good book; there is no reason – if you feel good – to stay locked up at home. There is no reason to storm supermarkets and pharmacies, leave the masks for those who are sick – only they can help. The speed at which the disease can reach the other side of the world is the daughter of our time, there is no wall that can stop it; a few centuries ago it also traveled, only a little more slowly. 

One of the major risks in such situations, teach us Manzoni and also Boccaccio, is the poisoning of social life, of human relationships. It is barbarism that makes a living in society. When we feel threatened by an invisible enemy, our atavistic instinct is to see the enemy everywhere and we run the danger of considering each of our fellow men as a threat, a potential aggressor. 

Since the epidemics of the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries, we have developed the powerful weapon that is modern medicine, it is not nothing, believe me. Let us appeal to the rational spirit which generated that to preserve our most precious asset: our social ties, our humanity. If we do not succeed the plague will have won for good, and we lost our humanity. If we do not succeed, the plague will have won for good.

I look forward to welcoming you to school,

Domenico Squillace


Becoming our Compassionate Self

Integrating Parts of Ourselves Into the Process of Spiritual Awakening With Dick Schwartz and Lama John Makransky (40min)

This video contains selected highlights to give you a taste of this groundbreaking, historic event. To experience this workshop in full, it is available at the IFS store…just click here:….

On March 30th 2019 – a bright crisp early Spring day in Cambridge, Massachusetts – a gathering was held at the Cambridge Friends Meeting House. This day was an opportunity for an enthusiastic audience to witness a continuing conversation – a meeting of minds – between Dr. Richard Schwartz, founder of IFS or Internal Family Systems and Lama John Makransky, developer of ICT or Innate Compassion Training – which is derived from Tibetan Buddhism. Offered as a daylong workshop, there were conceptual presentations, experiential guided practices, a video presentation and animated, inspiring conversation about spiritual practice and the many parallels and potential synergy between IFS and Tibetan Buddhism. Please enjoy these selected highlights. If you want to experience the workshop in full, please click here:….

IFS inspired therapeutic work with client with DID

TRIGGER WARNING – child abuse – recent program from 60 minutes –
or for non-Australian audiences
program details MPD/DID child abuse with IFS informed support from Queensland psychiatrist George Blair-West – (3min trailer)
Wonderful work – thank you George!

SAMHSA’s Evidence Basis for IFS Effectiveness and areas for further research

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

More here

The National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) is an evidence-based repository and review system designed to provide the public with reliable information on mental health and substance use interventions. All interventions in the registry have met NREPP’s minimum requirements for review. The programs’ effects on individual outcomes have been independently assessed and rated by certified NREPP reviewers.