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THE INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS MODEL

The Internal Family Systems Model was developed by Richard Schwartz, a family systems therapist. In working with many of his clients, he heard them often referring to their own inner experiences in ways that mirrored the relationships that went on among family members. He delved deeper into this phenomenon and discovered that most of his clients related to the notion that within their psyche were several "subselves," each with its own motives and personality, that interacted with each other. He began to systematize his understanding of this view of the psyche and to develop methods for optimizing the system, allowing these various inner selves to relate to each other more harmoniously.

Schwartz says that his model is a combination of Systems Thinking and the concept of the multiplicity of mind. In addition to helping people understand their inner lives and how to optimize their personal psychic system, Schwartz noted the concept of "parallelism," which states that similar patterns play out on all levels of human systems. Therefore, archetypal forms of relationships and conflicts play out self-similarly whether within an individual, a family, a society or even globally between nations. Schwartz's model is very powerful as it allows us to understand how dysfunctions of particular types interact amongst all of these levels of human systems and provides us tools to bring about greater health on all of these levels.

RICHARD SCHWARTZ'S BOOK ABOUT INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS THERAPY

I will soon be adding a great deal more on this page about this powerful model for optimizing human systems. For now, I highly recommend Richard Schwartz's seminal book which brilliantly lays out its theory and practice.

Internal Family Systems Therapy by Richard Schwartz

Internal Family Systems Therapy by Richard Schwartz



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