Introduction to Internal Family Systems

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Pub Date Mar 07 2023 | Archive Date Mar 10 2023

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A highly accessible introduction to a therapeutic approach that brings our inner “parts” into harmony and allows our core Self to lead
We’re all familiar with self-talk, self-doubt, self-judgment—yet most of us still view ourselves as if we have one uniform mind. Dr. Richard Schwartz’s breakthrough was recognizing that we each contain an “internal family” of distinct parts—and that treating these parts with curiosity, respect, and empathy vastly expands our capacity to heal. 
Over the past two decades, Internal Family Systems (IFS) has transformed the practice of psychotherapy. With Introduction to Internal Family Systems, the creator of IFS presents the ideal layperson’s guide for understanding this empowering, effective, and non-pathologizing approach to self-discovery and healing. Here, Dr. Schwartz shares evidence, case studies, and self-care tools to help you:
• Shift from the limiting “mono-mind” paradigm into an appreciation of your marvelous, multidimensional nature
• Unburden your wounded parts from extreme beliefs, emotions, and addictions
• Demystify the most commonly misunderstood parts—the Exiles, Managers, and Firefighters
• Transform your most challenging parts from inner obstacles to invaluable allies
• Embrace the existence of innate human goodness—in yourself and others
• Connect with the true Self that is greater than the sum of your parts
“The most wonderful discovery I have made is that as you do this work, you release, or liberate, what I call your Self or your True Self—the calm, compassionate essence of who you are,” says Dr. Schwartz. “When the Self becomes the leading intelligence in our lives, we create more harmony—both within ourselves and in our external lives.” For therapists, their clients, and anyone interested in understanding and healing themselves, here is an essential guide to a revolutionary approach to self-realization, mental wellness, and transformation.

A highly accessible introduction to a therapeutic approach that brings our inner “parts” into harmony and allows our core Self to lead
We’re all familiar with self-talk, self-doubt, self-judgment—yet...

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ISBN 9781683643616
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Featured Reviews

Undoubtedly, this book could create a wave of change. I’m so inspired and hopeful for the future when I find books like these that create or utilize a model that truly makes a change.

This book is formatted very well, too. You’ll read a section, say for example the section on “The Self” and then once that info has kind of settled in you’ll read an exercise to better understand the material to your personal experiences.

I chose this particular book because it’s centered around IFS and I’d love to see this topic broached more and to see the positive change that can and will come from people learning this method. Thank you!

I received this e-book free for a genuine review.

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Richard Schwartz's "Introduction to Internal Family Systems" is marvelous. He is clearly a pioneer and the therapy world, and the world in general, is a better place because of him. His text is down to earth yet brilliant. It is informative, wise, compassionate and a must-read for any serious clinician.

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I love Introduction to Internal Family Systems by Richard Schwartz. This book is a fantastic resource and written in a way that's easy to understand, making it perfect for professionals and regular folks like me.

The author, Richard Schwartz, does a fantastic job of breaking down the basics of the IFS model. He explains how we all have different "parts" or subpersonalities that make up our inner landscape and how these parts can often conflict with one another, leading to feelings of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. He uses real-life examples to make the material relatable and easy to understand. Plus, he gives practical exercises that are doable and one can begin exploring their own internal landscape and start the process of self-discovery.

Introduction to Internal Family Systems is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the IFS model.

Thank you Dr. Richard Schwartz, Sounds True Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read the book. I understand that providing this feedback is a choice I am making voluntarily.

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I found this a very interesting read. I hadn't heard of Internal Family Systems before, but this book offers a detailed and accessible explanation and guide to working with your various 'parts'. As the blurb suggests, the text is written in an empowering and non-pathologising manner, which makes what could be a daunting or shame-inducing task actually seem enjoyable and fulfilling. Any therapeutic approach that encourages curiosity, to my mind, brings with it compassion and hope. I tried out some of the exercises while reading, and got the hang of them alone, but I think you could also work with a professional to make use of the book's teachings. I really liked Schwartz' emphasis on empathy; the spectrum of parts and how to engage them; and bringing the wounded parts into grounded rather than extreme positions through compassionate witnessing. Sometimes I found the writing approach a little too highbrow for my personal tastes, as I prefer something more down to earth and practical, but that's a minor personal complaint.

disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from Sounds True Publishing via NetGalley and I am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

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I’ve always been interested in a type of therapy called Internal Family Systems. I have experienced both CBT and DBT but have never tried IFS. The theory of Internal Family Systems is that inside each of us are different multidimensional parts or personas that exist in extreme roles, caused by the events in our lives. The idea is to learn different ways of relating to these parts to become more integrated and whole.

By turning inward and getting to know your inner parts- the Managers, the Firefighters, and the Exiles, you can understand the reasons for undesirable thoughts and behaviors, and be able to release your true Self.

This book is a great overview of the basics of Internal Family Systems, said in layman’s terms, it’s not too complicated. The author, Dr. Richard Schwartz, developed IFS, so you know he is the foremost authority on this therapy.

Thanks to NetGalley, Sounds True Publishing, and Richard Schwartz for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.

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Introduction to Internal Family Systems by Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., is a guide to the principles and practices of Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS). The author draws on decades of experience as a clinician to provide a clear explanation of the theory and techniques that are the foundation of this approach to psychotherapy.

The author’s writing style makes it easy to understand the concepts of IFS. The book has plenty of examples and case studies, making it an excellent resource for therapists starting to explore this approach and to the layperson who wants to learn more about healing themselves.

I especially liked the author’s emphasis on the therapy sessions themselves and what a client can expect. It's rare to see a chapter dedicated to explaining the therapy process to a client and I really appreciated that thoughtfulness.

Although it's a fairly short book, IFS is new to me and the idea of having multidimensional parts or a 'family' of parts to your psyche challenged me to think outside the box. So instead of reading it quickly, I needed to read small sections, let the ideas settle for a week, then read some more. This is not a fault of the author, he has made it very simple to understand. It's just such a new way of thinking about therapy for people like myself who have been used to straightforward CBT or mindfulness type therapies.

Overall, Internal Family Systems is an outstanding resource for anyone interested in the field of Internal Family Systems therapy. Whether you are a seasoned therapist, a student, or simply someone interested in learning more about this approach, this book is invaluable.

Thank you NetGalley and Sounds True Publishing for sending this advance copy. All opinions are my own.

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