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“Beneath the surface of the protective parts of trauma survivors there exists an undamaged essence, a Self that is confident, curious and calm. A Self that has been sheltered from destruction by the various protectors that have emerged in their efforts to ensure survival. Once those protectors trust that it is safe to separate, the Self will spontaneously emerge, and the parts can be enlisted in the healing process”.

Bessel Van Der Kolk

Resources For Therapists

IFS explained in this Slide Share:

Insight Magazine Article by Fran Ferguson: Finding Self


Depathologizing the Borderline Client - Learning to Manage Our Fears by Richard Schwartz - An article published in Psychotherapy Networker May/June edition 2013. 

IFS Training in Australia: 

Shamed & Shaming Parts

Toni Herbine Blank talks about her own experience of learning to love the protective parts of herself who shamed her and then also shamed others around her as a defense mechanism... and how this process led to deeper healing for her. 

One of my favourite IFS teachings.


“The only way to not be afraid of someone’s suffering is if you’re not afraid of your own.”
Marcela Ot’alora G.

IFS & Trauma 

IFS, Trauma & Couples

How we navigate trauma with Self-leadership

2:30 mins into this video Dick Schwartz talks about how IFS is less about catharsis and more about the Self offering a compassionate and calm presence to the traumatized and wounded parts so they can feel authentically heard and seen, for all they have carried.

IFS and Polyvagal Theory in Therapy

Polyvagal Theory in Therapy - Deb Dana speaks about IFS and Polyvagal theory and about the importance of social connection in healing and how we need to notice the moments of nervous system activation in our clients and ourselves during therapy sessions.

Matt Ball also speaks about this attunement in his theory of "dissociachotic"

Recommended for therapists 

Internal Family systems therapy second e

Internal Family Systems Therapy by Richard Schwartz 2nd Edition

A valuable text and clinical resource, the book demonstrates in step-by-step detail how therapists can help individuals, couples, and families tap core resources, bring balance and harmony to their sub-personalities, and feel more integrated, confident, and alive.

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 The Mosaic Mind: Empowering the Tormented Selves of Child Abuse Survivors

 by Richard Schwartz and Regina Goulding

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