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Internal Family Systems as a Safe and Deep Healing Map to Psychedelic Territory and a Non-Pathologizing Approach to Addiction with Dr Richard C. Schwartz (USA)

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Join this FREE, 75-minute online webinar to gain access to insights and learn about ground breaking treatments to chronic mental health conditions.

Topic: Internal Family Systems as a Safe and Deep Healing Map to Psychedelic Territory and a Non-Pathologizing Approach to Addiction with Dr Richard C. Schwartz (USA)

Developed over the past four decades, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model offers both a conceptual umbrella under which a variety of practices and different approaches can be grounded and guided and a set of original techniques for creating safety and fostering Self-to- Self connection in couples and families.

IFS can provide a safe and deeply healing map to psychedelic territory. With an IFS therapist and the appropriate guide, subjects undergoing psychedelic assisted therapy can quickly access a state characterized by the emergence of what IFS calls Self-energy: curiosity, courage, clarity, connectedness, and compassion. It has been discovered that a vast majority of subjects are often able to access, speak about and interact with parts. The map that IFS can provide for psychedelic territory is a promising and inspiring pathway to deep healing, with the potential to speed up the process of getting protective parts to unblend.

Addiction is a complicated and devastating experience for many people and associated feelings of shame and failure often present a barrier between the individual and their true Self. Because addiction can also be a symptom of trauma, the IFS model is a compassionate means to revisit trauma and initiate healing, and in turn, help the individual to address the subsequent addiction behaviors. By looking at addiction as a means of self protection, staving off deep personal pain, and allowing for compassion and curiosity, IFS can be used to support the individual and empower them as they manage both the catalyst event and the coping mechanism simultaneously.

Addiction and trauma can be treated and healed through IFS without shame and judgement, and instead create space for understanding and empathy which allow for healing of the whole Self and all of the suffering parts.

Educational Objectives:

  1. Review the history and development of the Internal Family Systems model of therapy.
  2. Review and have a general knowledge of the 3 categories of sub-personalities that most often present in therapy: Manager parts, Firefighter parts, Exiled parts.
  3. Participants will be able to identify how the Internal Family Systems Model understands the primary route to healing trauma and addiction.
  4. Review and have a general knowledge of how the Internal Family Systems Model can provide a non-pathologizing map to psychedelic territory.

Date: Wednesday 9 November 2022

Time: 12:55pm for 1:00pm start – 2:15pm (incl Q&A) (AEDT)

The presentation WILL BEGIN AT 1:00pm.

Location: Online. A link will be emailed to you with the viewing details

Don’t miss out - Get your tickets early!

More about medicinal psychedelic treatments:

Psychedelic-assisted treatments offer enormous potential in providing a meaningful alternative to current treatments for mental illness. PTSD is a debilitating condition that affects tens of millions of people worldwide, with many more trauma victims diagnosed with comorbid conditions such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders. In recent clinical trials, MDMA has been shown to produce reliable clinical improvements, restoring patient safety and self-agency even for individuals who have suffered with PTSD for many years, and for whom many treatments have failed.

The wave of clinical psychedelic research and regulatory support is rapidly building, with experts forecasting the availability of psychedelic-assisted treatments in the US and EU within the next 2 to 5 years, subject to positive clinical outcomes in large trials that are currently underway. 

More about the presenters

Dr Richard C. Schwartz (USA)

Family Therapist and Founder of Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Richard Schwartz began his career as a family therapist and an academic at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s.

IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and classrooms.

In 2013 Schwartz left the Chicago area and now lives in Brookline, MA where he is on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Support psychedelic research and therapy development

By donating to Mind Medicine Australia, you will be helping us to accelerate the availability and best practice of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in Australia. We are a small organisation doing big things – we need your support.   

Please click here to make a tax-deductible donation. 


Mind Medicine Australia does not encourage or facilitate illegal use of psychedelics or plant medicines. MMA focus is focused on clinical and legal use only supported by the emerging science and legislative processes. Mind Medicine Australia reserves the right to record and publish webinars on various social media platforms. You agree that you will not discuss any names, locations or specific details of illegal use of psychedelics both verbally or via any written forms of communication via Mind Medicine Australia social media platforms (for example facebook, instagram and zoom private and public chat forms during the webinar). Breaches of these guidelines may result in not being able to participate in the event. We thank you for support and cooperation on these matters.

Mind Medicine Australia is focused specifically on the clinical application of medicinal psilocybin and medicinal MDMA for certain mental illnesses.

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