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Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D (Internal Family Systems): IFS & Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

June 9, 2020

Richard C. Schwartz, founder of Internal Family Systems, believes that psychedelic-assisted therapy can help to harmonize the mind's discrete subpersonalities.

Richard C. Schwartz, is the founder of a style of psychotherapy called Internal Family Systems. IFS is based on the idea that the mind is made up of discrete subpersonalities and that healing occurs when they are brought into harmony. Dick is bullish about psychedelics as a way of accessing and understanding these different subpersonalities or “parts” and believes that IFS can be a helpful topography for anyone doing psychedelic-assisted therapy.

On the show we discuss the IFS system and why it’s particularly good for working with trauma. Dick shares his personal experiences with psychedelic medicines and Eamon shares his own spontaneous IFS work during his iboga journey. We talk about how IFS can inform psychedelic-assisted therapy and why a knowledge of parts is important for the therapist. We talk about indigenous wisdom traditions and the spirit guides of the DMT world. As always, we conclude with Dick’s specific advice to the aspiring psychedelic therapist.

It is an honor to speak to such an affable and studied luminary in the field of Psychology and we are excited to bring you other perspectives beyond the psychedelic community moving forward.

One important note: This podcast, Maya, and I personally support the Black Lives Matter movement. We recognize that the Psychedelic Renaissance has challenges with diversity and we commit to continuing to platform the enormous gifts of BIPOC communities as well as subjects like equal access to psychedelic medicine, healing ancestral trauma, and social justice on this podcast. There are many brilliant melanated voices carrying psychedelic wisdom, if you’d like to nominate a guest for this show, please let us know in the Psychedelic Therapy Facebook group.


IFS Institute:
Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D:
“MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy: How Different is it from Other Psychotherapy?” By Michael Mithoefer, MD:
Show notes

:09 - Forthcoming Studies with Internal Family Systems and MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine.

:12 - What is IFS and why is it so good for dealing with trauma

:22 - Dick’s personal experiences with ketamine and MDMA

:28 - Eamon shares his spontaneous IFS experience during an iboga journey

:33 - The IFS map of parts including protectors, managers, firefighters, and exiles

:41 - How a psychedelic therapist can better hold space by being aware of their own parts.

:47 - The importance of safety for IFS & psychedelic healing

:54 - IFS through the lens of Ayahuasca and other indigenous wisdom traditions

:59 - Dick Schwartz’ advice to aspiring psychedelic therapists

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About Maya’s Podcast

A conversation series with leaders in the psychedelic community. Designed in service of therapists, healers, retreat leaders, and passionate enthusiasts

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