NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough?

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough?

NP0010, Mindfulness, Session 5, Richard Schwartz

During meditation practices, we learn how to observe and calm our disturbing thoughts and feelings. Discover with Richard Schwartz, the founder of the Internal Family Systems model, how to take the next step from paying attention to these distressed parts to healing them.

After this session, please take a few minutes to take a look at the Comment Board and let us know what you think. Do you have any experience with the Internal Family Systems model? If not, would you consider bringing these techniques into the consulting room? Do you have any questions for the presenter or your colleagues? We invite you to share your reflections and including your name and hometown with your comments. If you have any technical questions, please feel free to contact support@psychotherapynetworker.org. Thanks for your participation.
10.24.2011   Posted In: NP0010 Is Mindfulness Enough?   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • Not available avatar audrey 10.26.2011 13:05
    Thanks for your presentation, Richard. One question....How did you come to the conclusion that with our many parts there is actually a "Self." Might it be that the only unifying principle is the body.
  • 0 avatar Linda Graham 10.26.2011 13:06
    Dear Dick,

    Thank you for embodying the 8'Cs in this process with Rich. Question: is the process the same when working with the protectors, like Rich's resentment or the inner critic. Is there a way to approach that part and change the Self's relationship to that part, not just asking it to step aside, but to enter into a conversation with it, listen, help it transform. The same process? or any differences?
    Thank you, Linda Graham, MFT
  • 0 avatar Jill Koziey 10.26.2011 13:38
    Hi Richard,

    Wow! I have done some basic reading about your approach, but to hear you speak of it and see you in (semi) action was wonderful! Thank you.

    I practice Ron Kurtz's Hakomi Body-Centered Psychotherapy and Jon Eisman's Re-Creation of the Self Psychotherapy - both mindfulness-based and incredibly effective, in my experience. I see many similarities between these therapies and yours and I am inspired to learn more about IFS.

    My question: with regard to the "inner parent" - my understanding is that this is the Self. What I gathered is that, even if people did not have positive role-models for parents,they are able to be their own compassionate and loving inner parent because of the innate wisdom of the Self. Is this correct?
  • 0 avatar Eric Trevizu, PsyD 10.26.2011 14:42
    I really enjoyed his real life examples presented in this talk. He was also very calming to me. Acceptance was present to me. Thank you
  • 0 avatar Florence Calhoun 10.26.2011 19:59
    I attended a Symposium presentation with Richard Schwartz many years ago where he introduced the "Intrapsychic" system and I have never forgotten it. It is easy to see the relationship between "going inside" or mindfulness, and this model. I am eager to learn more. The exchange with Rich helped to understand how the practice actually works during a session with a client. Thank you. Florence J. Calhoun, MFT
  • Not available avatar Tracy 10.28.2011 12:45
    Great presentation that took mindfulness to another level. The demonstration clarified the process and was a moving experience for me, as well.
  • Not available avatar Peter Culross 10.29.2011 01:15
    Nice, calm, clear presentation. I would be interested to hear more about how Dick "stumbled into" this work 30 years ago, as there have been other similar models such as ego state therapy and most notably Voice Dialogue around at that time (as well as Pia Mellody's inner child work). In my work, I have most usefully incorporated Dick's work with all of the above and more - following a 'both/and' integrative approach - and most particularly Jeffrey Young's brilliant Schema Mode work.
  • 0 avatar Marilyn Scholze 10.29.2011 12:11
    In the 50's Fritz Perls had dialogues between polarized parts of the self. Isn't this a continuation of that tradition, although in a more mindful way?
    • Not available avatar Diane Renz, LPC 10.31.2011 00:00
      I too am wondering how IFS differs from Gestalt
  • Not available avatar Diane Renz, LPC 10.30.2011 23:58
    1. Richard Schwartz and Family Systems is an effective model and I fully appreciate him and the work he has contributed to psychotherapy, and the way he was able to dialogue and find the complimentary aspects of Mindfulness w/his model
    2. I feel compelled to state that I think Mindfulness is being misperceived in a number of ways
    It is not a method to get away from experience, but a practice and way of being that is allowing a context for us to turn toward the difficulty and provide a relationship to that difficulty without judgment but with understanding.
    The newness of adding Mindfulness to psychotherapy is not so new. It is a Transpersonal psychology---around since Jung if not before-----and holds a non-pathological view to existing symptoms---more, it is not about solely "going beyond" the personal, but learning how to be the bridge between the personal and a larger identity that can witness ones experience...each informing the other, not "spiritually bypassing" the psychological states of suffering, but turning toward once you find the stability and ground from which to do this.....

    3. and hats off to you Rich Simon for your courage and vulnerability
  • Not available avatar Anne Morrison 10.31.2011 05:46
    Very interesting discussion and explanation. It sounds very similar to parts therapy and the acceptance and working with the differing parts taught as part of NLP and also by Roy Hunter.

  • Not available avatar lisa ndejuru 10.31.2011 13:39
    thank you very much. I am a big fan of your rebroadcasts and have seen many of them Thank you.

    Richard Schwartz's model also very much resembles Roberto Assagioli's psychosynthesis process
  • Not available avatar Renee Segal 10.31.2011 20:15
    When I saw that Richard Schwartz was part of this series, I thought it was a mistake initially. I had no idea how Internal Family Systems had anything to do with mindfulness. I think that Dr. Schwartz did a marvelous job sharing his theory and its connection to mindfulness. When I studied IFS in grad school I was drawn to it then, I appreciate Rich sharing himself with us. It certainly was helpful to understand the theory. I was taken with how peaceful Dr. Schwartz seemed, as is true of all of the mindfulness presenters. I also appreciated that Dr. Schwartz shared the story of a client who notices his lack of presence ins session and how he handles it. Great presentation. Again thank you! Renee
  • Not available avatar Carol McDermott 10.31.2011 22:22
    Thank you, Richard, for talking about IFS. I tried your theory with my jealousy and found a part of me that "didn't quite measure up," which hurt my heart. I felt quieted to step back from the judging part of me and comfort my hurt self, which is my loving self.
    In therapy, I "saw" my mother, who was jealous of me, in a state of helplessness and crying as she was looking in the refrigerator. I had compassion for her for the first time in my life (at 50 years of age).
    These two experiences seem to be examples of parts becoming securely attached to Self.
    My clients often comment on appreciating my being 'calm'. I use parts therapy and observing body sensations and believe I can help clients even more using your advice.
  • Not available avatar Dick Schwartz 11.01.2011 06:59
    I want to thank you all for the comments, especially the compliments. I'll try to answer some of the questions. First, IFS does resemble several models (psychosynthesis, Gestalt, NLP,
    Voice Dialogue, schema therapy, are the ones mentioned here but there are some others) in that all of us work with subpersonalities. The big difference for me is IFS's emphasis on and deliberate
    promotion of what I'll call Self leadership. That is, we have learned how to quickly access this mindful state we call Self in clients and have them begin to get to know, befriend, and heal their parts from that place. Another difference is the incorporation of systems thinking and family therapy technique in our understanding of and ecological sensitivity to the workings of inner systems. Finally the systematic process of witnessing, retrieving, and unburdening parts is original.
    How did I come to believe in the Self? It was an empirical observation that clients would suddenly shift into that state when certain parts separated.
    We do work in the same way with inner critics that we do with other protectors and find that they often transform into cheerleaders once we can heal the exiles they protect.
    Is the inner parent the Self? When people access Self, the Self does act like an inner good parent spontaneously and it is true, contrary to what most psychologies tell us, one does not have to have had good enough parenting to be able to access Self-- it seems to just be a natural birthright we all have.
    Anyway, thanks for watching and thanks to Rich for being a good sport. May the Self be with you all.
    Dick Schwartz

  • Not available avatar Susan Miller 11.01.2011 08:56
    Rich (& Dick)...It's always a warm experience for me to share in the presence of Richard Schwartz. Of all the therapists I've encountered -- personally and via seminars -- Richard embodies the therapeutic characteristics I find most welcoming. I'd choose Richard as a therapist each and every time! (I know this sounds a bit like idealization -- trust me, it's not!) Thanks for the presentation. Susan
  • Not available avatar Martha Gunzburg 11.01.2011 09:58
    I want to express my gratitude for this wonderful series on mindfulness. Rich, I really value your interviewing skills and sharing of your self. Dick, thank you for your explanation. I was hearing echoes of the 60's - gestalt, subpersonality work, psychosynthesis, updated and integrated with all the other knowledge that has developed since. You gave such a clear exposition. The comment board deepens the experience. Thank you participants for sharing your thoughts and experiences as well.
    Martha Gunzburg
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