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Breaking News ~ IFS "Empirical Evidence"

IFS Shown to Reduce PTSD Symptoms for a Group of Patients with Multiple Childhood Trauma — New Journal Research Article Published

[UNION NJ, December 27, 2021] The Foundation for Self Leadership is very pleased to announce that its first funded, independently administered IFS study has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma.

"The results showed that IFS therapy had significantly positive effects on adults with PTSD and histories of exposure to multiple forms of childhood trauma. Multiple validated scales were administered: PTSD symptom severity was assessed through the CAPS diagnostic tool, a 30-item semi-structured clinical interview assessing PTSD diagnosis corresponding to DSM-IV-TR criteria and symptom severity over the prior month. The Davidson Trauma Scale was administered to assess change and rate of change in self-reported PTSD symptoms. Other scales were used to measure symptoms of depression (BDI) as well as dissociation, somatization, affect regulation, and disrupted self-perception (SIDES-SR). Self-compassion and interoceptive awareness were assessed using the SCS and the MAIA respectively.

"It was shown that, following the sessions, PTSD and depressive symptoms were significantly reduced, with an overall time effect observed, as were associated symptoms related to affect dysregulation, somatization, and dissociation (all with a significant overall time effect, and large statistical significance and effect size). Increases in self-compassion and interoceptive awareness were also seen. Notably, at the one-month follow-up assessment, 92% of participants no longer met criteria for PTSD.

"To ensure fidelity to the IFS protocol, an IFS adherence scale was used and certified IFS therapists were involved in providing the treatment. Therapists involved received clinical supervision from Frank Anderson, MD, and Richard Schwartz, PhD, co-authors on the research paper. The Foundation recognizes all those involved in the study, applauds their significant contributions, and is grateful to friends of the Foundation who helped fund this study and made it possible.


  1. Hilary B. Hodgdon, Frank G. Anderson, Elizabeth Southwell, Wendy Hrubec & Richard Schwartz (2021) Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) among Survivors of Multiple Childhood Trauma: A Pilot Effectiveness Study, Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, DOI: 10.1080/10926771.2021.2013375

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