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The IFS Resource Database

The Foundation for Self Leadership website houses a searchable IFS Resource Database where researchers can find empirical and theoretical journal articles, book chapters, theses and dissertations about IFS theory and practice. Each publication is annotated to highlight its utility for IFS researchers, including details for how to access the publication for those who want a closer read. The database continues to be a work in progress as new articles emerge, and the scope has expanded to include non-research books, manuals, and clinically-oriented publications.

The database includes publications from Dick Schwartz’s 1987 seminal paper on IFS, to the first randomized clinical trial to be published using IFS, the 2013 rheumatoid arthritis study that was the basis for IFS receiving recognition by SAMHSA in 2015 as an evidence-based practice (captured verbatim on Foundation website), the 2017 randomized pilot study showing that IFS is at least as effective as treatment as usual (CBT and IPT) in treating depression among female college students, and the most recent 2022 pilot study of IFS for PTSD showing that 92% of participants no longer met criteria for PTSD one month after IFS therapy treatment.

Also included in the database are the articles describing the development and validation of the Self Leadership Scales and the IFS Scale and its accompanying Self Scale(s). As more researchers use these measures and publish on the topic, these articles are also added to the database. For example the IFS Scale and IFS Self Scale has been used to examine the role of Parts and Self in depression, and the role of Self in mental health outcomes and relationship quality, as well as in depression, childhood maltreatment and relationship quality. Researchers have also examined the role of Self-leadership in workaholism, life and work satisfaction, and racial identity and mental health.

These publications summarized here are just the tip of the iceberg. As IFS gains in popularity, there are more and more publications that describe or evaluate IFS-informed interventions or introduce the IFS model in different arenas, such as psychedelic assisted therapy, eco-spirituality, schools, agent-based modeling and more. One third of the over 200 publications in the database have been added in the last year alone and more are being indexed regularly. Jenn Matheson has led the development and maintenance of this database with the help of a few volunteers over the years, including Kristen Myshrall, Nancy Cherico, Robbie Richler, Laura Taylor, Rachel Benoit, Colleen Pearson, Regina Segura-Khagram, Amy Poppel, and Brooke Evans.

Dr. Matheson welcomes additional volunteers who are skilled in reading, summarizing, and extracting relevant information for entry into our database. Volunteers willing to simply enter basic information, without interpretation, into the database will also be needed soon as the scope of the database expands to index non-research articles without the research-relevant annotations. Please contact Dr. Matheson directly at to learn more about receiving training to volunteer for the Foundation in this capacity. Thank you.

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