Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts

Discovering Your True Self Through Internal Family Systems Therapy
Length: 6 hrs and 54 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (226 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Explore your multifaceted mind - an invitation to personal healing and spiritual awakening

Inside each of us, there are many distinct selves. “Though we’ve been raised to believe that healthy people have a single ‘self’”, explains Dr. Richard C. Schwartz, “acknowledging our multiplicity gives a far deeper awareness of how our minds actually work.” Dr. Schwartz’s pioneering Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy has become renowned in psychotherapy for its power to help us connect with and heal the many distinct facets - or parts - of our psyche. With Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts, he brings you a practical training course for using this method for your growth, well-being, and especially your spiritual journey. 

Embracing your inner diversity as a path to wholeness

One of the key lessons of IFS therapy is that there are no bad parts. “Trauma or life experience can cause our parts to take on burdens”, says Dr. Schwartz. “Yet when we bring the spiritual values of curiosity, gratitude, and kindness to these burdened parts, we discover incredible opportunities for healing and awakening.” Through instruction and guided meditations, Dr. Schwartz shows us how to engage even the most disturbing or unwanted parts of our psyche with openness and love - so we may unlock the hidden gifts and wisdom each part contains. 

Many forms of therapy and even spiritual practice inadvertently put us in conflict with ourselves as we try to transcend or reject our parts. With Greater Than the Sum of Our Parts, Dr. Schwartz invites you to embrace each of your many parts with self-compassion - and discover the inclusive greater Self that is your true, divine nature. 

©2018 Richard C. Schwartz (P)2018 Sounds True

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Exceptional

The theory of this book rings so true. Being one of the most practical psychology books I have ever read, Schwartz asks you the right questions and pauses so that you can think about the answer. And the answers come, true and effortless. I will never think about myself as having only one self again. Your parts speak to you, and with the help of Schwartz, you can begin to listen. Cannot recommend this book enough!

10 people found this helpful

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I love IFS, but didn't love the book

This isn't intended as a slam on the author. His brilliance was perhaps not optimally represented in the book. I can't really fault him for all the science shunning comments, given the state of science and research in the behavioral sciences during the time frame when he was developing IFS, but the book has a victim-oriented valence and I found some difficulty continuing to listen. Despite the fact that the author has made unique contributions to the field, in the book as his contributions are presented, he seems to overestimate the uniqueness of his method, and even though I would be surprised if this were actually the case, he gives the impression of being a someone who didn't do his homework when it comes to the updates in Neuroscience that support his methods. I actually prefer hearing about his contributions from other people rather than from him. his presentation of the model has this reified, dogmatic edge to it.

It's cool to hear from the originator, but candidly, I'd have preferred to hear perhaps a shorter segment from him in some adjunctive portion of somebody else's book who presents with a little more vigor and with a clear-headed attitude toward updated neuroscience - whether he's explaining more of the history of the method or guiding person through the experiential exercises.

None of the above is meant to dissuade a person from reading the book per se. If you want to make sure your way of using IFS in clinical practice or for your own self-help is in line with the spirit of the model as it was originally created, this is a great way to do it. In that regard, the book was kind of validating. If you are already a capable and mindful practitioner, you'll probably find that your intuitive applications of the method are in line with what the creator / author presents here. It is also potentially useful to hear this book to avoid overcomplicating or missing out on the actual spirit of the IFS modality.

8 people found this helpful

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Confused - workbook/questions not included

I purchased this and assumed that the pdf that was attached would have the workbook with the questions, but it does not. Dr. Schwartz refers to questions that we should be asking ourselves during the activity, but there are no questions to look at. I'm wondering if they uploaded that single paged outline in error.

Don't buy unless you have the workbook.

14 people found this helpful

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  • 01-14-19

Loved it!

This is the most important book I have read so far. :) I'll expand on this at a later time.

6 people found this helpful

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Could Not Handle the Author’s Voice

Well written and very interesting, but the voice is just a not a good fit at all for an audiobook.

7 people found this helpful

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Wow!

This has been the most life affirming, positive experience. I’ve learned a new way of viewing and inter playing with my inner life and the world.
Thank you!

1 person found this helpful

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Greater than the Sum of the Parts

Excellent work. Its the same methods that I use in hypnosis and imagery (NOT guided imagery). Its fascinating to me that people have a concept of what something is and they will not budge their mind and will tell people who do know that we don't know and that we are wrong. Crazy world out there. The point though is that the work is excellent no matter what he calls it.

1 person found this helpful

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Truly fascinating and life changing.

I am a psychotherapist and have had the privilege of sitting with Dick to hear the discoveries he has made about the inner world of our internal family system and see him display his approach with others with profound and truly remarkable results. It not only has changed my own understanding of myself and brought clarity and healing to my own exiles but has also done the same for hundreds of my clients over the years as a professional. The thing that about this audible recording is that it has helpful information about how to conceptualize the model, a history of how Dick came to discover his understanding of the model, a conversational approach from Dick which makes it easy to listen to and remain engaged, and some interventions that Dick facilitates that truly mirror an experience you might have in a therapy room with him. I would highly recommend this and have to many of my clients.

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Thank you

Thank you for this incredible audiobook. And for the courage to speak up about the embodiment denialism of many of the great spiritual traditions and figures.

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Amazing approach similar to active imagination

Very powerful therapy method. Something everyone could use. Also makes a lot more sense out of the people you meet. an elaboration of Jung's active imagination process for me.

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  • Miss E Harper
  • 03-29-19

Fantastic book. Love you Dick!

IFS is totally ground-breaking and this book is an amazing way to get into the material. the guided meditations are done at a pace that allows for ones inner process to unfold and i will use them again and again. Thanks Dick (And Sounds True)

2 people found this helpful

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  • fumanchu
  • 02-17-19

totally boring

I would have liked to know Richard's thoughts about this system and that's what I thought I was buying, it is mostly guided meditations which I thought was dull. I like the concepts of ifs but the languaging is clunky, the school of thinking also seems to have chip on its shoulder which needs to criticise all other ways of working, they should examine that 'part'. I found watching YouTube videos much more useful in terms of learning about the system than this audio book.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Fiona C
  • 02-11-19

Indepth Study of IFS

In this workshop, the founder of IFS, Richard Schwartz, explores ways of using IFS in our own internal worlds. He gives some theory and also guides you through meditations to get to know your own inner parts and ways of working with them, so that through practice, you can learn how to live a Self-led life. I have listened to it twice and keep returning to the meditations. I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in exploring IFS.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-18-18

excellent.

I really loved listening to this wholesome affirming approach to the variety of lives we live.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Louise Willis
  • 06-03-20

superb

Some amazing insights from a true expert. well paced and engaging. will be exploring more in the future.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-31-20

effective intro for a very effective therapy

basically it was all helpful. in part thanks to this book I registered for IFS training. highly recommend it to anyone who likes or needs to go inwards

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-14-20

It sometimes does not play

On first reading I did not really grasp this therapy. It was well worth a second read and I think this therapy is the best I have come across. Far more useful than CBT for me.

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  • Kenny Clayton
  • 12-15-19

Life changing book.

Life changing book. I've been introduced to IFS recently so it's good to hear how it evolved from Dr Schwartz.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-13-19

A gift to humankind.

Listened to it over and over again and will continue to do so. Very good for anyone interested in self development and inner frowth.

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  • Alfred
  • 09-14-19

Mediatations

Well, I was hoping it will be a lecture + meditations with the IFS practices. Instead every chapter IS meditation with explanation following. Sadly unusable format for me. If you are new to IFS go for Jay Early book. I wish the content was separated into theory and practice. As is, I will have to return this title, as I cant use it, despite coming from the author of this therapy.

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  • Iman A Seoudi
  • 09-20-19

Truly transformative experience

I am very grateful to have found this audio book narrators by the authentic and caring Richard Schwartz. IFS is a gift to this world. Going through the exercises has illuminated many perplexing aspects of my inner world. I am still at the early phases of self leadership but I can already see the powerful impact of the method. It is amazing how simple but profound this practice is and I am delighted by the transformative potential it holds for individuals, families, communities and the world. Deeply humbled and grateful for this experience. Thank You!

1 person found this helpful