Join Lissa & IFS Founder Dick For Spirituality Without Bypassing: An Online Weekend Workshop

Love Bigger book cover image.

When I first got involved with Internal Family Systems (IFS) a decade ago, I did not expect it to wind up being a spiritual path. I started practicing IFS for the reason most people do- as a way to deal with untreated trauma and as an antidote to the spiritual bypassing that I had been using as a way to avoid dealing with my trauma, confronting people who mistreated me, or holding perpetrators of abuse accountable.

What I didn’t expect is that beyond dogma, beyond belief, beyond religion or New Age spirituality lies a spirituality that is absolutely natural, ready to shine forth when enough “parts” begin to relax and give space. Call it your Inner Pilot Light, call it your Self, call it Christ Consciousness or Buddha Nature or the God/Goddess inside…it doesn’t matter what you call it or how you identify yourself religiously or spiritually, this natural way of relating to the sacred inside and out beckons to us all as a side effect of doing our trauma healing work.

It was a surprise to Dick too, who is trained as a family therapist and was raised among doctors and atheists. But it turns out that a very organic spirituality rides shotgun with IFS, whether you believe in anything or not.

This is the topic IFS founder Dick Schwartz and I will be exploring in our upcoming weekend Zoom workshop Spirituality Without Bypassing. Our last collaboration sold out very quickly, so please register right away if you’re sure you want to join us.

Learn more and register here.

When I say IFS can be a spiritual path, I’m not talking about any sacred text you must read, dogma you must follow, or community you must join. This is a very personal path that is also a path of relationship on the spiritual path. When you begin healing your parts, it changes how you show up in relationship with other people and their parts. Scale that out, and it changes how you show up in your community, in politics, in activism and healing collective and systemic traumas as a part of a social justice conscious spiritual path. It’s quite the opposite of any spiritual path that casts its believers as “better than” or “superior” or more special than non-believers.

As Harvard professor Paul Farmer said, “The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” IFS-informed spirituality gives us a path to extend compassion to all of our own parts, so we can be more generous with the hard to love parts of those in our inner circle, so we can extend outwards to those we don’t even know and leverage the courage, clarity, confidence, compassion, curiosity- and other C’s of Self- to help us embrace a spirituality bigger than ourselves and our own little circles of comfort so that we can express “compassion with feet” in order to engage in ways that help make sure some lives do not matter less and equal human rights are available for all.

For some IFS practitioners, it may start as a very personal spiritual seeking journey- because it’s natural to be quite absorbed with our hurt parts if we’ve been ignoring them for many decades. They’re typically so excited that we’re listening to our parts that they may be quite needy at first. But over time, as they learn to trust Self, we can be more and more generous beyond our internal family systems and external family systems- extending outwards towards our global planetary systems.

It can be a slow start for with particular constellations of protector parts that try hard to avoid feeling pain, but if you’re you’re devoted to the process the way some devote ourselves to the spiritual path, if you stick with it long enough, you’ll find that the only thing that makes sense when there’s enough Self-leadership is to be what you can to become a benevolent presence in the world for those who are suffering.

So let’s play in this inquiry together! We invite you to get your curious on and join us with open hearts and as much Self as you can muster so we can walk this path communally in safe, brave space for a weekend of exploration. 

Twice in the past three years, I’ve offered programs on spiritual bypassing recovery, and I’ve written an entire unpublished manuscript, LOVE BIGGER: An Exploration Of Spirituality Without Spiritual Bypassing. We won’t be reviewing that deep inquiry. But this course will build upon the personal justice and social justice aspects of that material. To make sure you get whatever your parts need, we will be offering students of Spirituality Without Bypassing access to that foundational material for those who desire a deeper dive.

Join us here.

We can’t wait to engage with you, your Self, and any parts that come along to explore spirituality without bypassing. We can only just imagine who rich the experience will be and hope it will spark an ongoing process for us all.


Lissa & Dick Schwartz 

Join us for Spirituality Without Bypassing