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How to use AI to re-engineer a course on therapy (IFS) and psychedelics, based just on the topics of a class. A totally simplistic approach for beginners like me!

Let's say you are a therapist or coach (that will be the scope of my example) and want to educate yourself. For free. And you want to use Artificial Intelligence for this purpose - it´s free.

In particular, you may want to know something about Richard Schwartz's Internal Family Systems (IFS) approach.

I chose it because it is very successful in Germany. Richard Schwartz is also a friend of Terry Real, with whom I was trained in his "Real Life Therapy" approach.

Chose a topic: IFS and psychedelic therapy

As an example, maybe you want to get education on how IFS fits to the new emerging psychedelic assisted therapy.

I am interested in this since my trauma- and shame-busting Ayahuasca experience some years ago. And now I hear that psychedelics played a role in Terry Real becoming a therapist. How interesting! It seems that all important people from whom I learned something in the last years started like this (Culadasa, Daniel P Brown, Terry Real...)

Here´s a way to have the course content (or, a possible approximation of it) "for free".

In addition, this way also educates about Artificial Intelligence: it tells you how to "re-engineer" potential course content just from the course title.

Warning: it´s not the real real thing - but it may be good enough for a start!

Attention: I don´t claim that my suggestion will re-engineer the actual course. Instead, it will give an overview and occasionally detail about the potential content. It is based on what the AI has pulled from the Internet, and the content depends on the depth and quality of its own training. It may help you to decide, for example, whether you want to buy the actual course. Don´t take it for the real thing! It´s probably always better to refer to the original.

As fun experiment, one can take a course topic list on the internet, and expand it into a course

How does it work?

An AI knows most of the background for the general topics. It can expand any outline into much more detail, ranging from topic headings to the actual content.

Tell the AI to expand the course in increasing levels and detail, and for various course topics.

Select a course outline

I selected a module of a course by a large US institution that provides online courses in therapy. They work with very well-known therapists (Richard Schwartz and Terry Real included). Here is the course:

A picture of the course staff

Source: NICABM

For a start, I had asked the AI Claude to provide an extensive description of all the classes and topics. In this post though, for simplicity I will then focus only on topic 1 of class 8:

What Makes IFS so Well-Suited for Use with Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy.

Note: in the following, the text in shaded boxes is my prompt, or what I copied into the Claude input field. The text in the quote lines is Claude´s reply.

1 : Generate a high level content overview

Here I use the NICABM course outline as part of the prompt.

Give an extensive description of each of the following course topics:

Class 8: An Internal Family Systems (IFS) Approach to Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

Richard Schwartz, PhD

  1. What Makes IFS so Well-Suited for Use with Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

  2. Trauma’s Impact on the Psyche Through an IFS Lens

  3. How Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy Can Help Patients Navigate Their Different ‘Parts’

  4. 6 Core Competencies of a Psychedelic Practitioner

Janis Phelps, PhD

  • The Three Levels of Trust Enhancement

  • One Type of Curiosity That Can Be Critical in Psychedelic Work

Here, I show only the output created for topic (1) . Claude "guesses" what Richard Schwartz might "likely" say, given the course title.


1. What Makes IFS so Well-Suited for Use with Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy:
In this section, Dr. Schwartz likely explains how the core principles and techniques of Internal Family Systems therapy align well with the processes and goals of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. He may discuss how IFS's focus on understanding and working with the different "parts" or subpersonalities within an individual's psyche can help navigate and integrate the often intense and complex experiences that arise during psychedelic journeys. The non-pathologizing and compassionate stance of IFS towards all parts of the self may create a supportive framework for the profound self-exploration and healing that can occur with psychedelics.

3 - More detailed output by Claude

I now want more content for the above text. I assume that Claude has a fairly accurate guess of what Richard Schwartz might say. I add the qualification "taking the stance of a top-expert" as this may improve the results.

Taking the stance of a top-expert in IFS and psychedelic therapy, expand the text you created above.


The core principles and techniques of IFS are remarkably well-suited to the unique challenges and opportunities presented by psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Central to IFS is the understanding that the human psyche is composed of various "parts" or subpersonalities, each with its own unique perspectives, emotions, memories, and behavioral patterns. These parts often develop in response to life experiences, particularly traumatic or stressful events, and can become extreme in their roles as they attempt to protect the individual from further distress.
In the context of psychedelic journeys, where individuals frequently encounter intense, complex, and sometimes overwhelming experiences, the IFS framework can serve as a powerful tool for navigation and integration. By helping individuals recognize and engage with the different parts that may emerge during a psychedelic experience, IFS can provide a map for understanding the internal landscape of the psyche.
For example, an individual may encounter a part that holds deep-seated feelings of shame or worthlessness during a psychedelic session. Through the lens of IFS, the therapist can guide the individual to approach this part with curiosity and compassion, rather than judgment or fear. By engaging in dialogue with the part, the individual may come to understand its origins and protective intentions, even if its strategies have become maladaptive over time.
This non-pathologizing stance is a key strength of IFS in the context of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. By recognizing that all parts, even those that may seem problematic or distressing, are ultimately trying to help the individual, IFS creates a framework for self-compassion and understanding. This attitude of openness and acceptance is essential for the profound self-exploration and healing that can occur with psychedelics.
Moreover, IFS's emphasis on the concept of "Self" – the wise, compassionate, and whole-centered essence of an individual – aligns well with the mystical or transcendent experiences often reported in psychedelic journeys. By helping individuals access and embody their Self, IFS can support the integration of these experiences and the translation of insights gained during psychedelic states into lasting change in daily life.
In sum, the IFS model provides a robust and compassionate framework for working with the expanded states of consciousness and the complex intrapsychic dynamics that arise in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. By honoring the protective roles of all parts and fostering self-leadership and integration, IFS can enhance the safety, depth, and transformative potential of psychedelic experiences.

4 - More output by Claude (prompted expansion on the topic of the IFS concept of "Self")

Now, I want Claude to say something about a particular IFS concept, namely the "Self".

Detail the IFS concept of „Self“


The concept of the "Self" is central to Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy. In IFS, the Self is understood as the core essence of a person, the innate source of wisdom, compassion, and leadership within the internal system of "parts" or subpersonalities. The Self is not a part, but rather the fundamental ground of being that is present in every individual.
Key characteristics of the Self include:
1. Compassion: The Self has an innate capacity for compassion, both towards oneself and others. It can hold all parts of the psyche, even those that are in conflict or carry painful emotions, with understanding and acceptance.
2. Curiosity: The Self approaches the internal world with a spirit of open, non-judgmental curiosity. It seeks to understand the experiences, beliefs, and intentions of each part, without fear or prejudice.
3. Clarity: The Self has a natural ability to see clearly, unobscured by the fears, assumptions, or extreme beliefs that may be held by various parts. It can maintain a broad, balanced perspective even in the face of difficult or complex situations.
4. Connectedness: The Self experiences a profound sense of connection, both within the internal family of parts and with the larger world. It recognizes the fundamental interconnectedness of all beings and systems.
5. Confidence: The Self has an inherent sense of trust in its own wisdom and the capacity of the system to heal and grow. It embodies a kind of quiet, grounded confidence that is not dependent on external validation.
6. Creativity: The Self is able to tap into a wellspring of creative energy, finding novel solutions and perspectives that may not be accessible to individual parts.
7. Calmness: Even in the midst of turmoil or conflict, the Self maintains a core of calm, centered presence. It is not easily overwhelmed by the intensity of emotions or experiences.
In IFS therapy, the goal is to help individuals access and embody the qualities of the Self, so that it can provide leadership and guidance for the internal system. By creating a safe, compassionate space for all parts to be heard and understood, the Self can foster greater harmony, integration, and healing within the psyche.
In the context of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, connecting with the Self may be particularly important. The expanded states of consciousness and the sometimes challenging experiences that can arise during psychedelic journeys may activate various parts, some of which may be holding intense emotions or traumatic memories. The Self's ability to maintain compassionate, curious presence in the face of these experiences can be profoundly therapeutic, allowing for deep healing and transformation to occur.
Moreover, many individuals report experiences of profound connection, unity, or transcendence during psychedelic states, which may be understood as a direct experience of the qualities of the Self. By integrating these experiences and embodying the Self in daily life, individuals can sustain the insights and healing gained through psychedelic-assisted therapy.

5 - Summary of the content (optional things to do)

Then, if you wish, you can again summarise the above content. Copy and paste it to the prompt.

Summarise the content


The provided content discusses the application of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy model in the context of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. IFS is based on the idea that our psyche is composed of various "parts" or subpersonalities, each with its own unique characteristics, which develop in response to life experiences. The IFS framework can help individuals navigate and integrate the intense and complex experiences that may arise during psychedelic journeys.
Central to IFS is the concept of the "Self," which represents the core essence of a person, embodying wisdom, compassion, and leadership. The Self is not a part but rather the foundation of our being. It is characterized by qualities such as compassion, curiosity, clarity, connectedness, confidence, creativity, and calmness.
In psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, IFS can help individuals approach their experiences with openness, self-compassion, and understanding. By connecting with the Self, individuals can better navigate the challenging experiences and emotions that may arise during psychedelic states. The Self's ability to maintain a compassionate and curious presence can facilitate deep healing and transformation.
The content suggests that IFS and the concept of the Self are particularly relevant in the context of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, as they can help individuals integrate insights gained from psychedelic experiences into their daily lives, leading to lasting personal growth and healing.

I guess you get the idea. It's really easy.


A thought on...

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