Guiding Principles


Balance: Ideally each person is allowed the degree of influence, access to the project’s resources and responsibilities appropriate to his or her needs and role and are held as equal to those of people in similar roles. In addition, the boundaries defining who can participate in subcommittees or special components and how they can participate are neither too rigid nor too diffuse.

Harmony: this pertains to relationships of the people within the project. People are ongoingly helped to find the role they both desire and are best suited for. People work cooperatively toward a common vision, yet value and support individual differences in style and vision. Sacrifice of individual goals or resources will be necessary and should be embraced as an opportunity to grow because they are contributing towards the larger goal. People feel valued for their personal qualities and their contributions. They care about each other’s well being. They communicate well & are sensitive and responsive to information flowing among members.

Leadership: effectiveness is a value where the internal ability to do the following is received by all members as respectful. Mediate polarizations and facilitate the flow of internal communications; ensure that all members feel protected and cared for, that they feel valued and are encouraged to pursue their individual visions within the limits of the project’s needs; allocate resources, responsibilities and influence fairly; provide a broad perspective and vision for the whole project; represent the project in interaction with other projects; and honestly interpret feedback from other projects.

Development: time, patience and hard work are needed for balance and harmony to be generated. The intrinsic value of our collective potential will unfold through learning each other’s habits, building trust and fostering respect. The inherent wisdom will come to fruition through the process of developing both skills and relationships over time. Effective leadership and clear boundaries are part of that fruit, as opposed to being preexisting conditions.


This document is largely inspired and copied from Richard C. Schwartz’s Internal Family Projects Therapy (1995).