R. Cooper kooperierte nach seiner Promotion in the field of couple and family therapy at Purdue University in 1980. Schwartz began his career at the University of Illinois-Chicago's Institut for Youth Research at the Department of Psychiatrie's Medical Colleges, and most recently served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University's Institut for Family Therapy. He devoted more than 25 years of his professional life to assisting individuals and families with mental health issues. Richard Schwartz, the founder of IFS, established the Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois. He also organizes IFS training in the United States and Germany from there.