This online course is on-demand.
Recorded footage and all course content (certificate, videos, quiz) will be available until May 10, 2023. Extensions cannot be granted under any circumstances.
Registration will close on May 3, 2023.
After decades of clinical innovation and recent scientific research, the empirically validated Internal Family Systems (IFS) model has been shown to be effective at improving clients’ general functioning and well-being. This paradigm-shifting model provides clinicians with procedures for helping clients with the most challenging mental health profiles heal the wounded, burdened, and traumatized parts of their systems.
The IFS model provides a compassionate, respectful, non-pathologizing approach to understanding the organization and functioning of the human psyche.
The transformative IFS approach embraces and celebrates the natural multiplicity of the mind. Its assumption that every part of the system has good intention and valuable resources allows clinicians to approach even the most troubling of “symptoms” with curiosity and respect. IFS offers therapists a powerful and effective set of tools for empowering clients with a wide range of clinical profiles to heal their wounded parts, resulting in:
- a way to enter clients’ inner ecology without the overemphasis on containment and stabilization
- symptom reduction, increased internal harmony and improved functioning for clients
- deep self-healing within even the most troubled clients
IFS is a powerful treatment modality. Once you experience it, you will want to incorporate it into your practice.
Through instruction, video demonstration, and experiential exercises, Alexia D. Rothman, Ph.D., Certified IFS therapist and consultant and colleague of Dr. Richard Schwartz (founder of IFS) will show you step-by-step how to apply the most effective, empirically validated IFS interventions to help your clients connect with and understand their conflicting parts to facilitate deep, lasting healing.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
- Comprehensive, compassionate, non-pathologizing treatment approach
- Paradigm-shifting perspective on “psychopathology”
- Easily integrated into other therapeutic modalities
- Teach clients to access inner wisdom and self-compassion to permanently heal traumatic wounds
Evolution of the Model
- Development of the IFS model by Richard C. Schwartz, Ph.D.
- IFS as an empirically validated treatment: Summary of research support
Composition of the Psyche
- Concept of multiplicity: “We are all multiple personalities.”
- Components of the psyche:
- Wounded, vulnerable, parts
- Protective parts: proactive and reactive
- Burdens: Negative/extreme emotions or beliefs
- The Self: compassionate inner leader and internal source of wisdom and healing energy
- Guide clients to access their own inner wisdom and healing potential
- IFS-specific techniques for in-the-moment emotion regulation, helpful even with panic, flashbacks, and dissociation
The IFS Model
- Assumptions of the model
- Goals of IFS therapy
- Flow of the IFS model over the course of treatment
- Flow of an individual IFS session
Case conceptualization in IFS
- Diversity and cultural sensitivity
- How IFS understands Personality Disorders, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Addiction
Step 1: Using Meditative Processes to Identify and Connect with a Target Part
- Differentiate the person from the symptom
- Access a state of compassion and curiosity essential for healing
- Establish a relationship with the target part
Step 2: Working with Protective Parts
- Establish a trusting and appreciative relationship with proactive and reactive protectors
- Facilitate internal attachment work
- Learn the history and benevolent intention behind the symptom/behaviour
- Learn and address the fears/concerns of protective parts
- Gain permission to proceed to healing
Step 3: Healing the Traumatic Wound
- Develop a compassionate, connected relationship with the wounded part
- Witness the pain rather than re-experience it: Learn to be “with”, not “in”, to avoid re-traumatization
- Retrieve the wounded part from “trauma time”
- Release/unburden thoughts, feelings, and beliefs
- Integrate change into the system: the post-healing process
The Therapeutic Relationship in IFS
- Qualities of the IFS therapist
- Gain increased access to our inner wisdom and healing presence in the clinical setting
- Transference and Countertransference redefined
- Identifying and working with “Self-Like” Parts
- The U-Turn technique
- The neurobiology of empathy vs. compassion and their roles in the healing process
Working with Protectors in Extreme Roles
- Interact directly with the symptom (Direct Access)
- Facilitate the development of Self-to-Part relationships
- How to stay clear and calm when working with clients in extreme states
- How to be the “auxiliary brain” for your client when necessary
- Identify parts characterized by hyperarousal and hypoarousal
- Use neuroscience-informed intervention strategies to help clients move towards a more optimal state of arousal
Polarizations in the Internal System
- Understand polarizations and identify when they are present
- Understand the cycle of addiction (an example of an extreme polarization) through an IFS lens
- Work effectively with polarized parts
- Self-led negotiation
- Resolve inner conflicts and increase internal harmony
Bringing IFS Concepts to Life
- Experiential exercises
- Video demonstrations of IFS therapy with real clients
- Step-by-step commentary to solidify understanding of techniques illustrated in the video sessions
Clinical Professionals: All mental health professionals including, but not limited to Clinical Counsellors, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Social Workers, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Hospice and Palliative Care Workers, School Counsellors, Youth Workers, Mental Health Workers, Addiction Specialists, Marital & Family Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, Vocational Rehabilitation Consultants and all professionals looking to enhance their therapeutic skills.
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