Full Course Description

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS): A Revolutionary & Transformative Treatment for Permanent Healing of PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Abuse and More!

Program Information


  1. Integrate the IFS model into your clinical practice and accelerate healing for PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and eating disorders.
  2. Develop a deep understanding of how neuroscience informs therapeutic decisions in IFS therapy.
  3. Identify, specify and clarify the protective parts of clients with trauma histories to help with assessment and treatment planning.
  4. Offer an alternate view of symptoms and psychopathology, showing how client’s parts are actually trying to protect them from emotional pain and psychological pain.
  5. Demonstrate how IFS translates common comorbidities into parts language, showing a non-pathological perspective of mental health disorders.
  6. Integrate IFS with your current treatment approaches including EMDR, DBT, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.



Internal Family Systems (IFS)

The IFS Technique

Step 1: Identifying the Diagnoses & Symptoms

Step 2: Gain Access to Internal Strengths & Resources for Healing

Step 3: Healing of the Traumatic Wound

Integrate IFS into Your Treatment Approach

Copyright : 11/12/2015

Internal Family Systems Step By Step


Understanding Parts & Self in IFS
•    Parts are sub-personalities that interact internally in sequences and styles that are similar to the ways that people interact.
•    It is the nature of the mind to be subdivided.  
•    All parts are valuable and want to have a positive role.  
•    Parts become extreme and can be destructive because of life experiences.
•    Self is a different level of entity than the parts.
•    Self is the seat of consciousness. It is invisible because it is the observing  “you”.
•    The Self contains qualities like compassion, confidence, curiosity, and perspective—the qualities of good leadership.  
•    The Self can be obscured by the extremes of parts.

The Basic Goals of IFS
•    Releasing parts from their extreme roles so they can find and adopt their preferred, valuable roles.
•    DIfferentiating client’s Self from parts so Self can help harmonize and balance the inner and outer life.

Working with Exile Parts  

•    Exiles are young, vulnerable parts that have experiences trauma and are isolated from the rest of the system for their own and the system’s protection.  
•    Exiles carry the memories, sensations, and emotions of past events and are stuck in the past.
•    Exiles are easily flooded, so you need a calm, reassuring environment to approach. 

Working with Protector Parts  

Parts that run the day-to-day life of the person trying to keep exiles exiled by staying in control of events or relationships, being perfect and pleasing, caretaking, scaring the person out of taking risks by criticizing, apathy, worry, etc.
Firefighters: Parts that react when exiles are activated in an effort to extinguish their feelings or dissociate the person from them.  Common firefighter activities include: drug or alcohol use, self mutilation (cutting), binge-eating, sex binges, suicidal ideation, and rage.  They have the same goals as managers (to keep exiles away), but different, more impulsive strategies.

Case Study: Working with Protectors and Exiles—Two of the Most Common Parts  
•    Identifying Parts—the First Steps 
•    Unblending Parts from Self
•    Negotiating with protectors through direct access
•    With permission of protectors, begin working with exiles – witnessing,     retrievals and unburdening.
•    Strategies for Working with Exiles
•    Throughout the process, keep your parts from interfering.



1.            Explain the importance of the Three-Group Model of Common Parts in the clinical applications of IFS.

2.            Describe the differences between parts and Self and how it relates to clients.

3.            Describe the step-by-step process of unblending the Self from parts.

4.            Explain IFS’s unique approach to managing flooding and dissociation

5.            Explain the process a therapist must take when a client begins to dissociate during IFS work.

6.            Describe which parts take priority in the IFS process

Copyright : 11/02/2016

Dick Schwartz Answers Your Questions about IFS

Program Information


  1. Uncover the Internal Family Systems model, the clinical demonstrations, and how IFS can help you in your practice.


Copyright : 21/09/2016

The Myth of Unitary Self: A Dialogue on the Multiplicity of Mind with Daniel Siegel, MD and Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.


  1. Assess how to help clients not over-identify with a single part of themselves, and empower them to move beyond the diagnostic labels they feel define them
  2. Evaluate the concept of mindsight and how an enhanced ability to perceive the workings of one’s own mind can lead to greater levels of personal integration
  3. Assess the distinction between the Self and one’s parts and how it can help clients develop a capacity for self-leadership and self-regulation
  4. Communicate the practical similarities and differences between two widely influential models of personality and change

Brief overview of interpersonal neurobiology

Internal Family System (IFS) view of multiplicity

Discussion between presenters Daniel Siegel and Richard Schwartz on how to bring the concept of multiplicity into therapy

Exercise to overcome emotional obstacles
Concluding discussion between speakers

Audience question and answer session with speakers

Copyright : 28/03/2015

IFS for Complex Trauma


  1. Explain why Internal Family Systems therapy is an effective method for treating trauma.


Copyright : 06/09/2012

The Inner Game of Psychotherapy

  1. List 3 protocols of IFS therapy and how to apply them when working with clients who have complex developmental trauma.


Family therapist, Richard Schwartz introduces the concept of Internal Family System (IFS)- a clear, systematic methodology for helping clients heal themselves.
A basic premise of IFS is that the “Inner Self” is not a single, monolithic persona, but in fact, a complex Internal Family System (IFS) of different parts-or sub-personalities-each with its own sometimes antagonistic memories, viewpoints, desires, and agendas.
Understanding IFS Parts

Three most common roles played by internal parts

Understand the Self in IFS

Basic Goals of IFS:

Introduction of case study: a clinical video demo using IFS with a client who has a history of complex developmental trauma
Video illustrates the key steps in the IFS model:

Copyright : 27/05/2015