Full Course Description
Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS): A Revolutionary & Transformative Treatment for Permanent Healing of PTSD, Anxiety, Depression, Substance Abuse and More!
- Integrate the IFS model into your clinical practice and accelerate healing for PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and eating disorders.
- Develop a deep understanding of how neuroscience informs therapeutic decisions in IFS therapy.
- Identify, specify and clarify the protective parts of clients with trauma histories to help with assessment and treatment planning.
- 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.
- Demonstrate how IFS translates common comorbidities into parts language, showing a non-pathological perspective of mental health disorders.
- Integrate IFS with your current treatment approaches including EMDR, DBT, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.
Internal Family Systems (IFS)
- Origins of IFS - the work of Richard Schwartz, PhD
- A non-pathologizing, accelerated approach rooted in neuroscience
- Apply inner resources and self-compassion for healing
- How to heal implicit memory wounds
- Harness neuroscience for techniques that cure traumatic wounds
The IFS Technique
Step 1: Identifying the Diagnoses & Symptoms
- Assess the diagnoses: PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and eating disorders
- Apply Meditation practices
- Finding the symptom
- Focusing on its fear
- Separating the person (self) from the symptom
- Becoming curious about it
- Find the real story behind the symptom
Step 2: Gain Access to Internal Strengths & Resources for Healing
- Moving from defensiveness to curiosity
- Access compassion to open the pathways toward healing
- Foster “internal attachment” work
- The “Self” of the therapist-countertransference redefined
Step 3: Healing of the Traumatic Wound
- Three phases to healing the wound:
- Witness the pain
- Remove the wounded part out of the past
- Let go of the feelings, thoughts and beliefs
- Memory reconsolidation & neuroscience
Integrate IFS into Your Treatment Approach
- EMDR, DBT, Sensorimotor and other methods
- Transformation vs adaptation or rehabilitation
- Going beyond the cognitive
- Integrate IFS with your current clinical approach
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
Dick Schwartz Answers Your Questions about IFS
- Uncover the Internal Family Systems model, the clinical demonstrations, and how IFS can help you in your practice.
- Richard Schwartz answers your questions.
- Intro to call
- Questions of the IFS
- Summary of Call
The Myth of Unitary Self: A Dialogue on the Multiplicity of Mind with Daniel Siegel, MD and Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Communicate the practical similarities and differences between two widely influential models of personality and change
Brief overview of interpersonal neurobiology
- Presentation of using interpersonal to look at “triangle” of human experience - relationships, body and mind
- False goals of “unitary” self
- Integrated identity that makes up one’s “self”
Internal Family System (IFS) view of multiplicity
- Presentation of IFS outlook of multiple parts within the person
- Healing oneself internally through parts Eight “C” word qualities of self that aid in healing: curiosity, confidence, calm, compassion, creativity, clarity, connectedness and courage.
Discussion between presenters Daniel Siegel and Richard Schwartz on how to bring the concept of multiplicity into therapy
- Helping client not over-identify with single part
- Distinction between the self and the parts
- Similarities and Differences between neurobiology and IFS
Exercise to overcome emotional obstacles
Concluding discussion between speakers
- Case examples of multiplicity in psychotherapy
- Techniques to use neurobiology and IFS within therapy sessions
Audience question and answer session with speakers
IFS for Complex Trauma
- Explain why Internal Family Systems therapy is an effective method for treating trauma.
- Help clients communicate with disowned and disliked parts of the themselves
- Avoid becoming the primary attachment figure and, instead, open the way for the client’s Self to emerge
- Use methods for transparently handling situations in which the therapist can get emotionally triggered
The Inner Game of Psychotherapy
- 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
- They are sub-personalities or aspects of our personality that interact internally in sequences and styles that are similar to the ways that people interact
- All parts are valuable and want to have a positive role
- Parts become extreme and can be destructive because of life experiences
Three most common roles played by internal parts
- Exiles. 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 the events and are stuck in the past
- Managers. 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. Firefighters have the same goals as managers (to keep exiles away), but different, more impulsive strategies
Understand the Self in IFS
- The Self is a different level of entity than the parts
- It is the seat of consciousness-sometimes called the “observing self.”
- In IFS, the Self is known to contain qualities like compassion, confidence, curiosity, and perspective
Basic Goals of IFS:
- To release parts from their extreme roles so they can find and adopt their preferred, valuable roles
- To differentiate client’s Self so Self can help harmonize and balance a client’s inner and outer life
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:
- Assess the client’s external system to make sure it is safe to do work
- Introduce IFS language to client
- Ask what client would like to change
- Explore the roles and relationships among prominent internal parts
- Identify and work with managers first
- Ask about and defuse any dangerous firefighters
- With permission of managers, begin working with exiles
- Notice how the client’s deeper Self-characterized by confidence, compassion, and wisdom-emerges during the process
- Observe the Core Self assume a leadership role in integrating conflicted and disowned inner parts
- Throughout the process, notice how the therapist keeps his own parts from interfering