Full Course Description

Internal Family Systems (IFS): Development, Application and Transformational Model to Effectively Help Clients Improve Well-Being

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is rapidly becoming a recognized evidence-based psychotherapy that effectively and efficiently helps clients reduce struggles with their symptoms and become more self-aware in a wide range of clinical settings.

In this 3-hour recording, join Dr. Frank Anderson as he talks to IFS Founder, Dick Schwartz as they go in-depth discussing how the model developed, research for IFS, why it’s so powerful, and how it has evolved since its inception.

Also joining the conversation will be Senior IFS Trainer, Paul Ginter, Ed.D, one of the most popular and effective IFS teachers, who lead us through an overview of the model.

If you are new to IFS, you won't want to miss this session. And if you are already familiar with IFS, don’t miss this unique opportunity to hear/learn more about IFS from two of the leaders at the IFS Institute.

Program Information


  1. Evaluate and explain the IFS model’s principles, concepts, and treatment interventions.
  2. Assess how IFS brings a flexible perspective of mental health disorders by translating common comorbidities into parts language.
  3. Analyze and determine the qualities of Self for the purposes of client psychoeducation.
  4. Determine the characteristics and role of firefighters in the system.
  5. Assess the relationship between the role of protectors and exiles.


IFS Model Development

  • The origins of IFS
  • Research, risks and limitations
  • Evolution of the IFS:
    • Working with protective parts
    • Working with exiled parts
    • Working with trauma survivors
    • Regarding the incorporation of spirituality
    • As it relates to various clinical applications

IFS Model Application

  • Multiplicity of the mind
  • What differentiates IFS from other models
  • Defining the Self
  • The Role of Parts
    • Managers
    • Firefighters
    • Exiles
  • Process of working with our parts (6 Fs)
  • Addressing polarizations
  • Video of a session
  • The unburdening or healing process
  • The goals of IFS
  • The flow of the model

Copyright : 21/10/2020

Attachment & IFS: Healing Trauma and Attachment Wounds that Befriend the Body

Attachment wounds have a powerful impact on life decisions like who we pick for a partner, our job and the relationship with our environments. 

That’s why it's crucial to understand that when trauma is experienced alone, no one to process it with, no trusting relationship, it will get locked into a client's system without the ability to move forward.  

In this interview, join Dr. Frank Anderson and Senior IFS Trainer, Chris Burris as they go in-depth on how to apply IFS to attachment wounds and the body. When a client experiences trauma, their parts will split from the Self to survive. One part will serve the role of protection while the other will remain hidden causing an internal attachment wound. 

Join Chris and Frank as they dive into the breakthrough of IFS and attachment - when parts work together, they heal together.

Program Information


  1. Determine how attachment theories inform us about human connection and how IFS views attachment differently to increase healing for clients.
  2. Experiment different ways to help clients open up and befriend their body to heal wounds.


3 Keys to Attachment 
Essential to the therapeutic relationship 

  1. Seen  
  2. Heard  
  3. Valued 

Attachment Theory & IFS Model 
Differences and contribution of models 
How IFS views attachment 
Parts can have different attachment patterns  
Parts can have different attachment wounds 
From trauma, parts must split from self in order to survive   
Self to part relationship 
When attachment is threatened  
Responses from exile parts    
Heal attachment wounds 

Befriending the Body 
Attachment injuries cause dissociation and disconnect in the body 
Reintegrate the body & reintegrate the senses to heal wounds 
How to open up the internal channel for communication 

Work with the Inner Critic 
Relational impact of the critic  
Why to work the critic first and why 
Use rational, respectful, non-shaming techniques

Copyright : 31/07/2020

Treating Complex PTSD with IFS

Trauma blocks love and self-connection.   

IFS is a transformational model in which allows clients to release these blocks from pain and heal.  

Join IFS senior trainer and trauma expert Frank Anderson, MD as he explains how IFS uniquely helps survivors heal from the pain and betrayal of traumatic wounding. In just one hour, he masterfully cover how IFS can:  

  • View trauma as a relational violation 
  • Repair the internal relationship when trauma is endured 
  • Empower your clients to overcome even the most complex traumas 
  • And more! 

If you’re working with trauma survivors, don’t get overwhelmed and learn how IFS can change your practice!  

Program Information


  1. Analyze why treating Complex PTSD is complicated by evaluating the different trauma diagnoses, circumstances, and experiences that contribute to trauma disorders. 
  2. Differentiate between IFS treatment and other trauma treatment modalities by evaluating the positive intentions of all parts, highlighting the role of Self-Energy; arguing the importance of both empathy and compassion in work with clients, and identifying advance treatment for protectors beyond the basic 6 “F’s".


All Traumas Are Not the Same
Developmental Trauma Disorder (AKA Developmental Complex PTSD) 
DID/extreme dissociative trauma 
Self as the corrective experience 

Why Treating Complex Trauma is So Complicated 
Extreme circumstance & responses 
Working with trauma survivors triggers therapist’s traumas 
Boundary issues are inevitable 
Therapist parts 

What is Unique About IFS Trauma Treatment 
Positive intention of all parts 
Not a phase oriented model 
Empathy & compassion 
Internal attachment work 

Beyond the 6 F’s for Protectors 
Direct access 
Updating an apology 
Offer the invitation of hope 

IFS & Attachment Trauma 
Attachment wounds 
Impacts on decisions/relationships 
How attachment wounds develop 

Critic, Neglect, & Shame Cycles 
Shame is a powerful potent wound 
Shame rooted from a critic 
Shame rooted from neglect 
IFS & Dissociative Disorders 
The importance of saying in self 
Range of healing of wounds 
Cumulative/collective unburdening 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

IFS & Addictive Processes: Healing Wounds and Restoring Balance to the System of Parts

Join Dr. Frank Anderson and Senior IFS Trainer Cece Sykes, LCSW for this compelling, in-depth discussion that conceptualizes addictive processes within the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model. In just one hour, they masterfully cover: 

  • IFS’s view of addictive processes as system-focused, not symptom-focused 
  • How polarization of parts impacts the clinical process 
  • Healing the underlying wound by restoring balance to the system 
  • Ways to manage inevitable countertransference within your own parts 
  • And more! 

If you work with clients who are struggling to overcome addictive behavior, you don’t want to miss this session! 

Program Information


  1. Utilize an IFS-informed approach to case conceptualization with clients who present with addiction.  
  2. Differentiate between the manager, firefighter, and exiled parts in the IFS model.   
  3. Assess for common countertransference issues that may interfere with treatment.   


The IFS-Informed Perspective of Addiction 
It’s a system, not a symptom – every part is involved! 
Polarization among parts when addiction is present 
Finding the positive intention of negative behaviour 
How to heal underlying wounds and restore balance to the system 
Codependence and early attachment wounds 
Countertransference is inevitable but manageable when addressed 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

IFS & Disordered Eating: Heal the Relationship Between Food and Body

Almost every client you see holds shame about their weight, size, or health – whether they talk about it or not.  The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of treatment provides a way to release that shame to discover an inner wisdom that guides clients to heal their relationship with food and their bodies.     

Join Dr. Frank Anderson for this engaging discussion with disordered eating expert and Vice Chair of the IFS Institute, Jeanne Catanzaro as they explore disordered eating and body image through the lens of IFS, including: 

  • How parts work can help clients overcome the extremes of eating and compensatory behaviors 
  • Uncovering the ubiquitous nature of disordered eating, often framed as “clean” or “healthy” 
  • Insight and concepts for working with clients to release control rather than seek it 
  • Disparities in perception and treatment among race, gender, ability, and sexual orientation 

You don’t want to miss this compelling conversation! 

Program Information


  1. Utilize IFS-informed strategies to help clients identify and connect with their parts that hold extreme beliefs about food and body. 
  2. Differentiate between parts-driven and Self-led beliefs and behaviour related to food, body size, and health.   
  3. Assess the impact of cultural and legacy burdens on clients’ acceptance of their body and relationship with food.


Disordered Eating Through the Lens of IFS 
How clients get disconnected from their core wisdom, the self 
Cultural and legacy burdens’ impact on self-acceptance 
Discovering the positive intention of extreme parts 
The intersection of trauma and disordered eating 

Making the Shift From Parts-Driven to Self-Led 
The eating part is never alone! 
Unburdening extreme parts from their role 
Exploring other parts’ relationship with food and the body 
What is intuitive eating and how does it help? 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

IFS Approaches to Shame, Anxiety, and Depression

Shame is the fuel which drives all of the problems therapists treat.  And IFS views anxiety and depression as strategies adopted by our protective systems to cope with shame.  

Join Dr. Frank Anderson for this engaging discussion with IFS Pioneer and Senior Trainer, Michael Elkin, LMFT as they explore the ability to be curious and compassion to these protectors caught in a trap, and help ease them out of their extreme roles, including:  

  • How IFS compares and contrasts with other models of treatment for depression, anxiety and shame 
  • How a relational and systemic approach can uncover and heal deep shame where other methods might get stuck 
  • The impact of shame as an organizing principle in our internal systems 
  • IFS interventions to unblend and promote healing of shame, anxiety, and depression 

Don’t miss this in-depth exploration through the lens of the IFS model!  

Program Information


  1. Appraise and analyze the roles of depression and anxiety as parts designed to protect from feelings of shame. 
  2. Investigate the process of using IFS interventions to unblend and promote healing of shame, anxiety, and depression. 


Anxiety, Depression, & Shame 
Anxious parts that feel they’re “bad” 
Anaesthetizing anxiety leads to depression 
Anxiety & depression as ways to cope with the “badness” 

Anxiety & Depression as Protective Manifestations 
Anxious and depressive parts express themselves through sensations 
Anxious and depressive parts as protectors 
Negotiate with protective parts 
Approach anxious & depressive parts using IFS 
Approach with compassion & curiosity 
IFS & phobias 

Using Parts to Find/See Other Parts 
Can a part look at your Self through the Self’s eyes 

Intersectionality Between Biology & Parts 
Physiology as a tool for parts to express themselves 
Following the affect 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

IFS & Couples Therapy: Using Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFCO) to Heal, Improve, and Provide Relationship Help

Join Dr. Frank Anderson and Senior IFS trainer Toni Herbine-Blank, MSN, RN, for this compelling, in-depth discussion that conceptualizes an exciting use of the IFS model for couples, Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO).  You’ll learn principles and interventions in addressing common struggles faced in working with couples. In just one hour, they masterfully cover: 

  • The cascade of changes you experience using IFS with couples 
  • How to teach couples the skill of heartfelt communication 
  • Unique Aspects of the IFIO Model 
  • Using IFIO with sexuality, affairs, betrayal & repair 

Learn first-hand how the IFS approach altered Toni’s understanding of how human beings grow and have the capacity to transform, both internally and in relationships. Don’t miss this session and change the way you work with couples today!  

Program Information


  1. Analyze Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) principles and interventions in addressing common struggles faced in working with couples. 
  2. Evaluate the importance of assessing differentiation within a couple and promoting, teaching, and modelling active listening to improve relationship outcomes. 


Unique Couple’s Struggles & IFIO 
Couple’s level of differentiation 
Blended protectors 
Shame/blame and polarizations 

Teaching Couples the Art of Skillful Communication 
Change the conversation 
Speaking for parts, listening from self 
Courageous communication 
Working with the listener 
U-turn to re-turn 
Teaching communication skills 

Unique Aspects of the IFIO Model 
Systemic approach to heal, improve, and provide relationship help 
Tracking sequences 
Experiential & process oriented 
Working with shame, repair, & neuroscience 
Using IFIO with sexuality, affairs, betrayal, and repair 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

IFS with Children & Adolescents: Using Parts Work to Help Young People Heal

In this compelling session, Dr. Frank Anderson and senior IFS trainer Pam Krause discuss the ins and outs of using IFS with children and adolescents, including: 

  • Conceptualizing the IFS model within the context of play therapy 
  • The unique way parts work reduces shame and blame within families 
  • Differentiating between implicit and explicit direct access, including which one to use (and when) 
  • And more! 

If you’re working with children and adolescents, you don’t want to miss this session! 

Program Information


  1. Apply IFS concepts for use with children & adolescents in therapy. 
  2. Utilize the application of both direct access and in-sight in this population. 
  3. Differentiate between implicit and explicit direct access within the IFS model.  


IFS with Kids and Adolescents   
An Innovative Framework for Reaching Young People 

Play therapy meets IFS 
Using both direct access and in sight with a younger population 
Externalizing techniques for facilitating in-sight 
How polarizations impact therapy 
Helping families identify and understand their parts 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

IFS Approaches with LGBTQ2IA+ Clients

Working with LGBTQ2IA+ clients requires therapists to focus compassionately on our clients’ internal worlds as well as our own. IFS offers a deep, transformational healing to clients AND it allows clinicians the ability to connect with ANY client. 

Join Dr. Frank Anderson for this engaging discussion with IFS Assistant Trainer, Jim Andralis, LCAT, as they explore working with LGBTQ2IA+ clients through the lens of IFS, including: 

  • How IFS helps therapists engage in parts that carry biases and stay open to each client’s unique experience  
  • Support the healing agent of self-energy to promote healing and positive clinical outcomes 
  • Differentiate the clinical needs and challenges facing LGBTQ2IA+ populations and  subgroups, including youth coming out in today’s culture  

Don’t miss this session, and learn how to offer your clients a safe place for therapy! 

Program Information


  1. Evaluate the importance of welcoming a person’s full humanity in treating clients in the LGBTQ2IA+ Population and support the healing agent of self-energy to promote healing and positive clinical outcomes. 
  2. Differentiate the clinical needs and challenges facing different LGBTQ2IA+ populations and determine that clinical treatment must be reflective of the needs of individual clients while also being aware of challenges faced by LGBTQ2IA+ subgroups, including LGBT youth, Lesbians, and Trans individuals. 


How IFS Applies to the LGBTQ2IA+ Population 
Welcoming a person’s full humanity 
The healing agent of self-energy 
Youth coming out in today’s culture 
Being gay/queer as a trauma experience 
Phases of gender transitioning 
Differences & similarities when working with lesbians vs. gay men 
Honouring the differences and what you don’t know 
Recognizing that orientation & gender are different 
Pronouns as possible triggers 

LGBTQ2IA+ Providers Providing Clinical Treatment  
Assumptions of Shared Experience with clients 
The role of self-disclosure 
Heterosexual cisgender client’s reacting to gay therapists & heterosexual projection 
Recognizing therapist’s parts 
Orientation & power dynamics 
Creating a space where parts can speak up 
Creating space for the perpetrator parts 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

Healing Racial Trauma with IFS

The recent protests against racial injustice and police brutality have left many therapists wondering what they can do to be active forces for change in the therapy room and beyond. 

Join Dr. Frank Anderson for this timely discussion about racial trauma with Founder of Black Therapists Rock & IFS Institute Online Ambassador, Deran Young, LCSW as they explore how clinicians can create a safe space in therapy for clients of color. 

Using the framework of Internal Family Systems (IFS), this session offers practical skills to help heal the traumatic wounds of oppression. You’ll discover how to: 

  • Apply the IFS model to help heal trauma, and acknowledge and own the parts of ourselves that become reactive when discussing issues of diversity 
  • Increase your ability to avoid microaggressions and help clients explore emotional wounds with culturally sensitive techniques  
  • Explore the ways in which Intersectionality affects therapy in order to better improve treatment outcomes for clients with diverse backgrounds. 
  • And more! 

You don’t want to miss this warranted conversation! 

Program Information


  1. Assess culture and IFS parts to deepen the understanding of how they interact. 
  2. Investigates and elaborates on the 4 main legacy burdens of America: individualism, racism, patriarchy, and materialism. 
  3. Analyze the ways in which Intersectionality affects therapy in order to better improve treatment outcomes for clients with diverse backgrounds. 


Intersectional Mental Health 
Look at race, gender, class 
Look at the person & context of where they come from 

How IFS Helps A Therapist  
Deconstruct power 
Individualism vs system thinking 

Collective Legacy Burdens  

  1. Racism 
  2. Patriarchy  
  3. Materialism  
  4. Individualism  

Help clients navigate their own paths  
Having a deep compassionate relationship with clients  

Copyright : 31/07/2020

The Future of IFS

Frank Anderson will lead a rare conversation with IFS Founder, Richard Schwartz, Ph.D.  He will share where he dreams of IFS to expand to both with mental health professionals and the general public. 

Program Information


Future Goals of IFS 
Change the way clinicians view and work with extreme symptoms 

Limitations of the Model  
Working Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) 

Bring IFS to the World & Change the Paradigm 
Executive coaching  
Educational Systems, both teachers and students 
Medicine & physician burn-out 
Prisons & law 

Copyright : 31/07/2020

Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS)

We all know what it is to feel conflicting emotions – “a part of me wants to .. and then there’s a part of me that doesn’t" – as we grapple with our internal self, desires, and behaviors.

Think about the family of emotions from Pixar’s movie Inside Out - how family of emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger all interacted inside Riley Anderson’s mind to form her reactions and memories.

Now you are thinking through the lens of Internal Family Systems therapy.

Most modes of psychotherapy believe to have “parts” is pathological, but in IFS therapy, the idea of multiplicity of the mind is normal. Every part has a good intention, and every part has value. All clients have the ability to heal themselves if they listen to their parts. Once you see this powerful modality in action, you’ll want to immediately incorporate it into your practice.

In developing IFS therapy 30 years ago, creator Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., realized that clients were describing experiences with various parts, many extreme, within themselves. When these parts felt safe and had their concerns addressed, they were less disruptive. He recognized that, as in systemic family theory, parts take on characteristic roles that help define the inner world of the client.

Dr. Bessel van der Kolk has heralded IFS therapy as the treatment that all clinicians should know in order to treat clients effectively (van der Kolk 2015).

Join Frank Anderson, MD, IFS therapy and trauma expert, in this transformational workshop and learn of all that IFS therapy can do for you and your clients!

Like Dr. Anderson, after integrating IFS therapy into your work, you will transform your practice. Clients will leave your office feeling healed, with skills to use outside the therapy room to help them master their emotions.

This special workshop will include experiential exercise, meditation and video demonstration. 

This event is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or affiliated with the IFS Institute and does not qualify for IFS Institute credits or certification.



Program Information


  1. Integrate the IFS model into your clinical practice and accelerate treatment for PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse and eating disorders.
  2. Develop a deep understanding of how neuroscience informs therapeutic decisions in IFS therapy.
  3. Determine the protective parts of clients with trauma histories to help with assessment and treatment planning.
  4. Propose 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)

  • Origins of IFS – the work of Richard Schwartz, PhD
  • A non-pathologizing, accelerated approach rooted in neuroscience
  • Apply inner resources and self-compassion for treatment
  • How to work with implicit memory wounds
  • Harness neuroscience for techniques that treat traumatic wounds
  • Study limitations: small sample size, no control group
  • Clinical considerations for clients experiencing abuse
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: Permanent Treatment of the Traumatic Wound
  • Three phases:
    • Witness the pain
    • Remove the wounded part out of the past
    • Leg 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

Copyright : 26/06/2020

A Therapist’s Guide to the Psychopharmacology of Trauma and Dissociation

Let’s face it – treating trauma is hard work and it’s not always clear what needs to be done. Dysregulated nervous systems, co-morbidities, and a myriad of psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological options often make it difficult to reach the desired goals for your clients.

Even though you may not be a prescriber of medications, it’s essential that you have a thorough understanding of the effects medication has in treating trauma.

Watch world-renowned trauma expert Frank Guastella Anderson, MD, in this recording as he guides you through the essentials of Psychopharmacology related to the treatment of Trauma and Dissociation.

Dr. Anderson will teach you how to:

  • Integrate psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches
  • Identify positive and negative effects of medication
  • Prepare clients for adding medication to their treatments
  • Understand the effects of trauma on neurobiological processes
  • Assess clients for appropriate medication referrals

Improve your outcomes through the understanding and application of the interplay between medications, psychotherapy and trauma.

Program Information


  1. Integrate psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches in the treatment of trauma and dissociation.
  2. Determine the positive and potentially negative effects of psychoactive medication interventions related to trauma treatment.
  3. Prepare clients effectively for the implementation of psychopharmacological adjuncts to psychotherapy.
  4. Analyze the neurobiological effects of trauma to the dysregulation of neurotransmitters and the use of mitigating medications.
  5. Assess therapeutic indications for appropriate medication referrals.


  • Effectively approaching traumatized clients with medication supports
  • Classification of the different types of trauma
    • Normative responses
    • Iatrogenic risks of rapid psychopharmacological treatment
  • Introduction to Internal Family Systems (IFS)
    • Working with “parts of self” and medication interventions
    • Primary types of parts
  • Therapists’ role in medications – facilitating compliance
    • Indications for medication referrals
    • Integrating IFS with medication management
    • Video case example – securing parts agreement and clarifying expectations
  • Neuroscience and the neurobiology of PTSD 
    • Neural networks and neural integration
    • Fear response circuitry – normal and disrupted function
  • Neurotransmitters and medications
    • Specific effects of most commonly used medication interventions
  • Treating Acute Trauma
    • Current psychopharmacological research and new directions
    • Negative effects of benzodiazepine use
  • Treating PTSD
    • Indicated medications and common side effects
  • Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy
    • Enhancing self-compassion and reducing defences
    • Limitations of current research
  • Hormones and PTSD
  • Polyvagal theory and Dissociation
    • Differentiating ventral and dorsal parasympathetic function 
  • Treating Dissociation – applications of atypical antipsychotics
    • Medications new to the market
  • Psychosis, Bipolar Disorder and Trauma - Co-morbidities and Trauma 
    • Use of PRN medications and scheduling
    • Discriminating between biological and emotional symptoms
  • Sleep disturbances
    • Psychotropics used – effects and side effects
  • Attention Deficit Disorder – overlap and medication interaction with PTSD
  • Substance abuse and indicated medications
  • Depression and co-morbid PTSD
    • Star-D study results
    • Polypharmacy for PTSD symptomology
  • OCD 
  • Alternative treatments for Trauma


Copyright : 11/09/2019