Foundations of Internal Family Systems

This is an 8-hour on-demand course.

Access information, resources, and continuing education information will be sent to you shortly after registration. Registrants receive unlimited access to the recording for 365 days.

This webinar was originally broadcast live on May 20 and May 27, 2021.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is one of the most popular and effective evidence-based treatment techniques in use today. This 8-hour training with a follow-up Q and A will provide an opportunity for therapists hoping to learn or improve IFS knowledge and skills with Frank Anderson, one of the most respected,  dynamic (and enjoyed) IFS presenters. 

Most modes of psychotherapy believe that to have “parts” is pathological. NOT in Internal Family Systems. In IFS, 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. IFS is a very powerful tool for clinicians. Once you see it in action, you’ll be hooked! And you’ll want to immediately incorporate it into your practice. 

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

Today, IFS has established a legacy of effectiveness in successfully treating many mental health issues and is being heralded as the treatment that all clinicians should know in order to treat clients effectively. 

Outline: The IFS Technique 

Step 1: Identifying the Diagnoses and Symptoms

  • Assessing the diagnoses: PTSD, Anxiety, depression, substance abuse and eating disorders, applying meditation practices
  • Finding the symptom
  • Focusing on its fear
  • Separating the person (Self) from the symptom
  • Becoming curious about it
  • Finding the real story behind the symptom 

Step 2: Gaining Access to Internal Strengths and Resources for Healing 

  • Moving from defensiveness to curiosity
  • Accessing compassion to open the pathways toward healing 
  • Fostering “internal attachment” work
  • The “Self” of the therapist:  counter-transference redefined

Step 3: Permanent Healing of the Traumatic Wound

  • Three phases to healing the wound: Witnessing the pain
  • Removing the wounded part out of the past
  • Letting go of the feelings, thoughts and beliefs
  • Memory reconsolidation and neuroscience
  • Integrating IFS into Your Treatment Approach
  • EMDR, DBT, Sensorimotor and other methods
  • Transformation vs. adaptation or rehabilitation
  • Going beyond the cognitive
  • Integrating IFS with your current clinical approach
  • Describe the IFS Model and ways to integrate IFS into their clinical practice.
  • Identify and work with their client’s parts.
  • Identify and demonstrate how to work with the clinician’s own parts.
  • Summarize an alternate view of symptoms and psychopathology, understanding that these are ways our clients are trying to protect themselves from emotional pain and psychological wounding.
  • Explain how IFS increases the therapist’s curious and compassionate self when working with difficult and challenging clients.
  • Learn the neuroscience behind the healing process in IFS therapy.

Frank Anderson, MD, completed his residency and was a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is both a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He specializes in the treatment of trauma and dissociation and is passionate about teaching brain-based psychotherapy and integrating current neuroscience knowledge with the IFS model of therapy.

Frank is a Lead Trainer at the IFS Institute. He serves as an advisor to the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP) and was the former chair and director of the Foundation for Self Leadership.

Dr. Anderson has lectured extensively on the Neurobiology of PTSD and Dissociation and wrote the chapter “Who’s Taking What” Connecting Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology and Internal Family Systems for Trauma in Internal Family Systems Therapy-New Dimensions. He co-authored a chapter on “What IFS Brings to Trauma Treatment in Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy” and recently co-authored Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual.

Frank Anderson’s book, entitled Transcending Trauma: Healing Complex PTSD with Internal Family Systems, was released on May 19, 2021. His memoir is set to be released on May 7, 2024.

Part 1

Time Topic Covered
First 90 Minutes Step 1: Identifying the Diagnoses & Symptoms
Assessing the diagnoses: PTSD, Anxiety, depression, substance abuse and eating disordersApplying meditation practices
Finding the symptom
Focusing on its fear
Separating the person (Self) from the symptom
15 Minute Break
Last 90 Minutes Becoming curious about it
Finding the real story behind the symptom Step 2: Gaining Access to Internal Strengths & Resources for Healing Moving from defensiveness to curiosity
Accessing compassion to open the pathways toward healing 

Part 2

Time Topic Covered
First 90 Minutes Fostering “internal attachment” work
The “Self” of the therapist-countertransference redefined. Step 3: Permanent Healing of the Traumatic Wound

Three phases to healing the wound: Witnessing the pain
Removing the wounded part out of the past
Letting go of the feelings, thoughts and beliefs Memory reconsolidation & neuroscience
15 Minute Break
Last 90 Minutes Integrating IFS into Your Treatment Approach
EMDR, DBT, Sensorimotor and other methods Transformation vs adaptation or rehabilitation Going beyond the cognitive
Integrating IFS with your current clinical approach

This training offers 8 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch). It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards/regulatory body to verify CE requirements for their license to practice.

For Live Broadcast Attendees

Webinar attendance by participants is automatically tracked, documented and archived for future reference. Upon confirming you have attended 100% of the webinar and upon completion of a course evaluation, you will be issued a certificate of participation (see below).

For Attendees of On Demand/Recorded Version

If you cannot verify 100% attendance of the Live Broadcast or if you are watching the On Demand/recorded version of this webinar, you will need to complete a Post-Webinar Quiz with a pass of at least 80% in order to verify your attendance.

For US Participants

Instructions on how to obtain your Certificate of Attendance showing the hours completed will be distributed either following the Live Broadcast or with On-Demand registration (On-Demand participants must pass a post-webinar attendance quiz).  A CE package will be available which includes the full webinar description and details, the speaker’s CV and references.

For Canadian and International participants

Upon fulfillment of the above requirements, Canadian and international participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation which features:

  • Name of Participant
  • Title of Training
  • Name of Presenter plus their credentials
  • Number of hours of training
  • Date of training
  • Confirmation that you have passed a quiz with at least 80% grade to verify your attendance

Please check carefully with your regulating body/organization that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CEUs.

For general information about Continuing Education for Canadians and International participants, please click here.  

Who Should Attend

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Pastoral Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Graduate Students in accredited programs in the above fields
  • Case Managers
  • Licensed Professional Counsellors
  • All other professionals who would like to develop, update or expand their skills and knowledge in mental health practices