Internal Family Systems (IFS) for Individual Client Work

Day of Theory and Active Skills Training for Immediate Use in Client and Personal Development Work.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy is one of the fastest-growing approaches to psychotherapy. It has developed over the past twenty years into a way of understanding and treating human problems that is empowering, effective, and non-pathologizing with an understanding that symptoms are actually the coping mechanism of Parts (sub-personalities/ego-states) trying to protect us from pain. IFS is a powerful model of therapy that enhances mindful awareness and self-compassion through getting to know our Parts in a methodical yet intimate way.

The IFS Model represents a synthesis of two already-existing paradigms: systems thinking and multiplicity of the mind. A key aspect of the IFS Model is the belief that, in addition to working with Parts, everyone has at their core a Self-Energy containing many crucial leadership qualities such as perspective, confidence, compassion, and acceptance.

In this inner system, some Parts take on protective roles in response to relational injury in order to protect a vulnerable or injured Part (Exiles). Protective pro-active Parts (Managers) focus on learning, functioning, and being prepared preventing Exiles from being triggered. Manager behaviours can include inner critics, controlling self/others/the environment, perfectionism, risk avoidance, caretaking, worrying, striving, pleasing, denial, displacement, projecting and intellectualising. The reactive protective Parts (Firefighters) get activated after an exile has been triggered. They try to distract the client from pain. Examples of Firefighter behaviour include dissociation, fantasising, somatising, anger/rage, addictions, eating disorders, panic, obsessions, compulsions, hoarding, NSSI and suicidality.

At the outset of therapy an IFS therapist hears the client’s presenting complaint as one Part speaking. The IFS therapist witnesses this Part acknowledging how it is trying to help the client and then seeks permission to hear from all Parts involved in the issue. The IFS therapist supports the client to unblend or differentiate from each Part and enter an internal dialogue. Clients learn to listen inside themselves with self-compassion and curiosity (Self), and, in the process release beliefs, emotions, sensations, patterns and urges that have constrained their lives. As Parts are witnessed, they become more flexible in how they respond to the world as well as with each other. The central healing relationship in IFS is between the Self of the client and his/her Parts.


Key Details

  • Contact Hours: 7.0 hrs
  • Format: Lecture and Assessment
  • Duration: 1 Day
  • Compatability: All Devices
  • Language: English


To register for this course click the 'Visit website' button