IFS - An Evidence-Based Therapy System
We are pleased to share with the professional therapy community the exciting news that the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy is now posted on NREPP as an evidence-based practice.
NREPP is the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, a national repository that is maintained by the U.S. government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Interventions listed in NREPP, now including IFS, have been subject to independent, rigorous scrutiny and are deemed to show significant impact on individual outcomes relating to mental health.
1. Monthly Case Study Calls and Demos with Dr. Richard Schwartz
Dick Schwartz will be joining you each month for a live teaching call, focusing on demos and case studies. As a participant, we will prioritize demos and case studies that you submit. You can always catch a replay at your convenience in the membership site.
2. Monthly Calls with Lead Trainers on IFS Applications
There will be a monthly interactive teaching call with our featured IFS senior trainer (Mary Kruger, Cece Sykes, Michael Elkin, and Ann Sinko). They will take you through different areas of learning, applications, exercises, and case studies and provide time for Q & A.
3. Printable Transcripts of ALL Teachings Calls, Videos, and Supporting Materials
Each month we will transcribe all of the videos and teachings so that you can review and make your own personal notes on the teachings.
4. Private Membership Site with Monthly Video and Audio Teachings
Each month you will get teachings from contributing IFS lead trainers that will take you through different areas of learning, applications, exercises, and case studies.
5. All Video Teaching Modules are Fully Downloadable
You can watch all of the videos at your leisure (including the live calls with demos and case consults) and everything in the site. Everything will be downloadable except demos to protect confidentiality.
6. Engaging Private Facebook Community
Discuss the learning material and ask for help from an international community of IFS practitioners.
The Voices of Addiction: An IFS Perspective with Mary Kruger & Cece Sykes
IFS brings an innovative new perspective to working with addictions, eating disorders and other compulsive or self-harming behaviors. IFS moves us into another dimension of treatment with this challenging population, and expands clinical possibilities.
Whether we are working with a trauma survivor 'addicted' to self-negating behaviors, a risk-taking chronic substance abuser or the family members who love them, we will explore how to create the safe, non-shaming clinical environment necessary for this critical work. How to befriend and disarm intense and impulsive self-destructive protectors, as well as innovative approaches to the emotional pain of long-burdened exiles will be addressed.
Redefining “Addiction” - How will IFS Help?
In January we present a framework for understanding not just substance addiction, but disordered eating, self-harm, and many other impulsive and compulsive behaviors. We call this Addictive Process. This framework highlights the similarities among many common presenting problems and allows you to confidently approach treatment with these kinds of entrenched inner dynamics.
- Introducing Mary & Cece
- Defining the Addictive Process
- 6 Key advantages of IFS for dealing compassionately and effectively with addictive process, including how IFS can prevent relapse
- Demos of two hypothetical first sessions, showing how to quickly gain the trust of highly polarized, addictive systems and begin treatment on the right foot
Treating a System not a Symptom
We discuss the common pattern of firefighters, managers, and exiles that accompanies the many varieties of addictive process, and how best to enter into this delicate balance to create positive change.
- Parts and Roles in Addictive Process
- Identifying the Inner System
- Importance of Tracking the Process
- Self-Spectrum: Building a Self to Parts relationship
Befriending Addictive Parts
We get into the nitty-gritty of working with the dangerous distractor parts that are responsible for addictive behaviors. We discuss the common responses of therapists’ parts to these firefighters, the pitfalls they can drag us into, and how to expertly avoid those pitfalls to befriend and heal these often exhausted protectors.
- Common Pitfalls with Extreme Protectors
- Identifying Addictive Manager-Firefighter polarizations
- Working with Entrenched Systems
- Therapists’ Parts and the Addictive System
IFS and Addiction in Action
This month applies the ideas presented in the previous three months to working with even the most challenging addictive systems. We delve into the process of building compassion for all sides of the protective system in addictive process, as well as for the exiles underneath. We wrap up with two demos showing how to apply what we’ve taught in session.
- How to work with clients you feel like you can’t do IFS with
- How not to collude with Managers
- Demonstration of IFS Assessment
- Demo of working with Polarizations and Disregulation
IFS and Depression, Anxiety and Shame with Michael Elkin and Ann Sinko
Anxiety and depression are the most presented symptoms of people seeking psychotherapy and shame is the engine that fuels both. How you define a problem limits its solutions. Questions we will explore include: Is depression anger turned inward? Unresolved grief? A chemical imbalance? Is anxiety low self-esteem? An inability to make decisions? Fear? Or just free floating? What if we did not have to define, but rather ask?
The IFS model provides us an innovative way of understanding and working with these universal human problems. Understanding that our symptoms are actually the coping mechanism of our parts trying to protect us from pain, provides a framework that makes entrenched symptoms workable.
The IFS Paradigm of Depression, Anxiety and Shame
This month will highlight how IFS defines depression and anxiety, not as a disorder but as a coping mechanism responding to a constraint in the internal or external system. This understanding provides a foundation for a uniquely powerful approach to these all too common symptoms
You will learn:
- 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
The Meat of the Matter: Shame and Shaming
We will explore the most common constraint to a balanced and harmonious internal system. Shame (the experience of one's badness) is the most common burden our parts carry. Please join us as we explore the connection between anxiety, depression and shame.
In this month we will cover:
- Defining shame and shaming
- The shame/blame cycle
- How systems organize around shame
- The Alcoholic belief system
- Exiles: The embodiment of shame
- Legacy Burdens
The Many Faces and Flavors of Anxiety and Depression
We will delve into the protective system; polarizations and alliances, protector strategies and therapist parts. These constellations of parts evolve when there has been a loss of Self leadership and are more effectively helped when addressed systemically in relationship to one another.
In this month you will learn to:
- Understand the Common Constellations of protectors that can cause depression and anxiety
- Recognize and work with different protector strategies
- Handle polarizations and alliances
- Differentiate grief from depression, and how to approach each
Strategies for working with Depression, Anxiety and Shame
This will be an in-depth exploration of obstacles and strategies for working with these obstacles. We will present case examples and highlight what we have found to work even in the most entrenched internal systems.
In this month we will cover:
- Clinical examples
- Obstacles and their solutions
- Addressing parts' fears and concerns
- Using Direct Access in difficult systems
About the Founder and Contributing Lead Trainers
Cece Sykes LCSW, ACSW
The Voices of Addiction
Cece Sykes is an IFS Senior Trainer and consultant with over thirty years of clinical experience with individuals, couples and families. She specializes in recovery from trauma and addictive process and her chapter “An IFS Lens on Addiction: Compassion for Extreme Parts” appears in Innovations and Elaborations in IFS (Routledge, 2016). Cece lectures and consults across the US and internationally and is widely recognized for her warmth, clarity and humor. She lives and works in the city of Chicago.
Mary Kruger, MS, LMFT
The Voices of Addiction
Mary Kruger is an AAMFT supervisor and an IFS Lead Trainer. She is founder of Rimmon Pond Counseling, LLC; an IFS based group practice located in the New Haven, Ct. area. She also offers private therapy, consultations and workshops nationally and internationally. Mary developed the IFS Level 2 Training for Addictions and Eating Disorders several years ago. Mary has been working in the field of addictions, eating disorders and trauma, with individuals, couples, families and groups, for over twenty- five years. She has a passion for engaging with people; and shares her experiences in fun and creative ways.
Michael Elkin, LMFT
Depression, Anxiety and Shame
Michael Elkin is an IFS senior trainer who has been involved with the model since 1995. He has been a popular presenter, conducting scores of trainings and workshops throughout the US and Europe and has taught level one trainings in Boston every year since 2003. He was a pioneer in applying hypnotic and strategic approaches to addiction treatment and has integrated those tools into IFS treatment. He is the author of, “Families Under the Influence” and several articles.
Ann Sinko, LMFT
Depression, Anxiety and Shame
Ann Sinko has been a creative therapist for over 30 years. She is a senior IFS trainer and has integrated the IFS Model into all facets of her work with families, couples, individuals and groups. Ann is a natural teacher. She brings a down to earth, concrete style along with a sense of humor to her teaching. Currently, she uses her gifts to teach IFS, (level 1 and 2), and workshops. Ann has been adjunct faculty in the Marriage and Family therapy program at Central CT State University since 1995 and is in private practice in Portland, CT. She authored a chapter on Legacy Burdens in "Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy.”