Welcome to the 2021 IFS ConferenceThursday

Below you'll find a list of Virtual Workshops you will be able to participate in as part of the IFS Conference.

More may be added!

Pre-conference Institute: Thursday, October 14

Opening Conversations 8:45 am - 9:45 am EST

Widening the IFS Lens through Voices of Global Majority: Opening Remarks

Deran Young, Founder & CEO Black Therapists Rock

Join Deran Young, as the 2021 IFS Conference kicks off!  In this morning session, we welcome you to the conference and introduce Thursday's theme of Widening the IFS Lens through Voices of Global Majority. Deran sets the stage for a day of learning, growth and community.

Self-Led Speaking & Listening in Diverse Spaces: Taking the Risk to Have a Different Kind of Conversation

Toni Herbine- Blank and Tamala Floyd

Join IFS Trainers, Toni Herbine-Blank and Tamala Floyd as they set the stage for the day speaking on the importance of Voices of the Global Majority being heard, recognized, and centered in the IFS Community.  This program is an invitation for white folks to practice listening during the conference without responding from guilt, caretaking, shame or defensiveness, as we honor the teachings being offered by these essential voices. 

IFS Lead Trainer, Pamela Krause will then have the honor of introducing the IFS Community to IFSI's Accelerated Training Program participants who are in the process of becoming IFSI’s next generation of Trainers. This group of BIPOC, White and LGBTQ+ IFS leaders have spent the last 9 months engaging in courageous conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion.  We are thrilled to spotlight their voices as the 2021 IFS Conference begins.


IFS Conference Plenary 10:00 am EST 

Microaggressions: Using Compassionate Accountability as a Healing Tool

Fatimah Finney, LMHC

What we say and how we say it is tied to what we feel and believe, consciously or unconsciously. Too often, people are ill-equipped to recognize the harmful impact of their words and actions and to effectively take responsibility for their impact. This lack of skill creates environments where people feel devalued and less engaged with their work and relationships.

This session is a primer on how to identify and address microaggressions in a Self-led way. It aims to inspire attendees to delve deeper into their conscious and unconscious biases, and to learn how these perceptions may be hindering the relational goals they want to achieve.

Workshops 11:00am - 12:30pm EST 

Using the IFS Model to Navigate Immigration Challenges

Rosa Bramble, LCSW-R

Immigration into the United States is fraught with challenges and traumatic experiences, largely unaddressed by mental health practitioners. Bramble The current anti-immigrant, socio-political atmosphere contributes to a climate where immigrants are seen as undesirable, and a threat to economy, safety and culture. Moreover, recent priorities for arrest and deportation is effecting the everyday fabric of daily life for this population. Immigrant families and mixed-status families are experiencing traumatic stress and affecting their ability to work, attend to medical needs,  engage in school related activities and to socialize. As a result, immigrants, asylum seekers and refugees are experiencing unprecedented heightened levels of terror, isolation, and mental health issues.

The goal of the workshop is for participants to gain understanding of  how the IFS model provides the language and resource to help immigrant and asylum seekers  heal the pre and post migratory trauma. Through the use of case studies and video sessions, this course will address the highly stressful and potentially traumatic experiences that immigrants undergo at different stages of the migration process, and IFS interventions that support the process of healing.

We will review US immigration policy, trauma-informed service delivery, when assessing and servicing vulnerable populations. The workshop will provide a brief overview of  the neurobiology of trauma in relation to the asylum process and collaboration with interpreters.  

Seekr: Exploring the Use of Technology to Enhance Connection in the Client/Clinician Ecosystem

Philip Butler, PhD

Join Philip Butler, PhD created of the Seekr App for a live panel discussion on the potential use of conversational technologies to aid,  introduce aButlernd augment the clinical setting. It will primarily investigate using Seekr’s IFS based interface as a way to help clinicians, clients and potential clients through their own self-healing.

Dr. Butler has invited Dr. Paula Langford, William Washington, Sonya Fox and Jamar Pye to join him for a live demonstration. 


Margin to Center : A Conversation on Otherness and Inclusiveness from an IFS Perspective

Kim Paulus, LMFT, Requina Barnes, LICSW, Natalie Gutierrez, LMFT, and Crystal Jones, LCSW

With the goal of centering the voices of folks who have been historically marginalized in healing spaces and in IFS spaces specifically, this panel discussion of four BIPOC IFS therapists, both newer and more familiar to the IFS community, will talk about the individual and collective experiences of feeling othered, its impact on our systems and those of our clients.  We will also explore experiences of feeling included and welcomed in different spaces and what has made that possible. We will talk about how otherness is connected to individual burdens and legacy burdens, but is also deeply impacted by the context of the cultural burden of institutional and systemic racism.  

As the Internal Family Systems world moves through a big transition from being a white-centered, white-led, white-taught model to a model that welcomes and centers the collective wisdom of therapists and healers with different cultural experiences and ways of being, the panel will explore and offer different opportunities for change within the organization to help create an environment that is conducive to the continued participation of voices of the global majority. With humor and hope and real talk, we will explore our visions and dreams for moving beyond scarcity, competition, and individualism to a place of healing for all, together.

Paulus BarnesNatalieJones

Mind the Gap

Dr. Vimalasara Mason-John, MA

Using IFS, Mindfulness and Compassionate Inquiry® CI as a path to explore our unconscious biases. The skillful blending of IFS, CI Mindfulness is a practice that enables us to be in the present moment and recognize the thoughts we might have. Thoughts we wouldn’t necessarily want another person to hear.  There is a gap between our feelings and our thinking and we can only change the feeling if we change the thought that comes after it.  This presentation will encourage you to explore the implicit biases within our systems, what beliefs do we hold and where did they come from? We will examine what happens when we are confronted with claims of racism. Where do we experience this in our bodies and how do we respond? Together, we will bring compassion to this self-led exploration as we  inquire within our own selves the work we must do to in order to “mind the gap”.

Highly Experiential Workshop. Participants Live on Screen. Space is Limited. 

Workshops 2:30pm - 4:30pm EST 

Culturally Responsive Practices in Latinx Mental Health [PRESENTED IN SPANISH]

Gaby Satarino, LPC

This workshop will focus on the importance of integrating cultural principals in treatment with Latinx community when using Internal Family Systems. We will discuss an overview of Latinx cultural outlooks and values and how they impact mental health presentation. We will discuss clinical scenarios where there are relevant multicultural aspects to consider when using Internal Family Systems Model with Latinx community.

The primary focus of this workshop is on direct application of the Internal Family System Model (IFS) when working with Latinx population. In this workshop, we will discuss ways to increase our attention, sensitivity, and responsivity to contextual and cultural experiences of the Latinx community with the goal of increasing our culturally responsive practices while applying the Internal Family Systems Model. This workshop will unpack the value of including a culturally aligned contextual interview to acknowledge protective parts informed by Latinx culture and identify potential legacy burdens and multi-generational heirlooms. In addition, the benefits of specifically including parts that hold the migration narrative as an essential element of the therapeutic process will be examined. We will discuss the intersectional framework of cultural protective factors and legacy burdens and the impact of language dynamics in clinical work especially working with exiles. This workshop will explore language switching with bilingual/multilingual clients. The role of spirituality in the Latinx community will be discussed including options to help access Self energy and to support the unburdening process. Lastly, this workshop will explore clinical scenarios where there are relevant multicultural aspects to consider when using the Internal Family Model with the Latinx community.

*This workshop will be presented in Spanish

Playing While Black: Addressing Racial Trauma with African American Children with IFS in the Playroom

Carmen Jimenez-Pride, LCSW

The exposure to racial trauma continues to increase for African American children and families requiring therapists to show up with more than a general understanding of cultural awareness in the play therapy setting. African American children and families are in need of an environment where they can learn about their internal systems, explore conflicts with external systems in relation to racial trauma. Utilizing parts framework along with the therapeutic powers of play, this workshop will challenge play therapists to become aware of their own internal system and the impact of racial trauma and how it impacts their practice with African American children and families.

Dear White Therapists©: Please Don't Call Me Maria

Dr. Michelle Álvarez

This workshop will help you get started –or continue on your journey toward becoming an antiracist therapist. You may think of yourself as “not racist.” However, the opposite of racist is antiracist. If you are not actively fighting against systemic racial injustice, then you are actively perpetuating it. If that is the case, not only are you, in fact, racist, but you are practicing in violation of your Code of Ethics. Particularly if this statement surprises you or you disagree with it, this workshop is for you. Come find out how you –yes, you – are enacting racial trauma right in your office –whether you have clients of color or not. Or come to continue learning more. I am sure you will hear content that you either have not heard before or could benefit from hearing again.

Dear White Therapists©: Please Don't Call Me Maria is designed to be an empowering, welcoming, yet frank discussion on the topic of race. It is NOT a space to yell at or shame white people. It’s a place to start working together against the common enemy of white supremacy. It’s a space to get curious about what racism really is, the supporting roles that we play in it, and the concrete steps that we can take to interrupt it, and truly act as an ally to our clients, colleagues, and people in general –right from our therapist couch.   


The Spirit of the Circle: Indigenous Worldview IFS Resonance

Julia Sullivan, MBA; Kristen Burge, JD, MA & Suzan McVicker, PhD, MA, LPC

The indigenous worldview resonates with IFS. This experiential workshop will articulate and allow you to experience this resonance using multiple modalities to engage body, mind, and spirit. Drawing upon the experience of IFS-informed elders and IFS-trained practitioners we will share actual examples of healing being done among native tribes. We will explore the shamanic roots of the IFS unburdening process, the integration of spirit as manifested in Self energy, and the necessity to engage communal healing processes. The legacy burdens carried by generations calls for a paradigm shift in how IFS meets this need for healing. Members of the newly formed Indigenous Elder IFS Council will share what they have learned in their work so far and will solicit ideas from the IFS community on how to expand and deepen their efforts. Come to be informed, engaged, healed, and inspired.


Healing the Effects of Racism: an Experiential IFS Exploration

Regina Wei, MA, MFT

This highly experiential workshop provides participants with an overview of how structural and institutional racism is a source of trauma for all members of society. Participants are guided through a series of reflective exercises that help them identify and work with parts that come up around racism whether they are the subject of racism or are unwitting/unintentional participants in the perpetuation of White supremacy culture personally and professionally.

The workshop is designed for therapists, clinicians, and IFS practitioners who are interested in deepening their understanding of how their practice and work with clients are impacted by racism. For BIPOC folks, the workshop provides a space in which to gently explore and bring Self energy to parts that hold the pain of racial trauma or parts that protect them from the effects of racism. For White folks committed to anti-racist work but who may be at a loss regarding where to begin, the workshop provides a starting point for the internal healing work that needs to happen in order for them to be more conscious and intentional actors in co-creating a more equitable and trauma-informed society.

Highly Experiential Workshop. Participants Live on Screen. Space is Limited. 

Evening Sessions 4:45pm - 6:30 pm EST 


Affinity Spaces 4:45pm - 5:45pm EST

Led by IFS Community Members

Young Ballard BurrisSeewaldt Schwartz

Closing Remarks 6:00pm EST - 6:30pm EST

Deran Young, and Dick Schwartz

IFS Institute is grateful to all who presented during the opening day of the IFS Conference. Join Deran Young and Dick Schwartz for some closing thoughts as they reflect on the day and their own learnings. 


Friday, October 15

IFS Conference Plenary 9:30am EST  Friday

IFS in the Middle East: Healing Wounds, Becoming Whole

Ann-Katrin Bockmann, PhD, Chady Rahmé, PhD, Ben Rivers, PhD and Hoda Refaat Mahfouz, M.D., M. SC., and Tom Holmes, PhD

Join a panel of presenters who are working to bring IFS to the Arabic speaking Middle East region where citizens, refugees and the people who are helping them have experienced recurring stress and trauma from the turmoil of the last ten years.  IFS has been embraced by mental health workers in Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon and during the plenary you will hear from several people from these regions who will share their enthusiasm for the Model and the how it has impacted them personally and in their work.

Headshots of Ann-Kartin Bockman, Chady Rahme, Ben Rivers and Refaat Mahfouz

Workshops 11:30am - 1:30pm EST 

The Divine Marriage:  IFS and Psychedelic Assisted Therapy

Norma Stevens, LCPC and Heather Smith, LPC

Join Norma Stevens, LCPC and Heather Smith, LPC, Certified IFS Therapists both trained in MDMA & Psilocybin Assisted Therapy present on the powerful combination of using IFS therapy and psychedelics to support client’s healing by expanding access to both Self Energy and one’s deepest trauma.  By clarifying myths, explaining the mechanism of action, and the powerful result of this combination of therapy, you will have a much clearer understanding of how psychedelics support trauma treatment and how IFS interweaves extremely well with expanded states of consciousness.  

It’s been said that “Psychedelics (will) be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology or the telescope is for astronomy” - Stanislav Grof.

Stevens Smith

IFS & Creativity: Legacy Burdens and Loss in the Pandemic Era

Peggy Kolodny MA ATR-BC LCPAT and Salicia Mazero MA LPC ATR CEDS-S

We will explore the integration of Art Therapy principles, Meaning Reconstruction (Neimeyer) approach to grief, and IFS in professional settings. Art is used in treatment as an effective form of expression, to depict the healing journey, and to enhance both the client's experience and the clinician's work. Case material will illustrate how the presenters have integrated trauma-sensitive therapeutic art-making with IFS and with Meaning Reconstruction in effectively treating grief, trauma and loss. Schwartz refers to the legacy burdens that this pandemic has invoked in vulnerable populations. The pandemic has caused a series of losses including a way of life, financial stability, isolation, as well as death. Participants will be able to collage a "Wish You Were Here" postcard and write a message to a part (parts) impacted by legacy burdens of loss.

In the second art experiential, participants will create several clay sculptures to explore their own internal parts and Self in response the pandemic and learn how this process can enhance emotional and clinical development. Art-based IFS processing questions will be provided (Kolodny, 2019). Learners will have the opportunity to discuss their art process in small groups.

This workshop will be followed by a Lunch Table Discussion at 1:45pm EST. Open to those that attended the LIVE workshop. 


The Survive/Thrive Spiral: Parts and Polyvagal in Practice

Ruth Culver

The Survive/Thrive Spiral is a graphic integration of IFS and Polyvagal Theory, illustrating how our primary psychological and physiological defense systems are interdependent, each relying on and influencing the other. With a focus on trauma, attachment and resilience, this workshop offers a brief orientation to the infographic, followed by exploration of how the nervous system and parts interact, and how this information can support clients, therapists and parts. Ruth Culver is an integrative IFS therapist working with adults and adolescents in Brighton, UK. Her interest in embodiment, trauma and the nervous system have led to the creation of The Survive/Thrive Spiral, as well as to practical integrations of the IFS model with intuitive drawing (Drawing into Self) and also with the group somatic process of constellations (IFS Constellations).

Negotiating a Therapeutic Contract with Your Client and their Protectors

Michael Elkin, LMFT

This workshop will address what IFS Lead Trainer, Michael Elkin considers to be the most important element of therapy, negotiating a clear contract. The workshop will explore the elements of a clear and practical therapeutic contract, and the obstacles to achieving one.

"An important mentor of mine once said 'The difference between a therapist and a busybody is a contract.' I have quoted him many times. This workshop will teach how to negotiate a workable therapeutic contract, and how to enroll skeptical, hyper vigilant, or hostile protectors to be resources in your project." -Michael Elkin

Embodied Self: Witness Consciousness through the disciplines of IFS, Authentic Movement and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy

Susan Cahill, MA., LCPC, BC-DMT and Robyn Lending Halsten MA, LPCC, BC-DMT, DTRL

Embodied Witness Consciousness, an aspect of Self will be defined and explored in this experiential workshop. Participants will be guided in somatically based inquiries that integrate Authentic Movement and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy with IFS. We will highlight the embodied relationship between Self and parts. Awareness of what is occurring somatically for both the therapist and the client will be explored as an integral resource for attunement, connection and resonance.

Presenters will share how creating safe holding containers in the therapy office, community, group settings or through tele-health platforms support relational spaces for embodied connection and healing. This workshop will hone in on the IFS process and pay particular attention to embodied Self led witnessing, resonating and being fully present in relationship between Self and parts. 


Compassionate Parenting: The Art of Parenting with Intention

Tammy Sollenberger, LCHMC, Seth Kopald, PhD, and Leslie Petruk, MA, LCMHCS

In Compassionate Parenting, we will identify, map, and connect with our own parts who become activated in parenting. Listen as the panel of presenters, who are also parents themselves, talk about ways we can follow trailheads children provide for us.  There will be a strong emphasis on the importance of making repairs and ways to offer repair so that it feels safe for you and your child.  Additionally, this conversation will cover the role of technology in parenting as well as the role of technology in your life.  Join us for a heartfelt presentation as we walk through the roles our parts play in the journey of parenting. 

SollenbergerKopald Petruk

Why Doesn’t My Intent Match My Impact? Restoring Wholeness Across Our Differences

Jory Agate, LMHC and Fatimah Finney, LMHC

IFS is an excellent tool for navigating our differences and creating repair when our intent does not match our impact. We live and work in increasingly more diverse communities where clinicians need to expand their skill set in engaging with differences in our offices and beyond. This workshop will look at the skills necessary to use the tools of IFS and tap into our Self energy, especially when activated, to successfully navigate difference and make repair.


Money Come Dance with Me

Gale West and Mark Hurwich

Issues around money are one of the biggest causes of stress, particularly in intimate relationships and families. Yet, few coaches and therapists have addressed their own parts in relationship to money. Often, a large portion of the money trauma and burdens, that people carry, are both collective and ancestral. Additionally, one's relationship with money is not only reflective of these burdens, it is also reflective of parts that hold issues around value and worth. In this workshop we will explore and unburden ancestral burdens, identify parts that hold money trauma and invite a more Self-led relationship with money.


Workshops 2:30pm - 4:30pm EST 

Legacy Burdens and Ancestral Healing

Leslie Reambeault, LCSW

In this workshop, we will review the term "legacy burdens" with the IFS context and define "ancestral healing." for the purposes at hand. While there areReambeault many diverse traditional and newly (re)emerging technologies for working with ancestral trauma, IFS provides an accessible tool for working with the complexity of what clients experience. We will define religious injury and notice how parts may react to working in the directly spiritual realms. We will use case material to suggest ways in which this nuanced and spiritual work may emerge in session. We will discuss how the current environment of racial reckoning and the embodiment of white supremacist culture may call out added uses for these unburdening/ healing. Participants will be invited to use the experience of their own parts which have been affected by white supremacy, with a simple model offered in the workshop. We will discuss, assess and evaluate this model in the context of application to clients, family and friends.

Accessing the Wholeness of Self and Recognizing Self-like Parts

Loch Kelly, MDiv, LCSW

We are all unique and yet our wholeness and unity is discovered when we look from Self and see the same Self in others. Self is within all parts and we can learn to distinguish the felt sense being in Self Leadership, which is not a part. We can all do good parts work from a smart therapist part but what are the ways to shift into Self and distinguish it from Self-like parts. How do we help clients get their first safe direct experience of Self?

In this online workshop you will learn:

  • Why, if Self is essential to each of us, have so few discovered it
  • How to use the 6 F’s of IFS, designed to know parts, to know Self
  • Loch’s 11 i’s of Self Essence, to add to IFS’s 8 c’s of Self Energy and 5 p’s of Self Leadership
  • How to distinguish Self from Self-like parts, such as the mindful witness, smart caretaker or empathetic energetic part.  
  • New ways to unblend from parts and know Self as clearly as you know parts.

Recommended Reading: The Way of Effortless Mindfulness by Loch Kelly

Bringing Health to the World Using IFS One Family at a Time

Lois A. Pessolano Ehrmann PhD, LPC ,NCC, ATTS

The family unit is the first and the most important space where human beings can be nurtured into becoming compassionate, open and healthy people. When our children grow up in healthy families they                                             function in ouEhrmann r society in ways that promotes equality, ongoing healing transformation, peace and justice. What happens though when the family is fraught with hurt, attachment wounds, trauma, abuse or neglect? These are families that need another place and space to heal and they are the ones that wind up in our session rooms or our classrooms or other programs that have the opportunity to bring a life line to them. This training will assist participants in seeing the ways in which IFS infused attachment work can make our therapy session rooms the places and spaces that can deeply heal families from attachment and other trauma wounds. The presenter will present a number of tools that she will make available to participants that they can use immediately upon their return to their office or zoom office spaces including protocols to help caregivers name their own wounded parts, sensitive ways to help children name and welcome their own parts, and ways to use both direct access and insight in the family therapy process.

IFS and Cancer

Dr. Kerry Bennett,

IFS can be used in newly diagnosed, currently treated and survivors of cancer in a variety of ways. Being diagnosed with cancer stimulates concurrent trauma and grief reactions. Fear is one of the                                                              Bennetfirst reactions to receiving a cancer diagnosis and these parts can be exiled for decades. We will explore IFS techniques routinely used to help parts separate at time of acute diagnosis including but not limited to identification of parts, increasing access to Self, normalizing the experience, using hope merchant techniques, grief, and trauma responses. This helps people make Self-led decisions during and after cancer diagnosis. We will also look at how IFS is used with patients not only when they are diagnosed with cancer as well as in survivorship and end of life. The presenter will use her personal experiences of being a 30 year cancer survivor with two recurrences as well as those of over 100,000 cancer patients to help people heal emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. We will discuss working with cancer, symptoms, and our body as well as the parts commonly seen in cancer patients and how to help those parts unburden and/or separate. There will be discussion of shame, family legacy, laws of inner physics, unattached burdens and guides. We will turn towards parts in the body including the cancer itself as well as common symptoms experienced by patients and families. This can help restore wholeness to people who feel their body is betraying them.

Embracing Polarities: The Key to Addictive Process and Choice

Cece Sykes, LCSW

When it seems like your client is not making much headway, there is often a polarity tangling up the works. Polarized clients struggle to unbleSykes nd from certain protectors, feel trapped by particular behaviors and their contact with exiles is brief or doesn't feel helpful. Any number of clinical issues are impacted by the push-pull of unresolved dilemmas: go vs stay; do it vs don't do it; obligation to others vs time for me, it's my fault vs it's their fault, to name a few.

In this experiential workshop you will learn how to identify polarizations, how to discover the positive intentions behind negative protectors and how to release the compassion that builds enough inner trust to heal the system. Examples of polarities with addictive processes, relationship issues and legacy burdens will be included.

The Sins of Our Fathers IFS, The Black Church and Legacy Burdens

Margaret Conley, LSCW

This workshop will focus on us of IFS with clergy and leadership within the Black Church to work through their "many members" parts and the reConley lease of legacy burdens from the traditional understanding of religion in the black community. This 2-hour workshop will including a thorough, yet brief description of the black church to include the formation of the black, African retentions, embedded theology and the effects and current beliefs that were formed from a place of abuse and enslavement.

The workshop will also talk about how embedded theological principles have led to legacy burdens for pastors, leadership and members around the understanding of worth in humanity, education around sexuality and sexual orientation, education around needs and education about how to apply biblical knowledge to self in a way that causes more damage to the wound. We will also talk about current work with IFS and the ministers that the presenter has worked with using the model. This will include how they had to change language to biblical language such as parts to members, burdens to sins/curses, exiles to lost self or unsaved parts with the protectors in the form of mangers and distractors (firefighters) staying the same.

The Transformative Power of IFS: Bringing More Self-Energy into the Room and to our Communities

Helen Telford

Systems are complex and right now governments and organizations are struggling to respond effectively to community need. More than ever, leaders in the business sector,Telford education, health and social services need to develop cultural competencies in order to transform work culture especially as cultural assumptions are imbedded in the work environment. But what if we could bring more Self-energy into the room and to our communities? IFS provides valuable insights into dynamics within systems and supporting teams to bring more ‘Self ‘to the discussion. Using her personal experience within New Zealand and Australian systems, Helen explores the effect of teaching the IFS model to communities as well as facilitating more Self-led leadership within organizations.

Participants will come away from this workshop with resources to transform teams and groups looking for breakthrough. They will understand how to be a better change agent through their own personal IFS journey. Join us to be inspired by the transformative power of IFS for your community.

Evening Plenary 5:00pm - 6:15 pm EST 


The Integrated Therapist: The Benefits and Pitfalls to Integration

Richard Schwartz, PhD, Bessel van der Kolk, MD, and Frank Anderson, MD

IFSI is honored to have Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, world-renowned trauma researcher, clinician, and author join Dr. Richard Schwartz and Dr. Frank Anderson for this evening’s Plenary.  Frank Anderson will facilitate a lively dialogue between Dick and Bessel, as they explore current and effective ways to treat Complex PTSD, why the integration of treatment modalities is important for healing while also identifying when integration is ineffective or potentially damaging. 

Headshots of Dick Schwartz, Bessel van der Kolk and Frank Anderson

Evening Events 6:30pm - 8:00 pm EST 

Hearts Open Wide - Musical Performance

Noah Bears Rubenstein and Ivy Jordanne

As part of a complete musical, visual and emotional journey, Ivy and Noah of Hearts Open Wide, inspire, uplift and share deeply personal stories from their own lives. Through a combination of original songs and stories, Ivy and Noah demonstrate the possibility of IFS therapy for healing attachment wounds, finding gratitude through grief and helping broken hearts to exude love.

Noah Bears Rubinstein is a licensed therapist trained in the IFS model and the founder of Ivy Jordanne dedicated twenty years of research and study to inner-child healing, the law of attraction, conscious awakening and spirituality. For more information visit


Shabbat Services: All Parts and All People Welcome  

Jericho Vincent (they, them) and Yoel Sykes (they/them)

In this Friday night gathering, we'll bring a new IFS lens to the traditional Jewish Shabbat ritual using ancient song, guided meditation, and parts exercises. The traditional Shabbat greeting is Shabbat Shalom. Shalom means peace, but it also means wholeness. This service will offer an experiential journey of restoring internal, communal, and universal wholeness in spiritual community. Open to people of any faith or none. Offered by author, lecturer, and rabbinical candidate Jericho Vincent (they, them), and Yoel Sykes (they/them), a ritual artist, sacred musician, and spiritual facilitator for healing and growth. 


Saturday, October 16

IFS Conference Plenary 9:45am ESTSaturday

Bridging the Divide between Western Psychology and Indigenous Wisdom in Psychedelic Assisted Therapy

Francoise Bourzat, M.A., Nancy Morgan, Ph.D., and Richard Schwartz Ph.D.

IFSI is excited to have Francoise Bourzat presenting at this year’s conference.  Francoise is one of the world’s foremost experts in navigating “expanded states of consciousness” and has been bridging the divide between Western psychology and indigenous wisdom in collaboration with healers in Mexico for the past 30 years. She is a co-founder of the Center for Consciousness Medicine which trains people to become guides in a holistic method of psychedelic-assisted therapy. She is also the co-author of  Consciousness Medicine.  Francoise will be joined by Dr. Nancy Morgan and Dr. Richard Schwartz as she shares her own journey as a healer, her experience working with psychedelics, and the role of a trained counselor in supporting others during these states of expanded consciousness.

Bouzart Morgan  Schwartz

Workshops 11:30am - 1:30pm EST 

IFS & Ancestral Guides: Repairing Legacy Burdens Related to Racism, Oppression, Attachment, Belonging and Intergenerational Trauma

Dr. Daphne Fatter and Dr. Velma Love

Many cultures believe that we are connected to our ancestors. Ancestors refer to our deceased blood kin from whom we are descendants. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to the practice of ancestral lineage repair including basic assumptions, the steps of lineage repair, and benefits of nurturing connection with well ancestors in spirit on one’s four main blood lines. Ways working with ancestral guides can be integrated into IFS will be discussed including strengthening Self energy through accessing the collective Self of our ancestors and repair of legacy burdens related to racism, oppression, attachment wounds, issues of belonging and intergenerational trauma.


Yes, No, Maybe Later: Internal Consent as a Foundation for Self-Led Sexuality

Patricia Rich, LCSW, CST-S

Typical approaches to sexual consent, a vital topic in the #metoo era, focus on establishing agreement between two (or more) people about engaging in sexual activity for the purpose of safety and to a lesser degree, pleasure. Most consent models assume that there is a singular truth of desire, that people can easily determine what that is, and will then have the courage and confidence to communicate that to a sexual partner. Through the lens of IFS, however, we can appreciate that we may have many competing internal feelings and messages occurring, and that discerning our stance requires some internally directed focus and Self leadership.

This workshop offers a model for Internal Consent that takes these diverse internal parts into account. Internal Consent is relevant to both solo and partnered sexual activity as well as new and longstanding relationships. It allows us to get to know our protectors and exiles who show up in relation to sex, pleasure, and intimacy. We can find, unblend, heal, and support collaboration amongst these parts so that they trust each other and the leadership of Self. This process not only fosters physical and emotional safety but may also grant internal permission to release into ever deeper layers of pleasure and intimacy. Learn several models for interpersonal sexual consent and how IFS adds nuance and profound depth. Learn about the presenter’s identification of the 6 S’s of Sexual Self energy and the process of L.U.S.T. (Loving your Unblended Sexual Team) which enhances our capacity to express a heartfelt Yes, No or Maybe Later. Case material will be provided drawn from the presenter’s experience of using IFS to treat a wide range of sexual problems in her Philadelphia area practice.

All ages, LGBTQ*, sexually active or inactive, and partnered and solo participants are welcome, and privacy is respected.

Exploring the Integration of IFS and the Enneagram

Tammy Sollenberger, LCHMC and Joan Ryan, JD

We will explore the connection between the Enneagram and IFS. The Enneagram uses a map and knowledge from the 9 types diagram to bring habitual unconscious patterns into our awareness. In IFS we use unblending and unburdening our Parts to access Self energy. We believe that the qualities of Self Energy and the higher qualities of the Enneagram types have much in common. In particular, they can only emerge if we make space for them by releasing old unconscious habits of attention, thinking, feeling and reacting and by befriending parts and releasing burdens. We will explore how IFS Parts and the Enneagram types and patterns intersect. We will briefly review the 9 types and then explore the interconnection between types and parts. We will give participates an opportunity to identify their type and to explore their systems. We will provide experiences for participates to deepen their connection to Self energy by unhooking from type and unblending from parts.

*No previous knowledge of the Enneagram required

Tammy Ryan

Adding Another Dimension: Using IFS and IFIO with Mixed-Neurology Couples

Kim Bolling, PsyD

Neurology is an under-recognized and often overlooked factor in relationships. Couples in which one or both partners have traits of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often struggle to find practitioners who can understand and help. Traditional approaches to working with such couples have been behavioral and limited in nature, often assuming that these relationships are doomed or that only a neurotypical partner can adapt. Through the lens of neurodiversity, a movement to de-pathologize atypical neurological wiring, we will look at applications of IFS and IFIO (Intimacy from the Inside Out) to working with mixed-neurology couples.

Experientials and videos will help to understand the challenges that such couples may face, as well as to open up space to explore therapist parts that may arise.

Exploring Eastern European Cultural Burdens [Russia, Ukraine, Poland] Through the Eyes of our Parts.

Irina Diyankova, Iryna Natalushko, Eliza Mikucka

In this workshop, presenters will explore the cultural traumas of several countries in the Eastern European region: Russia, Ukraine, and Poland. Through literature review, discussion of clinical practice, personal and cultural experiences, they will introduce participants to traumatic parts of their countries’ histories, their legacy, and compare/contrast their impact on contemporary descendants of the survivors.

Presenters will use the IFS model to help understand the profound impact of these past events on the current ways internal systems may organize within individuals living in these cultures. Workshop participants will be guided through several experiential explorations to deepen their understanding of the impact of communism, totalitarianism and war on the human psyche.

This workshop will present some material that many people may find to be upsetting or triggering. We invite you to take good care of yourself before, throughout and after the workshop. Participation in any exercise is voluntary.  Before the start of the workshop, you may want to  prepare your system by checking in with your parts and inviting those that are young and wounded to go to a safe place; you may want to bring a soothing/grounding object to your space, diffuse aroma oils and have a drink (non-alcoholic) and a snack at hand.


Internal Collective Unburdening© (ICU) of Complex Trauma

Stan Einhorn, PhD

This workshop introduces Internal Collective Unburdening© (ICU), a protocol for working with complex trauma. This process is a unique combination of Einhorn aspects of the do-over, retrieval of exiles, unburdening and the ritualized healing process used with legacy burdens to help individuals experience the unburdening of multiple exiles at one time. Clients familiar with the process of IFS are often surprised by the intensity of release experienced during the Internal Collective Unburdening. Cultural and racial humility in using the protocol will be integrated throughout the workshop.

Workshop Pre-requisite: All Participants of this workshop should be IFS Level 1 Trained.

Self-led Parenting: Raising Anti-Racist Children

Seth Kopald, PhD

This session will address Self-led parenting theory and practice as a means to raise anti-racist children. This session will cover two main areas: helpKopald ing parents do their own anti-racist work and developmentally appropriate Self-led parenting practices that promote an anti-racist family culture and unity.

This session will address Self-led parenting theory and practice as a means to raise anti-racist children. This session will cover two main areas:

  • Helping parents to do their own anti-racist work, including discovering and working with their own parts who hold implicit and explicit biases, and clearing racist ancestral and cultural/societal legacy burdens.
  • Exploring Self-led parenting practices including modeling anti-racism, helping children with their own parts, being explicit with anti-racist family values, decentering whiteness in the home and in their community, and having courageous conversations with children about race while promoting unity.

Practices will be shared that are developmentally appropriate with young children including: identifying and working with biased parts; having Self-led courageous conversations about race, culture, and unity; creating experiences where children are exposed to varieties of cultures; and developing an anti-racist family culture.

Direct Access: An Essential IFS Skill

Fran Booth, LICSW

Having mastered the basic IFS protocol, the maturing IFS therapist often seeks proficiency with Direct Access. Embodied ease with Direct Access inBooth creases your competence as an IFS therapist. This seminar will include didactic and video examples of different applications of Direct Access: with protectors, exiles, and challenging systems. You will leave with more Confidence and Clarity for when, where, and how to use Direct Access.  

Workshops 2:30pm - 4:30pm EST

The Multiplicity of Grief: Exploring The Five Gates of Grief Through the Lens of IFS

Ann Sinko, LMFT

We are living in a time of great collective grief and loss with less and less community to support and help deal with it.  This workshop delves into the many flavors of grief by exploring our parts reactions, protections, feelings and beliefs about grief, as well as cultural and family patterns.   The differentiation of grief and depression will be explored as well as the 5 gates of grief from Francis Weller’s book, “The Wild Edge of Sorrow”.  Self and parts as an inner community resource to help address and heal our multiplicity of grief will be utilized.  Lectures, meditation, journaling, and experiential exercises will be use to facilitate the participants’ learning and experience.


Centering the lived experience of participants: towards a collaborative training process

Jody Nelson, Delta Larkey and Jessica Finney,

This workshop will discuss a more collaborative experience that centers the lived experience of program participants over the “status quo” of whiteness. The development of this training was influenced by the experiences of these presenters in IFS trainings and as PAs, collaborating with BIPOC advisors about their own experience in IFS Trainings and through the presenter's own work to unpack and challenge internalized superiority. Additionally, this training approach is grounded in the ideas presented by Paulo Freire in his "Pedagogy of the Oppressed."  

This training will attempt to decenter whiteness through exposing its workings and the ways they function in the model of IFS.  With racial humility and an exploration of some of their own parts, the co-presenters invite other white IFS therapists and practitioners to examine both how their own systems were socialized and possible roles they can play in making IFS trainings and the model more inclusive for all. 

To our BIPOC colleagues: We want to offer a disclaimer for this presentation: throughout the presentation, we will be discussing the behaviors of white people's parts and how they function to uphold racism and white supremacy. Our intention for this focus is to break with white solidarity, decenter whiteness by exposing its workings, and interrupt white denial of racism. Because, in large part, whiteness stays centered when it is allowed to go unnamed. You are welcome to join this session, you will already know the historical , relational, and cultural context and impact of this information, and you will not be asked to do any more work than what you already do when showing up to predominantly white spaces. 

Prerequisite: This workshop is open to Participants who are minimally IFS Level 1 Trained.


It's Not a Polarization, It's a Power Imbalance: How IFS Can Be Used as a Tool for Equity and Justice

Virginia Seewaldt and Danielle Naghi

This workshop will give an introduction to understanding power, privilege, oppression, and how these systems interplay with IFS broadly, as well as with our own personal identities. There will be a heavy emphasis on interactive activities, experiential work, and self-reflection. How do we work with parts in ourselves and others that refuse to acknowledge privilege and power? How can IFS be misused as a tool to wield power over? To silence? How can it instead lend itself towards equity, justice, and liberation?

Virginia Naghi

Yoga Therapy Interventions for IFS Practitioners

Jerry Givens and Karina Mirsky

The goal of Classical Yoga is to shift one’s identity from the seen, the ever-changing field of body, mind and experience, to the Seer, the center of consciousness, or the Knower of the field. This is similar to the way IFS practitioners help clients shift identity from parts to Self. For thousands of years, yogis have been using, postures, breathing techniques, meditations, and systematic relaxations to strengthen the connection to Self energy. Because parts are experienced somatically, there is great value in addressing the client’s nervous system through simple accessible yoga postures, breathwork, meditation and relaxation. This value is amplified when the yogic intervention directly aims to balance the current state of the most active or extreme parts. The yogic interventions presented will draw from the energetic concepts of Langhana, to reduce excess energy, calm, ground and soothe; and Brahmana, to increase a lack of energy, mental clarity, and motivation.

This is an experiential workshop. No prior yoga experience necessary.

Participants need to bring:

  • Comfortable clothing to sit, lie, and move in
  • Yoga mat 
  • One 4-inch yoga block (optional)
  • One large towel (or small blanket)
  • Water bottle and notebook (optional but recommended) MirskyGivens ​​​​​​

Psychedelic Assisted IFS: Lessons Learned from Ketamine

Dr. Robert M Grant, MD, MPH and Nancy Morgan MS, PhD

Psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is being developed for treatment of PTSD, depression, anxiety and other conditions.  MDMA and psilocybin are currently in phase 2 and 3 trials designed to support FDA review and DEA rescheduling.  Ketamine is a legal psychedelic medicine and in adequate doses, provides a psychedelic experience. It is widely used for treatment resistant depression and suicidality, and has some efficacy for anxiety syndromes (including PTSD, OCD, and eating disorders). The duration of ketamine  benefit can be very short when provided without psychotherapy.   Combining ketamine with psychotherapy can prolong the benefit.  

IFS is well suited for use with ketamine and is routinely used in our clinical practice.  IFS works well with ketamine and other psychedelic medicines because IFS embraces the multiplicity of the mind, seeks consent continuously, is non-directive, and embraces non-ordinary states of consciousness (which arise after thinking protectors rest even in the absence of medications).  Indeed, IFS is a psychedelic by itself.  

We will describe several principles of psychedelic assisted psychotherapies, including establishing safe settings, helping clients anticipate experiences, non-directive witnessing, and integration activities.  We will describe how IFS is well suited for ketamine and other psychedelic therapies, highlighting the qualities of self that complement the qualities fostered by psychedelic medicines.  We will provide exercises and role plays that illustrate how IFS can be used during preparation, ketamine and other psychedelic treatments, and integration.  We will also describe practical ways how IFS therapists can support clients receiving ketamine from other providers, including details of when to schedule IFS sessions relative to ketamine treatments.

Grant Morgan

IFS and Non-Ordinary States: Companionship on the Journey to the Edge of Existence

Stephanie Mitchell and David Stern, PsyD

In this workshop participants will learn how to view psychosis through an IFS lens. We will review the current research on the diagnosis and treatment of various kinds of psychotic processes and show how IFS offers a distinctive, holistic, ecological, non-pathologizing lens through which to view and understand various psychotic processes. IFS also provides clients with the tools for working with their own patterns, providing mapping tools and practices to cultivate a nurturing and creative inner environment of brain and mind. Participants will learn to work with these kinds of patients. We will learn to work with our own parts and patterns as these are activated by our client-teachers. Participants will learn to make use of all this activation to better harmonize with the body-mind space of our clients, bring more Self-energy, and co-create a rich relational learning and healing environment.

Within the theme of Restoring wholeness through collective transformation: This workshop focuses on a collective transformation of both our view of psychosis as well as our current therapeutic approach to psychosis. This workshop also offers people the tools to take this transformed view into their work, lives and communities and bring change.

It is our belief that the psychotic part is as welcome, and necessary as all parts and has gifts to offer both the person and society at large, once healed.


Honouring the Exiled Children of a Dark Colonial Past: A Panel Discussion on Indigenous Healing and IFS as a Bridge to Truth, Trauma and Reconciliation

Anna Gartshore, MSW, RSW, C-IFS

This workshop aims to increase cultural competency related to the effects of the residential and boarding school systems on the Indigenous peoples of North America. We will invite courageous conversation as we explore ways to support collective healing by bearing witness to the hard and exiled truths of a dark, colonial past.

Using the IFS perspective we will map the complex, systemic relationships between Indigenous communities and colonial settlers as well as the role of current-day settler allies as we envision unburdened, Self-Led systemic reconciliation and change for the benefit of all. We will leave inspired by offering some powerful examples of the legacy gifts which are currently alive and generating meaningful change through Indigenous innovation and leadership in the healing and creative arts.

This workshop also invites guest speakers Del Laverdure and Sherene St. Cyr to share their expertise with the IFS Community. 

gartshore DelSherene

Exquisite Simplicity: IFS, Polyvagal and Mindfulness in 3 words

Jenna Riemersma

Have you ever needed a simple way to explain IFS to a colleague? Struggled to get clients to check in with parts between sessions? Felt challenged to translate IFS principles to the world outside of therapy? This workshop is for you! In a simple, 3-step process, Jenna has synthesized the best of IFS, mindfulness, & Polyvagal Theory into an easily accessible tool that anyone can use to decrease suffering and increase wellness.

Evening Plenary 5:00pm - 6:15pm EST 

A Somatic Approach to Healing Collective Trauma

Susan McConnell. MA, CHT

The body holds trauma from our developmental and attachment experiences as well as from social inequities, transgenerational traumas, and systemic forces of oppression.  The resulting  disembodiment is evident in increasing separation, fragmentation, polarization, and inflammation at every level of our systems from the subcellular to the planetary.   With the Somatic IFS practices of awareness, breathing, resonance, movement and touch we can restore embodiment to the internal system.  As we heal the splits in ourselves we release the creativity, resilience, coherence, agency, and wisdom to heal the collective body.   Becoming more fully embodied is a revolutionary act. 

Please Join us in welcoming IFS Senior Lead Trainer and author of Somatic Internal Family Systems: Awareness, Breath, Resonance, Movement and Touch in Practice, Susan McConnell in our closing plenary of the 2021 IFS Conference.Susan Mc

Closing Ceremony Of Celebration & Wholeness

Adrienne Glasser

Join our closing ceremony, an experiential & somatic party where we will both celebrate and honor our collective systems together. We will transition into ending the conference by exploring themes of identity and by allowing protectors, Self and child parts a time of acknowledgement and playfulness. Therapists will learn many experiential IFS techniques aimed at deepening insight, direct access and spiritual connection with authentic movement and dance movement therapy techniques while seamlessly just having fun! This celebration also helps parts integrate on the path back into our everyday lives post-conference.

All Self and parts that love to dance, and all parts that don't want to dance are welcome.Glasser

All parts that want to be seen on camera or not be seen off camera are welcome.

All abilities are welcome and all inner kids that want some play in all various forms are welcome. 


Join us! 


We look forward to connecting with you at the IFS Conference. Join Us!


Nic Wildes


Analia Castanos Davis


Sand Chang


Toufic Hakim

More info

Contact Us! 

For general conference inquires please email:

Ashley Curley | Conference Manager
Tel 401.601.0445

Save the Date | 2021 IFS Annual Conference | October 14-16, 2021 | Virtual