What is the IFS Level 1 Training and Why Does it Matter?

The IFS Level 1 Training is the core, required, and only legitimate way to use IFS in a clinical setting. Anyone who has not completed the IFS Level 1 training, at a minimum, cannot , effectively, and in good faith practice IFS psychotherapy.

Internal Family Systems is a unique and powerful way in which to learn about, trust, and love our parts and ourselves, as well as the parts and Self of others. Learning to practice IFS is a deeply engaged process and requires the IFS practitioner to be fully trained to ensure that the client of an IFS therapist is equipped to practice IFS safely and effectively.

The IFS Level 1 Training is a comprehensive training program of roughly 100 training hours, generally made up under participants enough staff members with an intimate student to staff ratio of 3:1 to ensure adequate close, hands on supervision of the participants experiential practice, as therapist and client alike. We use breakout spaces to facilitate small group connections throughout the training. You'll meet as a big group with all members of your training throughout your sessions, have breakout groups of about 10 other people and even smaller groups for practice sessions to hone your skills with the model.

Completion of the IFS Level 1 Training will also allow you to:

  • Refer to yourself as IFS Trained
  • Attend IFS Level 2 Trainings
  • Work towards IFS Certification
  • Listing in the IFS Institute Practitioner Directory


*IFS Institute partners with international organizers of IFS Level 1, 2 and 3 training programs and provides trainers approved by IFS Institute. All training program application administration and payments for International trainings are handled by the individual organizers, not by IFS Institute. All payments, withdrawal and refund policies,

and other financial arrangements for these trainings are subject to the terms of the specific organizer, and not the responsibility of IFS Institute.

How do I benefit from becoming an IFS therapist?

Those who have completed any of the Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 IFS training programs and have implemented IFS in their practices report enormous job satisfaction for themselves and their clients. In addition, private practitioners who use IFS with their clients report that their referral base has broadened substantially, and their practices have dramatically improved overall.

Who participates in IFS training programs?

While the natural and predominant constituency for IFS trainings is the professional mental health care community, others may  participate in and benefit from IFS trainings, including Master's and Doctoral students in the healing arts and sciences, pastoral counselors, business and academic professionals, dance and art therapists, and health care professionals in allied fields. Participants need to have successfully completed a Level 1 training in order to enroll in a Level 2 training, and those who wish to enroll in a Level 3 training need to have successfully completed a Level 2 program.

Are IFS workshops, telecourses, and webinars the same as IFS Trainings?

No. Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 IFS training programs provide comprehensive training and experience in the IFS therapeutic model. Upon completion of each level of training, participants are prepared to work as IFS therapists, having gained a breadth of knowledge and understanding about the way in which IFS enhances their lives, the lives of their clients, and others. Other IFS events and activities are generally shorter and/or serve as introductions to aspects of the IFS model.