Black Therapists Rock and IFS – A Growing Partnership

Image of the Black Therapists Rock logo and IFS Institute logo

IFS Institute and Black Therapists Rock (BTR) have created a partnership that is helping to spread the IFS model to under-represented communities, and more specifically, Black communities across the United States.

Four years ago, BTR’s founder, Deran Young reached out to the Institute to ask if we could launch a program specifically designed to help more Black therapists know and use the IFS model in their practices. Since then, over 100 BTR members have participated in Level 1 training courses. This has had a  profound and growing impact on the predominantly Black communities that the IFS trained therapists serve.

Chris Burris (IFS Senior Lead Trainer) and Tamala Floyd (IFS Co-Lead Trainer) co-led the IFS Level 1 training session with BTR members that ended in February 2022. Having progressed through the training stages from Program Assistant to Assistant Trainee Mentee to Assistant Trainer and to her current role as Co-Lead Trainer, Tamala said, “I know without a doubt that the training is impacting the people who receive it because of the feedback that I consistently receive. It is impacting them personally as therapists and practitioners and positively impacting the communities that they serve. As an IFS consultant, it gives me immense pride to see how well they are applying the model to help people heal.”

In 2019, we launched the first BTR co-sponsored Level 1 and completed the third program in February of 2022. We will launch our fourth program with BTR later this year. As part of the program, BTR members receive a 50% discount on tuition, and we also provide five full scholarships to young men. Through the program, BTR members get affordable spaces to study IFS and a safe environment to discuss topics such as racial trauma and legacy burdens.

We extend a warm thank you to members of the BTR organization for their support and teamwork. Our organization has learned so much and benefitted significantly from working with BTR and hosting programs together. In addition, several members of the BTR programs, including Tamala, have moved into trainer roles at the Institute which brings deep expertise to our organization for which we are deeply grateful.

For Chris, being White and a Lead Trainer in a Black-centered space is an experience he welcomes. “It makes me look at my implicit and explicit biases, and better understand the challenges that this group collectively faces. I also get to contribute to widening the IFS lens to include a sector of society that is too often overlooked. In addition, I really enjoy mentoring several therapists and guiding them along their journey toward applying the IFS model to help more people from their communities heal.”

BTR is a membership organization with a mission to reverse racial trauma through collectively, “healing the healers” and fostering self compassion, confidence, and inner peace for Black healers. Forming this organization came after Deran found the healing that she was looking for through the work of an IFS consultant. She said, “At that time, I underestimated how helpful IFS would have been in understanding racial trauma and legacy burdens and their related complexities.”