Femi Olukoya and Victor Cabral are incorporating IFS teachings in their practices, and in the process, opening a whole new world of care and healing to clients in their communities that clients never knew existed. Both men continue to increase their community since completing the Level 1 training program (671) in Internal Family Systems therapy that took place from October 31, 2021 to February 23, 2022. Both men were a part of the Black Therapists Rock (BTR) community and applied for and received one of five IFS Level 1 scholarships that BTR administered.
They were grateful to have the opportunity to learn the model in an incredibly safe space that allowed them to learn, share, bond, and form lasting friendships.
Let’s look at their journeys.
Femi, M.Ed. LPC. NCC, has been in the mental health industry for almost 13 years and a psychotherapist for about five of those years. He provides therapy relating to many conditions and circumstances including both chronic and acute trauma, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder. Today, Femi owns Sandcastle Psych in Texas, United States, and his clients are particularly from the BIPOC community. His IFS training allows him to introduce clients to what he calls, “A beneficial process that most did not know exist. Once clients get a taste of the impact that IFS can have in their lives, their transformation begins. I see IFS as more spiritual because it connects and asks people to dig deeper and help them navigate their various parts, and I have seen clients emerge from sessions with a greater sense of self and what they are feeling.”
IFS is another tool to advocate for mental health for BIPOC communities that do not see mental health as an issue, Femi said. “It is an effective re-education tool that I use to help create awareness of more treatment possibilities.”
In 2013, while working as a truancy officer with kids, Victor, MSW, LSW, CCTP-I, began a personal journey of self-discovery and finding purpose, that included seeking therapy for himself. Three years later, he became a therapist. Victor says, “I was excited for the training but also excited to do it with a group that I knew understood my experiences and that could me to deal with some parts that only come up depending on the community.” He added, “Level 1 training was a lot of things to me. It allowed me to find confidence in community and helped me better understand my own system, which continues to be invaluable in my professional and personal life.”
Today, Victor works in Pennsylvania, United States, where he is able to use the IFS training through his advocacy and policy work related to the community, where he specifically advocates to make it easier for vulnerable populations to have access to treatment and care. He believes that “authenticity is medicine” and it has an immense impact on how we show up in the world, and concludes, “Being at peace and knowing that we have no bad parts…that’s liberating.”