About IFS Level 1 Training Programs

IFS Institute offers three progressive levels of professional training in Internal Family Systems from beginning (Level 1) through advanced (Level 3). These experiential trainings teach both IFS theory and technique. The IFS Level 1 training provides the knowledge and skills needed to actively use IFS with individuals, couples, children, families, and groups.

Highlights of the Level 1 Training

IFS Institute is organizing more Level 1, 2 and 3 trainings for both 2020 and 2021!  If you'd like us to email you when a training is ready to receive applications, please add your name to receive email notifications here.    With everyone’s safety in mind, all of these new trainings will be scheduled to meet online due to the ongoing threat of COVID-19. 

As clinical treatment, IFS has been rated effective for improving general functioning and well-being. In addition, it has been rated promising for improving each of phobia, panic, and generalized anxiety disorders and symptoms; physical health conditions and symptoms; personal resilience/self-concept; and depression and depressive symptoms.

Who should apply?

Due to the popularity of Level 1s, we use a randomized lottery to determine who can apply for these IFS Institute trainings. Please see each new training’s webpage for details.

We welcome applications from:

  • Mental and medical healthcare practitioners
  • Allied health providers   
  • Pastoral counselors  
  • Business and academic professionals  
  • Masters or doctoral students  
  • Dance, art, and music therapists  

Why Does an IFS Level 1 Training 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

The cost for IFS Level 1 Trainings ranges from $3400-$4000. Some formats of training may include additional room and board expenses. Scholarships are available for trainings organized by the IFS Institute*.

*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.

Honing the Skills of IFS

Level 1 trainings are comprehensive programs in which participants develop an understanding of the conceptual basis of IFS and learn how to apply IFS techniques to various clinical populations.  Participants are also invited to explore their own inner worlds within a training's safe, nurturing context.   A select group of IFS trainers teaches Level 1s using a format that features lectures, experiential exercises, video review, large and small group discussions, and small group supervision and practice sessions.  Please see each training's brochure for details.

Level 1 Training FAQ

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.

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.

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.


Level 1 Bundle

Program Assistants

Increase your professional competence and confidence by helping others learn IFS. Program assistants participate in trainings tuition free.

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IFS Certification

IFS Certified Therapists and IFS Certified Practitioners carry a distinguished mark demonstrating competency and experience of the IFS model.

Learn more