6 CE and 6 NYS OASAS clock hours
The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., over the past 30 years as he learned to set aside his trained assumptions and truly listen to his clients. It is a highly efficient and effective way of guiding clients to a state of inner clarity and compassion, the Self, from which they know how to heal themselves. From the Self, clients are able to calm and transform their troubling inner voices, the critical and anxious chatter, the compulsive distractions, their feelings of vulnerability, inadequacy, and overwhelm. These parts of the psyche are surprisingly responsive and resilient when addressed with respect and patience. They readily forsake their inner battles, and take on valuable inner roles once they are accepted and witnessed.
This application of family systems principles and techniques to inner systems is now widely used internationally in the treatment of trauma and severe diagnoses, as well as in non-clinical applications such as business consulting and meditation practice. IFS offers therapist a way for therapists to make their practice more enjoyable and effective, and less effortful. It also helps them find and heal parts of themselves.
For clients, the healing and reorienting of their “inner families” in an environment of genuine acceptance, translates into concrete behavioral change, plus improved ability to relate well to people. IFS is a gentle, yet powerful, healing delivery system that releases the therapist from the need to be clever because it trusts and empowers the clients’ Self.
This workshop will introduce the basic principles and techniques of IFS and illustrate them with experiential exercises and video illustrations. The workshop will be very practical so that participants will walk away with new perspectives and methods for even their most difficult clients.
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About the Speaker
Richard Schwartz began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic. He co-authored, with Michael Nichols, Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, the most widely used family therapy text in the U.S. Dr. Schwartz was Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Institute for Juvenile Research and later at The Family Institute at Northwestern University.
Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems SM in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He focused on the relationships among these parts and noticed that there were systemic patterns to the way they were organized across clients. He also found that when the clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, the clients would experience spontaneously the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self. He found that when in that state of Self, clients would know how to heal their parts.
This approach to psychotherapy suggested alternative ways of understanding psychic functioning and healing, and lent itself to innovative techniques for relieving clients’ suffering and symptoms. IFS is a nonpathologizing, hopeful framework within which to practice psychotherapy.
In 2000, Richard Schwartz founded the Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois. CSL offers three levels of training in IFS, workshops for professionals and for the general public, an annual national conference, publications, and DVDs of Dr. Schwartz’s work through its web site at www.selfleadership.org. IFS trainings and workshops are also being held in several European countries.
A featured speaker for national professional organizations, Dr. Schwartz serves on editorial boards of four professional journals. He has published five books and over fifty articles about IFS. His books include: You Are The One You’ve Been Waiting For: Bringing Courageous Love to Intimate Relationships; Internal Family Systems Therapy; Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model; and The Mosaic Mind: Empowering the Tormented Selves of Child Abuse Survivors (with Regina Goulding); as well as Metaframeworks (with Doug Breunlin and Betty Karrer), about transcending current models of family therapy.
Audrey Freshman, Ph.D., LCSW, CASAC
Director, Office of Professional and Continuing Education
Social Work Building, Room 235
p – 516.877.4339
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