Introduction to Internal Family Systems: A Seminar for Professionals

Introduction to Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) 

A Seminar for Professionals

 Co-Sponsored by Pennsylvania Society for Clinical Social Workers (PSCSW)

and The Relating Well Center, LLC

 Presenter:  Patricia Rich, LCSW, CST, Certified IFS Therapist

Content: Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a cutting edge psychotherapy approach that offers therapists a non-pathologizing conceptual framework for understanding human struggles as well as a clinical pathway that respectfully guides people toward lasting and profound transformation. Founded by Richard Schwartz and originally conceived as a trauma treatment, IFS is now applied to a broad array of mental and physical health issues, as well as to coaching, business, mediation, and other areas.  SAMHSA has recently added IFS to the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices rating it as “effective for improving general functioning and well-being,” and “promising for each of: improving phobia, panic, and generalized anxiety disorders and symptoms; physical health conditions and symptoms; personal resilience/self-concept; and depression and depressive symptoms.”

Both simple and sophisticated, IFS is best taught through a combination of didactic and experiential approaches.  While the full training is offered by the Center for Self Leadership (and hopefully there will be a Philadelphia training in the not-too distant future), many therapists find that the basic concepts and techniques can inform their work. This type of introduction can also help participants to determine if they would like to commit to further training.

Each of the four sessions will address an important concept within the model. Format will include some combination of didactic presentation, Q and A, viewing videos or live demos, and experiential exercises.  Leader will recommend supplemental readings that will enrich group discussion.

Session #1: Introduction to the Inner Parts of a Person

Session #2: Getting to Know Protectors

Session #3: Getting to Know Exiles and How They Heal

Session #4: Dynamics of the Internal System and the Role of the IFS Therapist

Objectives: Participants will:

  1. Discuss core assumptions of the model including multiplicity of mind, Parts, and the Larger Self.
  2. Identify how dynamics among these entities underlie many dilemmas experienced by clients and how IFS offers a path toward healing.
  3. Explore use of the 6 F’s to get to know Protector Parts..
  4. Consider how working with one’s own system as a therapist enhances clinical work with clients.

Presenter Bio: Patricia Rich, LCSW, CST, founder of the Relating Well Center, LLC, helps individuals and couples to deepen their connections within themselves and with each other. Patty has over twenty years of clinical experience and is a Certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapist. She encountered the IFS model in 2011 and has immersed herself in learning it ever since, including completion of Level 1, Level 2, and  Level 3 training.  It has energized and transformed her clinical practice and promoted personal and professional growth. Patty is also AASECT Certified as a Sex Therapist and Supervisor. She welcomes clients of diverse ethnicities, sexual orientations and genders, and treats general mental health issues such as anxiety, trauma, depression, and ADHD as well as sexual issues in her Jenkintown practice. Also available for supervision and training, Patty can be reached through her website at

When:  Contact to find the next dates and enrollment information.

Location: The Archways Professional Building

413 Johnson Street, Suite 210, Conference Room

Jenkintown, PA 19046