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Internal Family Systems and Compassion for Addictive Processes

Cece Sykes, LCSW, ACSW

July 22-26, 2024

Monday - Friday: 9:00a.m. - 12:30p.m. EDT | 30-Minute Break Daily

15-Hour Course |  Delivery Format: In-Person or Live-Online

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Course Description

Feeling ‘addicted’ to social media, chronic overwork, late-night drinks/food and overspending are widespread concerns. Despite a sense of urgency, people discover they can’t stop; what does this mean? Some of our clients also struggle with higher-risk pursuits such as heavy drinking and drug use, disordered eating, or sexually compulsive or self-harming activity.


Faced with these common yet challenging and bewildering struggles, therapists are asking for more options than just referring to a treatment program. IFS offers a paradigm shift. Rather than viewing ‘addiction’ and other compulsive practices as aberrant, self-destructive pathologies, we see these behaviors as desperately trying to help. United in their drive to do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the system, the parts of our clients engaged in high-risk soothing and avoidant activities are committed to addressing underlying pain.


In this experiential workshop, you will learn how to create clear road maps for treatment, avoid power struggles, discover the positive intentions behind ‘negative’ and extreme behaviors, and build safe inner connection to underlying trauma and attachment wounds. We will also explore how therapists can be impacted by our own stories and how to combine self-compassion with effective compassion for others.

Course Agenda (click to expand)

Course Objectives (click to expand)

About the Instructor

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Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Cece Sykes has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations. She receives a speaking honorarium from MAK Continuing Education, LLC, Cape Cod Institute.

Non-financial: Cece Sykes has no relevant non-financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Cece Sykes, LCSW, ACSW; IFS Senior Trainer, US and international, has contributed to IFS training manuals and teaches L1, L2 Compassion for Addictive Processes and Level 3. Cece has over thirty-five years of clinical experience working with individuals, couples, and families, specializing in work with the effects of trauma and addiction. Her chapter on working with addictive processes appears in IFS Innovations and Elaborations (2016). She co-authored IFS Treatment for Addictions: Trauma-Informed Compassion-Based Interventions for Substance Use, Eating, Gambling and More (2023) with Martha Sweezy and Dick Schwartz. Cece also has special interests in spiritual practices intersecting with therapy and in the impact of psychotherapy upon the life of the therapist, and she lectures, consults, and leads workshops on these and related topics. Cece lives and works in Oak Park/Chicago.

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Cece Sykes, LCSW, ACSW

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