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Earn Up to 15 CE credits / hours
* Psychologists: Please see the CE section and agenda below for information regarding available credits. 

Internal Family Systems Workshop

Richard Schwartz, PhD & Jeanne Catanzaro, PhD

July 15-19, 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

The Internal Family Systems Model is a method of therapy that fosters transformation, gently, quickly, and effectively. It views multiplicity of mind as our natural state and our “parts” as sub-personalities that may be healed and transformed by bringing the Self into its rightful role as leader of the internal system. The Self, a core of valuable leadership qualities, is our true nature–compassionate and loving. Although IFS has been most widely used as a treatment for trauma, it is a flexible model that provides abundant opportunities for application. 

IFS advances treatment in several areas: 

First, by showing respect and appreciation for the client’s protective parts, it reduces resistance and backlash. 

Second, it helps clients fully unburden the extreme beliefs and emotions they accrued from their traumas. 

Third, affect is regulated in a simple and effective way so that clients are not overwhelmed during sessions. 

Fourth, because it is the client’s Self that is leading in the healing, transference is reduced and clients do much of the work on their own, between sessions. 

Fifth, IFS gives therapists practical ways to understand and work with their countertransference so they can remain in the open-hearted state of Self leadership with clients. 

Sixth, it frees therapists from the role of trying to police clients' symptoms like suicide, eating disorders, addictions, and self-mutilation. 

Seventh, therapists are free to be themselves, without having to be clever or controlling, and come to enjoy partnering in the fascinating and sacred process that naturally unfolds as clients heal themselves. 

This workshop is designed for therapists with little exposure to IFS as well as those who know the basics of IFS, but have trouble when clients resist, have particularly difficult parts, or when it comes to using the model with couples or larger systems. We will begin with an overview of IFS and then move on to the deeper exploration of issues that arise during treatment. This course will also provide the opportunity for participants to identify and work with the parts of themselves that interfere in their relationships with clients. The workshop will be a balance of lectures, demonstrations, and experiential exercises.

Course Agenda (click to expand)

Course Objectives (click to expand)

About the Instructor

Schwartz 2020.jpg

Speaker Disclosures:

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

Non-financial: Richard Schwartz has no relevant non-financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Richard Schwartz, PhD, began his career as a family therapist and an academic, at the University of Illinois at Chicago. There, he discovered that family therapy alone did not achieve full symptom relief and in asking patients why, he learned that they were plagued by what they called “parts.” These patients became his teachers as they described how their parts formed networks of inner relationship that resembled the families he had been working with. He also found that as they focused on and, thereby, separated from their parts, they would shift into a state characterized by qualities like curiosity, calm, confidence and compassion. He called that inner essence the Self and was amazed to find it even in severely diagnosed and traumatized patients. From these explorations the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model was born in the early 1980s. IFS is now evidence-based and has become a widely-used form of psychotherapy, particularly with trauma. It provides a non-pathologizing, optimistic, and empowering perspective and a practical and effective set of techniques for working with individuals, couples, families, and more recently, corporations and classrooms. The IFS Institute ( offers three levels of training and workshops in IFS for professionals, both nationally and abroad. Dr. Schwartz is a featured speaker for national professional organizations and a faculty member of the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Schwartz 2020.jpg

Speaker Disclosures:

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

Non-financial: Jeanne Catanzaro has no relevant non-financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Jeanne Catanzaro, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and executive leader of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Institute, who has specialized in treating eating disorders and trauma since 1996. Jeanne co-leads workshops along with IFS founder Richard Schwartz. She trained in psychodynamic psychotherapy, Somatic Experiencing®, and EMDR before discovering the IFS model. Jeanne served as the director of a day treatment program for eating disorders for several years and has written multiple chapters on using IFS to treat eating disorders in several books. For the past ten years, Jeanne has been focused on healing eating issues across the spectrum. Jeanne’s book - Unburdened Eating: An IFS Approach to Healing your Relationship with Food and Your Body comes out in September 2024.


Hear more from 

Richard Schwartz, PhD & Jeanne Catanzaro, PhD

00:00 / 01:04

What Alumni are Saying...

"It was by far the most powerful training I have ever had, I am very grateful." - 2022 Participant

"Dick Schwartz was incredible. His kind, humble and patient demeanor were an inspiration to the therapists in the room. The authentic SELF energy in the room brought many including myself to tears." - 2023 Participant

"Learning about the IFS model from Dick Schwartz is like being invited to a fabulous banquet and being given a whole week to savor the experience." - 2023 Participant



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