IN THIS ISSUE: From the Board From the Editor Inward & Outward In Psychotherapy & Counseling Beyond Psychotherapy & Counseling Community Connections Trainers' Corner Operational Update Contributors’ Circle About OUTLOOK About IFS About the Foundation
From Your Board
Dear IFS Community,
Welcome to the September 2019 Foundation OUTLOOK! Remarkably, this is our 10th edition, and it marks a turn of cycles for us in a number of significant ways.
The Foundation was revived in 2013 to enhance the validity of IFS through the development and support of research as well as broadening the accessibility of IFS. The Foundation Board immediately infused into our mission advocacy of IFS in meaningful arenas, as well as serving the needs of the IFS community.
We have been an all-volunteer working board, with the first goal of establishing the structures and processes needed to accomplish our goals. We worked diligently over several years, and built the Foundation’s structures, developed research priorities, and completed the initial goal of establishing IFS as an evidence-based therapy. While the foundation is laid, there’s so much critical work ongoing. However, as all cycles turn, functions transition and grow, as do people.
We have folded our operations under the oversight and management of our executive director. The volunteer board has taken the more traditional strategic oversight function. In addition to their board responsibilities, board members continue to work on numerous committees under the executive director’s oversight.
We have board members transitioning roles as well.
Frank Anderson, MD, our founding chair, later co-executive director, and then research director, is stepping away from the research guidance role, and rotating off the board. In this edition, you will meet Ilanit Tal, PhD, our new Senior Research Manager. Please reach out to Ilanit with any thoughts and ideas for IFS research opportunities. You will enjoy her depth, experience, and skill in taking us further in the research enterprise. We’re all very grateful to Frank for his significant service and contributions.
Toufic Hakim, PhD, who has been engaged with the Foundation since its beginning, rotated off as sole executive director on July 1 after nearly two years of remarkable leadership and direction of the Foundation’s operations. He provided executive counsel in July and August to me as I served in the capacity of executive chair. The board is pleased to announce that, following an extensive executive search that did not result in a new executive director (see details on the executive search process later in this issue), Toufic has graciously agreed to extend his service as our executive director.
We are thrilled to introduce you to Requina Barnes, LICSW, our newest member of the Foundation Board of Directors. Please seek out Requina, welcome her, and share your thoughts and ideas about Foundation priorities.
The Foundation continues to be deeply committed to the growth and development of IFS, establishing the validity of the Model through rigorous high-quality research, demonstrating the applicability of the Model outside the therapeutic environment, and broadening the awareness and accessibility of the Model.
Enjoy the opportunity to learn more about our programs and development, and join us on this remarkable journey. And enjoy the remarkable stories that are examples of how understanding and integrating IFS continues to unfold, nourish, and inspire us on this path together.
On behalf of your Foundation’s Board of Directors, with appreciation and respect,
Frank Anderson, MD, (outgoing); Requina Barnes, LICSW (incoming); Les Fagen, MA, JD; Toufic Hakim, PhD, Executive Director and Publisher of OUTLOOK; Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW; Vicki McCoy, MA; and Mark Milton
To write a board member, please email FirstName@FoundationIFS.org (example: Harley@FoundationIFS.org).
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From the Editor
The equinox marks a time, twice a year, of the position of balance of our planet. It provides an opportunity to pause and reflect on the momentum of our lives and our inner harmony; offering a place to integrate mind, body, and spirit—where the whole is always greater than the sum of the parts. In that reflection we become aware of the transformations either just beginning, in progress, or nearing completion. Some of these transformations are short and quick, while others require a much longer and more complex process. Each one significant in the larger scheme of things.
You will find counterbalanced in the middle of this, our Special 10th Edition, a special insert containing Stories of Transformation. The special insert has been a labor of love encompassing a many-year gestation, a process which required its own phases of metamorphosis, and which was made possible by members of our ever-growing community. The body of OUTLOOK contains several articles that highlight the utilization of IFS across the globe. In line with our mission to broaden the reach of the Model and our efforts within schools, the editors of OUTLOOK are pleased to share with you, interesting ways children are being introduced to the language and concepts of IFS: Children’s Self-Led Peace Table Talks; Toward IFS Model Schools: Expanding Emotional Awareness and Learning among School Teachers and Students; and IFS and the Journey of Parenting. Many more pieces focus on further applications of parts and Self both inside and beyond psychotherapy as well as updates within your Foundation, including a special invitation to join our new Cornerstone Partners’ Program.
“The most important thing is transforming our minds, for a new way of thinking, a new outlook: we should strive to develop a new inner world,” the Dalai Lama once said. As you welcome in this equinox and reflect upon your own transformations, we hope that this OUTLOOK brings you hope and peace of mind. __MLG
Please forward and share with clients, friends, and family.
To Dietitians, Therapists, and Beyond…
Three dedicated therapists are joining forces to bridge the world of eating disorders and IFS, combining a deep knowledge of IFS with their respective therapeutic backgrounds, which include dietetics, social work, and psychology. Their mission statement is to bring IFS to the world of dietitians, therapists, and beyond.
Diana Dugan-Richards, RDN, LDN, Jeanne Catanzaro, PhD, and Molly Kellogg, LCSW, CEDRD, met while completing IFS trainings and workshops and started to toss around the idea of conducting their own workshops to introduce IFS specifically to dietitians and other health professionals who work with eating disorders. Their respective qualifications (Diana is a dietitian, Jeanne is a clinical psychologist, and Molly is both a dietitian and social worker) are combined with their attendance at a multitude of IFS trainings as participants and program assistants as well as their many decades of clinical and therapeutic experience.
Jeanne notes that clients with eating disorders often make emotional connections and generate insights that don’t translate into behavioral changes in how they eat and exercise. As she explains, “In IFS speak, while certain parts are open to change, others are not. Having a shared, non-pathologizing perspective that considers the internal system of the client—a network of parts and how they relate—rather than discrete symptoms facilitates our treatment of these typically entrenched systems.”
The interdisciplinary collaboration between Molly, Diana, and Jeanne is built on a mutual respect for each other’s training and experience, and had its origin when Diana approached Molly in 2015 with the question: How can we get IFS to dietitians? Diana shares that she has a deep desire to allow clients to realize their true potential, authenticity, and ultimately Self energy so they can develop the ability to take peaceful breaths in their relationship to food and body. It wasn’t long before Jeanne joined the pair to form a trio, and soon after they hosted their first one-day workshop in April 2017, titled Integrating IFS for Dietitians: Expanding the Toolkit of Behavioral Change. The audience, made up of 22 dietitians in Boston, supplied resounding positive feedback about the workshop. The rest, as they say, is history. Since then, the trio have traveled to Minneapolis and Memphis to share IFS with more eating disorder practitioners and have also developed a two-day workshop combining IFS and eating disorders. The second day of this workshop is designed specifically for dietitians.
The passion of these three therapists shines through when they talk about their work, and they are excited when they think about the future possibilities for combining IFS and eating disorders. For example, Diana and Jeanne will be teaching a module for the IFS Continuity Program this fall titled Using IFS to Heal Relationships with Food and the Body. They are also writing a book on the same topic and are hopeful that there will be more workshops and opportunities to expand the community of IFS-trained practitioners and therapists with expertise in treating these common and complex issues. And it doesn’t stop there. Jeanne notes, “While to date our workshops have focused on working with clients with eating disorders, we’re interested in helping people learn to use IFS to alleviate the suffering that arises from food- and body-related burdens that range from mildly to extremely disruptive.” Jeanne goes on to express the trio’s excitement about the potential IFS offers for healing the cultural, familial, and institutional biases that perpetuate suffering through weight stigma and diet culture. Molly aptly adds, “Dietitians working with eating disorders and disordered eating are particularly hungry for this paradigm.” __SD
The Gifts of Our Exiles
With over 40 years of experience working with clients in the field of mental health, Paul Neustadt, MSS, LICSW, has learned a few tricks along the way. One of these is to listen deeply with a keen, still ear to all aspects of all parts. When he does that, he regularly receives important information from the exiles with whom he has worked—information about gifts they have to offer to the system as a whole.
Paul, who graduated from social work at age 26 and discovered IFS some 24 years later, has worked in community mental health centers, been a counselor in a state university counseling center, and taken on the job of director of a community-based counseling and prevention program. In the middle of his career, Paul came to IFS and took seriously the notion that all parts have Self energy at their core. His experience was that when parts are approached with respect and curiosity, and listened to closely and respectfully, they will often reveal a suite of characteristics previously unnoticed.
After training in IFS, Paul came to realize that because exiles took on the primary impact of trauma, the rest of the person’s system was able to move on and continue to develop. However, acknowledging the way in which exiles actually serve, the rest of the system begins to shift the way the exiles are viewed by other parts. He explains that “because I knew from my work that one
aspect of healing is being able to transform our traumatic experiences and our identity as a victim into a positive empowered identity, I then began to understand this as a gift that exiles give us in the process of healing.”
Paul points out research that shows teachers unknowingly expect less of children from low socio-economic status backgrounds, and he says that’s also true of our parts. For example, if we see our exiles purely as parts that carry pain or burdens, then we are more likely to approach them in a way that automatically tunes out the gifts they might have to offer. Paul gives the example of when he was working with a part of himself that was very fragile and which carried a lot of shame. When he connected with this exiled part, it looked at him and said, “Are you really going to accept me the way you accept those other parts!?” Paul explains, “I expected that exiled part to need comforting and compassion, but instead what I noticed was its courage, and then I mirrored it back.” This was a turning point in his own internal work and it has influenced his work with clients ever since. “For that part to have its courage noticed and reflected back was really important. I realized the courage of that part, which then augmented my own courage—my own Self energy. I realized I could be vulnerable and courageous at the same time.”
Paul believes that the primary gift of our exiles is that they contain aspects of our true self or true nature with which we lost touch when these parts were exiled. He uses the term “True Self” to suggest that in addition to having a Self, which is made up of universal qualities that everyone has, we are each unique beings with unique gifts, and a unique path to follow in life. In unburdening the exiles, we don’t just free them from their burdens, we help the whole system reconnect with this sense of who we truly are and who we are meant to be and what our life can be about. “This was the experience I had when recognizing my own exiles’ gifts.”
Paul outlines four main strategies for detecting the gifts in our exiles:
1. As the client is interacting with the exile, the therapist can listen for specific qualities of the exile to reflect back—such as courage or creativity.
2. In the common scenario where there are a lot of protectors, therapists can spend some time wondering with the client what gifts they’ve already received as a result of this young part of them.
3. Therapists can ask the exiles if there are any ways, as a result of their experiences, that the client’s life might have been affected in a positive way.
4. As part of the unburdening, and to emphasize reconnecting with the exile’s true nature (rather than just welcoming in new qualities), therapists can really take some time to let that exile’s true nature become present.
When asked where to next, Paul said he is happy to be part of The Center for Self Leadership’s efforts to bring IFS to communities that have been marginalized and to provide IFS training to agencies where staff could not normally afford to pay. He believes that the whole IFS community is being enriched by this effort as we become a more diverse community.Paul Neustadt is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker working in Lexington, MA and is an IFS Lead Trainer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. __SD
“In unburdening the exiles, we don’t just free them from their burdens, we help the whole system reconnect with this sense of who we truly are and who we are meant to be and what our life can be about.”
Children’s Self-Led Peace Table Talks
Our mission to create a Self-led world requires the efforts of one and all, whether it’s our personal continued inner parts work or introducing the Model to others (hopefully both). One of the most fruitful populations to present IFS to is our youth. By establishing early on the framework of parts and Self, children gain an advantage with their peers and the culture at large. The Foundation-funded pilot program in two Minneapolis schools last year proved promising. We are poised now to expand the application of the Model with school-age children as part of our second project (see page 14). In addition to this large-scale application of IFS in schools, individual teachers have been implementing IFS concepts in their classrooms. Here, we introduce you to Seth Kopald, MEd, PhD, a former teacher and more recently a head of school who positively impacted a fifth- and sixth-grade classroom by utilizing IFS. After having taken a Level 1 training and while a head of school in a Montessori-hybrid school in Michigan, Seth found an immediate need for the Model with his students. In his mixed-grade class, the classroom social dynamics had become untenable at times with a group of girls. The conflicts interfered with learning and created unease and frustration, not only with the students but also among parents. Fortunately, the Montessori tradition of Peace Table Talks provided a vehicle to address the matter: when a child has a concern or issue, she/he invites a fellow student to the table to be heard using a talking stick to share the floor. The students were talking to each other, yet the problems remained. Seth decided to introduce IFS to the class in order to help the students build connection and understand each other more deeply.
...“speaking for their parts brought in enough compassion and desire to have real resolution,” Seth shares of the success in the classroom. “It shows an investment in their friendships when children explore their own parts.”
As a group, Seth taught the students about parts and Self, helping them identify their parts, which included naming and drawing them. He invited students to get to know their parts by asking questions such as: How does this part help you? Or: When the part takes over, what are the negative things that happen? Seth recounts, “Frequently their answers were deep and thoughtful responses, offering students insight, understanding, and illuminating their vulnerability.” Students learned their protector parts’ intentions and said things like, “My part is helping me not feel humiliated,” “The part is keeping me from crying in front of friends to not show that I’m hurt,” “When it takes over, I tend to hurt other people’s feelings,” and “I push people away when this part of me takes over.” Self was described and, as is customary in the Montessori ethos, allowed to be internalized as a concept through natural exploration and learning.
With the intention of learning to talk for their parts and hold space for one another, collaborative discussions with Seth and his students began with regard to utilizing parts and Self at the Peace Table, yielding the protocol below.
1. A student invites a classmate to the Peace Table.
2. Both students take a moment to go inside and get to know their part(s) that are activated and the ones that still want to be friends.
3. The student who invited the other would then begin talking for their part.
4. Students take turns talking for the part using the talking stick. 5. Students paraphrase what they heard, ensuring that they understand before talking about their part(s). The speaker lets the other know he/she understands before the other talks for his/her own parts.
6. Both continue until they both feel they have reached a resolution.
Self energy was palpably felt in the group exploration with parts and in the Peace Table dialogues. The IFS Peace Table Talks (PTT) resulted in conflict de-escalation, and students became more thoughtful during disagreements, much more so than with the traditional PTT. At the conclusion of traditional PTTs, students would share their feelings but were often talking from parts and at best reflected what they felt they should do the next time a similar event happened. However, “speaking for their parts brought in enough compassion and desire to have real resolution,” Seth shares of the success in the classroom. “It shows an investment in their friendships when children explore their own parts.” One student reported a positive result after speaking for parts while involved in a different conflict outside of school and thanked Seth for the guidance.
Seth has since retired as a head of school and is currently an insight coach using IFS and is also the developer of the Self-Led Parenting FB page. He is an advisor to the management team for the new phase of IFS in Schools project, contributing to the development of a new school-focused, IFS-oriented curricular framework. While currently operating at a small scale, his IFS Peace Table Talks will surely provide valuable consideration for future use in schools. For more information on Seth, visit his website. He can be reached at email@example.com.__MLG
“Schools are designed as places of learning. They are meant to nurture students and help cultivate their gifts, inspiring them to contribute their best to the world.”
Toward IFS Model Schools: Expanding Emotional Awareness and Learning among School Teachers and Students
Schools are designed as places of learning. They are meant to nurture students and help cultivate their gifts, inspiring them to contribute their best to the world.
Instead, so many of our school communities are struggling in the face of growing external pressures and internal climates that feel unsafe, with experiences of disconnection, fear, and anxiety becoming areas of concern among students and adults alike. In these schools, students’ nervous systems are not optimally responding to effective learning and healthy relationships with others.
How do schools create safe, positive, and productive learning environments for students and adults? The current challenge: Students’ emotional and mental health stand in the way of learning, as manifested by increasing symptoms of depression, anxiety, distraction, self-harm, bullying, disrespect to others, and violence.
How can teachers and students learn to understand each other so they’re able to build true connections and compassionate relationships? The current challenge: Teachers and administrators find their tool boxes inadequate in addressing their needs to overcome frustration, hopelessness, and burnout, and many well-intended professional development initiatives just feel like more “to do” items.
Educators are looking for a paradigm shift. What would it look like if our schools practiced and embodied Self leadership? Here are composite examples of what can result from such an effort, based on conversations with teachers as well as observation.
An eight-year old who struggles in a home with alcoholic parents yells and acts out in class. He is brought to a quiet space where he can speak for the parts of him that feel angry and scared. He feels understood and naturally unblends from the extreme parts, resting back into Self. Ten minutes later, he returns peacefully to class, ready to engage.
A middle-school girl is bullied on social media. The class is called together to speak for the many parts that come up in response to bullying. They come to recognize how much they have in common: how they feel hurt, long for connection, and can care for each other. In this safe, compassionate space, they can “get” each other and are empowered with the tools to unite instead of divide.
A veteran teacher who was feeling burned out and hopeless now has tools to pause and access his Self leadership in the midst of daily, challenging school dynamics. From this state of Self, his positivity is contagious, and he applies skills to connect and inspire students—even the “impossible, disruptive, hopeless, and the ones for whom nothing works.” In fact, he creates a place where they can learn and thrive.
A Confident Next Step. Building on a highly successful, year-long IFS immersion program for teachers from two middle schools in Minneapolis, MN, USA (successful, according to its thorough qualitative evaluation), the Foundation has recently funded a second project.
The funding was made possible through a generous targeted gift to the Foundation from Joy Shivas, MSW, LCSW, BCD, a former IFS Assistant Trainer, who has been managing a charitable fund established by her late mentor and friend, the engineer-entrepreneur Frederick Thomas. Joy’s views about how to spread IFS in the world are consistent with the Foundation’s intent to broaden the effects of “discovering one’s parts and Self” beyond the realm of psychotherapy and coaching by bringing key elements of the IFS paradigm and practice into other settings, such as schools (see page 37).
The two-year ambitious effort, which was launched on July 1, 2019, will be co-led by Joanna Curry-Sartori, LMFT, and Anna Tansi, MS Org Behavior. Together, they have been bringing notions of IFS to schools and school districts in Connecticut through well-received interactive workshops of various lengths and depths. The demand for such workshops has been on a steep rise: This year alone, they worked with educators from 15 Connecticut schools and led an additional five in-depth learning experiences for school educators. By invitation, they also recently held a day-long program for school counselors, social workers, and psychologists who work in New York City Public Schools.
This second phase of the IFS-in-Schools initiative aims for a number of outcomes that include the following:
1. An integrated (school-compatible) global framework for bringing IFS into school systems via teachers and staff will have been developed, vetted, and published for broader use and application. The anticipated Self Leadership School Model will be inspired by current brain science and cutting-edge psychological constructs, IFS being lead among them. This uniquely holistic approach will offer guiding concepts and practices that can be integrated and customized to the distinct needs of each learning community, benefiting students and adults alike.
2. A school-wide, IFS-based approach will be developed, implemented, and rigorously evaluated (possibly through a randomized control treatment method) at a selected “lab” school/district in Connecticut. This approach will consist of engaging teachers and staff in studying and experiencing the IFS Model, reviewing discipline policies in ways consistent with the IFS paradigm, developing student activities around notions of the Model, and involving other constituents as appropriate. This methodology is in alignment with the “pyramid” conceptual framework (shown below) presented at the 2018 IFS Conference by Joanna, Anna, and Ralph Cohen, PhD, LMFT. (Incidentally, the graduate program at Central Connecticut State University and IFS Level 1 and Level 2 trainings that Ralph has directed for a couple of decades have led to dozens of IFS-informed marriage and family therapists and school personnel serving in CT schools.)
3. An introductory booklet outlining the value and significance of Self Leadership in schools will be written, reviewed, and published.
As is the case with many comprehensive efforts, this too will be a large collaboration. A number of individuals will closely engage with Anna and Joanna to complete the tasks and activities at hand. Among these collaborators will be Tim Amaral, an award-winning teacher who has worked with adults in alternative education for 28 years; Seth Kopald, MEd, PhD, an IFS coach and organizational development practitioner who has served as both teacher and principal at Montessori schools, and as a consultant with Head Start agencies and national programs; and Jody Nelson, EdD, LMFT, given her deep experience with the year-long pilot program and her ongoing IFS initiatives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul twin cities.
An advisory team representing the broader community is currently being constituted. This team will provide counsel to the Foundation’s Executive Director regarding this new project, along with the Foundation’s overall IFS-in-Schools priority.
About Project Co-Directors. Anna is an Organization Effectiveness consultant and IFS coach who recently co-developed and co-led The Center for Self Leadership’s IFS-Inspired Coaching online program with Brian Jaudon. She continues to serve as a training
program assistant for CSL Levels 1 and 2 trainings. For 15 years, Anna orchestrated and directed a Self-led youth summer program that she built around key notions of IFS. Joanna, who manages her own clinical practice as a licensed marriage and family therapist, worked for over 20 years in the areas of stress management, mindfulness, and yoga, and has designed and facilitated countless workshops and presentations on mindfulness in schools and community centers. Joanna and Anna are both on the faculty of the Copper Beech Institute, where they offer retreats and in-service programs to introduce IFS-infused social and emotional well-being in school systems.
The Foundation is grateful to Jody Nelson, to her team of practitioners, and to the 16 teachers and two principals of Northeast Middle School (Northeast Minneapolis) and Justice Page Middle School (South Minneapolis) for engaging in the pilot project, which is opening doors for deeper and broader engagement with IFS in schools. Jody’s efforts blazed the trail and paved the way for this new effort to take shape. __TMH (with language from document produced by Joanna and Anna)
Conventionally-Trained Doctor Embraces IFS for Holistic Healing
For many years now, individuals have been finding the uses of the Model to be nearly unlimited outside of psychotherapy. The connections of mind, body, and soul are intricate, and at the same time can be worked with by simple means—a perfect set of larger systems for the applications of IFS. It’s no surprise then, that many have been using the Model to address any ailment they have—be they emotional, spiritual, intellectual, or physical.
Upon learning about IFS in 2014 from her cousin Rebecca Ching, LMFT (featured in the April 2019 edition of OUTLOOK), Lissa Rankin, MD, recognized IFS as “a total game-changer, not just as a transformational spiritual path, but as treatment for every psychiatric diagnosis in the DSM-5 and perhaps every medical diagnosis as well.” Trained at Duke University, the University of South Florida, and Northwestern University, Lissa practiced as an OB/GYN doctor for many years before turning toward a more holistic life and bringing that to patients and health care providers, through a synthesis of healing models that includes IFS.
In her blog, Internal Family Systems (IFS) Is a Game-Changer for Medicine, Psychiatry, and the Spiritual Path, written earlier this year, Lissa eloquently describes the Model in clear terms for any reader. In it she explains her concept of the Inner Pilot Light, which the Model calls Self, and our parts through an analogy: “In other words, your ‘internal family’ is populated with a whole busload of inner children, and if you’re reasonably healthy, your Inner Pilot Light is driving the bus, keeping the lovely, sometimes naughty, often unruly, scared, overprotective, and sometimes reckless, addicted, dissociative, sociopathic, or even suicidal parts from grabbing the wheel and hijacking the bus.” Her first meeting with her own Inner Pilot Light came in 2005. Then, twenty-four weeks pregnant with her daughter and blended with a suicidal part that could not tolerate the moral injury of practicing medicine inside a corrupt system, it guided her to quit her job. This stopped her in her tracks—both being simultaneously comforting, accepting, non-judgmental, and unconditionally loving, while terrifying her protectors. Out of that experience, Lissa began a daily writing process that she later called the Daily Flame, which became a daily email from her Inner Pilot Light to her parts, as well as a book containing 365 love letters from Self to parts.
Her passion for IFS knows almost no bounds. Lissa teaches concepts of IFS along with her faculty, including Richard Schwartz, PhD, to doctors through her Whole Health Medicine Institute. There, health care providers learn how to care for themselves as much as they assist others towards health. In addition, she offers for those on a healing journey from illness, injury, or trauma a twelve-step-like circle of healing called Healing Soul Tribe. This circle is available for those who cannot afford one-on-one therapy, energy healing, shamanism, or other forms of healing. Together with a team, they are building infrastructure to expand Healing Soul Tribe to a larger audience. “We use IFS as our primary model for describing the healing journey, treating all diagnoses from the DSM and nearly all medical diagnoses as potential protectors and discovering what they are protecting so healing can happen,” she explains. Lissa also provides a Visionary Mentoring program, facilitating others in transforming their businesses into an opportunity for emotional, physical, and spiritual awakening, as well as also gives regular workshops throughout the US. The revised edition of her bestselling book Mind Over Medicine, which will be re-released by the end of 2019, lists IFS as one of the treatments she recommends as part of the prescription for anyone healing from illness, injury, or trauma. Her seventh book, Sacred Medicine, contains a whole chapter on IFS and its applications.
At this year’s annual IFS Conference, Lissa will present with Richard and Lou Lukas, MD, in the day-long workshop IFS as Potential Treatment for Physical Illness: Healing Parts That Make Us Sick. Together, they will discuss the benefits and limitations of deep inquiry about how our parts may be using the body to try to protect the system. Anecdotal stories of radical physical healing through the Model, along with the first IFS study on rheumatoid arthritis, published in the Journal of Rheumatology in 2013 and for which the National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practice (NREPP) granted IFS an evidence-based stamp of approval, generates many valid questions. Questions such as: Imagine if all diseases and symptoms were treated with such loving, curious, non-judgmental inquiry. How would health care change? How many millions of patients who are not responding to conventional medical therapy could benefit? What is the role of doctors in providing trauma therapy, and what is the role of therapists to treat illnesses like cancer?
With all these avenues for applying IFS to our physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, Lissa knows that it all takes community effort. If these ideas resonate with healers in the IFS community, she would appreciate your support and collaboration. She can be reached via her website or through her personal assistant, Pearl at Pearl@LissaRankin.com. __MLG
IFS and the Journey of Parenting
Frank Anderson, MD, is well known to the IFS community through his presence in the IFS Online Circle, being the first author of the IFS Skills Training Manual, and his Level 2 trainings on IFS, Trauma, and Neuroscience. Using his work as a trauma clinician for over 25 years as a platform, Frank is now directing his attention to the important topic of IFS and parenting. As the father of two boys, Frank has identified that therapist skills and parenting skills are different and require specialized and nuanced attention to maximize the chances of success in a child’s life.
Passion is a word Frank uses often when he refers to his teaching, which has involved producing curricula for PESI, Psychotherapy Networker, Bessel van der Kolk’s Trauma Center in Brookline, MA, and CSL. In fact, his early years as a psychiatrist were spent working with Bessel van der Kolk, MD, and it is this background in trauma therapy upon which Frank is now drawing as he outlines his understanding of the importance of IFS and neurobiology in parenting.
When asked about his entrée into IFS, Frank outlines the role his children played and the awakening he experienced when he became aware they were triggering aspects of his own traumatic childhood: “Initially I thought parenting would be all about love and validation, but as well as that, what I also experienced was a lot of internal activation and reactivity.” Frank notes it was around this time that he discovered IFS, which was the perfect model to allow him to dive in and start addressing the deep triggering he was experiencing. Showing a steely determination to make sure he did not recreate the deficiencies of his own childhood, Frank stayed open and curious and immersed himself into the strong emotion he was experiencing.
“So, when parents are triggered, they’re not able to be in Self and therefore kids get parented by different protective parts of their parents. This impacts children, depending on the developmental stage they’re in, because different structures of the brain develop at different developmental stages.”
One of the fundamental platforms from which Frank organizes his thinking about IFS and parenting is the concept that the children we have are given to us for a reason. It is in this way of thinking that Frank introduces an element of spirituality into his teaching about IFS and the journey of parenting. He reflects, “I don’t think we get kids accidentally, I don’t think they choose us accidentally, I think there’s so much energy and synergy that go into the whole parent-child connection before conception that is spiritual and beyond our conscious awareness.” Frank knows this from his own personal experience, noting that his own journey into parenting was prefaced with a lot of planning and hard work, even though the notion of having children was one he had been invested in his whole life. Even so, Frank notes the challenges inherent in the role opened him up to the possibility of his own healing work though IFS.
As part of his acknowledgement of the inter-generational elements of trauma, Frank raised the importance of legacy burdens in the journey of parenting noting that—no matter what type—we all have a history, and we all bring the previous generation’s legacy into our current family and parenting style. Consequently, many parents have a particular expectation of what parenting is going to be like because of the legacy burdens associated with their family. From Frank’s perspective, more attention needs to be paid to that and so he is shining a light on the neurobiological implications of parenting in the presence of intergenerational trauma. Frank notes that the neurobiology of trauma and PTSD in parents intersects and overlaps with the developmental issues of the children. He shares, “So, when parents are triggered, they’re not able to be in Self and therefore kids get parented by different protective parts of their parents. This impacts children, depending on the developmental stage they’re in, because different structures of the brain develop at different developmental stages.”
When asked about the future direction of his teachings about IFS and the journey of parenting, Frank noted he is in the process of developing a two-day workshop through PESI and hopes to develop a five-day Level 2 training through CSL. He also has the beginnings of a book which have been percolating for a long time. For those wanting to engage further with Frank on this topic he can be contacted through his website. __SD
A CSL Update
EDITORS’ NOTE: The Foundation continues to be grateful for our joint collaboration with The Center for Self Leadership. To that end, OUTLOOK will present regular updates from CSL. The dedicated labor of each has a tremendous impact toward global Self leadership when harnessed together. Join us in learning what is new from CSL.
The Center for Self Leadership is excited to announce that it has established an advantageous relationship with PESI, Inc. As a cutting-edge leader of continuing education for professionals across the nation since 1979, PESI now offers an exciting opportunity for CSL to strengthen and expand its curation and hosting of online content. This new partnership will provide CSL with a range of prospects to reach more professions interested in the Internal Family Systems Model through a new online course platform. A more collaborative learning experience through interactive forums, course mobility, and live Q&A’s for the quickly growing IFS online community will result from the new platform with PESI. CSL will continue to offer its Online Circle and Continuity programs, in addition to new online IFS offerings in the months and years ahead.
Several new and exciting developments for CSL and IFS will be announced at the annual IFS Conference in September and through CSL email communiqués. Stay tuned…
How are CSL and the Foundation related?
This is a very common question we get from our IFS community. Many people think they are the same organization. However, The Foundation and The Center are two distinct organizations, with different organizational types.
The Foundation, as an example, is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The two organizations have separate and independent legal, fiscal, and governance systems. Yet they work together, as they must. After all, they share a similar name, a common vision, and a joint determination to facilitating Self-discovery and promoting Self leadership across the world.
“Many people think they are the same organization. However, The Foundation and The Center are two distinct organizations, with different organizational types.”
Growing Community and the Model: International Peer-Support Groups
The April 2019 edition of OUTLOOK featured four US-based peer-support groups and their endeavors to continue IFS literacy and connection beyond Level 1 trainings. By sharing with you these individuals and groups, we hope to champion you to initiate similar groups in your local areas in order to multiply the collective of this invaluable resource. Many who have created and sustained their groups freely share their wisdom to those wishing to do the same. As the Japanese writer, Ryunosuke Satoro once said, “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” We are pleased to feature one such group from Australia.
The North Shore IFS Peer Group in Sydney Australia aims to support increasing members’ confidence and competence to apply the Model through practice and exchanging useful information about insights, events, and resources. The group was started by Dave Williams (Grad Dip Counselling, Reg. Psych.) shortly after being a program assistant at the inaugural IFS Level 1 training in Australia, which was initiated by Simon d’Orsogna, MA. Dave’s approach is to focus on what each member wants so that each peer gets value, tells colleagues, and thus helps grow the IFS community on the North Shore of Sydney. In line with this approach, members receive an email before each meeting and are asked to consider what they want support with.
Meeting every first Monday of the month, except for January, the group begins by collaboratively determining a focus for the evening with Dave’s facilitation. Role-plays of client and therapist interactions, case consultations, and demonstration sessions are all options, along with members sharing resources and their latest discoveries about IFS. Along with the meeting’s questions, attendees practice speaking for their parts and check in about what is current in their lives and practices. The emphasis is on creating a safe place where members feel open to sharing their challenges and feel supported toward Self leadership. Following the group’s in-person meetings, Dave emails a summary of how the group’s key questions were answered and any insights, techniques, and resources that were exchanged. He also posts them on the IFS Australia Community Google Group.
While IFS in Australia is relatively new, the North Shore Sydney Peer Group has an interest list of approximately twenty people in the Sydney metro area, with between four and six people attending meetings. It is open to anyone involved in IFS therapy, be they therapist or client, with or without training. Most however, have attended at least an IFS introductory workshop, read IFS books, and/or watched videos of Richard Schwartz, PhD, online.
Dave believes IFS peer groups have the potential to contribute to greater Self leadership both in Australia and overseas. He shared, “I’d like more peer groups in Australia, and even around the world, to post summaries of their learnings in the IFS Australia Community Google Groups, so that the personal and professional growth of practitioners is compounded and networks accelerated.”
He also points to the need of accumulating studies validating the Model, in particular because the Australian government health insurance system and companies currently reimburse only when clinicians combine IFS with other modalities that have accrued larger evidence bases. To that end, a few researchers in Australia are collaborating efforts.
Dave is a Registered Psychologist with a focus on anxiety, depression, and trauma, and is the author of The Little Book of Self Leadership, available through The Center for Self Leadership’s website, Amazon.com, or the Book Depository. Dave can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling +6143.399.7773. If you are interested in joining the IFS Australia Community Google Group, please contact Shaun Dempsey, PhD, at email@example.com. __MLG
It Takes a Village
Most of us would not be where we are today, had it not been for an IFS trainer. Whether we know them directly or not, they have directly influenced the lives and work of many therapists and practitioners and consequently countless recipients of the Model throughout the years. Inspiring others to utilize the incredible healing that IFS offers is not only a skill, but a gift. The countless hours and dedication in service of not only bringing Self leadership to the world, but their commitment to and ensuring the fidelity of the Model merits appreciation. Here in OUTLOOK, we will introduce you to the lives and work of trainers.
“There was an excitement about the grassroots beginnings of IFS trainings in the US, and we knew we wanted to take it to the world.”
Ann Sinko, LMFT has been a Lead Trainer for many years and is known for her legacy and cultural unburdening protocol. In this conversation, Ann shares with us how she was hooked by IFS along with some of her thoughts about how the Model can help with healing people and the planet.__SD
OUTLOOK: Welcome Ann. You’ve been involved in IFS for nearly two decades. When did your interest in IFS begin, and what were the factors in it becoming an important focus for you?
ANN: I started teaching the IFS Model in 1996 in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). The master’s program was (and still is) based on the “Metaframeworks” model in which IFS was one of the six domains for understanding human systems. IFS was infused (along with the other five Metaframeworks domains) in every course, as Dick was an author with Doug Bruenlin, MSSA, LMFT, LCSW, of the Metaframeworks text book. I liked the Model and it seemed in alignment with my beliefs as a family therapist and also with my Gestalt training. The first IFS training on the East Coast, the second training ever, was held at CCSU in 1998 and I attended at my friend, Ralph Cohen’s, PhD, LMFT, incessant encouragement a few years later. He was the director of the family therapy program I was teaching in, and we’ve been working there together for 24 years. I took my Level 1 in 2001, which was called “Basic Training” back then. I was hooked, got on the IFS train and have not gotten off since! There was an excitement about the grassroots beginnings of IFS trainings in the US, and we knew we wanted to take it to the world.
Actually, back then participants had to do a project of taking IFS into the world as part of the criteria for graduation from IFS Level 1. I asked my husband to take the training the next year because I was on the train speeding out of the station and needed him to get on board. I really want to emphasize that Level 1 training is needed to learn how to do the IFS Model— it can’t be learned from a book! I think that practicing as the client and as the therapist, experiencing it firsthand, is the milestone for getting it and being able to use IFS with clients. Experiencing Self energy and unblending are things that need to happen for people to get the feel of IFS. Many current IFS trainers completed their Level 1 at that CCSU training. For example, I was in home group with Toni Herbine-Blank MS, RN, C-SP, and Paul Neustadt, MSS, LICSW. Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW, Mike Elkin, MA, LMFT, and Ralph were some of the program assistants in that training and I became a trainer in 2006.
“With IFS, I believe I found the best road map to understand systems that are out of balance and a way to help them heal.”
O: So that first Level 1 training sounds like a really significant experience. What was it that got you hooked?
A: I felt like I got a better tread on my tire. IFS aligned with my beliefs about therapy and healing—that everyone has the answers inside of them. IFS is a constraint-releasing model—meaning if you remove the constraints (burdens) you can access the answers or inner wisdom that you need.
O: After you completed your training, what inspired you to become a trainer and how do you see your role in promoting an understanding of IFS?
A: I believe it is my life’s purpose to teach and help people heal. IFS gave me the subject matter that resonated with my soul’s purpose. With IFS, I believe I found the best road map to understand systems that are out of balance and a way to help them heal. I have trained over 600 people in IFS since becoming a trainer. In that time, I have worked with Ralph Cohen, and Mike Elkin as Co-Lead Trainers. I’ve also worked with Rina Dubin, EdD, Mona Barbera, PhD, Joy Shivas, LCSW, BCD, Sue Richmond, LCSW, David Cantor, LMFT, JD, and Arnie Morgan, PsyD, as Assistant Trainers—all of whom have added to my growth and development as a trainer.
O: It sounds like IFS has really become a central part of your life. What do you like best about the Model?
A: It is organic and it allows me to continue to deepen and grow. IFS has become the lens through which I see and understand the world. I frequently hear from participants upon graduation from Level 1 that the training in IFS has transformed them. It has become a spiritual path for me as well as a career. I also see using IFS as a way to help the world change and heal. I think we’ve lost our connection to each other and to the earth, and that we’re not taking good care of ourselves or the earth anymore. The more Self energy you have, the more connected you are so that means you’ll take better care of yourself and your environment. Being Self-led allows us to have a broader perspective and stand up to injustices.
O: After so many years of providing IFS trainings in many different locations and to a diverse range of people, what do you like best about being a trainer?
A: I love teaching the basics and watching people “get it.” I love seeing the growth and healing that happens and it continues to be profound. Hearing from participants that their IFS training was the best and safest training they’ve ever experienced warms my heart. I still love providing and attending trainings and the joke that I use—which is the truth—is that the more work I do on myself, the better my husband gets.
O: Ha! That makes a lot of sense! One of the things you’re known for is your work with the legacy and cultural unburdening protocol. Can you tell us a bit about this?
A: As a family therapist, I have always been drawn to intergenerational models of understanding systems. My mentors in IFS, Barb Cargill, MA, ADTR, and Michi Rose, PhD, LMSW, taught me a lot about legacy burdens. My thoughts and beliefs on legacy burdens were also influenced by Family Constellation work and Shamanism. I wrote a chapter about legacy burdens in IFS, Elaboration and Innovations, which helped me translate my thoughts and beliefs about legacy burdens into IFS language. It also helped me present a protocol based in IFS theory for legacy unburdenings. We all have legacy and cultural burdens. Healing legacy and cultural burdens, and teaching others to do the same, is something that I believe is needed to help heal our planet. I also believe I became a therapist because I was looking for healing from my ancestral legacy burdens.
O: Okay, that sounds pretty important, Ann. Would you be willing to talk about your own ancestral legacy burdens from which you were trying to heal?
A: Sure. My father died at 43 and his father died at 43 and my great grandfather died at 42. They were all heart-and-circulatory-system-related deaths and there were a lot of family stories about broken hearts. So, for example, my paternal grandmother lost eleven babies. That, of course, meant that my father watched his parents lose eleven babies and that he also lost eleven siblings. Consequently, when I was in my 20’s, I made a conscious choice not to have children. I felt I couldn’t dare to love something so much and risk losing it. When I started doing my own IFS work in my 40’s, I realized I had made that choice because I’d been carrying my father’s grief. Understanding and helping others heal the many layers of grief has become my life’s work.
O: Thanks, Ann. That’s a very special story and I’m very grateful you’ve shared it with us. On a final note, where do you see IFS in ten or twenty years?
A: It will continue to grow, in the therapy world as well as branching out into schools, health care, and organizations (just to name a few!). My hope is that IFS becomes more global, spreading the healing effects of Self leadership on people and the environment.
O: So do we, Ann. Thanks so much for the work you’re doing as a trainer, with legacy burdens and in healing people and the planet.
A: You’re welcome, Shaun. Thanks for spreading the word about the work and where it’s headed.
“We all have legacy and cultural burdens. Healing legacy and cultural burdens, and teaching others to do the same, is something that I believe is needed to help heal our planet.”
Executive Search Process Update
The Foundation’s Board of Directors commissioned an ad-hoc search committee in February 2019 to assist in the search for the next executive director. The committee was comprised of board and community members (Harley Goldberg, DO, Chair; Requina Barnes, LICSW; Saul Kerpelman, JD, MSW; Pam Krause, MSW, LCSW; and Vicki McCoy, MA; supported by Toufic Hakim, PhD, serving as staff). Its charge was to provide the board, after screening and initial interviews, a short list of qualified candidates for final interview and selection.
The search process was comprehensive, thorough, and managed with professionalism and integrity. After pre-screening a pool of very diverse applications based on established criteria and experience requirements, initial and final interviews were conducted.
Despite our careful screenings, numerous interviews and deliberations, and conversations with a candidate of choice, our final candidate was ultimately unable to join the Foundation as its next executive director.
After due consideration, the board is very pleased to announce that it has the opportunity to extend Toufic Hakim’s engagement as executive director, which he graciously accepted.__HG
Members of the Foundation’s Board and Staff are extremely grateful to Chair Harley Goldberg, DO, who is in his fourth year as chair of the board of directors. Harley has led the executive search with a steady hand and effectively served as executive chair in July and August.
The Foundation is indebted to his generosity of commitment and spirit, the unbounded number of hours he has spent in these various roles, and the effective leadership he’s exhibited throughout.
Words of thanks do not sufficiently capture the depth of our appreciation.
THANK YOU, Harley.
Introducing Our New Board Member
Requina Barnes, LICSW, recently joined the Foundation’s Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have her as part of our team. She is the owner of Strength, Inc., a private practice where she provides outpatient therapy services to individuals and couples, primarily with people of color focusing on relationship challenges, work obstacles, and trauma in Boston, MA. Requina has worked across populations from young children, adolescents, adults and families, in school settings, court settings, residential settings and mental health clinics for over ten years.
She was introduced to the Model in 2011, has become an active program assistant (PA), and enjoys being part of a great community. Her first PA experience, in collaboration with Black Therapists RockTM and The Center for Self Leadership, was earlier this year in Silver Springs, Maryland. She has seen the power of the Model and appreciates that it allows individuals to uncover deep-rooted parts of themselves and to begin the healing process. “I look forward to being a board member and contributing to community initiatives, research, and diversity,” Requina says of her new position. During her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, doing yoga, and listening to Audible books. She can be reached at Requina@FoundationIFS.org.
Introducing Our New Staff
Ilanit Tal, PhD, joined our team at the Foundation this spring as Senior Research Manager. In this new role, she provides leadership, management, coordination, and support regarding IFS research activities stimulated through the Foundation.
After completing her PhD in Evolutionary Psychology in 2009, she worked in clinical research at the Department of Veterans Affairs with a focus on burnout, depression, suicide, and bereavement. While at the San Diego VA, she also chaired the hospital’s Complementary and Integrative Health committee and led efforts to connect a community of VA clinicians using IFS, collaborating with them and the Foundation to develop a proposed pilot research program for the VA. Ilanit, along with her enthusiastic manager parts, is excited to bring her skills and experience to support the Foundation’s continued efforts to build on the evidence base that will bring healing to more people who could benefit from IFS, including veterans.
She was first introduced to the Model when her dear friend and colleague, Jan McClure, PhD, RN, invited her to observe one of her sessions with her IFS therapist. From that point on, she began to get to know her own parts and experience healing through IFS. Ilanit feels connected to the IFS community through attending workshops at Esalen with Richard Schwartz, PhD, for the past six years.
In her spare time, she can be found practicing and teaching yoga. She is a polyglot and enjoys traveling and immersing herself in other cultures. Ilanit is happiest when she is singing and dancing. She can be reached at Ilanit@FoundationIFS.org.
A Good Grief, which was produced in Fall of 2018, represents a dynamic exploration of minds and bodies after enduring trauma, through dance, videography, and storytelling.
According to the Everett press release, “The artists used therapeutic approaches such as Internal Family Systems, EMDR, and dioramas to explore healing for their own life experiences. Onstage, they dive inward, uncover parts, slip into the unconscious, and look at the body made foreign and disconnected—all in search of a true self. In Good Grief, Everett presents a journey of fragmented memories, exiled parts, and the hope that dwells in a thriving imagination.”
The grant-funded show received acclaim from media and audiences alike.
In order for the Foundation to bring the show to the Conference in Denver, a sizable grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts (NEFA) was secured, along with matching funds from individuals and corporate match. We thank NEFA and the new Foundation’s donors for their support.
IFS therapist David Medeiros, MSW, LICSW, served as consultant for the performers during the production design. At rehearsals, he would work with a given performer while others watched. These sessions were recorded and, according to Aaron Jungels, Co-Artistic Director, they became the basis for scenes, dances, and multimedia stage-images. “IFS gave us a way,” added Aaron, “to access and draw out the inner world of the performers in a safe and healing way. But none of it would have been possible without their courage, and trust in each other and the process.”
Everett, in Aaron’s words, is an artist-run organization first and foremost, a group of people who need to express themselves through dance, theater, and film.
Plan your long-term gift to the Foundation!
Leave a good legacy for a better future. Please remember the Foundation for Self Leadership in your will or estate planning.
Help sustain its global mission of research, service, and advocacy into the next generation. All it takes is a quick phone call to your attorney to add a charitable gift to your will.
To leave a gift in your will, simply share this sentence with your attorney or financial planner:
“I bequeath $ or % of my estate or shares of equity stock or (valuable physical property) to the Foundation for Self Leadership, c/o David Bea, Esq.; Bea & VandenBerk Attorneys at Law; 225 West Washington, Suite #1010; Chicago, Illinois 60606, USA (+1.312.442.9076)
I have included the Foundation for Self Leadership in my will.
Better yet, engage the Foundation in a conversation early on to identify optimal ways to channel your gift to support strategic priorities in alignment with your personal and/or professional interests.
write us at Outreach@FoundationIFS.org
We are forever grateful for the generous and regular support of our donors. With your contributions, we are able to forge ahead with our mission of bringing the healing potential of the Model across the world. Whether you give only once, monthly, or randomly, or give in large or small amounts, each and every donation brings us closer to a world of Self-leadership and healed parts. Your Foundation is brimming with ideas and motivation, please support us today. www.FoundationIFS.org/donate
Why do you donate to the Foundation?
As a retired assistant trainer of the IFS Model, I have recently had the opportunity to help the Foundation through the Cornerstone Partners’ program continue its outreach by giving to one of its new programs, enhancing the incredible work of teachers in the classroom.
I am touched by the knowledge that my contributions increase the impact of IFS, taking it from the privacy of the therapy couch to the larger world, with the help of the Foundation. Giving today is my way of thanking the IFS family for its support over many years of working together and offers me a way to remain engaged as the Model evolves.
Joy Shivas, LCSW Lewisburg, PA
Why do you donate to your Foundation?Help inspire others to contribute. Please share your story to OUTLOOK@FoundationIFS.org.Thank you!
Have You Moved in the Last Year or Have a New Email Address?
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Please update your address and email address so that you can receive the latest from your Foundation here or OUTLOOK@FoundationIFS.org.
Join the Movement!
COMMUNITY: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.
We are your Foundation. The Foundation is yours. Be counted as an active member of our growing caring global community. Foster compassionate Self-leadership with your support. Impart the wisdom of IFS and advance the work of the Foundation to those in your circles.
It takes a village…it takes you. Please join our efforts!
To receive OUTLOOK and brief periodic communiqués to keep abreast of a wide range of developments around IFS and our community, please visit www.FoundationIFS.org/donate/join-the-movement.
OUTLOOK is an occasional bulletin that the Foundation for Self Leadership publishes to share news relevant to IFS, the IFS community, and developments relating to the Foundation. It is not intended to appear solely and passively in the conventional print mode; rather, it is designed to interface with the Foundation’s social media and online platforms. Nor is it a venue for sending information out; it is envisioned more as an attempt to generate discussions within the community around issues and ideas of general interest and great impact.
The ultimate purpose of OUTLOOK is to support the Foundation’s mission of promoting the notion and agency of Self leadership. By naming it OUTLOOK, we hope it stands as a reminder that IFS is at once an external as much as an internal peace-seeking model, while holding a far-reaching view of the future.
The Foundation is grateful to Advisor and Publisher Toufic Hakim, PhD; Editor Michelle Glass, BA; and Assistant Editor Shaun Dempsey, PhD, who play key roles in its production; Sylvia Miller for layout and graphic design; Joshua Lisojo, MS, for online content; and Kira Freed, MA, LPC; Karen Locke, MA; and Laura Taylor, JD, for proofreading.
What would you like to see in OUTLOOK?
Do you know of any IFS-related news our community would like to know? Do you know of a client eager to share about their transformation? Please share with us such developments or happenings within one of these categories: IFS research, IFS within psychotherapy or programming, and IFS applications beyond psychotherapy. Please complete the form here or send general information in a short email to Michelle Glass at OUTLOOK@FoundationIFS.org. We will reach out to you for additional details or specific guidelines. Thank you for your submissions and helping keep our community apprised of IFS-related endeavors.
Editors of OUTLOOK reserve the right to make final decisions regarding content of OUTLOOK.
Founded in the early 1980’s by family therapist and author Richard Schwartz, PhD, Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy suggests that the “inner self” is not a single persona but rather a complex system of distinct parts (thoughts, feelings, and beliefs), each with its own viewpoints, desires and agendas. The main agenda of these parts is to protect us from inner pain generated through developmental and life traumas. The Model rejects psychopathology and posits that there is an undamaged Self with healing attributes that is at the core of each individual, even in the presence of extreme behavior.
The Model continues to generate growing interest among psychotherapists and practitioners outside the realm of psychotherapy, where it promises a myriad of applications simply as a thought process. Thousands of practitioners have been trained in IFS through a rigorous training program, administered by The Center for Self Leadership; and tens of thousands of therapy and coaching clients and workshop attendees have experienced personal transformations through the IFS paradigm. Read more about IFS at www.FoundationIFS.org.
About the Foundation
The Foundation for Self Leadership is an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) global organization registered in Illinois, USA. Its mission is to foster sustained emotional healing and well-being by advancing IFS research, promoting the IFS Model far and wide within and beyond psychotherapy, and increasing access to IFS trainings through scholarships, especially among groups with limited financial ability.
The board and the Foundation’s executive function are supported by a number of associates and volunteers:
Daniel Fermin, part-time Financial Controller; Anne Eberhardt, Dipl-Psych, Operational Associate (Volunteer); Kelly Gaule, Development Advisor/ Associate; Michelle Glass, BA (Certified IFS Practitioner), Editor of OUTLOOK and Stewardship Associate; Shaun Dempsey, PhD, Assistant Editor of OUTLOOK; Ilanit Tal, PhD, Senior Research Manager; Audrey Fernandez-Fraser, LCSW, MDiv, Social Media Coordinator (Volunteer); Sharayah Morrissey, LMFT, Global Outreach Associate (Volunteer); Michele Bruce and Ilpa Patel, MPA, part-time Administrative Staff; and Joshua Lisojo, MS, Website Programmer and Developer.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
Frank G. Anderson, MD; Practicing Psychiatrist and Certified IFS therapist, USA; (2021) [Outgoing]
Requina Barnes, LICSW; Practicing Therapist, USA (2022) [Incoming]
Lester Fagen, MA, JD; Partner in Business Office of Cooley, LLP, USA (2020)
Harley Goldberg, DO; Physician Executive (retired), Kaiser Permanente, USA; Chair (2021)
Toufic Hakim, PhD; Senior Managing Principal, Group i&i Consultancy, USA; Executive Director and Publisher of OUTLOOK (2019)
Pamela Krause, LCSW, Lead IFS Trainer, in Private Practice, USA (2019)
Vicki McCoy, MA, President, McCoy Communications and Training, USA (2020)
Mark Milton; Founder and Executive Director, Education 4 Peace, Switzerland (2020)
Visit us at www.FoundationIFS.org
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