ThinkingHeart: 16 week Comprehensive IFS course
September 29 – January 12, 2022
Wednesdays, 6 – 9pm EST
This Course Is Based Upon Derek Scott’s Immersive IFS Training
Dr. David Stern is an IFS Certified Consultant consulting with IFS therapists from all over the world
The goals for this course are for you:
- to learn and understand the IFS model and be able to apply it to your own systems, your patients/clients and one another
- to be able to ask as many questions as you need and know where to go for further information
- to form peer support groups so that your practice can continue to evolve
- to be invigorated in your practice and to see remarkable and permanent changes in many of your clients
- to learn IFS as a peace-making practice for you, your families, and communities
- to discover and strengthen your relationship with the spiritual and naturally healing core of your being
"Dr. David Stern brings profound wisdom and humanistic talents to his teaching. He combines years of solid experience using the IFS method with a deep communion with spiritual depths. His personal style is intensely supportive and connective and he brings a passion for the unfolding of the soul. Learning with David is a rich and transformative experience."
–Bonnie Weiss, LCSW
author of Self-Therapy Workbook
The following modules will be repeated on a 4-week basis.
Week 1 / Teaching & Demonstration
For our first meet we will say hello to each other and establish group guidelines. We will talk about the basics of the model, including the 3 types of parts we typically encounter in session, and introduce the concept of Self energy.
Subsequent week-1 topics will include: Working with Protectors, Therapist parts, Exploring your own system (parts map), Unburdening the exiles, and introducing the model to new clients, as well as introducing the model to existing clients.
The focus throughout the course will be on speaking for, not from your parts.
I will then ask for a volunteer to be the subject of a demonstration and after the demonstration there will be time for questions and answers.
You will be invited to do your own work in the demonstrations; an IFS healer needs to know their own system and that cannot be achieved solely through role-playing.
A 1 hour lecture reinforcing the teaching points from each didactic session will be emailed to participants.
Weeks 2 & 3 / Practice Groups
This will either be practice with your fellow learners or a supervised practice session. Week 2 and 3 alternate between these two ways of learning. If it is a supervised session you will be working with the HIPPA-compliant* Zoom video platform in groups of three or four. Each group will work with myself or another IFS therapist colleague who will supervise your work, offering suggestions where necessary.
The supervised sessions will be recorded and only your group will have access to the recording so that you may review your work if you choose.
You will each have an opportunity to work as therapist for up to 45 minutes, and as client, and as observer. There will be up to 15 minutes after each practice session for feedback.
*HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) A United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.
Week 4 / Consultation Group
We will meet as a large group again and you will be invited to bring questions arising from your own practice and/or from learning the theory. We may choose to do a piece of work if you are feeling stuck with a particular client or using the model. We may explore your own parts getting triggered by clients to help you get clarity and possibly unburden a part of your own.
This is a good forum to get to know your therapist parts. Challenging issues like active suicidality, difficulty with unblending and working with trauma, addictions etc. may be brought here.
"David Stern is born to teach. He knows and experiences IFS in mind, body and heart, and conveys the concepts and the techniques from that deep well. He is kind, clear, and connected. I have seen him be part of a group and almost immediately be recognized as a leader, even if he wasn't in that role. People look to him for clarity and ever more expansive views of our inner system and the Self that permeates it."
–Mona Barbera, Ph.D.
author of “Bring Yourself to Love”
Readings & Resources
A 90 page Teaching Manual is included as part of the course as well as handouts on “How to Watch a Demo”, “How to do a Triad” and others.
You are invited to view the 10-part video series “IFS for Therapists” to enhance your learning during the course. In addition there is a five episode video series, “IFS Q&A” that addresses common questions you will encounter (these can found on the IFSCA website https://ifsca.ca/).
Required reading for the course is “Internal Family Systems Therapy Second Edition” by Richard C. Schwartz and Martha Sweezy available from the IFS Institute Bookstore.
Recommended reading includes: “Introduction to Internal Family Systems Therapy” also by Dick Schwartz and “Many Minds, One Self” by Dick Schwartz and Robert Falconer.
In addition to reading you will have access to annotated training videos: I hour sessions which have been edited to highlight choice points and illustrate where therapist parts have wanted to intervene.
There are many interesting articles on the resources page of the IFSCA site (https://ifsca.ca/) and several will be recommended during the course.
The course will be run twice a year, starting in September/October and January/February with a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 20 people. It is open to social workers, therapists, counsellors, coaches and other healing professionals. To get the maximum benefit from this course it is preferable to be working 1:1 with people in a professional capacity.
The cost for the entire 4 Month course is USD $1800 and the deposit of USD $400 will reserve your place – refunds will not be issued.
Each 3 hour teaching/practice session will be recorded and the recordings will be made available only to participants; as will the didactic teachings and consultation groups. If you are unable to attend a day you will receive the session recording. At the end of the course you will receive a certificate provided you have attended 90% of the live sessions – i.e. you may miss 2 of the 3 hour sessions. Graduates are recommended to refer to themselves as offering IFS-Informed Therapy. CEUs are not available.
This course will not lead to IFS certification. If you want to become IFS certified, you must take the IFS Institute’s Level 1 Training and complete all requirements.