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Monday, April 29th 2019

The Internal Family Systems Model of Therapy:Treating Trauma & Addictions

Derek Scott, RSW, Founder of IFSCA
presented by SOS Workshops

Location: The Highland Country Club (1922 Highland Heights) London, Ontario

Developed over the past three decades, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model is an evidence-based therapy that offers both a conceptual umbrella under which a variety of practices and different approaches can be grounded and guided, and a set of original techniques. Developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, IFS is the most comprehensive model now emerging as the dominant therapeutic modality which regards the personality as a system of subpersonalities.

Schwartz’s model states that in addition to the many parts that constitute the system, we also all have a Self. The Self is characterized by the presence of the following qualities: calmness, clarity, curiosity, compassion, confidence, courage, creativity and connectedness and has “emergent compassion, lucidity, and wisdom to get to know and care for these inner personalities”. It is the client’s Self that is responsible for healing their own system; this model does not foster dependency on the therapist.

This training will introduce the basics of the IFS model and its use with attachment and trauma. Unique to the model, IFS does not use grounding techniques, nor does it use traditional methods for working within the “window of tolerance”, and is a model and method endorsed by Bessel Van der Kolk, Janina Fisher, Gabor Mate and many others in the trauma and addiction field.

Similarly, addictive behaviours are approached from a wholly original perspective, recognizing that, from a multiplicity perspective, the parts engaging in extreme behaviours are serving the individual in the way they believe they need to in the absence of viable alternatives. IFS provides the viable alternative in terms of the healing facilitated by the client’s Self. This model is completely non-pathologizing.

Through lecture, video, discussion, experiential exercises, presentation of case studies and a demonstration, participants’ understanding of the model will be greatly enhanced.

About the Speaker:

Derek Scott is a registered social worker and certified IFS (Internal Family Systems) therapist with an international private practice via skype based in London Ontario. He has worked in the field of counselling/therapy for 35 years. He is a popular guest lecturer at the University of Western Ontario and has presented at numerous national and international conferences. He is a published author writing in the area of the Internal Family Systems and grief.

He is a published author writing in the area of the Internal Family Systems and grief. Derek Runs courses in Toronto, Victoria an online to teach people skills and competencies in using the IFS model. He has made over 40 videos describing different aspects of the model, available on his YouTube channel:

More information can be found on his site:

Workshop Objectives:

Participants will

1. Become familiar with/deepen their understanding of the IFS model
2. Be able to discern the role of proactive aspects of the protective system from reactive aspects of the protective system
3. Be invited to reflect on their own “parts” that engage in the therapeutic process
4. Develop an understanding of how to develop and facilitate greater self-compassion
5. Learn and understand the basics of the IFS model including the 3 types of parts we typically encounter in session, and introduce the concept of Self energy
6. Understand how the model may be applied to specific concerns and populations, especially trauma and addiction
7. Be able to ask as many questions as they need and know where to go for further information


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