Part 1: An Overview of the Internal Family Systems Model

  • Fri, September 22, 2023
  • 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
  • A Zoom Presentation


Registration is closed


Part 1: An Overview of the Internal Family Systems Model

Presented By:
Dorothy O'Leary

Online Via Zoom

Friday, September 22, 2023
9:30 am – 11:30 am

2 CE Credits*

Our Presentation

People instinctively refer to parts of themselves. “A part of me wants to see my friends, another part of me wants to rest at home.” Internal Family Systems (IFS) harnesses this instinct to distinguish parts. While studying Family Systems Therapy, Dr. Richard Schwartz observed clients using “parts” language and developed IFS as a way to apply the Family Systems perspective to individuals. Since a family can be seen as a single entity composed of individuals, an individual can be seen as a single entity composed of parts. Conflicting parts cause anxiety leaving us feeling stuck. A despised part becomes intolerable.

Gaining perspective on one part at a time, IFS helps remove blame from parts that are typically exiled by the rest of the system. IFS welcomes all parts, even when a welcoming attitude seems counter-intuitive. Respect for the part’s positive intention invites liberation from suffering and invites the part to fulfill it’s intended role. Eliminating suffering, but not the part of the person, provides a clear foundation for self-compassion.

An Introduction to the IFS Model is an overview of IFS and it’s potential benefits. Completion of this workshop does not constitute being trained in the IFS model. Formal training is available through the IFS Institute at


  • Learn the basic principles of the IFS model.
  • Understand how basic IFS assumptions and tools can be used for implementation.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this workshop, participants should be able to:

    1. Understand the origin of IFS as a distinct model.
    2. Understand basic assumptions and elements of the IFS model: managers, firefighters, exiles, all distinct from Self.
    3. Distinguish between blended and un-blended states, and understand the different approaches to each.
    4. Listen for and identify discreet parts of a client’s system to help clients increase awareness of their inherent capacity for self-compassion.
    5. Listen for and identify elements of a part, increasing trust through understanding.

      About Our Presenter

      Internal Family Systems (IFS) has provided the framework for Dorothy O’Leary’s psychotherapy practice since she began studying IFS in 2017. She’s completed all three levels of IFS trainings and continues to cultivate her skills and style through additional trainings, consultations, practice groups, and using IFS in her private practice. In 2021 Dorothy assisted with the design and implementation of the first ever IFS therapist development in Pakistan, and has continued as a program assistant at the IFS Institute through 2022. Originally trained in Somatic Psychotherapy, Dorothy has maintained a San Rafael-based, private practice since 2012.

      This course is suitable for LMFTs, LCSWs, LEPs, LFCCs, associates of the preceding categories, and students. This course is eligible for 2 continuing education credits. Online, via Zoom. Registered attendees will receive a Zoom link at the time of registration.

      $20 Desert-CAMFT Members
      $30 for Non-members
      $10 for Prelicensed


      Desert Chapter — California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (DESERT-CAMFT)

      For general info, please email: For specific departments, please click "Contact" in the menu above.