Full Course Description

Treating Complex Trauma with Internal Family Systems (IFS)

Program Information


  1. Integrate the IFS model into your clinical practice and accelerate the healing from complex trauma.
  2. Analyze the protective parts of clients with trauma histories to help with assessment and treatment planning.
  3. Apply an alternative view of symptoms and psychopathology, showing how client’s parts are actually trying to protect them from emotional pain and psychological pain.
  4. Demonstrate how IFS translates common comorbidities into parts language, showing a non-pathological perspective of mental health disorders.
  5. Communicate how IFS increases the therapist’s curious and compassionate self when working with clients who have trauma histories.
  6. Differentiate a therapeutic issue from a biological condition for better decision making in your clinical practice.
  7. Evaluate traditional attachment theory perspectives on healing to the IFS view (an internal attachment model) and learn to trust the clients’ internal relationship to heal their traumatic wounds.
  8. Determine if trauma symptoms are rooted in sympathetic activation or parasympathetic withdrawal to help inform the treatment process.
  9. Demonstrate IFS specific therapeutic techniques that shift arousal and withdrawal, allowing quicker access to clients’ traumatic vulnerabilities.
  10. Develop a deep understanding of how neuroscience informs therapeutic decisions in IFS therapy.
  11. Integrate IFS with your current treatment approaches including EMDR, DBT, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy.
  12. Differentiate IFS to traditional phase-oriented treatment and learn accelerated ways of accessing and healing traumatic wounds.


Treating the Various Types of Trauma

Internal Family Systems (IFS): Healing of Emotional Wounds

Study limitations:  small sample size, no control group

Clinical considerations for clients experiencing abuse

Manage Common Co-Morbidities

Differentiate Therapeutic Issues from Biological Conditions

The IFS Technique

Step 1: Identify the Target Symptom

Step 2: Gain Access to Internal Strengths & Resource for Healing

Step 3: Find the Fear and Function of the Symptom

Attachment Disorders and Relational Trauma

The Neurobiology of Trauma

Dealing with the Extreme Reactions of Trauma

How Neuroscience Informs Therapeutic Decisions

Step 4: Healing of Traumatic Wounds:

Integrate IFS into Your Treatment Approach

Live demonstrations
Practice sessions

Please Note: PESI is not affiliated or associated with Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, or her organizations.


Copyright : 04/26/2018

Treating Complex Trauma Clients at the Edge: How Brain Science Can Inform Interventions

We often get shaken and lose confidence in our approach when a client’s trauma response edges into seemingly uncontrollable dynamics of rage, panic, or suicidal desperation.

Watch Frank Anderson, colleague of Dr. Bessel van der Kolk and Dr. Richard Schwartz, as he provides an essential road map for treating relational trauma cases. Explore the neurobiological processes of hyperarousal and parasympathetic withdrawal and the underlying symptoms.

Watch now and you will also learn various therapeutic techniques and interventions that can be integrated with psychotherapy practices to help soothe your clients’ trauma.

Program Information


  1. Evaluate the extreme symptoms of trauma by determining if they are rooted in sympathetic activation or parasympathetic withdrawal to inform clinical treatment interventions.
  2. Articulate methods by which neuroscience can be interfaced with psychotherapy practices to improve clinical outcomes.


 Experiential Treatments - Integrating neuroscience and psychotherapy

Problems with traditional phase oriented treatment Internal Family Systems Redefining trauma related diagnoses and integrating overactive protective mechanisms Therapist factors - vulnerabilities Symptoms of post trauma Experiential exercise - self-awareness, response to triggers
Mind-brain relationships Autonomic nervous system Therapeutic responses Case presentation - example of permission seeking, direct access and unblending
Polyvagal Theory

Copyright : 03/23/2018