204, 304 – New Perspectives for Gun-Shy Trauma Therapists

An Internal Family Systems (IFS) Approach
Parts 1 & 2
Richard Schwartz

One of the chief obstacles to effective trauma treatment can be the therapist’s view of trauma symptoms like dissociation, rage, and suicidal thoughts as frightening evidence of deep pathology, rather than an expression of the natural human impulse toward self-protection. This workshop will demonstrate how the IFS model offers a way to enter into clients’ inner ecology without the overemphasis on containment and stabilization that’s common in trauma work today. You’ll learn an approach that moves more quickly by honoring clients’ inner protectors, getting their permission to access inner exiles, and contacting the core Self—a reservoir of calm, wisdom, and inner leadership. You’ll discover how to:

  • Distinguish among a client’s “parts”—including protectors, managers, and exiles—and communicate and negotiate with each one
  • Honor clients’ inner protectors and transform them to move quickly and effectively through the process of healing
  • Shift the role of the therapist from primary attachment figure to a container who opens the way for the client’s core Self to emerge
  • Use methods for honestly and transparently handling situations in which traumatized clients may trigger you


Continued with workshop 304

Richard Schwartz, PhD, is director of the Center for Self Leadership and the originator of the IFS Model. He’s also the author of Internal Family Systems Therapy.

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