Self & System: IFS Parts Work

2-day Experiential Intro

Presented via Zoom by Bruce Hersey, LCSW ....and friends

May 13 & 14, 2021 - Thursday & Friday - 9AM-4:30PM US Eastern Time - $350

Register early!

These workshop is limited to 30 participants.

This is a beginner to intermediate level IFS course.

And... it is also informed by memory reconsolidation research developed by Coherence Therapy.

Be advised, this workshop assumes that you will be familiar with IFS basic concepts, and to a lesser degree, Coherence Therapy. References are named in these promotional materials and will also appear in confirmation emails once you register. You would be expected to arrive, prepared with this background. Previous didactic IFS introductory workshops may also be helpful for that preparation.

This is so that lectures can be short and experiential learning from live volunteer demos and supported practice session time can be optimized. The experiential aspect of this workshop is the primary objective, rather than introduction to the concepts.

Substantial experiential practice in the roles of client and therapist and may evoke deep emotional responses in yourself and others. It is an intensive introductory immersion.

Breaks and lunch are short in order to minimize overall schedule time, so arranging your own self-care time before and after the workshop hours is strongly advised.

Background Resources

An IFS bibliography is available here:

Coherence Therapy resources are available here:

You will also benefit from watching these two YouTube videos before the workshop, which

deftly explain Coherence Therapy/memory reconsolidation:

Memory Reconsolidation: How to Rewire Our Brain - Chapter 4

Transformational Change: A Deeper Kind of Growth - Chapter 5

An Experiential Re-Introduction to Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a systemic model of understanding and working with inner parts of a person (sometimes referred to clinically as Ego States). These parts are embedded in an adaptive and protective system and can be guided be a higher Self which is qualitatively different from those parts. The Self is capable of healing burdened, stuck, wounded, or extreme/symptomatic parts through a healing relationship and its energetic presence. Self-Energy, a product of Self-Presence has a healing effect on such parts.

Moreover, IFS aligns beautifully with Memory Reconsolidation, a form of neuroplasticity where implicit learning (often the fundamental underpinning of clinical symptoms encountered in psychotherapy) is reformulated. Therapeutic attention to this fact can further guide the IFS therapist in facilitating a healing process for the client.

This workshop is a re-introduction and review of the IFS model and provides supervised practice experiences while also adding just enough Memory Reconsolidation concepts from Coherence Therapy to place the IFS process in a neurobiological context and improve the overall facilitation of healing.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this program, participants will be better able to:

1. Explain the difference between the Self and parts.

2. Name the three different types of parts.

3. Identify when a person is blended with a part.

4. List at least 4 of the 6 F’s of Witnessing in IFS.

5. Describe the role of the Self in the IFS healing process.

6. List at least 4 qualities of the Self as defined by IFS.

7. List the 2 components of a juxtaposition in Coherence Therapy.

8. Describe the IFS healing processes of retrieval & unburdening.

Bruce Hersey, LCSW, is a Certified IFS Therapist. Having completed IFS Levels One, Two & Three Training, and as a repeat Level One Program Assistant he has passionately imparted his deep understanding of the model by teaching numerous introductory IFS workshops, leading IFS consultation groups, and providing individual IFS consultation. He has presented at the IFS International Conference several times, and has been teaching workshops on the integration of EMDR & IFS since 2013. Over the past year, Bruce has been studying and integrating Coherence Therapy/memory reconsolidation concepts in the mix with IFS and EMDR.

In addition to this, Bruce is an Approved Consultant in EMDR (EMDRIA), and a Certified Sex Therapist Supervisor through AASECT. Bruce has also published short animated educational introduction videos on IFS (Finding Your Parts) and EMDR (EMDR at a Glance) on YouTube.

An LCSW in private practice at Altoona, PA for the past 30 years, Bruce provides advanced consultation in IFS, EMDR, Clinical Hypnosis and Sex Therapy in person, by phone and online video conferencing.

About the Workshop:

This is a 13-hour (re)introductory experiential course in Internal Family Systems (IFS). Participants will be (re)introduced to this extraordinary non-pathologizing model, and become familiar with its systemic, experiential, ego state therapy approach. Concepts arising from memory reconsolidation research and developed by Coherence Therapy will further inform this process.

Memory Reconsolidation is a form of neuroplasticity that is the only proven process of overwriting subconscious learning from implicit memory that underlies most clinical symptomatology.

The key concepts of the IFS model: the Self, Exiled parts containing negative experiences, feelings and beliefs, and protective parts (Managers and Firefighters) which attempt to keep the exiles from reaching consciousness, overwhelming, and dominating our perspective, will be explored through experiential exercises, demonstrations, skill development practice sessions, and lecture.

Participants will learn to identify these states within their own internal systems and how to use this model to guide clients through a natural healing process toward integration and wholeness.

Demonstration and supervised practice in guiding the process with peers in client roles will be provided. Attention will be given to facilitating the emergence of Self-presence by encouraging parts to Unblend, and learning the healing processes of Witnessing, Retrieval, and Unburdening of wounded and extreme parts.

The value of both therapist and client Self–presence and welcoming of all parts with acceptance and non-judgment will be emphasized as essential to the healing environment. Participants will become familiar with both Insight (client has Self-presence) and Direct Access (client is blended with a part) methods of processing. Juxtaposing the emotional truth of a burdened part with the disconfirming knowledge available through the Self further enhances the IFS approach via Coherence Therapy.

There will be a didactic review presented -- in addition to the significant experiential component.

Previous exposure to the IFS model would be very beneficial to anyone interested. Experiencing IFS through personal therapy, retreats, previous workshops or reading could be helpful. Here is a link to an IFS Bibliograpy. Unlocking the Emotional Brain by Bruce Ecker, et als, would also be a useful pre-read regarding Coherence Therapy and Memory Reconsolidation.

Please note: While the presenter is IFS certified and is presenting on the authentic IFS model, the training is not affiliated with the IFS Institute and this workshop does not count toward IFS Level One Training or IFS Certification. Bruce fully endorses that training & certification, encourages practitioners who are interested in this model to pursue them, and hopes that this workshop will inspire many to do so.

Click below for schedule:

The content of this course is evidence-based.

There is no known commercial support nor conflict of interest for this program.

Continuing Education

Continuing Education Credit is approved through Commonwealth Educational Seminars for the following professions:

*It is the participant's responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.


Commonwealth Educational Seminars is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Commonwealth Educational Seminars maintains responsibility for these programs and their content.

Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Professional Counselors/Licensed Mental Health Counselors. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LPCs/LMHCs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Social Workers:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Social Workers. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for Social Workers. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

If applicable: Social Workers – New York State

Commonwealth Educational Seminars is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers. #SW-0444.

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists:

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is entitled to award continuing education credit for Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists. Please visit CES CE CREDIT to see all states that are covered for LMFTs. CES maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Accommodations for the Differently Abled

Bruce Hersey training facilities are handicap accessible. Individuals needing special accommodations, please contact: Bruce Hersey,, 814.944.3852.

Cancelation Policy

Registration fees will be refunded minus a service fee of $30 if canceled 30 days or more before the workshop start. After that, no refunds.

Grievance Policy

Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) seeks to ensure equitable treatment of every person and to make every attempt to resolve grievances in a fair manner. Please submit a written grievance to: Bruce Hersey,, 814.944.3852. Grievances would receive, to the best of our ability, corrective action in order to prevent further problems.

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