Intro to IFS for EMDR Therapists

2-day Experiential Workshop

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Presented via Zoom by Syzygy Institute

August 4 & 5, 2022 - Thursday & Friday - 9AM-4:30PM US Eastern Time - $600

Presenters: Beau Laviolette & Crystal Whitlow (sold out)

October 27 & 28, 2022 - Tuesday & Wednesday - 9AM-4:30PM US Eastern Time - $600

Presenters: Beau Laviolette & Sam Johnson

December 8 & 9, 2022 - Tuesday & Wednesday - 9AM-4:30PM US Eastern Time - $600

Presenters: Michelle Richardson & Elizabeth Venart

Register early!

This workshop is limited to 30 participants for each date.

This is an introductory experiential IFS course.

Designed for the EMDR therapist preparing for our IFS-Informed EMDR courses. Of course, since it focuses predominantly on teaching the basics of IFS, non-EMDR therapists are welcome and will benefit as well.

What you will learn:

EMDR has long had concerns related to dissociation, defenses, and complexity. Ego state therapy in various forms has been highly recommended by notable leaders in the EMDR and trauma treatment field as a necessary adjunct. IFS is becoming widely known for its systemic, relational, non-pathologizing features.

In IFS, ego states are parts are embedded in an adaptive and protective system and can be guided by a (higher) Self, which is qualitatively different from those parts. The Self is capable of healing burdened, stuck, wounded, or extreme/symptomatic parts through its energetic presence in a healing relationship. Self-Energy, a product of Self-Presence has a healing effect on such parts.

Participants will be introduced to the assumptions and basic concepts of the model via powerpoint lecture, and then shown the process in volunteer demo sessions, followed by practice sessions in the roles of therapist and client, coached by an experienced Guide. There is a 3-1 participant-to-Guide ratio in the course.

Read up, and be prepared.

You should be familiar with IFS basic concepts from reading, prior workshops, or your own personal IFS therapy to optimally benefit from this course. A bibliography is available below.

With participants having that preparation, lectures can be short and experiential learning from live volunteer demos and Guide-supported practice sessions can be optimized.

Background of Syzygy Institute

Syzygy Institute, a partnership between Bruce Hersey and Michelle Richardson, is the culmination of Bruce's 15 years developing and teaching a systematic integration of the models: IFS-Informed EMDR. It is the mission of Syzygy to provide high quality advanced integrative training in these converging healing models within a connected community atmosphere, and establish a certification program based upon recognized training in both models and progression through advanced integration courses.

EMDR therapists have become familiar with the helpful notion of ego states, which frequently inhabit our workspace when attempting to process traumas with our (quite commonly) complex clients. Many have identified Internal Family Systems (IFS) as a user-friendly comprehensive ego state model, and are eager to learn an integration of EMDR and IFS.

At Syzygy Institute, we require that anyone being trained to integrate the two models are first fully trained in EMDR, and secondly have a fundamental experiential understanding of IFS. Nothing is better for that purpose than Level One Training by the IFS-Institute. We recognize that IFS Level One training is costly, time-consuming, and currently there are substantial waiting lists and lottery systems to get in.

Those EMDR therapists who have started or completed an IFS Level One do not need to take Intro to IFS for EMDR Therapists to qualify for our main course; the IFS-Informed EMDR 2-day workshop.

To fill the gap for those EMDR therapists unable to obtain IFS Level One, we have developed Intro to IFS for EMDR Therapists workshop as a basic requirement to fulfill before attending the IFS-Informed EMDR 2-day workshop.

We then offer an advanced IFS-Informed EMDR course: Discovery & Beyond 2-day IFS-Informed EMDR Advanced Experiential.

Advancing through these workshops with additional approved consultation, in addition to specified requirements in the separate models, will be the path to an IFS-Informed EMDR certification.

Steps of SYZYGY IFS-EMDR Integration Program

Syzygy Step One --

Intro to IFS for EMDR Therapists 2-day:

Experiential introduction to IFS model with guided practice. Meets minimal IFS experience requirements to advance to Step Two. Waived with IFS Level One training (which is preferred).

Syzygy Step Two --

IFS-Informed EMDR 2-day: Provides overall integration rationale and systematic strategies, introducing relevant ideas from Coherence Therapy addressing memory reconsolidation. Prerequisite for Step Three.

Syzygy Step Three --

Discovery & Beyond 2-day: Deepens understanding and application of IFS-Informed EMDR in Direct Access conditions; working with blended protectors, further integrating Coherence Therapy concepts.

Learning Objectives

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

1. Describe concerns about using the EMDR Standard Protocol without additional knowledge and skills.

2. Describe the unique advantages of IFS as an Ego State model for use in combination with EMDR.

3. Explain the makeup of parts and how IFS gathers information about parts as targets for processing.

4. Describe the three categories of parts in IFS.

5. Describe at least 8 unique qualities of the Self in IFS.

6. Explain what blending with a part is, and describe the IFS process of unblending.

7. Explain what the IFS therapist does when a part won’t unblend.

8. Describe Witnessing and list the 6 F’s of Witnessing in IFS.

9. Explain the IFS concept of burdens.

10. Describe the two components of a Protector’s Positive Intention.

11. Recite the 3 ingredients of “Special Sauce” IFS witnessing ‘cadence comments’ and explain their importance in witnessing.

12. Explain the role of the Self in IFS healing.

13. Describe final two IFS healing processes that follow witnessing.

Click below for workshop schedule:

Click below for course bibliography:

The content of this course is evidence-based.

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

Continuing Education Information

This SYZYGY INSTITUTE course is approved by EMDRIA for 13.0 EMDRIA CE for those who have completed basic EMDR training (EC Program Approval Number: #22005-04).

Continuing Education Credit is approved through CE-Classes as described below:

Massachusetts LMFT CE's approved through NEAFAST

This activity has been certified by NEAFAST on behalf of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Allied Mental Health & Human Services Professions, for LMFT professional continuing education. Certification # PC-041415.

Continuing Education Credit is approved through CE-Classes as described below:

  • This course is NOT available for APA credit
  • This course is NOT available for NBCC credit
  • This training does NOT offer ASWB ACE credit to social workers. maintains responsibility for this program and its content. is approved by:

  • Florida Certification Board
  • The Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy and Mental Health Counseling Provider #852 BAP-Expires 3/31/2023
  • The California Board of Behavioral Sciences. The California Board of Behavioral Sciences, BBS, recognizes relevant course work/training that has been approved by nationally recognized certifying bodies, such as APA, to satisfy renewal requirements.
  • California Consortium of Addiction Programs and Professionals (CCAPP) Provider Number OS-12-147-0223 Expires 02-2023
  • The Texas Board of Social Work Examiners – meets the requirements for acceptable continuing education
  • The Texas Board of Professional Counselors – meets the requirements for acceptable continuing education
  • Massachusetts Authorization Number: (TBD)
  • Ohio Counselor, Social Worker and Marriage and Family Therapist Board – Provider # RCST031201
  • New York Social Work Board – 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-0120.
  • The Florida Board of Nursing (CE Provider #: 50-4896) Expires 10/31/2022 Do not send certificates to the Florida Board of Nursing. You must keep this certificate for 4 years.
  • The California Board of Registered Nursing. CEP 15647 Expires 11/30/2022.

Certificates are awarded online after completion of the workshop. Participants print their own certificate after registering at, entering a keycode, and completing an evaluation form.”

“Licensed Professionals should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval.”

Meet our Syzygy Institute Trainers!

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Accommodations for the Differently Abled

This workshop is held in a facility and/or delivered in a manner that is in compliance with the Americans Disabilities Act. Please contact, if special accommodation is required.

Cancelation Policy

Registration fees will be refunded minus a service fee of $60 if canceled 30 days or more before the workshop start. After that, no refunds.

Registration may be transferred to a specific later offering of the same workshop, if space is available, for a $60 service fee until 30 days prior to workshop, and thereafter is $100.

Grievance Policy

All grievances must be in writing to, and will be replied to within 5 - 10 business days.

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