Internal Family Systems

Introduction to Working with the Inner Parts of the Person

About this Training

This is a 20 hour introductory course in the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Model of psychotherapy which has just gained the first level of empirical evidence through SAMHSA! IFS was originally developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz in the 1990s from listening to the experiences of clients that he worked with who were struggling from trauma and eating disorders. IFS has grown exponentially in the field of psychotherapy and has been shown to be effective with many different types of problems and issues and with many different client populations. IFS has also moved beyond the therapy room and has applications related to coaching, mediation, educational initiatives and spirituality. This course however is a BASIC although experiential INTRODUCTION to the use of IFS in psychotherapy.

The experienced trainers will emphasize experiential exercises, demonstrations, supervised skill development practice sessions and lecture. The training is intended to be a "how to" experience of seeing, experiencing and using the model.

Participants will learn to identify parts within their own internal systems, increase Self presence, and use the model to guide clients through a natural healing process toward integration and wholeness.

Trainees will be guided through processes that assist the emergence of Self presence in practice sessions as well as the processes of Unblending, Witnessing, Retrieval and Unburdening of wounded and extreme parts. They will learn how to use both Insight with clients who have Self presence and Direct Access with clients who are blended with a part.

Previous exposure to the model is strongly recommended to anyone interested in this training and that exposure can be from reading any of Richard Schwartz's books on IFS, Self Therapy by Jay Early or Parts Work by Tom Holmes. Anyone who has gone to other trainings on IFS would also meet the recommendation of prior exposure.

For more information about IFS, complete formal training and certification visit

IFS is NOW an Empirically Validated Model of Psychotherapy !!!

Internal Family Systems: Introduction to Working with the Inner Parts of the Person

Friday, April 1st 2016 at 9am to Sunday, April 3rd 2016 at 2pm

Individual and Family CHOICES Program; 2214 North Atherton Street, Suite 4; State College, PA 16803

The Individual and Family CHOICES Program in State College PA has a warm and inviting atmosphere and is easily assessable from various locations. The home of the main campus of Penn State University affords many options for lodging as well as comfortable and varied eateries. Upon registration participants will be sent a packet of information related to hotels and other lodging options as well as other details.
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Course Objectives

After completing this training participants will be able to:

1. explain and present the basic assumptions, goals, and benefits of IFS in regard to non-pathological multiplicity of mind and the concepts of Self to at least one client.

2. define the concepts of Self, Parts, and the skills of identification of parts, Unblending, Witnessing, Retrieval, Unburdening in the therapeutic process between themselves and one of their clients.

3. identify where in the flow of the process he or she is as a therapist in regard to one client.

4. explain the types of parts: Exiles, Managers and Firefighters, their systemic relationship and the protective nature of the internal system to at least one colleague and one client.

5. conduct an IFS session with at least one of their clients from start to finish.

6. explain to at least one colleague and one client the internal systemic change that occurred internally to him or herself due to IFS session work in the training.

Continuing Education Hours

This training is sponsored by Wise Heart Leadership Initiative located at CHOICES; 2214 North Atherton Street, Suite 4, State College, PA 16803; (814) 404-0286.

Wise Heart Leadership Initiative is an Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEP #6587) for the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and may offer NBCC approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements. The ACEP solely is responsible for all aspects of the program. This training is approved for 20 continuing education clock hours.

Wise Heart Leadership Initiative is also an Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACE Provider #1261) for the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) ( and is approved as a provider for social work continuing education. Wise Heart Leadership Initiative maintains responsibility for the program and the ASWB approval period is for 9/6/2015 to 9/6/2018. Social workers participating in this course will receive 20 clinical continuing education clock hours.

Certificates of attendance will be given on site upon completion of program for all attending the training in its entirety and upon completion of the course evaluation.

Persons with Disabilities

CHOICES is a fully handicapped assessable facility. Any requests for any accommodations or special needs can be made by contacting Lois Ehrmann at or by calling Lois at (814) 237-0567 Ext. 106.


Lois Ehrmann PhD, LPC, NCC is the Director of Wise Heart Leadership Initiative and will be on site during the training. She will take care of any problems or grievances participants may have at that time. After the training she can be contacted at or by calling her at (814) 237-0567 Ext. 106.

Meet the Trainers all Formerly Trained in IFS

Evelyn Wald MS, MDiv, LPC, NCC, IFS Level 1 Graduate

Evelyn began her interest in Internal Family Systems over 10 years ago as a result of an IFS training at a Psychotherapy Networker Conference. Since then she joined the CHOICES Program in State College, PA and enjoyed two weekend trainings and regular consultations in IFS. Evelyn became our loss and bereavement specialist at CHOICES providing trauma informed therapy to children and adults struggling with all levels of loss and transition. While we were blessed to have her presence at CHOICES she also became a trusted guide in the introductory IFS trainings sponsored through Wise Heart Leadership Initiative in 2009 and in 2013 she was formally trained in a Center for Self Leadership Level 1 training. Evelyn is a sought after trainer in her specialty areas and has been a gift to the people she has mentored as a guide in our Central PA trainings. She looks forward to working with the participants of this upcoming training!

Karen Hansel, MSW, LCSW, IFS Level 1 Graduate

Karen became interested in Internal Family Systems therapy and fostered that curiosity by attending the introductory IFS weekends through Wise Heart in 2010. Continuing her interest and commitment to the model she was formally trained at a Center for Self Leadership Level 1 training in 2013 in Altoona, PA. Having been a well known clinician in the central Pennsylvania area for years, CHOICES was thrilled to have her join us in late 2014 as our new clinical director. Karen is a well known clinician and supervisor in the Central PA area and has used her skills in working with traumatized children, adolescents and adults.

Lois Ehrmann, PhD, LPC, NCC, IFS Level 1,2,3, Graduate and Certified IFS Clinician

Lois became curious about Internal Family Systems therapy when a colleague told her about it while they both were training in EMDR. That started a journey that led her to training in the model as well as bringing in a trainer to teach a whole staff about the use of IFS as a foundational model in a trauma informed program. Out of those efforts was born the Individual and Family CHOICES Program of State College, PA! And the ride continued. Lois graduated from her IFS Level 1 in 2010 and then went on to train two years in a row in Somatic IFS. While she was doing this she paired up with Bruce Hersey MSW, LCSW, IFS therapist and together they started Wise Heart Leadership Initiative. The main purpose of Wise Heart was to bring the IFS model to more professional helpers in the central PA area through training programs and consultation. Lois became a certified IFS therapist in 2011 and then completed her level 2 training in 2013 and her level 3 training in March of 2014. She has also presented at the annual IFS Conference yearly since 2010.

Lois wanted to bring the IFS model to more children and families so she began writing books for kids and parents about IFS. She wrote Kids have Parts and an accompanying parent manual that were copyrighted in 2014 and she has been introducing the model to groups of professionals and parents, children and teenagers since 2010.

Just for fun, Lois became the lead researcher in the development of a scale that could be used for verifying IFS processes in outcome based studies on IFS. The IFS Rating Scale took about 18 months to develop and it was validated and found reliable in late 2014.

Lois has been using IFS since 2007 as part of an integrated trauma focused treatment for traumatized and attachment challenged children and their families. She is excited to once again bring an IFS Introduction to CHOICES and to share her knowledge with professionals new to the model.


Early Bird Registration before 2/1/2016 is $400.00

Regular Registration as of and after 2/1/2016 is $500.00

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations before 3/15/2016 will receive full refund feel less a 10% processing fee. No refunds after 3/15/16.

Training is Limited to 20 Participants So register Early!!!

To Register

Contact Dr. Ehrmann at and express your interest and she will send you a registration form!