Discovery and Beyond:

Two Day IFS-Informed EMDR Advanced Experiential

March 24 & 25, 2022 - 9-4:30 US Eastern - $600

November 3 & 4, 2022 - 9-4:30 US Eastern - $600

Approved for 13 EMDRIA, IFS, and professional CEs

This advanced 13 hour live online course dives deeper in exploring the Discovery process outlined in previous IFS-Informed EMDR workshops, and moves all the way through healing (desensitization/reprocessing, retrieval, unburdening).

It combines strategies and perspectives from Coherence Therapy derived from memory reconsolidation research, IFS, and EMDR in a gentle, organically unfolding way.

Workshop learning is supported by a cohesive team of talented consultants who guide practice sessions and engage participants continuously via chat discussions simultaneous to Bruce's didactic presentation and live demonstrations.


You qualify to take this course if:

You've taken Bruce's IFS-Informed EMDR 2-Day Experiential Workshop. See info.


You've completed Bruce's 6 hour IFS-Informed EMDR course,
plus the 3 hour Discovery: IFS-Informed EMDR with Blended Protectors course

both on-demand and available at


The Discovery process works like a centrifuge. A burdened & blended internal system led by a protector is a solution, both in the sense of solving a problem and in that it is like a mixture containing dissolved components. A centrifuge unblends the solution into its separate components. In a blended internal system, these components are Self, Protector, and Exile. Bilateral stimulation and attuned, informed curiosity, along with opportunistic and spontaneous Self-resourcing results in increasingly clearer differentiation of these components until a critical mass of Self-Energy flips the system into healing.

At this point, functional dual attention is obtained and sustainable, leading to rapid and powerful healing processes commonly observed in the most successful and effective EMDR or IFS sessions; desensitization/reprocessing, retrieval, unburdening, etc.

Learn the details, observe the process being set up and carried through into healing with live volunteer demos, and practice the skills you will bring into your sessions with clients.

Discovery is a term taken from Coherence Therapy (Unlocking the Emotional Brain [2012], Ecker, et al). It means uncovering the emotional truth behind a symptom derived from implicit memory. It will make sense given the original context. Implicit memories are unconscious and reflexive, and they are at the heart of most of the symptomatic behavior and reactions we see in our clinical practices.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy guides us to understand that in healing work, we are almost certainly going to encounter protectors. These parts are responsible for what might otherwise be seen as resistance, acting out, etc., but they always have underlying positive intentions. They are embedded within an entire protective system of parts.

When we select a trauma target in EMDR, we necessarily activate this protective system, which can very often be complex and vigorous. Often, pushing forward with processing our selected target makes things worse. But backing up and doing intensive resourcing delays productive processing, sometimes indefinitely. This is the dilemma EMDR therapists routinely face.

These ideas from Coherence Therapy and IFS intersect at one point in the EMDR process, on the verge of the Assessment Phase. It is here that we can utilize sets of alternating bilateral stimulation in a new way to process protectors. A way that is in-between resource installation and desensitization, and has advantages of both.

The Discovery process is a bridge from the Preparation Phase of EMDR to the Assessment Phase and BEYOND. It will clarify the protector's positive intention, uncover the original problems the symptom is designed to solve, and stimulate emerging Self-Presence. All this clears the way for a conventional Assessment Phase and Desensitization with Functional Dual Attention. This culminates at the point where continued bilateral stimulation and attuned, informed curiosity, along with opportunistic and spontaneous Self-resourcing results in increasingly clearer differentiation of these components until a critical mass of Self-Energy flips the system into healing, as described above.

The content of this course is evidence-based.

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

Course Objectives

After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain the difference between the conventional EMDR Assessment Phase target elements and the Discovery target elements.
  2. List two beneficial by-products of the Discovery process.
  3. Describe two primary tasks of the therapist during Discovery.
  4. Identify two ways Discovery employs Onno van der Hart’s suggested modifications of EMDR processing for complex clients.
  5. Describe the effect of processing protectors (defenses) on the level of emotional intensity of underlying trauma material.
  6. Explain the relationship between protectors (defenses), implicit memory & memory reconsolidation.
  7. Explain what is meant by "flipping the protector."
  8. Explain the difference between Discovery and Desensitization.

Workshop Leader and Consultant

Bruce is an experienced workshop and retreat leader who will facilitate the co-creation of a gentle and safe learning environment wherever this workshop is offered. He has led and co-led many local IFS workshops, as well as several IFS conference presentations. 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 internet video conferencing.

What people are saying about Bruce's in-person workshops:

"I have been using EMDR Therapy extensively for more than a decade. The IFS-Informed EMDR Training has expanded my toolkit in ways that have re-energized my practice. EMDR and IFS are natural partners, and my clients are benefitting.”

Sonja Lindgren, MSS, LCSW

"I have already begun using your approach with my clients. It went beautifully!!! Much thanks! I've been to some of these things and been lucky to walk away with a small idea - this was one of the best I've attended!"

Deborah Reilly, LPC, NBCC

"So appreciate your presence and solid teaching style. Loved your demos."

Sabine Boots, LMFT

"I feel like I am taking away a renewed interest in, and capacity for, including EMDR in my practice again. Your map and your ideas on how IFS and EMDR interweave, gave me a much clearer sense of how to do this. Your demos were especially helpful in showing this process. I also deeply appreciate your style, your energy and your being so real in presenting this wealth of awareness you have of how different models weave together. It was well worth my trip."

Gary Whited, Ph.D.

"Thank you for an enriching day. I appreciated your easy style and relaxed manner. It made for an atmosphere of safety."

Susan Carpenter, LCSW

"Thanks for sharing your concepts and experience combining IFS with EMDR. I found your delivery easy to follow, well prepared, and well-executed with a helpful mixture of lecture, demonstrations and personal applications. With this knowledge, I look forward to increasing my effectiveness in helping my clients."

Kevin Medican, MS, LPC, CSAT, CMAT

"Bruce clarified and explained several puzzling issues that I regularly encountered with EMDR alone. IFS added needed elements that addressed them. He conveyed the essential truths of both systems from a human point of view aside from the many technical terms that are otherwise used.

I used his functional dual attention framework immediately. Having systematic scales, and differentiating parts, adds to my buddhist mindfulness/ narrative psycho-therapeutic approach (which already works pretty good most of the time). Not all the time. I'm definitely adding these tools from the workshop."

Martha W. Bush, LMFT

"Bruce’s easy-going, accepting manner creates the kind of safe environment that optimizes learning and vulnerable sharing."

Ellen Watson, MSS

"Your consistent playful manner assisted with separating the parts. I enjoyed observing your style. Thank you again!

Lois Reinhardt, LCSW

"Very well organized, interesting and concise introduction to the blending of IFS and EMDR.

I do hope that Bruce can do more of these workshops beyond the introductory level and continue enlighten us with more of his amazing clinical work & true talent for engaging clients. "

Lucienne Despota, LCSW

"Thank you for a great workshop. It clarified many questions I have had. How even to re-engage in using EMDR, as I was tangled up between what I remember of protocols & finding it not very helpful because of all the parts that show up with my very complex PTSD clients. I now have hope that I will be able to open up some new doors for myself and my clients and find ways to most creatively use both EMDR and IFS tools for them and for myself."

Sharon Fisher, LCSW

"It is a relief to attend a training that is so comprehensive and integrating of various materials. Bruce clearly has a lot of knowledge about EMDR and IFS. He has developed a wonderful weaving of these approaches, theory and practice, with creativity and focus on “being with” the client."

Ann Friedenheim, LPC

Continuing Education Information

Approved for 13.0 CE distance education through EMDRIA (EC Program Approval Number: #17025-23), and approved for 13.0 CE for IFS recertification (submit CES certificate with IFS recertification application).

Continuing Education Credit for Social Workers and Counselors is approved through CE-Classes as below.

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.

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.

Cancellation 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.

Grievance Policy

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

Questions or Concerns

Please contact Bruce Hersey,, or call 814.944.3852 with any questions or concerns regarding the workshop.
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