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IFS & Addiction: A Compassionate Approach to Addictions and Compulsions with Internal Family Systems: ONLINE LIVE STREAM EVENT

Online Live Stream

IFS & Addiction: A Compassionate Approach to Addictions and Compulsions with Internal Family Systems: ONLINE LIVE STREAM EVENT

Workshop Description

Working with clients suffering from addictive processes - whether the addiction is behavioural or substance related - can be challenging. Many have a complex clinical profile which includes relational or complex trauma histories, along with problems created by the addictive behaviour itself.  Hopelessness and feelings of failure about recovery can negatively affect progress and may impact the therapeutic relationship. Too often society and even other treatment programs have viewed a client’s addictive behavior with judgment and shame, which only adds to the client’s inner burdens.

The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model offers a compassionate, non-pathologizing, and optimistic paradigm shift for addressing addictive and compulsive behaviors.  IFS posits that we all have an internal system made up of different “parts.” None of these parts are “bad,” but many developed protective roles and carry burdens shielding their naturally valuable states. These parts are trying to protect the person from underlying emotional overload, which may work in the short term, but causes chaos and more stress long-term. With compassion and hope, IFS offers interventions that invite parts to connect, transform, and resolve addictive processes. This framework highlights the similarities among many common addictive processes and allows clinicians to confidently approach treatment.

In this workshop, we will re-envision addictive processes through an IFS lens, and apply the model to intervene effectively with both high and low-risk addictive processes including substance abuse, screen addiction, disordered eating, anger, sexual preoccupation and others. In addition, we will discuss how to safely address the emotional pain or trauma that typically underlies these self-damaging survival strategies and explore how the clinical process impacts the therapist.

Whether you're an experienced IFS Trained clinician or just beginning your IFS learning journey, this workshop will provide an opportunity for deep learning.

You will learn:

  • The foundational principles and methods of Internal Systems Theory (IFS), including concepts of self-leadership and sub-personalities or ‘parts’
  • An IFS framework for understanding addictive processes, including substance use, disordered eating, self-harm, anger, sexual difficulties, screen addiction and more
  • How to help clients understand and work differently with their extreme emotions and compulsive behaviors including compulsive acting out and abusive self-talk
  • How to create collaborative clinical relationships that can minimize both dependency issues and reactive power struggles and encourage client empowerment

Who Should Attend?

Any helping professional who provides some form of counselling or support to people who struggle with addictive and/or compulsive behaviours including (but not limited to), therapists, social workers, psychologists, and other mental health and/or health-care professionals.

You will receive:

  • Login details and instructions emailed in advance of the workshop
  • Downloadable handouts
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Access to a recording of the workshop for a limited period of time after the workshop - so if you can’t join live, or need to miss part of the live workshop and want to view it afterwards, we’ve got you covered!

About the Presenter

Cece Sykes, LCSW, is a senior trainer at the Internal Family Systems (IFS) Institute with over thirty-five years of clinical experience specializing in recovery from trauma and addiction.

Cece leads IFS Levels 1, 2 and 3 trainings and lectures and consults internationally on IFS, trauma, addiction, and related subjects.

Cece’s chapter on addictive processes appears in IFS: Innovations & Elaborations (Routledge, 2016). She is co-author, with Martha Sweezy & Richard Schwartz, of a new book on IFS therapy for Addictions due for release in early 2023: Internal Family Systems Therapy for Addictions: Trauma-Informed, Compassion-Based Interventions for Substance Use, Eating, Gambling and More.

Cece also developed the “Heart Lessons of the Journey” retreat for an on-going study of therapist’s own narratives and the impact on their work.

Cece lives and works in the Chicago area.

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