Internal Family Systems (IFS) and the Inner World in Non-Ordinary States

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This webinar will explore how IFS understands and works with people experiencing voices, visions, paranoia, and other non-ordinary states.

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IFS posits that there is no such thing as a ‘Unitary mind’, indeed the mind is made up of multiple ‘parts’ who interact internally in the same way that we interact in external relationships. These parts can become wounded by life’s adversities, and take on extreme roles in order to protect the person from further wounding. Each of these inner parts holds its own unique feelings, thoughts, experiences and core beliefs.

A core tenet of IFS is that every part has a positive intent no matter how extreme their actions to protect the person.

IFS believes that under all these parts is a person's ‘core Self’ and this Self cannot be damaged by life’s adversities and contains qualities of compassion and wisdom. Self is the natural leader of the system once parts are unburdened and trust Self’s leadership.

The IFS method promotes internal harmony by befriending parts and bringing healing to the parts who have been wounded.

The following topics will be explored in this webinar:

• Understanding ‘Parts’ and ‘Self’ in our own inner system when we are working as supporters/practitioners

• Working with the ‘Parts’ and ‘Self’ of the client

• Understanding why the ‘psychotic’ experience/parts are necessary and welcome and have a protective function, as viewed through the IFS lens

• Using the IFS framework for working with parts who use voices, visions, and non-ordinary experiences in this protective way

• Considering the spiritual implications of non-ordinary states

About the presenter:

Stephanie Mitchell is a Level 3 trained IFS practitioner, psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor in private practice in Adelaide Australia. She specialises in working with complex trauma and experiences which often get labelled as 'mental illness'. She is interested in how healing and change occur in the human to human relationship, within spaces of safety and acceptance and outside the constructs of diagnostic labels. Stephanie has almost a decade working in Mental Health settings including 3 years co-facilitating a Hearing Voices group.

She is a passionate advocate and activist for social and systems change towards non-pathologising and compassionate approaches to mental distress and has been involved at national and international levels around mental health reform.

Believing that a therapist can only take a client as far as they themselves have travelled Stephanie has undertaken her own healing journey over many years of therapy and human loving. She states: “My healing work with an IFS Practitioner has offered me a profoundly life changing experience - something that years of work with other therapy models has not offered me”.

Stephanie has undertaken extensive training in the IFS model including 85 hours with the founder Dr Richard Schwartz. She is passionate about understanding the nuance of IFS and bringing that to her practice and teachings. Her work with clients experiencing extreme states has informed her understandings of nuance and attunement in the therapeutic relationship.

Time Zone Alert:  

This webinar will begin at 6 PM EDT. Eventbrite will make an attempt to convert that into your local time zone, but if you want to check to see if this was done accurately, you can use a site like to convert 6 PM EDT into your local time.   

About ISPS-US webinars:

A donation of $5-$40 is requested, though no one turned away for lack of funds. Please note that your donation goes for a good cause:  It goes to support the efforts of ISPS-US to bring more attention to psychological and social approaches to psychosis. 

Any donation you can make is much appreciated!  But if you cannot afford to donate anything, please click "Register" then click on "Enter promo code" and type in the code "Scholarship" to access free registration.

These meetings are recorded and shared on the ISPS-US website and elsewhere for later viewing.  Those who register will be emailed a link to the recording when it becomes available.

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Organizer ISPS-US

Organizer of Internal Family Systems (IFS) and the Inner World in Non-Ordinary States

ISPS-US is the US chapter of ISPS, a group that promotes psychological and social approaches to experiences that get called "psychosis" or other labels like "schizophrenia." 

The Education Committee of ISPS aims to make education about such approaches widely available. 

If you aren't already a member, we hope you consider joining ISPS:  the page to sign up is

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