IFS Basic Course – New Date

I have postponed the start of the IFS Basic Phone Course to allow more people to enroll. It will start on April 15.IFS Basic Course

This course explains the basics of Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) and how to do IFS sessions on yourself and do IFS peer counseling with people in the class. It is intended for you if you want to…

  • Use IFS to transform your psychological problems so you can have the life you want, or
  • Learn more about how to use IFS professionally with your clients

You will learn how IFS understands the human psyche and the details of the IFS process. You will learn how to get in Self and how to get to know a protector and develop a trusting relationship with it.

4:30-6:30 PM Pacific | 7:30-9:30 PM Eastern
April 15 – May 20 (6 two hour classes)
Cost: $250

Click here to enroll.

All classes will be recorded, so if you miss a class, you can listen to the recording.

Introduction to IFS Webinar

IFS and the human psycheIFS is an extremely powerful and user-friendly form of therapy created by Richard Schwartz, PhD. It is non-pathologizing, spiritually-oriented, excellent for trauma, and lends itself naturally to self-therapy.

IFS understands that our psyches consists of sub-personalities, called “parts,” which make up a kind of inner system.  Parts often get into conflicts with each other and act in dysfunctional ways in an attempt to protect us from pain. All of this happens largely outside our awareness, and when we do see what is happening, we frequently try to banish the parts that are causing the difficulties. Yet this is hardly ever solves the problem. IFS, on the other hand, teaches us to relate to our parts from the “Self” with openness, curiosity, and compassion, not judgment, which allows each part to reveal its hidden agenda and the pain it defends against.  This paves the way for healing and transformation, which can be accomplished by following a clear sequence of steps.

The webinar explains the basics of IFS and how to do IFS sessions on yourself and how to do IFS peer counseling. It is intended for you if you want to…

  • Use IFS to transform your psychological problems so you can have the life you want, or
  • Learn more about how to use IFS professionally with your clients

Wednesday, March 11
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 eastern time)

Click here to register.

Please register for the webinar even if you can’t attend at that time. You will received a recording of it afterwards.

This will be followed by a six-week Basic IFS Phone Course, starting March 25.

Passive-Aggressive Testers Needed for Self-Therapy Journey

For the last two years, I have been developing a web application, Self-Therapy Journey, where people can get help in transforming psychological problems. It is like an interactive self-help book, based on the Pattern System and IFS. It should be ready by fall 2013.

We would like to try out an early version of the application with people who are willing to use it and give us feedback afterward. We want to get feedback on how it works for you and what needs to be fixed or improved.

Soon people will be able to use the application to work on a wide variety of different psychological issues. However, right now we are looking for people who have a very specific issue to volunteer in trying it out. We are looking for people who are passive-aggressive in their behavior and would like to change this. See the article below for more information on this pattern. (Later we will be looking for volunteers on other issues.)

You will be able to learn about your Passive-Aggressive Pattern, its underlying motivation, and where it comes from in your past. You will get a customized report about all these things based on what you enter in the application, which means that you can also use this application for guided journaling. You will also be able to set up a life practice to work on becoming assertive instead. The application will provide you with online support in carrying out the practice.

If you are interested in volunteering, email me at  earley.jay@gmail.com. Let me know the following information: (1) your phone number, (2) what time zone you are in, and (3) whether you have a Mac or a PC. We want to try out the application on a variety of different people, so please also let me know (4) if you are a therapist and (5) whether you are familiar with IFS.

We may have more volunteers than we can use right away, so you may not hear from us for a while.

The Pattern System: An Open-Ended Repository of Psychological Knowledge

The Pattern System has two aspects:

  1. It is a compilation of the psychological content that I have developed, in consultation with colleagues. This involves a large number of psychological patterns, their underlying motivations and origins, and their relationship to healthy capacities.
  2. It is also a structure for entering more such psychological content.

The Pattern System is still under development because I am still adding more dimensions and clarifying some of the patterns and capacities that are already included. In addition to that, the Pattern System is open-ended, which means that even when I feel more-or-less finished developing it, it will always be open to additions and finer distinctions.

It is open-ended in a number of ways. There is always room to add more dimensions, patterns, and capacities to the system. Similarly there will always be the possibility of adding more motivations, wounds, and origins for each pattern.

In addition, there are more substantial ways that the Pattern System is open-ended.

Sub-Patterns and Sub-Capacities

1. Each pattern and capacity can have sub-patterns or sub-capacities. For example, here are a few that I have already seen. The Inner Critic Pattern has seven sub-patterns, corresponding to the seven types of Inner Critics described in our books Self-Therapy for Your Inner Critic and Activating Your Inner Champion Instead of Your Inner Critic. And the Distancing Pattern has three sub-patterns-Intimacy-Avoiding, Relationship-Avoiding, and Commitment-Avoiding. The Indulger Pattern has a sub-pattern for each possible type of addiction or indulgence-overeating, sexual addiction, alcohol, drugs, relationship addiction, and in fact, all of the 12-step groups.

2. Each pattern and capacity can be described as it exists in a certain life arena. For example, the Distancing Pattern and the Intimacy Capacity are described in my book Embracing Intimacy with respect to love relationships. This is just one life arena in which intimacy is an issue. It also comes up in family relationships, close friendships, small groups, and other relationships as well. I will be describing the pattern and capacity in general as some point.

For another example, all the patterns and capacities in the Power Dimension can be described as the appear in work situations or in organizational settings. Or the Procrastination Pattern could be described as it appears in students. Or the Indulger Pattern could be described as in appears in women or men.

3. Each pattern and capacity can also be described as it applies to a particular life situation. For example, I have been working on an understanding of the Taskmaster and Procrastination Patterns as they apply to the situation where a person has lost a job and is looking for another.

You can see that the possibilities are endless.

I hope that the Pattern System can be a compilation of an expanding set of psychological understandings, as they relate to psychotherapy, personal growth, and spiritual awakening. These would be not only created by myself and my colleagues but by others as well.

Assumptions about the Underlying Causes of Psychological Problems

The Pattern System has very few assumptions build into it about the underlying nature of human psychology, so this makes it compatible with a wide variety of psychological schools and approaches. I have integrated it with Internal Family Systems Therapy, because that is the approach that I use and have found to be so powerful. However, the Pattern System can be of value of practitioners and students of most other forms of therapy, coaching, personal growth, and spiritual development as well.

Up until now, most schools of psychotherapy that have developed a substantial psychological content, such as Psychodynamic Psychotherapy or Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, are based on a specific theory of human psychology and make certain central assumptions about psychology, especially about the underlying determinates of psychological issues.

Over the years, various incarnations of these theories or others have proposed a single underlying cause for psychological disturbance. The latest candidate for this single underlying basis is attachment theory. However, I don’t believe that there is just one, or even a few, underlying causes of all psychological problems. I believe that there are many different ways that our psychological problems can develop. Therefore the Pattern System is set up to accommodate many underlying motivations and origins for patterns.

In addition, most of the psychological schools related to therapy and personal growth have focused exclusively on psychopathology while the Pattern System applies to all levels of psychological problems and health. Therefore it is suitable to deal not only with psychopathology and ordinary psychological issues but also with the realms that have been studied by humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology, and positive psychology, as well as the psychological aspects of coaching and the various approaches to personal growth.

For more information of the Pattern System, see www.patternsystem.com.