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Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

Certificate in Applied Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy

Format: Hybrid (partly synchronous, i.e. following a live lecture with a definite class schedule, and partly asynchronous, i.e. online and self-directed)
Cost: $1,450 + HST + the cost of the textbook per course

Required Textbooks: See below

Course Dates and Registration

Highlights of this Program:

  • The Certificate in Applied Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy program contains two courses: Foundations of Practice and Broader Clinical Applications for Healing the Whole Person. Students can take one or both courses.
  • A hybrid model, each course requires 40 hours of coursework, which will include a combination of online self-directed modules, live teaching, Q&A consultations, demonstrations, and supervised practice in small groups all of which will take place online.
  • Experiential learning of the modality by first applying it to yourself
  • All work can be done from home; you will need a reliable internet connection to do so

Program Overview and Outline

One of the most innovative, intuitive, comprehensive and transformational therapies to have emerged in the present century.” ~ Gabor Mate 

“Internal Family Systems is one of the cornerstones of effective and lasting trauma therapy” ~ Bessel Van Der Kolk

IFS is a non-pathologizing model of psychotherapy that recognizes the client’s capacity for self-healing. Based on the emerging paradigm that acknowledges the plurality of the mind, IFS embraces that we are complex beings with multiple “parts,” or subpersonalities. Whereas other therapeutic approaches try to eliminate parts that are deemed unhelpful, critical, or problematic, IFS honours the protective nature of these parts and has the methodology to facilitate their release from extreme roles. 

Both courses within this program require 40 hours of study. Students may choose to end their training after Foundations of Practice, or they may opt to deepen their understanding by moving on to Broader Clinical Applications for Healing the Whole Person. If an equivalent to Foundations of Practice is demonstrated, the student may qualify for direct entry to Broader Clinical Applications for Healing the Whole Person. All requests for exemptions must be made directly to the Dean of Adler's Faculty of Continuing Education; please see below for her contact information. 

Upon completion of each course, students will have obtained a strong understanding of the IFS model and how to access Self-Energy to facilitate transformative healing. Students will also be given many opportunities to safely explore their own inner landscape through meditations, experiential exercises, and practice sessions. Please note that in order to be eligible for the Broader Clinical Applications course, student must have completed Foundations of Practice. 

Join lead Instructor, Derek Scott—a certified IFS therapist and consultant, as well as the founder of IFSCA—in this original and long-awaited program. Derek and the IFS consultants have partnered with Adler to deliver this certification in IFS-informed therapy that is the first like it in the world. Note that because of this, registration is expected to fill very quickly. 

Courses:

 1. Foundations of Practice (40 Hours)

Format: Hybrid (partly synchronous, i.e. following a live lecture with a definite class schedule, and partly asynchronous, i.e. online and self-directed)
Cost: $1,450 + HST 
Duration: ~7 weeks

Required Textbook: Schwartz, R.C. & Sweezy, M. (2020). Internal Family Systems Therapy (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Guilford Press.

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Have a thorough understanding of the model, the Self, and the three types of parts (proactive protective managers, reactive protective firefighters and exiles or wounded parts)
  • Understand Self-Energy and how to increase access to it 
  • Identify the common concerns of manager parts, and how to address creating a sense of safety within the system 
  • Get to know their own system and their “therapist parts,” allowing them to soften back so they can work from Self to facilitate healing 

2. Broader Clinical Applications for Healing the Whole Person (40 hours)

Prerequisite: Foundations of Practice course or IFSCA's Stepping Stones4-day intensive, Skills and Competencies course, or Level 1 training with the IFS Institute. Please send proof of completion to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. upon registration.

Format: Hybrid (partly synchronous, i.e. following a live lecture with a definite class schedule, and partly asynchronous, i.e. online and self-directed)
Cost: $1,450 + HST 
Duration: ~7 weeks

Required Textbook: Schwartz, R.C. (2021). No Bad Parts: Healing trauma and restoring wholeness with the internal family systems model. Boulder CO: Sounds True.

For those looking for a deeper dive into IFS, this course will cover: 

  • Using IFS to work with pain, somatic awareness and medical conditions 
  • Working with complex trauma and relational wounds
  • The therapist-client relationship in IFS therapy, and the role of co-regulation 
  • Recognizing where you get challenged and ways to work with your own parts
  • Discerning your own Self-like parts from your core Self
  • Using IFS treatment interventions informed by polyvagal theory, attachment theory and neuroscience. 

Course Dates and Registration

Eligibility and Certification

This program is best suited for helping professionals such as social workers, psychotherapists, pastoral counsellors, coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists, general practitioners, and other mental health professionals. Written and oral fluency in English is required. 

Students will receive a letter of completion when they finish Internal Family Systems Therapy – Foundations of Practice. Students will receive their full certificate when they finish both Foundations of Practice and Broader Clinical Applications for Healing the Whole PersonIn order to participate in the Clinical Applications course, students must have taken the Foundations of Practice course, or IFSCA’s Stepping Stones, 4-day intensive, Skills and Competencies course, or Level 1 training with the IFS Institute. At the end of each course, students will receive a Certificate of Completion, provided they have attended 90% of the live sessions.

ADLER’s Faculty of Continuing Education offers certificate programs that incorporate a case-based learning approach, encompassing theoretical discussion supported by real-life cases, scenarios, and role-playing. This approach affords participants the opportunity to experience the actual, day-to-day challenges encountered by most practitioners. Many of ADLER Continuing Education courses qualify for programs like the continuing education credit hours for the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Contact your organization to determine eligibility of a particular course. 

Disclaimer: Please note that completing any of the courses within this program does not qualify you to register with any regulatory body in Ontario, including neither the Ontario College of Social Workers and Social Service Workers (OCSWSSW), nor the College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario (CRPO). There is no formal accreditation process for IFS in Canada. You are advised to select learning that leads to the regulations/qualifications you hope to achieve in your career. 

Getting Started

After enrolment, the next step in your studies will occur TWO WEEKS before your course begins. At that time, you will receive an enrolment email. PLEASE CHECK YOUR SPAM FOLDER DURING THIS TIME. If you do not see this email by one week before your cohort begins, please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Note that all online of ADLER’s online continuing education program have stipulated an allotted amount of time in which to complete your course of study (such as “7 weeks”). Your allotted amount of time begins on the date your cohort begins. Once enrolled, you will not receive additional emails about when you have started or when you are done, so manage your time effectively. Please note: we uphold a strict policy that we do not extend or re-open the software to you once your allotted amount of time is complete. Plan accordingly: if you will be away, you must catch up on your work.

Course Offerings

For the 2021-2022 academic calendar, there are three cohorts per semester (fall, winter and spring) for both Foundations of Practice and Broader Clinical Applications for Healing the Whole Person. Each course runs for seven weeks, starting with two live days of teaching. At the point of registration, students will sign up for the cohort that best suits their schedule for small group work, as seen below. Note that if your cohort is full, you will need to register for an alternative one. We will do our best to indicate “course closed” as soon as the cohort has filled. All times are in EST. 

Please Note: The following cancellation policy pertains to the IFS program only.  No Refunds two weeks prior to the beginning of the program. Full refund minus $250 admin fee any time before that.

Foundations of Practice (40 Hours)

Note on Class Times: Live class times are listed in EST/EDT.

FALL 2021:

Registration for the Fall is now closed. Please register below for another session.

Cohort A: Thursdays, 6-9pm:  Oct 28-29 (11am-7pm), Nov 4, 11, 18, 25, Dec 2, 9 (6pm-8pm), 2021

Cohort B: Fridays, 1-4pm: Oct 28-29 (11am-7pm), Nov 5, 12, 19, 26, Dec 3, 10 (2pm-4pm), 2021

Cohort C: Fridays, 9am-12pm: Oct 28-29 (11am-7pm), Nov 5, 12, 19, 26, Dec 3, 10 (9am-11am), 2021

WINTER 2022:

Cohort A: Thursdays, 6-9pm Jan 13-14 (11am-7pm), Jan 20, 27, 2022, Feb 3, 10, 17, 24 (6pm-8pm), 2022

Register Here

Cohort B: Fridays, 1-4pm - Jan 13-14 (11am-7pm), Jan 21, 28, 2022, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 (2pm-4pm), 2022

Register Here

Cohort C: Fridays, 9am - 12pm - Jan 13-14 (11am-7pm), Jan 21, 28, 2022, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25 (9am-11am), 2022

Cohort C is now full for Winter 2022. Please register for another cohort.

SPRING 2022:

Cohort A: Thursdays, 6-9pm - April 7-8 (11am-7pm), Apr 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26 (6pm-8pm), 2022

Register Here

Cohort B: Fridays, 1-4pm - April 7-8 (11am-7pm), Apr  22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27 (2pm-4pm), 2022

Register Here

Cohort C: Fridays, 9am - 12pm - April 7-8 (11am-7pm), Apr 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27 (9am-11am), 2022 

Register Here

Broader Clinical Applications for Healing the Whole Person (40 Hours)

WINTER 2022:

Broader Clinical Applications is now full for Winter 2022. Please register below for Spring 2022

Cohort A: Thursdays, 6pm-9pm - Jan 20-21 (11am-7pm), Jan 27, Feb 3, 10, 17, 24, Mar 3 (6pm-8pm), 2022

Cohort B: Fridays, 1pm-4pm - Jan 20-21 (11am-7pm), Jan 28, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 4 (2pm-4pm), 2022

Cohort C: Fridays 9am-12am - Jan 20-21 (11am-7pm), Jan 28, Feb 4, 11, 18, 25, Mar 4 (9am-11am), 2022

SPRING 2022

Cohort A: Thursdays, 6pm-9pm - Apr 21-22 (11am-7pm), Apr 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2 (6pm-8pm), 2022

Register Here

Cohort B: Fridays, 1pm-4pm - Apr 21-22 (11am-7pm), Apr 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3 (2pm-4pm), 2022

Register Here

Cohort C: Fridays 9am-12am - Apr 21-22 (11am-7pm), Apr 29, May 6, 13, 20, 27, June 3 (9am-11am), 2022

Register Here

Contact Us

Students that have questions about this program should contact the Dean, Ms. Beatrice Traub-Werner at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.