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Webinar: Overview of the Internal Family Systems Model of Psychotherapy with Dee Marx-Kelly, M.A., MFT

Thursday, August 21, 2014 -
12:00pm to 1:00pm


About the Webinar:

About the Webinar: In the view of Richard Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems model, the personality is not a single, unitary entity, but is made up of multiple parts – such as the part of you that likes to watch a sunset, the part that responds to puppies, or the part that may become angry if someone tailgates you on the highway. Multiplicity is a normal state. This is different from “multiple personalities” since the parts of a personality exist within one cohesive personality. Additionally, all people have a Leader Self (or Core Self) which ideally provides leadership over all parts of the personality so that an angry part , for example, does not take over or “hijack” the personality. The leadership of the Self allows a person to function at his or her best, regardless of the situation.

In IFS, parts are not created by trauma. When a child faces trauma, a existing part of the personality comes forward to help the child manage the trauma. The part bears the burden of the trauma. When children face adversity, pain, or trauma, parents are often unaware that trauma is occurring. To name a few examples, children may be teased at school, have learning difficulties, experience subtle dislike by a teacher, or may be molested by a family friend or a relative. All such difficulties may occur without the knowledge of a parent. A child may attempt to tell an adult, but complaints may be dismissed or misunderstood, and abuse may continue. To reiterate: when children must cope with trauma on their own, their resources are not sufficient to fully cope; a part takes on the burden of the trauma. This action by the part prevents damage to the Core Self (or Leader Self).

Internal Family Systems is used extensively for trauma, but is useful for many issues, since it is a non-pathologizing model, which offers great hope.

Dee Marx-Kelly

About the Speaker:

Dee Marx-Kelly is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and associated program faculty member for the M.A. programs in Counseling and Counseling Psychology at Palo Alto University. Dee is a certified Internal Family Systems therapist. Dee's areas of expertise also include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, law and ethics for therapists, and the treatment of  anxiety and depression.

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