Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in Couples Therapy

An IFIO-Informed Workshop: Fostering Connection with Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in Couples Therapy

Details and Registration

Presented by Liz Phillips, RP

Friday, February 11th & Saturday, February 12th, 2022

10:00 AM ET - 6:00 PM ET both days



Integrate two complementary and powerful approaches: Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). Both offer intrapsychic and interpersonal transformation in couples therapy.

Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) is an evidence-based experiential model of couples therapy originating from Richard Schwartz’s highly regarded Internal Family Systems model (IFS). IFS is one of the most popular treatment approaches in the individual therapy world. The application of IFS to the couple system allows for both the relational and individual healing and growth.

IFIO is similar in concept but a different format from EFT. The IFIO model integrates aspects of psychodynamic theory, systems theory, neuroscience and mindfulness. This fosters deep intrapsychic work and interpersonal exploration. It's a powerful relationship therapy model with applications for both individual and couples psychotherapy.

The IFIO model blends attachment revision process work within the client and relational work between both partners. By inviting the exploration of each partner’s internal life, couples are supported for envisioning a lively dance that includes:

  • Communicating well
  • Repairing inevitable rupture
  • Balancing the emotional needs of both individuals as well as the relationship
  • Exploring authentic heartfelt connection

This workshop provides an overview and introduction to the IFIO framework and protocol. EFT will be compared, contrasted, and interwoven throughout. Therapists will learn how to apply key elements of IFS within their couples therapy sessions to deepen connection, foster attachment security, and create key change events both between and within the couple’s relationship.

This educational program will include lecture, video case demonstrations, experiential exercises to teach and integrate skills and interventions.


Liz Philips, RP

Liz finds passion and purpose working with couples! She is a program graduate of the Toronto Institute for Relational Psychotherapy and a Registered Psychotherapist based in Toronto, Canada. Liz is an Internal Family Systems (IFS) certified therapist with IFS Institute. To further expand upon her training, she achieved level 2 training in both Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and completed core skills of Emotionally Focused Therapy. Liz regularly conducts IFIO-informed workshops for clinicians and has a couples focused private practice.

Program Objectives:

1. Explain the IFIO protocol - the framework for doing couples therapy within IFS

2. Compare and contrast the EFT model to the IFIO model

3. Apply tools that will enable attendees to apply their knowledge and skills in the couples work via handouts and other resources

4. Evaluate and develop interest in IFIO ad a transformative method of couple’s work

5. Explain the full IFIO framework/protocol for doing couples therapy

6. Identify how each person’s internalized protective system creates unintentional conflict in the couples.

7. Identify the IFS conceptualization of “parts” in a person’s system; how those parts adopt extreme roles (usually during painful historical experiences) and how the parts enact painful patterns in a couple’s system while longing for a different outcome

8. Explain how to help couples move from reactivity (self-protection) to safe connection

9. Distinguish the therapist's own IFS and identify their own parts-“therapist parts”

10. Indicate how to de-pathologize clients’ coping strategies

11. Demonstrate an IFIO couple’s session with live-demonstration

12. Determine therapists’ own parts to deepen their understanding of how those parts might interfere and/or provide countertransference within the IFIO therapy

13. Apply the IFS model to therapist’s self-energy



10:00a-11:00a Introduction to IFIO & workshop

11:00a-12:00p IFS basics

12:00p-12:15p [Break]

12:15p-1:30p Introduction to the IFIO model through group exercise

1:30p-2:30p [Lunch Break]

2:30a-4:00p Meditation on parts, IFIO: Tracking: You-turn, Horizontal

4:00p-4:15p [Break]

4:15p-5:30p IFIO: Tracking - Hopes, Fears, Invitation

5:30p-6:00p EFT and IFIO: Similarities/Differences


10-:00a-10:45a Meditation and Q&A

10:45a-11:45a IFIO: Alliance and Contracting

11:45a-12:00p [Break]

12:00p-1:00p IFIO: Courageous Communications

1:00p-2:00p [Lunch Break]

2:00p-3:45p Live Demonstration

3:45p-4:00p [Break] 4:00p-5:30p Therapist Parts and Countertransference

5:30p-6:00p Q&A, Wrap-up

TARGET AUDIENCE: Mental Health Professionals, Social Workers, Psychologists

LEVEL: Intermediate

PREREQUISITE: EFT Externship or other foundational EFT training and/or basic IFS training recommended. Must be a licensed (or licensed-eligible) mental health professional to attend.

*This event is not a National Marriage Seminars hosted event. It is being promoted for the hosting organization.

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