IFS Skills & Competence (Postponed until April 2021)

Time Commitment

4 Weekends, Saturday from 10-6 Sunday from 9-5

Participation in six online consultation group for an hour.

Participation in a monthly 3 hour peer support group: times TBD based on availability. This group will be a practice group, either in person or online.

Derek Scott is the lead teacher. Depending on the number of participants there will be different co-leaders over the time of the course so that participants are exposed to a number of different styles as they develop their own. Each practice group session on the weekends will be attended by support staff.

*Please note: if you miss a total of 8 or more weekend program hours you will not be eligible for your certificate

Upon Graduation participants may choose to participate in a 6 session supervised practice triad group, after which you will be eligible to join the therapist directory and receive referrals.

Namaskar Retreat Centre

Sessions will be held at the Namaskar Retreat Centre, a 50 minute drive from Toronto at 9724 Side Rd 5, Erin, ON N0B 1T0

Introduction to the IFS model, with explanations of the 3 types of parts we typically encounter in session. An introduction to the concept of Self energy.
Getting to know your own system through guided meditations and experiential exercises geared to help you start to grasp the model.
We will also do demonstrations so that you can see the model in action, followed by Q&A.
You will be invited to begin to practice the model in supervised small groups.
Participants will be encouraged to speak for their own parts throughout.

Peer support groups and consultation groups will be established at this time.

The focus of this weekend is on becoming more aware of and befriending your own parts. We will explore the protective system in greater detail including exploring common concerns of protective manager parts. The teaching will focus on how to address these concerns so that the client’s protective system feels assured as to the safety of the work.

There will be the opportunity to participate in/witness and support a demonstration and you will again be practicing in supervised practice groups of three or four.

A demonstration with Q&A and supervised small group practice will form part of the weekend.

This weekend will be dedicated to helping you to become clear about the parts of you that show up in the work (your “therapist parts”). Through a variety of exercises you will be encouraged to get to know them as they get to know you. The more your therapist parts can get to know and trust your Self; the easier it will be for them to stand down in session and allow you to do the work of an IFS therapist, i.e. to hold as much Self-energy as possible (curiousity and compassion) by inviting our own parts to soften back so that we can be a “parts detector” for our clients and thereby help their own Self to facilitate their healing. For many of us this involves unlearning much of what we have been taught.

You will learn how to identify these parts so they can soften back, recognise where you get triggered and learn an efficient way to attend to that in session as well as developing your skills to better identify what is going on for the client.
A demonstration with Q&A and supervised small group practice will form part of the weekend.

This is a time to integrate what we have learned. In addition to the demonstration there will be opportunities to practice and receive peer and staff feedback. We can focus on more specific groups or subjects: Grief, Trauma, Addiction, Spirituality, LGBTQ etc. as determined by the needs of group members.

We may explore the applicability of the model to working with children, grief, sexuality and gender identity and/or other identified areas of interest.

You will receive your certificate on Sunday.

*Please note in order to receive your certificate and be eligible for listing on the IFSCA site you must have attended all four teaching weekends. You may still graduate if you have missed no more than one day.

Each participant will be provided with a training manual with handouts for each session, as well as a DVD set of didactic teachings. A list of approved IFS therapists available to work with participants will be provided should you wish to deepen your own work.

Required reading for the course is Internal Family Systems 2nd Edition by Richard C. Schwartz and Martha Sweezy available from the Center for Self-Leadership store, and Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual: Trauma-Informed Treatment for Anxiety, Depression, PTSD & Substance Abuse. Both are available from Caversham Booksellers in Toronto.

Recommended reading includes: “Many minds, One Self” by Richard Schwartz and Robert Falconer ,“Introduction to Internal Family Systems” also by Dick Schwartz and “Parts Work: an Illustrated Guide top your Inner Life” – Tom Holmes.

In addition to reading I have developed annotated training videos: I hour sessions which have been edited to highlight choice points and illustrate where therapist parts have wanted to intervene.

There are many interesting articles on the resources page of my site and several will be recommended during the course.


In order to be able to use the model it is essential that therapists/counsellors have an awareness of their own system of parts. As such you will be expected to explore your own systems in practice groups and if you are the subject in a demonstration.

Download Course Outline


Program 1, Fall 2020 (Sept. 19/20; Oct 17/18; Nov 7/8; Dec 05/06)

Program 2, Fall 2020 (Oct 03/04; Oct 24/25; Nov 21/22; Dec 12/13)


The cost for each weekend is $600 and each facilitated consultation group (6 in total) is $95 per meeting.

Total cost: $2,970

A non-refundable deposit of 25% of the total costs ($742) must be paid 2 months before the course begins in order to secure a place. There are a maximum of 15 places.

The remainder of the non-refundable fee ($2,228) is to be paid at the time the course begins. Participants staying overnight are asked to pay $70 for accommodation.

Payment via paypal requires a 4% transaction fee. For those who wish to pay by interac e-transfer and save the transaction fee, please send your e-transfer payment to derek@derekscott.co

Registration Deposit

Final Payment

“IFS has helped me come home to myself both personally and professionally and I am forever indebted to Derek Scott for making this possible with his excellent facilitation of this highly engaging course.”

Risa Adams, MD, CCFP

“I found this to be a transformative experience for me… I learned as much, if not more about myself as I did about a way of practicing… I highly recommend this course.”

Elizabeth Parsons, MD, CCFP
“If there’s any interest in learning about the model this would be a wonderful place to start.”
Alison Arnot, MD, CCFP

“A very safe way to learn. I learned a lot about myself as a therapist and… how to be there with people.”

Robin Beardsley, MD, CCFP
Please be aware that this course is not affiliated with the IFS INSTITUTE and is not considered as one of their Level 1 trainings. If you require certification as an IFS therapist that can only be awarded by THE INSTITUTE after taking a Level 1 training.

Click Here to contact the IFS Institute

If interested please email Derek Scott using the form below and he will be in touch with you shortly.

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