“Derek has an incredible grasp of the model and is a great teacher. He is a sensitive, engaging and highly skilled facilitator who both models and teaches Self-leadership. I recommend him.” – Dr. Richard Schwartz, Founder, Internal Family Systems


Stepping Stone: 16 week Comprehensive IFS course

The goals for this course are for you:

  • to learn and understand the IFS model and be able to apply it to your own systems, your patients/clients and one another
  • to be able to ask as many questions as you need and know where to go for further information
  • to form peer support groups so that your practice can continue to evolve
  • to be invigorated in your practice and to see remarkable and permanent changes in many of your clients

The following modules will be repeated on a 4-week basis.

3 Hours

For our first meet we will say hello to each other and establish group guidelines. We will talk about the basics of the model, including the 3 types of parts we typically encounter in session, and introduce the concept of Self energy.

Subsequent week-1 topics will include: Working with Protectors, Therapist parts, Exploring your own system (parts map), Unburdening the exiles, and introducing the model to new clients, as well as introducing the model to existing clients.

The focus throughout the course will be on speaking for, not from your parts

I will then ask for a volunteer to be the subject of a demonstration and after the demonstration there will be time for questions and answers.

You will be invited to do your own work in the demonstrations; an IFS therapist needs to know their own system and that cannot be achieved from role-playing.

A 1 hour lecture reinforcing the teaching points from each didactic session will be emailed to participants

3 Hours

This will either be practice with your fellow learners or a supervised practice session. Week 2 and 3 alternate between these two ways of learning. If it is a supervised session you will be working with the HIPPA-compliant* Zoom video platform in groups of three or four. Each group will work with myself or another IFS therapist colleague who will supervise your work, offering suggestions where necessary.

The supervised sessions will be recorded and only your group will have access to the recording so that you may review your work if you choose.

You will each have an opportunity to work as therapist for up to 45 minutes, and as client, and as observer. There will be up to 15 minutes after each practice session for feedback.

*HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) A United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

3 Hours

This will either be practice with your fellow learners or a supervised practice session. Week 2 and 3 alternate between these two ways of learning. If it is a supervised session you will be working with the HIPPA-compliant* Zoom video platform in groups of three or four. Each group will work with myself or another IFS therapist colleague who will supervise your work, offering suggestions where necessary.

The supervised sessions will be recorded and only your group will have access to the recording so that you may review your work if you choose.

You will each have an opportunity to work as therapist for up to 45 minutes, and as client, and as observer. There will be up to 15 minutes after each practice session for feedback.

*HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) A United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

3 Hours

Up to 3 hours.

We will meet as a large group again and you will be invited to bring questions arising from your own practice and/or from learning the theory. We may choose to do a piece of work if you are feeling stuck with a particular client or using the model. We may explore your own parts getting triggered by clients to help you get clarity and possibly unburden a part of your own.

This is a good forum to get to know your therapist parts. Challenging issues like active suicidality, difficulty with unblending and working with trauma, addictions etc. may be brought here.

A 90 page Teaching Manual is included as part of the course as well as handouts on “How to Watch a Demo”, “How to do a Triad” and others.

You are invited to view the 10-part video series “IFS for Therapists” to enhance your learning during the course. In addition there is a five episode video series, “IFS Q&A” that addresses common questions you will encounter.

Required reading for the course is “Internal Family Systems Therapy Second Edition” by Richard C. Schwartz and Martha Sweezy available from the IFS Institute Bookstore.

Recommended reading includes: “Introduction to Internal Family Systems Therapy” also by Dick Schwartz and “Many Minds, One Self” by Dick Schwartz and Robert Falconer

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.

The course will be run twice a year, starting in September and January with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20 people. It is open to social workers, therapists, counsellors, coaches and other mental health professionals. To get the maximum benefit from this course it is preferable to be working 1:1 with people in a professional capacity.

The cost for the entire 4 Month course is USD $1,800 and the deposit of USD $400 will reserve your place – refunds will not be issued.

Each 3 hour teaching/practice session will be recorded and the recordings will be made available only to participants; as will the didactic teachings and consultation groups. If you are unable to attend a day you will receive the session recording. At the end of the course you will receive a certificate provided you have attended 90% of the live sessions – i.e. you may miss 2 of the 3 hour sessions. Graduates are recommended to refer to themselves as offering IFS-Informed Therapy. CEUs are not available.

There will be an optional Advanced Weekend, “The Farther Reaches of IFS” after the course ends which will address some of the more advanced IFS Teachings. The next one is scheduled for Oct. 16 & 17. Participation in the weekend is necessary to be eligible for inclusion in the directory.


Please click the image below to find out more about the course for Gay Men, starting Sept. 7th [Now Full]

Please contact us to be put on the interest list for the next training


Please click on the images below to see the power of an IFS session

“Derek is a great teacher. He is a sensitive, engaging an highly skilled facilitator who both models and teaches Self-leadership”
Dick Schwartz, Founder of IFS

“Derek created a safe and welcoming learning environment allowing for my own personal exploration as well as enhanced my sensitivity for all of my clients. I would highly recommend him.”

Ann Drouilhet, LICSW, LMFT, certified IFS therapist
“Derek is a superb leader, bringing thoughtful insight and open-heartedness to his teaching. He offers compassionate guidance to help heal our wounds. I have learned a lot from Derek, emotionally and intellectually, and highly recommend him!”
Larry Rosenberg, PhD, Psychologist, Cambridge, MA, Instructor, Harvard Medical School
“Derek’s skilled, measured facilitation created safety for experiential exploration, and allowed space for participants to share their own fresh insights with the group. I am better prepared to guide my clients. Highly recommended!”
Jason C. Weber , M.Ed., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS, Professional Clinical Counselor
“Derek Scott is a sensitive, bright highly skilled clinician, author, and workshop leader. I highly recommend Derek’s work; don’t give up an opportunity to work with him … you’ll be delighted you did!”
Sandra Scantling, Psy.D., MSN, Licensed Clinical Psychologist and Certified IFS Therapist, AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCONN School of Medicine

Learn IFS Couples Therapy with Liz Phillips

Please click on the image to go to Liz’s site