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Internal Family Systems: A Psychoanalytic Tool

October 16, 2022 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT


Dialogues In Clinical Moments: Small-group Discussions of the Latest in Psychoanalytic Thought and Practice Today, Treating the Gamut of Presenting Problems and Diagnoses


INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS (IFS) is a guided meditation technique that mirrors the main goals and aims of psychoanalysis. Richard Schwartz who developed the IFS technique noticed that if we are able to feel our feelings as physically embodied, we then have access to multiple feeling states and we are able access the thoughts, stories and ideas that accompany these feeling states.

Like Freud, IFS starts by examining defenses (IFS calls them ‘protectors’). The complete arc of IFS, is then to explore what the defense is defending. Retrieving the underlying stories, beliefs and experiences that trigger our reactions, allows for freedom to re-examine the stories and ensuing beliefs.

In this two hour workshop, we will begin with the guided meditation and experience our own work with a part of ourselves. While the work is deeply personal, the following discussion will focus on the underlying theory of this visceral experience. Participants will be able to share as much or as little of their own experience in the group. This will provide a beginning introduction to work with IFS and incorporating it into your usual practice.

Aviva Gitlin, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst, and couples therapist. Dr. Gitlin has been in practice for 23 years. She is a graduate of the Westchester Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (WCSPP) advanced analytic program. In her work Dr. Gitlin works as an integrative therapist who draws on several therapeutic traditions: psychodynamic therapy, systems theory, and Internal Family Systems theory (IFS). Dr Gitlin is currently teaching Faculty and heads the Psychoanalysis in Action committee of WCSPP. Dr Gitlin is also on teaching Faculty at Adelphi University-Derner School of Psychology and The Ferkauf School of Psychology at Yeshiva University.


October 16, 2022
10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT