IFS for Children and Families

General Information

Presenter: Lois Ehrmann, PhD
Dates: May 10,11,17,18 8:30 AM–12:00PM Eastern Time.
Fee: $550 Includes full technical support, handouts, and CE credits.
Online Webinar: There is no known commercial support nor conflict of interest for this program.


Use of Internal Family Systems Psychotherapy with Children and their Families: a 14-hour training

IFS for Children and Families


This training focuses on the intervention on the treatment needs of children using the Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy. Different ways of working with children’s parts and their parents/caregiver’s parts will be discussed and demonstrated. Strategies that have been beneficial in moving even young children from the Direct Access method of IFS to the Insight method of IFS will also be presented, discussed and demonstrated and resources will be provided. Working just with the child is not enough however as children return home to their parents/caregivers. Part of this training will also present ways to work with the caregivers of a child and strategies that serve to help parents resolve their own past or current trauma so that they can support the child’s healing within their home and family.


Lois A. Ehrmann PhD, LPC, NCC, CTTP is a traumatologist who has specialized in the numerous evidence based treatment models and modalities that incorporate bottom up healing processes. One of these models is the Internal Family Systems Model of psychotherapy which was originally developed to work with adults and specifically women with eating disorders. Dr. Ehrmann is trained in all three levels of IFS as well as Somatic IFS (developed by Susan McConnell MA, Certified IFS Lead Trainer). Lois is a certified IFS Clinician (along with EMDR, ATTACHMENT Focused Family Therapy and trauma treatment) and she took the concepts and processes that Dick Schwartz PhD the founder of IFS developed, and creatively reworked them in order to assist her attachment and other traumatized children and their families. Lois has conducted numerous trainings in IFS, has been a Program Assistant for both IFS and Somatic IFS trainings and has presented numerous times at the annual IFS conference specifically about bringing IFS therapy to children and their families. Her most recent presentation at the IFS Conference in October 2021 resulted in positive feedback from many about the very unique ways she works with children and families using the IFS model. She goes back and forth between central PA and her family of origin stomping grounds at southern beaches of NJ and is a nationally and internationally known trainer, consultant and therapist. She also enjoys spending lots of time with her family and especially two little girls who she calls “My precious granddaughters.”

IFS for Children and Families


At the conclusion of this program, participants will have:

  1. Explored at least three strategies to use in working with children and families using Internal Family Systems: Sand tray strategy, Play therapy Strategy, Art Strategy, Parts Mapping, Z-process strategy.
  2. Observed via session clips and discussed via whole group processing the use of the Internal Family Systems Model of psychotherapy in the healing of attachment trauma in family therapy.
  3. Learned at least one strategy in working with parents to assist them in understanding the parts of their traumatized children and how their own parts get activated.
  4. Engaged in the documenting of an IFS Z-process while watching a video clip of a family therapy session.

Notification of Acceptance: Applicants will be notified, via email, of acceptance when registration is complete and payment is received.
Refund/Cancellation Policy: Tuition/registration payments are refundable (minus $50) until April 10,2022. Cancellations after this date are non-refundable. In this situation, we will attempt to find someone to take your slot (based on our waiting list).
Accessibility: Conference is via webinar. For live options, there will be handicap accessibility.
Course level: Intermediate
Level of clinician: Intermediate
Accessibility: If you require ADA accommodations, please contact our office 30 days or more before the event. We cannot ensure accommodations without adequate prior notification
The Grievance Policy for trainings provided by NEFESH INTERNATIONAL is available here.
Please Note: Licensing Boards change regulations often, and while we attempt to stay abreast of their most recent changes, if you have questions or concerns about this course meeting your specific board’s approval, we recommend you contact your board directly to obtain a ruling.

CE Information:

Continuing Education Credit is granted through Nefesh International for the following professions: Psychologists, Social workers, Mental Health Counselors, and LMFTs. It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards to verify CE requirements for their state.

NEFESH International, Inc. is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Psychology as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed psychologists #PSY-0116.

NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0046

NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for Mental Health Counselor #MHC-0082/

NEFESH International is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0048.

This program is co-sponsored by NEFESH International and Neuhoff Psychological Consulting . NEFESH International is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NEFESH International, maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Satisfactory Completion:

Participants must have paid the tuition fee, logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate (for pre-recorded program, a post-test with a passing grade of 80% is required.) Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available electronically after satisfactory course completion. A link will be provided for those who have completed the training.

IFS for Children and Families


Part 1 (May 10 & May 11)

Parts Work with Children
  1. Often done naturally in the Play Therapy and Art Therapy Rooms
  2. Child uses objects in Sand Tray to complete a World
  3. Puppets and stuffed animals externalize internal parts
  4. Children are often blended with parts in their everyday functioning
Sand Tray Strategies
  1. Build a World in the Sand at the CHOICES
  2. Sand Tray Therapy Room
  3. Does a World in the Sand
  4. Naming and Witnessing Parts in The Sand
    1. Case Presentation of S. when 16 years old.
    2. The Parts or Elements of Her Internal World
Play Therapy
  1. The Play Therapy Room
    1. J. (Male) Age 10:“When I need to be away….”
    2. B. (male) Age 6: “My Castle where I keep all my parts….”
Art Work & Attachment Focused Family Therapy
  1. Meet S.J. and Baby Me
  2. 15 minute Video Clips of S.J., Mom and Baby Me and 5-10 minutes of processing questions and answers

Small Groups work identifying purposes of the parts that S.J. shares and the parts of her mother coming up as well

Very Brief presentation on Parts Mapping
  1. Can be done with objects; Large Puppets; Small Finger Puppets
  2. Through drawing/Diagramming
    1. Example of Session Parts Map

Part 2: May 17 & 18

Bibliotherapy- The Use of Books and Stories to Help with Understanding 15 minutes of information and 15 minute video clip example for total of 30 minuties
  1. An Interactive workbook about Parts for Kids and Parents
    1. Objectives of the Book
      1. To teach parents and children the concepts of the Internal Family Systems Model of therapy
      2. To assist parents in being THERAPEUTIC agents to their traumatized children by seeing how the parents in the stories engage in Self-Led parenting
      3. To assist children who have been traumatized and have attachment issues learn about and discover their own parts and see that healing and recovery are possible
    2. How is the Book Used;When should the book NOT be used?; IFS Concepts
    3. Example: Jill’s Story
    4. Doing Insight with Children who Can!
    5. Doing Insight S.J. and her Internal System 15 minute video clip

Small group work: Discuss and identify from your own work how you could assist children in better understanding the concepts of IFS?

Parts of a Child Activate a Trauma Response in Parents and Caregivers
  1. Child Issues Traumatizing the Parent; Medical Crises; Previous Trauma prior to New Family Placement; Acting Out Behaviors; Other Issues???
When Parent Issues are Barriers to Healthy Parent Child Dyad
  1. Why Work with the Parents?; Parents hold the true key!
  2. The parent’s unresolved trauma impedes the healing processes for their children.
  3. Traumatized parts of the parent can sabotage treatment interventions.
  4. Child’s issues and behaviors traumatize the parent!
What has worked with Parents!
  1. Parents are involved in sessions with their children.
  2. Parents receive both individual therapy and if needed couples sessions.
  3. Use trauma informed interventions like EMDR, Neurofeedback, IFS.
  4. A special group for traumatized parents of traumatized children.
  5. Bibliotherapy for parents and children.
Helping Parents do their Own Parts Work
  1. Internal Working Models
  2. Helping Parents to Work with Their Own Parts that are Interfering in the Attachment Repair with their Children
The Z-Process Between Parents and Children 20 minutes
  1. A Z-Process Example
  2. Let’s Watch a Z-Process between a Parent and a Child E & D while participants use the Z-process diagram sheet to identify the Z
Resources 1 minute
  1. Internal Family Systems Institute https://ifs-institute.com/
  2. References (See on following page)

IFS for Children and Families