Making Friends with Yourselves
Weekend Workshop: Sat 21 & Sun 22 May 2022

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 Intro to Internal Family Systems therapy

Innistaigh Retreat, Mount Mellum

What is this weekend about?

In this workhop, rather than simply 'being present with' our internal emotional experiences like we learn in mindfulness, we will be actively exploring, befriending and ultimately transforming these emotional experiences.

We tend to think of ourselves as being singular beings: there is just one of us, right? But we are probably all familiar with the experience of feeling internally somewhat conflicted or contradictory at times: one ‘part’ of us wants to do this (e.g. tidy up the kitchen), but another ‘part’ wants to do something else (zone out on Netflix). Or we find ourselves having a strong emotional reaction to something happening, and afterwards might feel surprised or even a bit embarrassed about it: “That did not even feel like me there, who was that person?” Or the experience of feeling like we are quite a different person in different roles or situations of our lives: all business like, detached and organized when we are at work, and bubbly, go-with-the-flow and somewhat forgetful when we are hanging out with friends or family on the weekend.

According to Internal Family Systems (and several other forms of therapy), each of us actually consists of different ‘parts’ or subpersonalities and this is normal and adaptive: it helps us to function in our lives.

Sometimes however, some of our internal ‘parts’ can react or behave in ways that might have been functional or useful at some stage of our lives, but are now a bit (or very) extreme, unnecessary or actually detrimental. For example, being a really good girl or boy might have been useful growing up to avoid criticism or to get praise, but can become exhausting people pleasing or conflict avoiding in our adult lives.

Internal Family Systems therapy

In this weekend workshop, we will be utilizing the IFS model to get to know some of our own internal parts, discover how we can befriend these parts, and how we can create more harmony between the different parts within our inner world. We will also find out what is meant by our core Self, how we can recognize when we are ‘in’ Self, and how we can cultivate living our life more from this place of Self.

IFS therapy (see www.ifs-institute.com) was developed in the 80s by Richard Schwarz, and is becoming increasingly respected and popular as a form of psychotherapy (there are currently long wait lists for professionals to get into the professional training!). One of the reasons I have found IFS to be very helpful in my work as a psychotherapist is because it helps both my clients and myself to make sense of sometimes very complex and intense psychological problems, and offers structured and clear ways of transforming and healing these problems. It is also creative, intuitive, and draws on the principle that we all have an innate capacity for wisdom, compassion and healing.

IFS also combines well with mindfulness practice, because it works with what is arising and unfolding in the here and now, and has a non-judgemental, compassionate stance to whatever we discover in ourselves (“All parts are welcome” is a much heard slogan around IFS work). IFS also expands on the witnessing capacity that we develop through mindfulness practice: we witness, are aware, that we are having certain thoughts, emotions and behaviours rather than feeling that we ‘are’ those thoughts, emotions or behaviours.

 

For whom?

This workshop is for anyone wanting to understand themselves better, and to create more wellbeing, resilience and sense of agency in their lives. It would be an advantage if you have experience with mindfulness practice, e.g. through the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course or other mindfulness courses or retreats. This is because in order to ‘do’ IFS therapy, you  need to have some capacity to be present with your own inner experiences, and be able to distinguish thoughts, emotions, bodily sensations and behaviours from each other.

For more information, please contact Astrid, the facilitator: astrid@openground.com.au Ph:0401 624 757

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   An Inner Critic at work...

Practicalities

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 May

10 am - 4 pm on both days

Venue: Innistaigh Mountain Retreat, 244 Mount Mellum Road, Mount Mellum. 

There is limited overnight accommodation available at Innistaigh, please contact Innistaigh directly if you would like to book: 0413 623 662 (Doug)

Morning and afternoon tea and lunch are provided on both days, including vegetarian and GF options. If you have more specific dietary requirements, please bring your own food.

What about Covid? We of course want to keep this event Covid safe, so ask that everyone who registers for the workshop do a RAT test on themselves on both mornings of the workshop before getting to the venue. If you should test positive on either of those days, we ask you to let us know and also to not attend. You will receive a full or partial (if you test positive on Sunday) refund in that case.