Training FAQs

FAQs about the Internal Family Systems Training Programs

  1. How do I benefit from becoming an IFS therapist?
    Those who have completed any of the Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 IFS training programs and have implemented IFS in their practices report enormous job satisfaction for themselves and their clients. In addition, private practitioners who use IFS with their clients report that their referral base has broadened substantially and their practices have dramatically improved overall.
  2. Are IFS workshops, telecourses, and webinars the same as IFS Trainings?
    No. Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 IFS training programs provide comprehensive training and experience in the IFS therapeutic model. Upon completion of each level of training, participants are prepared to work as IFS therapists, having gained a breadth of knowledge and understanding about the way in which IFS enhances their lives, the lives of their clients, and others. Workshops and telecourses are generally shorter events that serve as brief introductions to aspects of the IFS model.  
  3. Who participates in IFS training programs?
    While the natural and predominant constituency for IFS trainings is the professional mental health care community, others frequently participate in and benefit from IFS trainings, including Master's and Doctoral students in the healing arts and sciences, pastoral counselors, business and academic professionals, dance and art therapists, body workers, those from the professional public seeking personal and spiritual growth, and anyone seeking a community of like-minded individuals. Level 1 training programs are open to everyone. Participants need to have successfully completed a Level 1 training in order to enroll in a Level 2 training, and those who wish to enroll in a Level 3 training need to have successfully completed a Level 2 program.
  4. How do I apply to a training?
    You can apply by downloading an application to submit by US mail, fax, or email (as an attachment).  Please visit the website page that lists the training you are interested in for more information.
  5. Can I reserve a space in a training without submitting my completed application?
    No. Only those who have submitted a completed application to CSL may be placed on the roster, though acceptance into the training is determined by the subsequent application review process.
  6. Can I apply if I'm not a therapist?
    Yes. While the majority of participants are therapists and counselors, we welcome participation from any qualified person who has a personal or professional interest in learning the IFS model and who has a sincere commitment to the process of doing so.
  7. When will I know whether or not I've been accepted?
    Once CSL receives your completed application, it generally takes about 2 weeks to review and finalize it.  You will be notified by email at that time.  Note that a few applicants have reported that CSL emails go to their spam folders, so please check yours on occasion or change your settings so that your in-box accepts CSL emails.
  8. How much does the training cost?
    Tuition: Please review the Brochure available on each training's web page for tuition information.

    Room and Board: Participants pay for their own lodging and meals.

    Application Fee: A non-refundable application fee is charged when you submit your application.

    Readings: You may be asked to purchase some reading or other materials for your training. Information about these can be found on the brochure linked to each training's listing on the CSL website.

    Costs are subject to change.

  9. Are tuition payment plans available?
    Please see each training's application form for payment information.  Billing is administered by CSL's Controller.
  10. When will my deposit be charged?
    Your deposit will be charged shortly after you are accepted into your training.
  11. Are scholarships available?
    CSL offers a variety of scholarships.  Please click on the link at the end of this entry for all the details and the application form.  Applicants must complete the CSL Scholarship Application and submit it to CSL in order to be considered for a scholarship.  A scholarship awarded to a participant for one training program does not automatically transfer to another training program. 

    application/pdf iconScholarship Application

  12. Does CSL offer trainings to organizations?   Yes.  For all the details and the application form related to Organizational Training Programs (OTPs), please click on this link: Oranizational Training Program Information and Application Form

  13. Do I have to pay the full tuition if I am going to miss some of my training?
    Yes. Tuition is set for the training as a whole, and everyone in the training is allowed to miss some training time (see website brochures for details).
  14. What does having the Certificate of Completion mean?
    When you earn a Certificate of Completion at the end of your training, you may:
    • Apply for the next level of training;
    • Request a listing on this website's IFS Practitioner Directory (under "Find an IFS Therapist")
    • Apply to become a Program Assistant; and
    • Consider becoming certified as an IFS Therapist or IFS Practitioner. Please visit the Certification area of this website or email for more information.
  15. How many hours of my training do I need to complete to be eligible for a Certificate of Completion?
    In order to be eligible for a CSL Certificate of Completion, a participant needs to attend a minimum number of training hours offered. Please review the brochure for each training for more details.
  16. What if I miss more than the maximum number of hours allowed?
    You may continue to participate in your training, but you will not be eligible to receive a Certificate of Completion for it.   You may also be eligible to receive a tuition discount for a subsequent training of the same level if you have paid your full amount for the training you did not complete.
  17. Can I make up days I miss by going to another training?
    No, and this is due to the group dynamics that develop within each training. In addition, staffing levels and site arrangements are particular to each training, and temporary increases in enrollment while a training is running cannot be accommodated.
  18. Are there make-up sessions or material if I miss part of my training?
    No, but you should be sure to read the section of your training manual releted to the time you missed and contact someone in the training to learn what took place.
  19. Will I be a Certified IFS Therapist or Certified IFS Practitioner by completing my training?
    In order to become certified, you must successfully complete the IFS Certification process. Please visit the Certification area of this website or contact to learn more about the criteria and procedures for becoming certified.
  20. Will the founder of IFS be the trainer for my training?
    Dr. Richard C. Schwartz, developer of the IFS model and founder of CSL, doesn't teach Level 1 or 2 trainings.  He does teach some Level 3 trainings that CSL offers. Please see each training's brochure for more information.
  21. Who leads the trainings?
    IFS trainings are led by therapists who have a wide array of IFS experience as therapists, and who have been extensively trained as IFS  trainers. Program Assistants work with Level 1 and Level 2 participants under the guidance of the Lead and Assistant Trainers.  Program Assistants have, at a minimum, completed the Level of training for which they are PAs.
  22. What is the schedule of trainings?
    Session and daily schedules are listed on each training’s brochure.  The brochures are located on each training’s page of this website. 
  23. What materials are required for a training?
    The materials required are listed on individual trainings' brochures on this website.
  24. Training postponement and cancellation. The Center for Self Leadership, Inc. ("CSL") reserves the right to postpone, cancel or otherwise change any training program schedule prior to the beginning of its first weekend. At no time is CSL responsible for training students' travel, lodging, or incidental expenses. CSL reserves the right to substitute training staff whenever necessary without obligation to students enrolled in the training program.

25. Grievance Policy:  The Center for Self Leadership (CSL) is fully committed to conducting its activities in compliance with legal and ethical responsibilities to be non-discriminatory in promotional activities, program content, and in the treatment of program participants.  The monitoring and assessment of compliance with these standards will be the responsibility of CSL's Executive Director, in consultation with CSL's President.   While CSL goes to great lengths to assure fair treatment for all participants in its events and attempts to anticipate problems, it recognizes that complaints may arise.  CSL will do its best to anticipate problems and, if they present themselves, will attempt to alleviate them as quickly as possible.  When a complaint is made known to a representative of CSL, the following guidelines will be followed with respect to achieving a solution:  (A) The person making the complaint will be asked to send his/her complaint, in writing, to CSL's Executive Director at The Center for Self Leadership, P.O. Box 3969, Oak Park, IL 60303.  Or, it can be sent to the Executive Director's email address listed on this website.  CSL's Executive Director will review the complaint, in consultation with the President, and will issue a response within 30 days of receipt of the written complaint.  The joint decision of the Executive Director and President of CSL is final. (B) CSL's Executive Director will attempt to resolve the matter himself as expeditiously as possible, or will convey the complaint to the CSL representative in charge of the area of complaint so that s/he can attempt to resolve the matter as expeditiously as possible.  The complaint will then be conveyed to the person who is the subject of the complaint, assuring the confidentiality of the aggrieved individual whenever possible and/or appropriate.  (C) The offered resolution may include, but is not limited to giving a partial or full refund of program fees already paid, or credit toward a future event.

26.  IFS Training Program Learning Objectives:  Below are links to learning objectives for Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 training programs.

Level 1 Training (six 3-day sessions)

Level 1 Training (retreat-style with 2 extended sessions)

Level 1 Training (retreat-style with 3 extended sessions)

Level 2 Intensive Training: Deepening and Expanding with IFS

Level 2 Intensive Training: IFS, Trauma, and Neuroscience

Level 2 Intensive Training: IFS, Addictions, and Eating Disorders

Level 2 Intensive Training: Shame, Anxiety and Depression: An IFS Approach

Level 3 Training