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HomeAnnual Conference

Helping Couples & Families
Heal Trauma Using

Internal Family Systems 

Come join Richard Schwartz, PH.D. the developer of Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) for a weekend workshop! 

Internal Family Systems is a powerfully transformative, evidence-based model of psychotherapy. IFS believes that the mind is naturally made up of parts, and that is a healthy, functional way for our psyche to function. Our inner parts contain valuable qualities, and our core Self knows how to heal, allowing us to become integrated and whole. In IFS all parts are welcome. 

In this conference, Dick Schwartz will review the IFS model and discuss how to use it in working with couples and families healing from trauma. He will discuss his work in stepping in for the parts to help each individuals Self connect, as well as using witnessing to work on one person’s parts, while their partner or family member witnesses and gains a deeper understanding and appreciation for them. He will show video of his work with couples and families, and there may be an opportunity for a live demonstration with a couple.  

IFS has become a significant movement, with clinicians throughout the world engaging in training in the model.  It is a new, empowering paradigm for understanding and harmonizing the mind and, thereby, larger human systems. One that can help people heal and can help the world become a more compassionate place. Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD, a leading expert in the field of trauma, stated, “IFS opens up a path to self-acceptance and self-leadership. IFS is one of the cornerstones of effective and lasting trauma therapy.” At this conference, Dick will discuss how he works with couples, and each partners’ parts using IFS, in order to create more lasting change and connection. 

The developer, Richard Schwartz, Ph.D., began his career as a systemic family therapist and an academic. Grounded in systems thinking, Dr. Schwartz developed Internal Family Systems (IFS) in response to clients’ descriptions of various parts within themselves. He focused on the relationships among these parts and noticed that there were systemic patterns to the way they were organized across clients. He also found that when the clients’ parts felt safe and were allowed to relax, the clients would spontaneously experience the qualities of confidence, openness, and compassion that Dr. Schwartz came to call the Self. He found that when in that state of Self, clients would know how to heal their parts. Dr. Schwartz is a featured speaker for national professional organizations, and has published many books and over fifty articles about IFS.


Richard Schwartz, PhD, began his career as a family therapist and an academic. He co-authored, with Michael Nichols, Family Therapy: Concepts and Methods, the most widely used family therapy text in America. Dick developed the Internal Family Systems through his work with clients, and in 2000, he left academia and founded the Center for Self Leadership in Oak Park, Illinois. His center offers three levels of training in IFS, an annual national conference, publications, and DVDs. IFS trainings and workshops are also being held in many other countries around the world. Since 2012 Dr. Schwartz has lived in Brookline, MA and is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. A featured speaker for national professional organizations, Dr. Schwartz has published five books and over fifty articles about IFS, including Internal Family Systems Therapy and No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with the Internal Family Systems Model

About the Conference


Generally, the AFTNC holds their annual conference in October at Westerbake Ranch in Sonoma, although this year, due to COVID, we're holding it in the SF Bay Area. Attendees will be able to join in person, or via Zoom. There will be complimentary coffee, snacks, and bagels in the morning and afternoon, and an option to have lunch on site.  Cost for Zoom attendance is discounted due to not needing to have food provided. For more information about the 2022 AFTNC Conference, please email

Students - As with each conference, we encourage students to join, and schedule a lunch with students and the presenters.  

Live Demonstration - Dick will be planning on doing a live demonstration with a couple, although live sessions are always subject to last minute changes, so in that case, a live demonstration with an individual audience member will be in place. 

Schedule -

     Saturday, February 26                  Sunday, February 27           
 Registration begins at 8:30 am  Registration begins at 8:30 am
 Session A: 9:00am - 12:00pm  Session D: 9:00am - 12:00pm
 Lunch: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
 Student Lunch with Dick

 Zoom Breakout Room Networking:           
 12:30pm - 1:30 pm
 Lunch: 12:00pm - 1:30pm

 Session B: 1:30pm - 3:30pm  Session E: 1:30pm - 3:30pm
 Afternoon Break: 3:30pm - 4:00pm  Afternoon Break: 3:30pm - 4:00pm
 Session C: 4:00pm - 5:00pm  Session F: 4:00pm - 5:00pm

*For those attending via Zoom, we will be hosting small breakout rooms during lunch to allow for networking with other colleagues!

When: Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th, 2022, 9am - 5pm

In Person: David Brower Center, Berkeley
Online: Zoom*
*AFTNC is using the David Brower Center's video conferencing services for high quality video, audio, and technical staff to ensure that Zoom runs smoothly, participants are included, can hear the presenter clearly, and can hear live participant questions clearly.  

We understand that plans may change due to mitigating circumstances.  Please contact us at least two days prior to the conference at if you would like to change your registration from In Person to Zoom or vice versa.  We will gladly update your registration and you will be charged or refunded the difference in cost, respectively.


  In Person*
   Licensed Member - $330 (12 CE is free for members)
   Student/PreLicensed/Early Career - $180
   Retired Clinician - $180
   With Lunch on Site - Add $40
   Licensed Member - $300 (CE is free for members)
   Student/PreLicensed/Early Career - $150
   Retired Clinician - $150
   On Demand Recording Available for Attendees


   In Person*
   Licensed Member - $405
   With 12 CE - Add $30

   Student/PreLicensed/Early Career/Retired - $210
   Retired Clinician - $210

   With Lunch on Site - Add $40

   Licensed Member - $375
   With 12 CE - Add $30

   Student/PreLicensed/Early Career - $175
   Retired Clinician - $175 
   On Demand Recording Available for Attendees

*all attendees must present proof of current vaccination as well as abide by the state's current laws regarding mask use