Clients rave about Internal Family Systems (IFS), my coaching method, and so do I. I live what I coach!

I’ve dedicated the past 15 years of my life to learning IFS. With over five thousand hours of IFS training and personal practice, I’m an expert at the Internal Family Systems model. I am also an IFS Certified Practitioner. 

I have over one thousand hours of training/workshop experience with the founder of IFS, Richard Schwartz. 

Richard Schwartz & I, IFS Level 3 Training, Seattle, 2011

Richard Schwartz & I, IFS Level 3 Training, Seattle, 2011

Melissa’s 5,000+ hours of IFS training/experience:

Core IFS Training — 950 hours

2 108-hour 18-day IFS Level 1 Trainings
Chicago, IL: Richard Schwartz and Susan McConnell, August 2004
New Buffalo, MI: Kay Gardner, Paul Ginter, and Richard Schwartz, December 2005

3 12-day IFS Level 2 Trainings
54 hours. New Buffalo, MI:  Gardner, McConnell, Sykes, Schwartz, Oct. 2006 – Apr. 2007
54 hours. New Buffalo, MI: Gardner, McConnell, Elkin, Sykes, March 2008
72 hours. Chicago, IL:  Gardner, Sykes, Herbine-Blank, McConnell, June – Dec. 2009

2 12-day IFS “Intimacy from the Inside Out” Level 2 Basic Couples Trainings
64 hours. Watertown, MA: Toni Herbine-Blank, 2009
72 hours. Chicago, IL: Toni Herbine-Blank, 2011

28-hour “Intimacy from the Inside Out” 5-day Advanced Couples Training
Watertown, MA. Toni Herbine-Blank, January 23-27, 2013

13 30-hour 5-day IFS Level 3 Trainings with IFS Founder, Richard Schwartz
Oak Park, Illinois: Richard Schwartz, June 11-25, 2007
Oak Park, Illinois: Richard Schwartz, October 29-November 2, 2007
Oak Park, Illinois: Richard Schwartz, Gardner, Galperin, October 13-17, 2008
Burlingame, California: Richard Schwartz, December 9-13, 2009
Seattle, Washington: Richard Schwartz, August 12-16, 2011
White Plains, New York: Richard Schwartz, November 12-16, 2012
Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Richard Schwartz, July 22-26, 2013
Techny, Illinois: Richard Schwartz, March 4-8, 2014
Berkeley, California: Richard Schwartz, December 5-9, 2014
Delray Beach, Florida: Richard Schwartz, February 16-20, 2015
Washington, D.C: Richard Schwartz, November 15-19, 2015
Boulder, Colorado: Richard Schwartz, April 12-16, 2016
Delray Beach, Florida: Richard Schwartz, December 14-18, 2016

Further Training with IFS Founder Richard Schwartz — 920 Hours

8 33-hour IFS “Wisdom of the Body,” 7-day workshops at Maya Tulum in Tulum, Mexico
Richard Schwartz and Barbara Cargill
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010

11 26-hour IFS “The ‘I’ in the Storm” 5-day workshops at Esalen in Big Sur, CA
Richard Schwartz
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

4 26-hour IFS “Self-Compassion” 5-day workshop at Esalen in Big Sur, CA
Richard Schwartz and Toni Herbine-Blank, 2014
Richard Schwartz, 2015, 2106, 2017

9 26-hour IFS “Embodying Healing Wisdom” 5-day workshops at Kripalu in MA
Richard Schwartz and Toni Herbine-Blank: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Richard Schwartz and Sarah Stewart: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

3 day, 12 hr Embodying Self in Daily Life in Chicago: Schwartz, Libman, Neve, July 2003
3 day, 10 hr Couples Workshop at the Cenacle in Chicago: Richard Schwartz, 2004
5 half-days, 15 hr IFS Cape Cod Institute: Richard Schwartz, 2005
6 hr Two Masters, Two Methods, One Couple in Chicago: Schwartz and Real, June 29, 2012

Further Training with Senior IFS Trainers — 116 Hours

5 day, 25 hr IFS Women’s Retreat at Rex Ranch: Herbine-Blank, McConnell, 2006
7 day, 30 hr Somatic IFS in Costa Rica: Susan McConnell, February 6-13, 2010
2 day, 12 hr IFS and Addictions in Indiana: Cece Sykes, February 26-27, 2010
2 day, 12 hr Advanced Techniques in IFS in Portland, OR: Michi Rose, March 2015
6 hrs Legacy Burdens in Evanston, IL: Kay Gardner, April 17, 2015
5 day, 24-hr IFS Couples Therapy Workshop at Kripalu: Herbine-Blank, Nov 29-Dec 4, 2015
2 day, 10 hr New Psychotherapy Techniques in Chicago: Michi Rose, April 9-10, 2016
2 day, 12 hr Sacred Theatre for Couples in Chicago: Kay Gardner, May 20-21, 2017

12 IFS Conferences— 155 hours

2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2015, 2016

Assisting IFS Trainings — 114 Hours

76-hour Residential Level 1 Training as Program Assistant
Durango, Colorado: Toni-Herbine Blank, Nancy Wonder, 2012

36-hour Residential Level 1 Training as Program Assistant
Cannon Beach, Oregon: Paul Ginter, Nancy Wonder, 2013

IFS Workshops Presented in Chicago

Advanced Savasana Workshop with Michelle Gaza. 2011
Intro to Internal Family Systems with Michelle Gaza. Nov. 20, 2011
Intro to Internal Family Systems. Jan. 5, 2012
Inner Work at Noon. Jan. 18, 2012
Using the Inner Round Table. Feb. 15, 2012
Using Finger Puppets to Learn about Your Inner Self! with Dr. Gail Clinton. Feb. 22, 2012
Intro to Internal Family Systems. June 6 & 9, 2012
You 101: An Owner’s Guide to Human Personality. Learnapalooza Wicker Park. June 16, 2012
Got Parts? A Quick, Dynamic Introduction to IFS for Coaches.
International Coach Federation Midwest Regional Conference. June 23, 2012

IFS-based Authentic Movement Workshops — 965 HOURS

in Illinois with Susan Cahill, 2004-ongoing

Personal IFS Work — Over 2,6000 hours

350+ hours of IFS therapy with Susan Mason, Jim Schulman, and Susan Cahill, 2002-ongoing
2,300+ hours of self-directed individual IFS sessions, 2003-ongoing

Does that really add up to over 5,000 hours? Here’s the spreadsheet!