Certification – A globally applicable gold-standard for IFS expertise #


Certification provides assurance of a deep understanding of IFS and the skills to apply it effectively.

Demonstrated Expertise #

  • Extensive Training and Experience: Certification involves rigorous training, typically:
    • IFS Level 1, 2, and 3 trainings
    • Ongoing supervision from Approved IFS Clinical Consultant
    • At least 200 hours practicing IFS with clients
  • Video Review by an IFS Certification Reviewer: Most IFS trainings require nothing more than attendance. The video review is like a final exam that evaluates whether the candidate can apply IFS skills in real-time.

Deep Understanding of IFS Principles #

  • Internal Parts: They have a nuanced understanding of how different “parts” of a person’s personality interact, including:
    • The core Self
    • Protectors (managers and firefighters)
    • Exiles (wounded parts carrying pain and trauma)
  • Therapeutic Relationship: They skillfully guide clients to access their core Self, build trust with parts, and facilitate healing.

Commitment to IFS Practice #

  • Ongoing Professional Development: Certified counselors maintain their expertise through:
    • Continuing education courses
    • Peer consultation groups
    • Stay updated with the latest IFS research and advancements.


Who has more expertise, (Level 1 trained & IFS Certified) or (Level 3 trained & not IFS Certified)?

Trainings like IFS Level 1 or Level 3 only require attendance and are no guarantee that the material taught was mastered. IFS Certified offers assurance that a counselor has mastered the model and will be effective.

Which is better, a licensed therapist or unlicensed practitioner?
  • Licensure is generally required for insurance reimbursement. However, unlicensed practitioners may agree to work for a lower hourly rate because they often enjoyed lower training costs.
  • Depending on the state, licensure often requires thousands of hours of training in many other therapeutic modalities besides IFS. This could lead to an experience that is not fully aligned with the IFS model. In contrast, many practitioners are IFS purists and have not received much training in other modalities.