The Self-Led Journey I:
Starting on the IFS Path – Concepts and Tools

A 7-Week In-Person Course, Led by Roberta Cullen, LMFT

Roberta Cullen, LMFTApril 3 – May 15, 2023
(Note new start/end dates!)
Mondays from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Centered Practice
1619 Dayton Ave. #105, St. Paul, MN 55104

$140 per person

REGISTER NOW! At the bottom of this page, click “+” for quantity (1) and then “Get Tickets.”

Participants in this beginning course, led by Roberta Cullen, LMFT, will be introduced to the vocabulary and basic concepts of the IFS model within a learning community of one facilitator and approximately 14 participants.

Participants will be supported to:

  1. Develop a working understanding of the basics of this rich framework to better understand their own feelings, responses and behaviors, and
  2. Begin utilizing IFS tools/techniques with their own internal systems to get to know and work with their parts.

Participants will learn through content presentation, experiential exercises, video, readings, discussion, solo awareness/exploration/visualization/reflection, small group work, and Q&A. No previous knowledge of IFS is expected or required to take this class.

Week 1 – Introductions, Community Guidelines, Overview of IFS Concepts and Method
Week 2 – Understanding the Self, Accessing Self Energy
Week 3 – Protectors and Getting to Know Them, Self Energy and Protectors
Week 4 – Identifying and Understanding Exiles, Increasing Trust and Earning Access
Week 5 – Recognizing Blended Parts and Polarized Parts, Working With the Internal Spectrum
Week 6 – Awareness of Trust in the System, A Path to Witnessing and Unburdening
Week 7 – Assessing Self-Progress and (Ad)Venturing Along a Self-Led Path

Please note: Current clients seen by Roberta Cullen may not participate in this workshop. This is a policy of the MN State Board of Marriage and Family Therapy.

Internal Family Systems (IFS) is a powerfully transformative, evidence-based model of psychotherapy. IFS has gained worldwide attention as a non-shaming, evidence-based, effective model of working with trauma and other mental health issues. Looking through the IFS lens, humans are naturally “multiple”, or include roles or many aspects within one person, and that is a good thing.  Our inner parts contain valuable qualities and our core Self knows how to heal, which is the foundation of our body/mind innate healing ability. Through working with our authentic Self or core Self, we can move toward becoming integrated and whole. In IFS all of our parts are welcome.

Expanding beyond our individual selves, IFS is a new, empowering paradigm for understanding and harmonizing the mind and, thereby, larger human systems. IFS can help people heal and helps the world become a more compassionate place.

More info on the IFS model can be found here:

  • People of all races, ethnicities, religious preferences, abilities, identities and cultural backgrounds are welcome to register and join this class!
  • If you are seeking techniques to work with strong feelings or blocked emotions, you may find support in this class.
  • If you would like to support your own healing from past trauma you may find helpful tools in this class.
  • If you have strong challenges with others “setting you off” emotionally, through this class you may find ways to support yourself to better regulate your responses.
  • If you feel “blocked” or “stuck” in areas of your life, you may gain insight into those challenges, and explore methods to help increase “ease” and “flow” there.
  • If you feel your life is in crisis and your day to day tasks feel extremely difficult to manage, this class is not what you need right now. This class does not provide nor replace individual or group therapy. Please seek support from your doctor or another care provider to connect with the resources you need at this time.
  • Understand conceptually, and be able to describe, the nature and function of basic components of Internal Family Systems.
  • Identify and gain an individual sense of your “Self” energy and its role in the healing process.
  • Identify some of your parts and gain awareness of their nature, as well as times when your parts are present and active, and possibly “running the show.”
  • Gain awareness of the relationships between your parts, and between your parts and Self.
  • Learn tools and techniques to work with parts which are active in the moment, as well as parts which benefit from long term support to heal.

At this time, interested participants need to be 16 years or older. (If you are 15 or younger, or are a care provider who would like a version of this course offered for teens, please email Roberta or Centered Practice. If there is enough interest, serious consideration will be given to offering a course in the future.)

This class is offered in an ADA accessible space.

This class is taught in spoken and written English with no interpretation provided.

Cancellations will be fully refunded up until March 24th.  For cancellation, email the facilitator directly at with the registrant name, card holder name and last 4 digits of the card, and we will refund you within 5 business days.

Roberta Cullen and Centered Practice reserve the right to monitor safety within the group and physical space, and to take action as needed, should an issue arise.

Self-Led Journey I provides an introduction to IFS and is intended for a wide variety of people seeking ways to support their own healing. Therapists, care providers, teachers and other professionals can benefit greatly from learning this model, applying it to and learning about their own internal systems, increasing their ability to support their own emotional health in a variety of settings, and gaining tools they may wish to use in their work environments.

The content and experiences offered, however, will be left up to each participant to translate into how they might use what they learn with the people they serve. The course is not taught from a “training” perspective of how to use the material with anyone other than the participant and their own system. Professionals in the health care or education fields may wish to submit course materials to their own boards for possible continuing education credits. Participants who attend the full course will experience 14 hours of focused content.

Depending on the number of participants registered, one to two partial scholarships in the amount of 50% of the course price may be available to underserved and/or low-income people seeking to participate in the class. If you feel your situation may fit these descriptors, please email no later than 3/17/2023 to receive an application. Applications are due no later than 3/21/2023. (Deadlines are firm.) Notifications of any scholarship(s) awarded will be provided via email to the recipient(s) only, on or by 3/23/2023. The registration status of an applicant will not affect their eligibility to apply. Details of payment will be worked out individually with any scholarship recipient.

Roberta Cullen is a therapist, teacher, performer, creator and researcher (among other roles). She earned a Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and went on to obtain her full license as an MFT in 2017.  Roberta began working with Internal Family Systems in 2012 after watching a dvd of Bessel Vander Kolk’s annual conference on trauma, which featured a presentation and demonstration by Dr. Richard Schwartz, founder of Internal Family Systems. She met Dr. Schwartz in person the following year, when the MN Association of Marriage and Family Therapy invited him to lead an all day training for MFTs interested in learning Internal Family Systems. Roberta then accepted Dr. Schwartz’s invite for MN MFTs to attend an IFS Level 1 training program which consisted of 6 long weekends from mid – 2014 to mid-2015. IFS has been one of her “go to” therapeutic methods since that time. Roberta is also Level 2 trained and served on the training staff for the Level I IFS training in Minnesota during 2017-18. Roberta continues to attend IFS workshops, trainings, and the annual IFS Conference. She is on track to complete certification status by Fall of this year. Roberta has a strong interest in how trauma is stored in the body, and has trained with Susan McConnell, IFS Master Trainer and leader in Somatic IFS at Susan’s annual retreat in Costa Rica.

Ms. Cullen also holds PhD and Masters degrees in Theatre Arts from the U of MN. In her initial career (prior to her work in the mental health field), “Dr.” Cullen taught theatre arts courses and directed theatre productions for over two decades in university and college settings. Dr. C’s last venture in performing arts was to co-create and direct “Jeannette Rankin – Champion of Persistence,” about the first woman elected to the US Congress, presented at the 2018 MN Fringe Festival.

Roberta enjoys reading, fishing, hiking, music, performing arts, recreational bicycling, visiting art installations, chillin’ with a cup of tea and working with tarot cards.

Participants are not required to be vaccinated to attend this workshop. Attendees are encouraged but not required to wear masks. No one will be discriminated against for wearing or not wearing a mask. A HEPA air filter and additional circulation will be present in the main meeting room throughout each session. Social distancing of 6 ft. is not expected and may not be possible in the main meeting room. During brief pair or small group meetings, participants who have identified a desire to maintain social distancing will be able to do so.

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