All Parts Welcome

A Workshop on Internal Family Systems Therapy
for the Christian Counselor

April 20, 2018. •  Duluth, GA

Since it’s development by Richard Schwartz, PhD over 20 years ago Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) has evolved into a comprehensive approach that includes guidelines for working with individuals, couples, and families. Unique in its application of general systems theory to the internal self, IFS has recently been added to SAMSHA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices. IFS continues to grow in significance and use by clinicians around the world as a valuable treatment modality.
Dick Schwartz, Ph.D. (IFS Developer) and Bill Richardson, Ph.D. (Clinical Director of the Counseling Program at Reformed Theological Seminary) conducted an initial presentation exploring the integration of IFS with Christian counseling at the Annual Internal Family Systems Conference in 2005.  They elaborated this integration with a workshop at the Amercian Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) national conference a few years later.  Though Dick and Bill do not share common faith perspectives their relationship and dialogues on Christian integration and IFS have continued. “All Parts Welcome,” is an expansion on this rich collaboration.

Marti Witherow, PhD (candidate), is a Christian therapist who has joined collaboration with Dick and Bill since 2003. A Level III trained IFS therapist, for the past twelve years she has incorporated IFS into her private practice with individuals and couples which frequently involves gender issues and sex therapy.




Learning Objectives:

By the end of this training participants will have gained or furthered their understanding of:

  1. The core constructs of Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapy, namely
      • Multiplicity (of subpersonalities),
      • “The Self”
      • Subpersonality types (Exiles, Managers, Firefighters)
  2. The relationship of IFS “Multiplicity” to
      • The Christian theological concept of “Imago Dei.”
      • The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy concept of “Self-talk”
  3. The role of the Self in the IFS behavior change goal of “unburdening”
  4. A theological critique of the “Good Self,” i.e., the difference between the “Good Self” and “Resource Rich Self”
  5. A selection of IFS treatment protocols.

Schedule:  (Friday, April 20, 2018)

8:00-8:45 – Registration

8:45-9:00 – Welcome and introductions

9:00-10:15 – Introduction to IFS

10:30-10:45 – Break

10:45-12:15 – IFS through a Christian lens

12:15 – 1:30 – Lunch

1:30 – 3:00 – Clinical demonstration

3:00 – 3:15 – Break

3:15 – 4:45 – Reaction and discussion

4:45 – 5:00 – Wrap up and evaluations

About your trainers

"Bill Richardson has a beautiful way of integrating IFS with Christianity. He’s also a very experienced and talented presenter. I highly recommend this workshop!"
Richard C. Schwartz, PhD
Creator of the Internal Family Systems model of psychotherapy

William J. Richardson


Dr. Bill Richardson did his undergraduate work at Wheaton College, earned a diploma in Christian Counseling from Psychological Studies Institute (now Richmont Graduate University), and received his Ph.D. from the Department of Counseling and Psychological Services at Georgia State University. He brings more than 30 years of clinical experience to his role as Professor and Clinical Director of the Marriage Family Therapy and Counseling Program at Reformed Theological Seminary.  Though Bill likes incorporating various models into practice and teaching, IFS has become his “model of choice.” In Bill’s own words,

“Becoming an IFS learner in Level I and II intensive trainings, an IFS presenter at conferences and best of all, an IFS client in recent years has been a delightful journey.  I greatly enjoy sharing some of these experiences and teaching IFS integrative concepts.”

Bill is a Clinical Fellow and Approved Supervisor of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.

Dr. Richardson’s C.V. is available here.

Marti Witherow


Marti has 14 years of experience working with couples, families and individuals. She is a graduate of ELTE University in Hungary and holds a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Reformed Theological Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. Marti has been in private practice for over a decade and is a co-owner of Watershed Counseling.

Marti has extensive training in several areas of counseling, including Internal Family Systems Therapy (Level III) and Sex Therapy. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Sex Therapist, and board-eligible to become an LPC Supervisor.

Marti Witherow’s C.V. is available here.

About your Host

All Parts Welcome is hosted by Michael Sytsma, PhD., LPC, CST, CPCS.  Michael is the founder of Building Intimate Marriages, Inc. and cofounder for Sexual Wholeness, Inc.

“I was first introduced to IFS in 1999 when a student of Richard Schwartz became a cohort in my doctoral program. As a theory, it articulated my internal experience. As a therapeutic technique, I watched the efficacy of it from behind the mirror as Jason counseled. I have been a fan of IFS every since and am proud to organize this workshop.”  ~ Michael Sytsma

Who is it for?

The target audience for this workshop is professional psychotherapists interested in an introduction to, or further learning about Internal Family Systems Therapy.  (Please see discrimination policy below.)
Specifically, this workshop is for:

  • Professional Counselors (LPC/MHCC)
  • Marriage and Family Therapists (MFT)
  • Clinical Social Worksers
  • Psychologists
  • Pastoral Counselors
While this is the target audience, this workshop is open to anyone who works in a counseling setting including:

  • pastors,
  • lay counselors,
  • psychiatric nurses,
  • students/interns


Workshop Location:

Infinite Energy Center (formerly the Gwinnett Civic Center)
6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, Georgia 30097

The Infinite Energy Center Forum (formerly known as the Gwinnett Conference Center) is a large conference center just off I85 in Duluth, GA (NE Atlanta). Plenty of free parking and a short walk across the bridge to the classroom site (Meeting Room 6). There are several restaurants and hotels a short distance from the center.

Infinite Energy Center Froum

Cost  &  Continuing Education


(includes program, materials, CE certificates)

Super Early Registration (expired 12/31/17) – $99.00

Early Registration (1/1/18-1/31/18) – $125.00

Normal Registration (2/1/18-3/23/18) – $150.00

Late Registration (3/24/18-4/20/18) – $175.00

 Full time student discount – $50.00 (off normal and late registration).

*Policies, including cancelation/refund, are detailed below.

Continuing Education

Note the CE policy listed below.

We have received offical approval for CE credit from the following.

Marriage and Family Therapy
This workshop has been approved by GAMFT for 6.0 Core hours of continuing education for Marriage and Family Therapists. #222-2017
Licensed Professional Counselors Association

This workshop has been approved by LPCA GA for 6.0 Core hours of continuing education for Professional Counselors. #7381-17.



Please be familiar with these policies. You agree to them in registering for the workshop. Click on the tab to read through them. Let us know if you have questions/concerns.
Registration is fully transferrable without additional cost. To transfer registration the original individual who registered must email the host before the start of the workshop.

Registrations will be refunded based on the following:

  • Before 2/1/2018 full refund.
  • Between 2/1/2018 and 4/6/2018 full refund minus $25.00 processing fee.
  • After 4/6/2018 no refund.

No refunds will be provided for those who fail to attend or do not meet CE requirements.

Building Intimate Marriages, Inc. does not guarantee CE certificates will be accepted by any organization other than those specifically identified in the marketing materials. To receive a CE Certificate of attendance, participants must:

    • Sign in before the beginning of each session,
    • Be present until the end of each session, and
    • Submit an evaluation form of the program.

Record of attendance and evaluation forms will be maintained by Building Intimate Marriages, Inc. for at least 5 (five) years from the date of the workshop.

While this workshop:

– will be taught from a disctinctly Biblical Christian perspective and

– will be taught toward a target audience that is seeking to provide counseling both from that perspective, and largely to clients holding this perspective,

program participants who adhere to any religion, religious principles, creed, integration approach, or political principles, are welcome to attend. It is expected that workshop attendees will understand and respect the intended target audience and faith perspective of the presenters.

Building Intimate Marriages, Inc. does not discriminate against any individual or group with respect to any service, program, or activity on the basis of gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age, organizational membership, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Building Intimate Marriages, Inc. seeks to conduct training in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state, federal, and local laws including making appropriate accommodations to program participants with legally-recognized disabilities, including physical, visual, and auditory disabilities. Please contact the host before the workshop should you anticipate needing any accommodation so we can make arrangements.

Participants are invited to submit any complaints about the program to the Board of Directors for Building Intimate Marriages, Inc. or it’s Director. Complaints may be submitted by postal mail or email. All complaints will be responded to within 3 business days. If the workshop in question has been approved by NBCC for CE credit, consistent with NBCC policy, complaint for approved workshops will also be reported to NBCC.

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