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Digital Recording

Treating Addictions with IFS Therapy: How to Embrace Addictive Parts

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Frank Anderson, MD
1 Hour 31 Minutes
Audio and Video
Oct 08, 2022
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Digital Recording
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Therapists regularly treat clients who struggle with some form of addiction, whether it be from substances, food, gambling, or sex. Unfortunately, the treatment can itself sometimes induce guilt and shame, especially when discussing the negative impact commonly associated with most addictive substances. In this session we’ll discuss IFS therapy, a non-pathologizing treatment modality, helps clients “befriend” their addictive parts in a way that allows them to learn about their positive protective intention.

This product is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or affiliated with the IFS Institute and does not qualify for IFS Institute credits or certification. 


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 1.5 hours CPD.



Frank Anderson, MD's Profile

Frank Anderson, MD Related seminars and products

Frank Anderson, MD, completed his residency and was a clinical instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is both a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. He specializes in the treatment of trauma and dissociation and is passionate about teaching brain-based psychotherapy and integrating current neuroscience knowledge with the IFS model of therapy.

Dr. Anderson is a lead trainer at the IFS Institute with Richard Schwartz and maintains a long affiliation with, and trains for, Bessel van der Kolk’s Trauma Center. He serves as an advisor to the International Association of Trauma Professionals (IATP) and was the former chair and director of the Foundation for Self-Leadership.

Dr. Anderson has lectured extensively on the Neurobiology of PTSD and Dissociation and wrote the chapter “Who’s Taking What” Connecting Neuroscience, Psychopharmacology and Internal Family Systems for Trauma in Internal Family Systems Therapy – New Dimensions. He co-authored a chapter on What IFS Brings to Trauma Treatment in Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy, and recently co-authored Internal Family Systems Skills Training Manual.

His most recent book, entitled Transcending Trauma: Healing Complex PTSD with Internal Family Systems was released on May 19, 2021.

His memoir, To Be Loved, is set to be released on May 7, 2024.


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Frank Anderson maintains a private practice. He is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Self Leadership and has employment relationships with The Trauma Center and The Center for Self Leadership. Dr. Anderson receives royalties as a published author. He receives a speaking honorarium, recording, and book royalties from PESI, Inc. He has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Frank Anderson is a member of the New England Society Studying Trauma and Dissociation and the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.


  1. Appraise the IFS model and how it applies to clients experiencing addictions.
  2. Identify at least 2 roles of emotions, pain & trauma within a person to help indicate reasons for common client reactions such as substance abuse, suicidal thoughts, obsessing, conflict avoidance, binging, cutting and more.
  3. Assess a client’s diagnosis and symptoms through IFS.
  4. Summarize the process of befriending addictive parts.
  5. Identify at least one intervention to deal with the conflicts (Polarizations) in relation to addictions.


  • The critical first step before trying to stop an addiction
  • How to offer an alternative solution apart from the addiction to overcome pain
  • Exploring the traumatic wounds and how they develop into addictions
  • How to address biology and habits in parallel to trauma recovery

Target Audience

  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Psychologists
  • Social Workers
  • Other Mental Health Professions


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