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CC23 Workshop 04 - IFS and LGBTQIA+ Couples - Frank Anderson, MD

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Topic Areas:
Couples Conference 2023
Couples Conference |  Couples Conference 2023
Frank Anderson, MD
Course Levels:
Master Degree or Higher in Health-Related Field
Audio and Video
Original Program Date:
May 05, 2023
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Like any population, LGBTQIA+ individuals have a variety of different parts within their internal system. However, LGBTQIA+ clients may also have parts that are specifically related to their experiences of gender and sexual identity. These parts can be particularly strong in clients who have experiences discrimination, stigma, or trauma related to their LGBTQIA+ identity.

The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of therapy can be helpful for LGBTQIA+ couples in several ways. It can help each partner develop greater self-awareness and compassion for their own internal system. It can help partner develop greater empathy for their partner’s internal parts and their lived experience. And it can help couples work through conflicts that arise in the relationship related to identity, family legacy, sexuality, culture struggles, and trauma related issues that arise in the relationship.

IFS offers LGBTQIA+ couples a solution beyond resolution. It provides a context to release and transform the overwhelming experiences each person brings to the relationship, providing the opportunity for deeper intimacy, increased resilience, and greater connection.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop an understanding of how IFS techniques can be applied when working with a LGBTQIA+ couple.
  2. Learn the role attachment trauma plays in intimate relationships and how best to address it from the IFS perspective.
  3. Understand the unique strengths and challenges that show up when working with LGBTQIA+ couples.  
  4. Explore the parts of the therapist that enter the therapy room and explore skills and techniques to address them.
  5. Develop an awareness of ethical considerations when working with LGBTQIA+ couples, including issues related to confidentiality, cultural sensitivity and potential biases or assumptions.



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.

Dr. Anderson maintains a private practice in Concord, MA.