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Internal Family Systems

IFS is a research-based and APA-approved model of therapy and coaching grounded in the understanding that we are ALL made up of many facets, called parts, and that learning how to be in relationship with the various parts of ourselves can lead to a much more balanced, peaceful and harmonious life.

In addition to being an artist, Meg is also a Certified Internal Family Systems (IFS) Practitioner.  Additionally, she is an IFS Program Assistant (PA) and has been on staff for IFS Workshops and Trainings for over 10 years. 

Hey.  I appreciate you being here.  If you are an artist who doesn't have inner critics who interrupt your creativity, confidence, or your productivity, you can stop here and go back to perusing the other pages on this site! And may I say, I'm genuinely happy for you. That must be amazing!!!

As for me (and frankly, most artists I know), those self-critical parts can really keep me small and scared.  But what I never understood until I got to know those critics, was that they were actually trying to help me. Their story was, if I use shame and criticism as a tool, you won't take risks and therefore, you'll stay safe.   

To my rebellious, creative artists parts, safe meant boring, ordinary, weak, so I got on a years-long campaign to "kill the critic", which was ineffective and exhausting. In fact, not being able to silence the critic became another source of shame - what's wrong with me?  I'm doing everything I can to shut that critic DOWN (and let me add, the methods I used were often far from healthy and just gave the critics more material!). 

What I wasn't getting was that my critics had learned from a very early age that judgement, shame, and criticism from others for being creative, sensitive, demonstrative, "too much", etc. felt so horrible they became determined to not allow that to happen again. So they developed this strategy of using the same tools (judgement, shame, criticism, etc.) internally to help me avoid the feelings of rejection, shame, and criticism from the external world - and they had been doing this job for decades! 

When I could see the critics from this viewpoint - see my early experiences through their eyes - I could actually validate and appreciate how important they were to me as a kid. This was the game changer. They started to relax. There was something about me understanding them like this that let them know they didn't have to work so hard any more.

Of course everybody's story is different, but I tell this little piece of mine to illustrate that this self-critic cycle can absolutely be interrupted - but not with coercion and criticism of the critics, with understanding and compassion. 

That's the power of IFS.

In her IFS And The Artist series, Meg offers workshops for fellow artists to apply the principles of IFS to help you get to know your creativity-blocking parts, leading to much more freedom to grow into (or return to) the artist, creator (and human) you were always meant to be.  See below to learn more!

Also... if you want to learn more about IFS in general, please scroll down to the bottom of the page for resources to get you started!

IFS And The Artist

A note from Meg:

IFS And the Artist
Initial Support Group

In this interactive group experience, Meg will facilitate three phases of workshop in a hybrid virtual/in-person (in Nashville) format.  Each phase builds on the previous, and deepens as the level of trust and connection is built within the group. As such, participants will need to start at Phase 1.*
Enrollment is limited to 6 participants.

Phase 1
WEEK 1: What is IFS?  In the most didactic of all sessions, Meg will present an overview of the model with some guided meditation to introduce what it's like to "get to know" a part.
WEEK 2: Understanding why my parts do what they do
WEEK 3: Forming relationships with my parts
WEEK 4:  Integrating and setting intentions for nurturing the relationships I'm developing with my parts

Phase 2
WEEK 1: Which parts are most involved in my life as an artist?
WEEK 2: Getting to know the inner critic, the imposter syndrome, and other "blockers" of my creativity.
WEEK 3: Connecting with our younger parts who hold our pain, but also our most creative impulses and aliveness!
WEEK 4: 
Integrating and setting intentions for nurturing the relationships I'm developing with my parts

Phase 3
WEEKS 1-6:  Phase 3 will be an opportunity for all participants to deepen relationships with the parts that they've discovered in Phases 1 and 2.   Each week the group will support each other with deep listening and connection as one participant does a live, individual IFS session with Meg.  The group, having established a community of trust and confidentiality from Phases 1 and 2, holds space with a lot of love and support. 
Please note this phase is a 6-week commitment in order for each of the six participants to have their own individual IFS session. 

Time commitment: The group will meet each week for 3 hours.
Cost: $400 per person, per phase
BIPOC and LGTBQIA+ discount: $300
Financial scholarships also available if needed. 

* For those artists who have already taken any IFSI-approved workshops or trainings, and/or have done their own individual therapy with a Certified IFS Therapist or Practitioner, it may be possible to bypass the Initial Support Group and join the Artist Support Circle (below).


IFS And the Artist
Artist Support Circle

The Artist Support Circle is an opportunity to be in ongoing community with fellow artists and to continue to be in relationship with your parts while supporting others to do the same.  This is for folks who have completed the Initial Support Group (above). 

The Artist Support Circle may also be open to those who have completed an IFSI-approved training or workshop, and/or those who are currently in their own individual therapy with an IFS Therapist or Practitioner.

Cost: $50 per person, per group
BIPOC and LGTBQIA+ Discount: $35 per person, per group
Sliding scale also available if needed.

If you're interested in joining an IFS Group, contact Meg for more information:

IFS Resources

Want to learn more about IFS?  Here are some resources to get you started!

Founding Developer, Dr. Richard Schwartz, explains the model...

And just for fun, my parts song, "I'm Gonna Be Free"

©2010 ASCAP

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