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INTERNAL FAMILY SYSTEMS Integrating spirituality into action that heals a wounded world.

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The 82nd Annual 
May 24 - May 27, 2024

How can our work for social justice be grounded in a spiritual wholeness? How do we get centered during times of crisis and confusion? And is there a psychological model that will offer healing for the trauma experienced in Israel, Palestine and Ukraine? As we ask these questions, we remember the advice of psychiatrist Carl Jung, that "If you want to change the world, you must first change yourself."

These are central issues for the 82nd Friends Conference on Religion and Psychology. Over Memorial Day weekend, we will explore how Internal Family Systems can equip us with the tools for self-awareness, empathy and authentic expressions of caring so that we can be effective advocates for peace and justice. The conference will be held at Pendle Hill, a Quaker retreat center in the Philadelphia suburb, Wallingford, Pa.

The acclaimed IFS psychologist, Tom Holmes, Ph.D., will be our plenary speaker for the 2024 conference. Tom will offer practical tools for unlocking our inner world, as he explains IFS, a model of working with cognitive and emotional processes that provide a strong foundation for social activism.

Interest in IFS is on the rise, as research has shown it to be constructive in helping individuals with the management of anxious, depressive and traumatic symptoms. The success of IFS has led to a growing number of professionals being trained in this modality.

It is also important to remember that IFS is a relatively new form of treatment, begun in the early 1980s. And, in the manner of Carl Jung, IFS speaks of a sacred Self in the center of the human psyche. As the name suggests, IFS also helps us understand our thoughts and feelings as if they were a family of disparate energy parts.

As we learn to understand these parts, we find protector parts, wounded parts, and the core Self. Through the practices of IFS, we learn to love and understand these parts, bringing them into better balance. In essence, IFS teaches us to do in the inner world what Jesus and Buddha did in the outer world, so that we, too, can be effective in our peacemaking,

As a training psychologist, Tom Holmes has worked with therapists in the IFS model in the Middle East, Ukraine, Germany and American locales helping them understand IFS. At FCRP, Tom will introduce core ideas of IFS that can be compared to Jungian "shadow work" and “Gestalt-style dialogues,” helping individuals gain a deeper sense of their inner world. Tom also will show us the spirituality that lies at the heart of IFS, a spirituality that says there is a divine center of clarity, calmness and connectedness within.

A gifted speaker, Tom will demonstrate how to work towards self-compassion and to react with equanimity to the chaos around us. Tom's specialty is spirituality in the therapeutic process, and he has traveled the world helping therapists to access an open-hearted place within themselves. He is particularly interested in the work of Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, along with various aspects of Christianity, Judaism, Sufism, and Daoism.

In addition to earning his doctorate in counseling psychology and working as a professor at Western Michigan University (he is retired from the university), Tom was an early student of IFS founder Richard Schwartz, training with him in the late 1980s. He is one of the most sought-after IFS speakers -- and trainers -- in the world.

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