What are IFS Psychodrama Groups?
IFS (Internal Family Systems), is done individually with a therapist or practitioner. We journey inside and discover the parts ourselves that are trying to protect us by operating in extreme roles. Roles which are usually formed at a young age, and these parts often have learned a harsh approach to getting our attention. Tactics often used are criticism, judgement, people pleasing, caretaking, control, analyzing, etc.
The intention for these parts is to avoid any possibility of feeling shame, fear, loneliness, grief, abandonment, anger, etc.
This doesn't always work, and when these buried younger parts of us get exposed from hiding, it can feel like a flood. At this point we have other protectors that jump in and react to this flood. These tactics might include abusing substances, dissociating, over-spending, over-eating, affairs, obsessive crushes, self harm, etc.
Psychodrama is done in a group setting. We take whatever issue is overwhelming (can be interpersonal or parts), and take it out of us and make it 3 dimensional by using group members to play and reenact these parts/roles/people. A core tenet of Psychodrama is role reversal. Rather than simply have a group member hold space, or reflect back from their own parts and experience, we have the protagonist step into the shoes of the part/person, so that the words reflected back are always coming from the protagonist. This offers greater insight into the part or person that is in the "drama". The advantage of this is that the work is not done in a vacuum, but witnessed and held by others, and a sense of not feeling all alone in your work. Others playing roles and parts are able to do work simply by being or watching the drama play out. Safety is created by everyone sharing where they identify and resonate with the protagonists work, without advice giving or analyzing. This is an incredibly deep modality.
Combining IFS and Psychodrama
I have a love for both modalities and I have worked diligently throughout a lengthy process with groups familiar with IFS, to find and flesh out a safe, and impactful merge of the two, to create a wonderful way to explore and gain valuable insights into our "parts", triggers, and behaviors. A huge part of this work includes delving into unburdening these parts with help from group members "playing parts of us", to fully concretize this experience by making it 3 dimensional. This is not fully IFS, and not fully Psychodrama. The core tenet of this work is for the protagonist to experience and get to know the parts of themselves that carry burdens in a safe place with full group support and confidentiality. We also use drama to play out interpersonal relationships in the "here and now", and identify parts that surface and get triggered throughout these relationships. The creator of Psychodrama (JL Moreno), professes that "We are traumatized through the body, therefore we must heal through the body"
When our parts feel heard, respected, held, and understood, they soften and allow more space for even deeper healing with the younger parts of us that are often exiled.
Unburdening parts in a safe way, with group support and identification allows for a healing experience that gets anchored in the body.
Building Safety is of utmost importance in the group process. I start the first session with building a safety container by using connection games and discovering commonalities. I use several different exercises and techniques derived from years of experience in facilitating groups.
I use warm ups, meditation, and coaching charts that I developed to “map” parts, self energy, and interpersonal relationships.
I also use life role charts, social atoms, and unique IFS wheels. When we examine ourselves/life/feelings and parts with some distance, we are able have a different perspective. We make a pact around confidentiality.
This is an empowering process that promotes deep healing. Often a new and deeper awareness comes out of the sharing element of the group and playing a role. The entire group gets to “work” on some level. Zoom Break out rooms are used for pairing and sharing, and offer deeper connections and revelations.
-Befriending our Inner Critic/Judge
-Getting to know what our protective parts are really protecting!
-Our triggers in relationships giving us clues!
-Legacy burdens and how we carry them
Are the groups over zoom?
How long is the group?
- 2 hours
-Once a week
For how long?
-8 weeks (option to continue)
How many people in the group?
When does the next series start?
$70 per session ($280 per month). Sliding scale for those who need it
"Liz is an excellent group facilitator. She is authentic, has intuitive observation skills, is flexible and open to change, and maintains constant neutrality and positivity! She promotes group cohesion and the content is very engaging and informative. She has effective communication skills and is extremely patient with the group process. I would highly recommend her group to anyone looking for personal insight and growth as an individual or a professional"
Amy S MA, LMFT
"Liz’ group was a great coming-together of therapeutic principles that really work! She led interesting, engaging activities that inspired self-reflection and held space for anything and everything that we brought to the table. The only thing I disliked was that it wasn’t long enough!"
Sophia G PhD Health Psychologist
"The combination of IFS and psychodrama was really useful to me. The psychodrama made it easier to see and unblend and interact with parts that had before been difficult to work with, and having witnesses (in the form of psychodrama participants) made the experience feel more concrete.
Liz was thoughtful, responsive, and adaptative, both when guiding participants through their individual processes and in managing the group so that everyone felt seen, safe, and supported. Each meeting felt productive and there was space for participants to say what they needed to say.
I am leaving the group with a sense of being seen and seeing others and with some tools and insights that I can take back into my individual work."
" I participated in an experimental 10 week family systems/psychodrama group facilitated by Liz Green . Liz was able to create an environment of trust and vulnerability through her holding of the space as well as through various exercises where we shared with each other and recognized our similarities.
We were able to move deeply into our own work. I found it particularly valuable to move back-and-forth between parts of myself and to do role reversal with them.
This helped me to un—blend parts that had previously been combined and gave me practice getting unstuck from emotional parts where I was identified and young to a more mature place where I was wiser and more in touch with my wholeness. I am impressed by the creativity, the presence and planning that Liz put into this group. I recommend her work to those who are interested in group work involving parts and/or psychodrama"
Virginia Johnson MC, Therapist
"I loved attending the IFS-Psychodrama group led by Liz. The atmosphere which Liz was creating and supporting throughout the sessions was very safe and authentic; it helped me explore the issues and the blocks I wanted to process. It was my first time to play with psychodrama modality. What an interesting addition to IFS it is. Seeing my parts acted out by the members of the group helped me to look at the situation from a different angle. I felt being witnessed and being validated on a very deep level. Liz had a very grounding and anchoring presence, which helped my parts to relax and to feel welcome. Liz's meditations in the beginning of each session were very special, they opened the space, created the mood and the connectedness with myself and with the group members. Loved it. Thank you, Liz"
"Liz is an amazing facilitator! She creates a super safe group through her presence and the way she creates gentle and clear guidelines. Extremely tender exiles were able to show up and allow me to speak for them. When I was blended with them, Liz interjected in ways that felt affirming and encouraging that enabled capital S self to be in the driver's seat, holding the hands and hearts of my fragile parts.
She is an incredibly skilled leader and oh so generous to offer a 12 week(!) group to us as one of her first groups intermingling IFS and psychodrama. It is a phenomenal approach that compliments both modalities as we were able to externalize parts in a safe space-so very helpful"!
CEO/Founder Anpo Zintkala Healing Center
"I have now completed two, six-week sessions of group therapy with Liz Green. These group sessions combined therapeutic techniques from the Internal Family Systems (IFS) method and Psycho-Drama (PD) therapy method.Prior to beginning these group therapy sessions, I had completed two-years of one-on-one IFS therapy and had never tried PD. I was reluctant to try PD because I had so much success with IFS, and didn’t think I could improve my experience much more.I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome! The way that Liz combined IFS and PD, not only allowed me to form stronger connections with my group, but also helped me form better relationships with my “parts!” I will definitely be continuing to combine IFS and PD, from now on! Thank you to Liz! You have had such an amazing impact of my life"
Liz I want to say what a gift your IFS Psychodrama group has been for me. It's hard to describe all of what the experience meant to myself and our whole group which you led. From the start, we came together unknown to each other, and witnessed you create engagement between us and with you. It invoked a space of safety and respect for us each to share those rawest of parts within. And whether that session was for work on myself, or as a role/part for another, lifelong obstacles rose to the surface and dissolved, as mine & our parts within were trusted, heard, seen, and resolved. These very young ones inside us were freed of the past and enabled for the first time to join life in the present. As the IFS founder's said, there are no bad parts! Such a magical process and your depth of insight both led & followed the threads, as you guided us through such personal of experiences. I really hope you continue creating and leading groups such as this, that embodies and enacts what's buried inside, as simply talking things through is often insufficient. I'm more a kinesthetic person, and this level of engagement moved my world in a good way. Thanks so much.
GROUP FORMAT:-Creative check in-Meditation -Deepening warm ups and group connection-IFS Drama (one person works and others play roles)-Sharing and identification with the work.-Following week (processing any leftovers)