Ann L. Sinko, LMFT has 30 years of clinical experience and is licensed marriage and family therapist in Connecticut.
She is in private practice and has been teaching as a adjunct Professor in the Marriage and family therapy program at Central CT State University for 25 years. Ann has integrated IFS theory and technique in all facets of her creative work with families, couples, individuals and groups. She has a background in gestalt therapy and uses sandtray therapy in her work with client. Ann conducts continuing education workshops on Legacy Burdens and creative externalization of parts. She brings her down to earth, concrete style along with a sense of humor to her teaching and training , and has been a IFS lead Trainer since 2007.Ann has also authored a chapter on Legacy Burdens in Martha Sweezy and Ellen Ziskind “Innovations and Elaborations in IFS -  2017.

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The role of Legacy Burdens on Anxiety, Depression and Shame

Full Transcription

Today on IFS talks, we're welcoming and talking to Ann Sinko. Ann Sinko, LMFT, has 30 years of clinical experience and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Connecticut. She's in private practice and has been teaching as an adjunct professor in the Marriage and Family Therapy Program at Central Connecticut State University for 25 years. Ann has integrated IFS theory and technique in all facets of her creative work with families, couples, individuals and groups.

She has a background in Gestalt therapy and uses sand tray therapy in her work with clients. Ann conducts continuing education workshops on legacy burdens and creative externalization of parts. She brings her down to earth concrete style, along with her sense of humor to teaching and training and Ann has been a lead IFS trainer since 2007. She has also authored a chapter on legacy burdens in Martha Sweezy and Ellen Ziskind Innovations and Elaborations in IFS

Ann, thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today.

Ann Sinko: Well, thank you for having me. It's my pleasure to be here. 

Aníbal Henriques: Yes, thank you Ann for having us. How is it for you Ann to hear this bio. What parts come up?

Ann: Well, there's always the little shy part, the young parts that go "who are they talking about?" But I've had to do a lot of updating. And being a trainer, being a teacher, my parts have really begun to settle in and trust that there is this old wise woman that can actually be the one that does these sorts of things. So, I'm aware of them, kind of in my gut, but they give me space to be here with you. 

Aníbal: Could you please tell us a bit about your journey to the mental health profession? Was there something in your personal life that was determinant for you becoming a psychotherapist?

Ann: Well, my father passed away very unexpectedly when I was 18, I had just graduated from high school and before the fall - he died in August - I didn't even think I wanted to go to college, but my mother got on her knees and said, please go. So, my whole family got very untethered. And so, I went to college and tried to write papers on grief and parent loss. And when it came time to graduate, I didn't feel like I was ready to go out in the world yet. It was kind of like was my safe family being in college. So, I went through the graduate catalog and I said "oh, marriage and family therapy."  So, I stayed in school a couple more years and got my degree. I had no idea I wanted to be a therapist before that, other than this following the trail of grief.

Aníbal: So, it was grief that led you to this profession, somehow. You were grieving your father at 18, you said.

Ann: Yes. And also, I got my undergraduate degree in public health. And public health there's so many different aspects of it. And I was really drawn to the mental health aspect of public health. So that was the other road that led me to psychotherapy.

Aníbal: And you felt good at this field since the beginning, it was never strange for you. It just fits you. 

Ann: It never was strange for me. I took too immediately, I started seeing families when I was 24 years old and it just felt like where I belonged.

Aníbal: Wonderful. And when did you get into the IFS trainings?

Ann: Well, that's kind of a fun story. I was teaching at Central Connecticut State University since 1995. And it was infused in all the classes because there was a book called Meta-Frameworks, which is like six domains, if you're familiar with it, of understanding human systems. So, IFS was one of them. And that was the basis Ralph Cohen set up that master's program and the IFS was one of the areas that we integrated into every course in the program.

And then Ralph met Dick and said "Hey, do you want to come to the university and do a training?" So, it was really the first training on the East Coast was in Connecticut at Central. And Ralph kept saying "Ann come take this training." And I'm like "Oh, I don't want to do another training." So, I had been teaching the model since 95, in different classes that I was teaching. So, the first training was in 98. So, in 2001 I finally, he finally talked me into doing the training and I was in a Home Group with Tony Herbine-Blank and Paul Neustad and Mona Barbera was also a participant in that. So many trainings...Pam Krauss was a PA. It was her first PA in that program. So, many of the current trainers came out of those early days in Connecticut. So, that was a very exciting time. It was like a grassroots movement. And I took the training and my husband's a therapist, I said "Honey, I am on a train speeding out of the station, I need you to get on board." And so, he took the training the next year.

Aníbal: And how was it? How did it fit? You came from a family therapy training, right? 

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: So how was it for you coming from this...I believe, so much focused on the context and the external context, and then you go inside in a quite different, almost psychodynamic way. I was it for you, this shifting process?

Ann: Well, I think because of my gestalt training, it fit perfectly, actually. It felt like just a natural. I didn't have to change any of my beliefs. I just needed to learn the technique, because I've always believed that people have everything they need inside of them and that the job of the therapist is to help release that. 

Aníbal: Yes.

Ann: So that was a belief I had even before IFS. So, it felt like just a better roadmap for me than the models that I had been using. So, it felt very natural.

Tisha: I'm curious how that first training was for you and how it was maybe different than trainings now. If it was more experiential, if it was less.

Ann: Well, I was so excited by what I was learning. So, I just I remember it very, very fondly. It was way less organized than they are now. There seem like there was a bit more movement. We did we did more psychodrama kinds of things. And when I took the training, Dick and Michi Rose were the trainers. And so, Michi is very experiential...

Aníbal: And also, spiritual, right?

Ann: Very spiritual. Very spiritual, yes.

Aníbal: And how did it land on you? This experiential and spiritual set of mind that I believe Michi...

Ann: Well, the funny thing is, is back then Dick really wanted to get on board in the psychotherapy world. So, it was kind of like a "Shhhh..." It's not a psychospiritual model. 

Aníbal: It was my guess.

Ann: Yes. So, he was really just trying to prove its efficacy just as a psychotherapy model, not as a psychospiritual model. But I remember in my first training, I just said, well "They're talking about God just like that." And I remember people like "Ohhhh," kind of having a reaction to that. So, again, it's been a spiritual path for me. The more IFS work that I do, the more I feel like I deepen into my spirituality, so they can't be separated. 

Tisha: Can you say a little bit more about that? Feel like that's a really important point.

Ann: Yes. Well, the more my parts heal, the more I know my own worth and the more I believe in our individual divinity and our oneness. And one thing that, you know, when you teach the eight C's is Self knows we're all connected. Really getting to know that in our bones, just seems like it is part of the healing work that gets done. Michi Rose used to say it's all the same one thing, lots of different roads to get there, but all the same one thing.

Aníbal: So, at that time when you met Michi and Dick and all the others you just mentioned, this open mind, spiritual open mind, there was space in you already for that open-minded approach to therapy?

Ann: Yes. I think it was it was already there just waiting for the right thing to open it up. 

Aníbal: Wow, that was the early 90s...?

Ann: The late 90s.

Aníbal: And then, Ann, since you became an IFS therapist, how did that change you and your practice as a therapist?

Ann: Well, I think being trained as a family therapist really helped me understand systems. So, I'm kind of having permission to take what I knew inside people and also then taking it inside, helped me understand even outside systems better. So, understanding that there are protected parts and protector parts. That's a game changer. That's a game changer. Not demonizing any of our parts, but understanding their positive intention, that really made it possible for me to work with anyone, with any issue.

And the other thing that I really liked about IFS is it really brought me into the equation as the therapist. You know, not just the therapist that knows the theory and tries to help people change, but what parts of me are in the room and how am I having impact? You know, instead of just reflecting on that in supervision. But in the moment when I'm working with someone. That relational impact was...that really changed too, having that awareness of my parts in the room. 

Aníbal: It becomes much more of who is present with the client than what techniques does the one that is there has.

Ann: Yes.

Aníbal: It's so different. So, Ann have you ever done some IFS personal work?

Ann: Oh yeah. Many, many, many, many years of it. So, when I, let's say, I started IFS when I was 38, and when I was 40, I got diagnosed with MS and that's when I got into therapy. I kept saying I got to get into therapy, I got to do my own IFS therapy. I'm a pretty happy person. I didn't feel like I was suffering. So, I didn't get into therapy right away. But when I got that diagnosis, I got into therapy and I did a very deep inquiry into why I had an overactive immune system. And I got a lot of answers and, knock on wood, I am a very, very healthy person and have stayed very healthy for 17 years.

Tisha: Wow, so the MS hasn't been aggressive. 

Ann: It has not. It has not. I had one flare in 17 years. It was pretty minimal. 

Tisha: That's incredible. Was it hard to, you know, I always find this challenging working with those tough physical or somatic parts that a lot of parts in our systems have a hard time getting space around not liking. Was it hard to get Self energy towards the MS? 

Ann: It really was, it was scary, like, you know, don't ask questions that you don't want the answers to. So, I felt...I had parts that were more scared than disliking of. Yeah. And basically, what I learned was that my overactive immune system kept me very safe in my family growing up, never having to be sick and have to stay home alone or get other certain relatives to take care of me. And it was, you know, later in my life when my life got really safe, that I didn't need an overactive immune system, that I started having MS symptoms.

Tisha: And so, did that part need to know that you were safe, did it need to be updated or...?

Ann: Well, parts needed to come out of silence and let me know the things that did happen. And then, yeah, lots of updating. That one I can't underline enough. My parts need to be updated all the time, because they get stuck in time.

Aníbal: Yes, makes a lot of sense. It's a good underline, very welcome. Totally agree. Ann in your clinical work, do you still combine IFS with other modalities when needed? How it happens?

Ann: Basically, IFS is the way that I understand how systems function. So, I'm always doing IFS and everything else that I do is a tool to get parts to unblended and begin to have an experience of Self. So, you know, I may use some DBT, CBT stuff, but it's all in service of unblending. 

Aníbal: So, IFS informed. 

Ann: Yes. Like it's a tool to get parts to trust. So...

Aníbal: So you can integrate. 

Ann: Everything has been integrated. Yes.

Aníbal: And tell us, how did you get into this special interest in legacy burdens?

Ann: Well, my interest in legacy burdens started in grad school when I was really drawn to the intergenerational models - Boin, Nage - where they talked about you can't even understand a family if you don't look at it in the frame of at least three generations. So, I found myself very much drawn to those models. And I also have a family history where my father died at age 43. His father died at 43 and my great grandfather died at 42. So, this early loss in the family line.

Aníbal: Young men.

Ann: Young men, yes, yes. And two of them, my father and his father were heart, and then the grandfather was a circulatory, a brain aneurysm. So... And I'm very grateful my brother's still alive. He turned 60 this year, but my brother in law died in his early 40s. So, it's still in my family, even though it went out of the bloodline. So, interestingly enough, also, my father's mother lost 13 babies, because...

Aníbal: 13 babies you said?

Ann: Yes, because of the RH factor, they didn't know back then. So, my father was first born, so he lived and then they one of his sisters lived. So, my father watched his parents lose 12 of his siblings, 12 children. And I don't have children. And in my IFS work, I came to understand that I didn't want to ever lose, I didn't want to love anything enough to lose it, and that that was a direct legacy burden from carrying my father's grief.

Aníbal: Wow, what a story. 

Ann: I really believe he died of a broken heart.

Tisha: Right, right, from his parents.

Ann: From his parents.

Aníbal: So that was early 20th century, I believe so.

Ann: Yes. My father was born in 37... 

Aníbal: 1937. 

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: What a story. Thank you so much for sharing. It's huge. It's really...

Ann: And it really has paved the way for me to understand what is it that we carry, and IFS has been a way to help people heal from carrying legacy burdens.

Aníbal: And we all carry them, right? They are everywhere in my clinical practice, I don't know if it's me in myself also, but more and more in my clients. So, there's a lot to do around legacy burdens. 

Ann: Yes. And just to give people that frame like "what you're carrying you didn't create all of it." Even just knowing that begins to ease it, begins to bring a little bit of relief to think that "oh, this overwhelming grief that's been crushing me isn't all mine."

Tisha: Right.

This is IFS talks, an audio series to deepen connection with the internal family systems model through conversations with lead trainers, authors, practitioners and users. 

Aníbal: Help us with this a little bit, if you can. For sure you can. Ann, you say, I believe in your chapter, that legacy burdens are belief systems, emotions, coping mechanisms, memories and energies that get passed down through the generational line. And you say also legacy burdens are both covertly and overtly passed down through the generations.

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: So, tell us more about covertly and overtly. I mean, sometimes it's really difficult to see them to understand if it's a legacy burden, it's not a legacy burden, is it our experience? It's complex.

Ann: It is complex, and yet it can be very simple. So covert legacy burdens are just things that get infused in us being born into the family that we're born in. So, mine would be talking about my father's grief, that just is something that I've carried being born into the family that I was born into.
Aníbal: In an unconscious way.

Ann: In an unconscious way. It didn't come from any direct interaction that I had or anything that my father said, or my mother said, where are overt legacy burdens are...Let's say there's sexual abuse in the family and so people dissociate from their bodies and hate their bodies. So, let's say my grandmother really hated her body and then she interacted with my mother. So, my mother hated her body. But she now she's lost the story because my grandmother never told the story of sexual abuse. She just knows that as a woman, you're supposed to hate your body. And then my mother does the same thing to her daughters. So, you go around hating your body. You've directly learned it from your mother, yet it came from a trauma several generations ago. 

Aníbal: So how could people know if they don't know about their family stories? It's hard to believe for them that can be something like a covert never told experience from generations behind.

Ann: So, there's questions that we can ask that...

Aníbal: Help us to find out.

Ann: Yes. And you say to people "tell me the first thing that comes into your mind." One I learned from Michi Rose it's called the circle technique, which is you just have someone draw a circle, and then you think about something you've struggled with your whole life. And then what you do is you draw a piece of pie - how much of that did you inherit very quickly without thinking about it. Draw the piece of pie.

Aníbal: Wow.

Ann: Now, if you think about it and intellect gets in there and it gets...But immediately do it...

Aníbal: It's lost. 

Ann: When I do this with groups of people, at least three quarters draw more than 50 percent. So that's one way of doing it. Or you could just ask "So very quickly, just tell me, what percentage did you inherit?" And people will just give you a number. Even if they don't know where it came from.

Aníbal: So, our parts answer. 

Ann: Another one is if people like indications, if people's symptoms don't fit their life history, ok? The amount of grief I carried, even though my father died young, I was carrying that before he passed, you know. Their symptoms don't make sense with their life circumstances in their life history. People that carry a depression like "I have a good life, why do I... Why do I feel so depressed or why am I so anxious? I you know, my life's good." Or when you're listening as a clinician and someone say "Well, my mother had this, and my father had it and my uncles have it and my brother has it..." You know, those are, again, indications that you may be looking at a legacy burden. Language that repeats or doesn't quite fit the situation. I was working with someone and they kept saying "I have to atone; I have to atone." And the grievance was nothing that you might need to apologize for, but there was no need for atonement, so we can hear it in people's language. So, those are some of the ways that...And then we just begin to ask our clients parts and it's amazing, they can tell us.

Tisha: Wow.

With the more covert legacy burdens, would you say that people systems just know that they're inherited from the grandmother’s sexual abuse trauma or does that matter? Does the system just know that it goes back to the grandmother?

Ann: Sometimes they don't know. Sometimes they know that it's old or when you go into a witnessing, sometimes people actually witness their ancestors' stories. And if you don't have a legacy burden frame, people get really freaked out. Like "I'm seeing this horrific stuff that happened and it's not from my lifetime." 

Tisha: Right. 

Ann: Then you would say "Well, do you think it could belong to any of your ancestors? And then like “Oh, yeah, you know, they grew up in Russia when all these things were going on or it makes much more sense." There’re certain things that I hear when I talk about words. It's not ok to shine. Not enough. Not enough. Frequently that goes back to a time when there wasn't enough. But then it gets personalized that “I'm not enough.” There was not enough food and there was not enough shelter and there was not enough safety, so once you have this lens, you just start asking people about it and they seem to know much more than they ever thought they would about.

Tisha: How do you feel like that gets into our systems? Is it stories and impressions from growing up? Is it in the DNA?

Ann: All of the above. All of the above. There are the rules of shame that I think are ways in which things get reinforced and passed down to the generations, like be perfect, be in control, don't talk about anything vulnerable, don't trust. All of those are ways in which they're behaviorally and verbally passed down. I mean, it's through energy. I think it's injected. I think it is in our DNA. There's a lot of really exciting research now on epigenetics that are showing that it is in our DNA and in the clouds that influence our DNA, that we do have a physical, emotional inheritance. So, yeah, I think that it's all of the above, environment and physical. 

Aníbal: Can be complex, right?

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: You should come to Lisbon and help us. 

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: Let's do that. And also, complex when once a legacy is identified, how should we proceed? I know a bit of the, I believe it's a protocol made by Michi Rose and it's a complex one, it has about 24 steps or so. It's a long one.

Ann: I have a protocol and I think it's more like eight steps. 

Aníbal: Okay. 

Ann: You know. It's very much following the model, which is you get parts to unblend and one way in which I've tried to - because I always try to find the shortest way from point A to point B - is you call in the highest positive potential of the ancestors. So, you start with Self and when I'm doing legacy work, I say parts are not welcome. That's the only place where parts are not welcome, only Self is welcome because it's about healing ancestral burden. 

Aníbal: Ok.

Ann: Now, some IFS therapies don't clear the generational line. They just, they identify the legacy burden and they just have people unburden it...

Tisha: They just send it out into light or...

Ann: Light, earth, air, water, the way we unburden any other burden. So, if you're not comfortable with introducing this generational line clearing, then you can just do it that way. I believe that we actually help heal the planet even more if we clear the whole generational line and my interest in legacy burdens also has made me search in many different places for where is this wisdom known? So, in shamanism and other ancient traditions that have always known that there's a way to help heal that which gets passed down to the generations. So, bring me back to the protocol. 

Aníbal: The protocol. Yes, complex one. Can be complex, can be simplified. 

Ann: Yes. By just thinking about it as the IFS model. So, we start with unblending. We get everybody in some Self-leadership, then we witness if need be. Now, the neat thing about legacy burdens is frequently they don't need witnessing because they're not our story. So, parts are really on board, we don't have to do a lot of working with the protective system because once they understand I didn't create these, and I don't have to defend again...

Aníbal: They are ready to let it go.

Ann: Yes, they're much more likely to let it go. So, but the same thing, we deal with the fears and concerns. Then we unblend, and then we witness if need be. And then we unburden and then we invite. So, we can, when we get to the place of unburdening, you invite in people's children, so we clear the line forward... 

Aníbal: Forward, yes.

Tisha: For the future. 

Ann: And then into the future, and then we pass it back to, let's say, the client, and then you have the client pass it back and make a statement like invite in all and any ancestors known and unknown, because sometimes what people, they only know back to their grandparents. But when they do this, they see this whole line of ancestors that they know nothing about. That's really not that uncommon. 

Tisha: Have you noticed shifts in your own family's experience after doing legacy persons? You've done a lot of work.

Ann: My brother's alive. 

Aníbal: That one is huge. 

Ann: I mean, he doesn't even know the work I've done on trying to save his life. 

Aníbal: It doesn't need it.

Ann: He doesn't need to know, he wouldn't get it.

Ann: Yes. I feel, you know, huge shifts in myself. I've seen huge shifts in my clients unburdening legacy burdens. Because if you figure, let's say, you're carrying this hundred percent of this depression. If 50 percent of it gets unburdened, that makes the other 50 percent a lot easier to work with. 

Aníbal: Yeah, makes sense. And you are organizing with Mike level 2's on anxiety and depression. 

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: I'm trying to book one, too, you know.

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: Could you tell us more about this training and how this connects with legacy burdens?

Ann: Well, the training is on shame, anxiety and depression.

Aníbal: Exactly.

Ann: So, it's very, you know, it's taking a look at how shame actually is, in my belief and Mike's belief, at the core of anxiety and depression. 

Aníbal: Ok, makes sense. 

Ann: And basically, it's about deepening your understanding of constellations of parts, because we frequently work with one part, but it's never about one part. It's about a constellation of parts. You know, with clients, you rarely just someone talk about depression without anxiety or anxiety, without depression. They pretty much go together and have protective mechanisms. That's to understand them instead of these terrible, horrible symptoms we want to get rid of, to understand that they're part of trying to protect us from something. So that training will be really about deepening your understanding of shame and how we go about exiling that and then the symptoms that come out of it, how our internal systems use anxiety and depression to help protect us from shame and then to understand polarizations much more deeply, because that's really what we're talking about, the inner polarizations and the more extreme they get, the more symptoms we see that actually end up in addictive cycles. And in that we cover legacy burdens because that's a huge part. Shame is one of the feelings that gets passed down through the generations. And we can see it through behavior, and we can see it in language, and we can see it in how we relate to one another and how we parent. 

Tisha: That's a good one to draw a circle, to start with shame. 

Ann: Yes. 

Aníbal: See how much it's inherited. 

Ann: Yes. And the more disenfranchised your culture has been, the more shame you have on a on a societal level as well. 

Aníbal: So, there is really a legacy burden's role in depression, anxiety and shame.

Ann: Absolutely.

Aníbal: Ann could you, could we just say something about being an IFS trainer once you are an IFS lead trainer for now...

Tisha: Almost 14 years, 12, 13 years?

Ann: That's right. Long time. 

Tisha: A long time. Yeah. Can you tell us about your journey to becoming a trainer?

Ann: Well, like I said, when it started, I was feeling like I was part of this grassroots movement and IFS was just really starting to grow when I took, back then it was called your basic training, and I thought "Oh, I would like to be a trainer," but my parts were scared of that and they blocked me. But Michi Rose would not let me forget that I had said that. And she really did mentor me a great deal and she, you know, she really believed that I should be a trainer. And she made sure that I wasn't going to let my parts take me out.

Aníbal: Do you keep connection with Michi nowadays?

Ann: I do see her every year at the conference and I'm always really happy to see her. And she used to come out every couple of years and do workshops for us here in Connecticut because she has a huge fan club here. But I don't think she likes to travel anymore so much. So, she hasn't been out in several years. But she has much, much to teach, much to teach.

Tisha: And it sounds like she helped you unblend from some of your parts and let you open the door to becoming the amazing trainer that you are.

Ann: She did.

Tisha: Yeah, I was lucky enough to be one of your participants. 

Aníbal: Lucky you. 

Ann: Oh, thank you. And I think that it was kind of my mission in life that...If you had asked me if I was going to be a teacher and someone that stood up in front of groups, I would have thought you were crazy when I was a kid. I was so scared to speak in public. And so, I feel like I'm following my path. This is what I'm supposed to be doing.

Aníbal: Your shy parts are more and more healed or still healing?

Ann: They are. They are. And I have to tell them, like "You don't have to do this. This old lady who can do this, she's been doing it a long time. She's really good at it." 

Aníbal: Well done.

Ann: 13 years more.

Aníbal: And what about your future? You have a long future for sure, and a shiny one or interesting one regarding future as a trainer, as an IFS practitioner. What are you looking for? What are your best expectations?

Ann: You know, I'm kind of in a place where I'm asking myself those questions and I like to listen for my guidance and I really am excited about this new level 2 that Mike and I are going to be doing.

Aníbal: It's going to be the first? The first one?

Ann: This is the first one, will be in the beginning of December. So, it's been a couple of years coming to fruition. But, yes, it will be the first one on shame, anxiety and depression. And then I would like to work with Kay Gardner around creating a new level 2 on spirituality...

Aníbal: Wow. I will register for that one, too.

Ann: Yes. And I am feeling a calling to start doing retreats on grief. That we as communities, we need to come together in community and help each other with our grief. Because I believe that we don't have enough places and if you're not familiar with the book, The Wild Edge of Sorrow... 

Aníbal: Not much. 

Ann: I would totally recommend it because he talks about the five gates of grief. And Bruce Weller, is his name, and the five gates of grief are loss, shame, what's called loss of expectation, which is still in our DNA. We expect to be loved, nurtured and supported by a tribe. And we're grieving that, that we've lost community...

Aníbal: The village.

Ann: That we've lost our villages. Yes. So, there's a knowing that this is supposed to happen for us and that we don't get it. So, there's a grief there. Legacy is one of the gates and then the fifth one is the Earth, that we have a lot of grief about the state of the earth and what we've done to the Earth. 

Tisha: Yeah, it sounds like there's so much depth. 

Aníbal: It looks really interesting. 

Tisha: Really needed. 

Aníbal: Yes. And I I've introduced this to so many people and they're like "Oh, that's a thing? I thought it was just me." You know, that loss of expectation or the deep grief around the earth. And so, it's kind of like legacy burdens. People go "Oh, it's not just me?" 

Tisha: So, creating a retreat at some arena for connection around all of it sounds wonderful. 

Ann: Yeah.

Aníbal: Ann we could just see that you can bring so much more yet to IFS, the IFS world with those wonderful plans for your coming topics and trainings. And as for the IFS model, what future do you foresee?

Ann: Well, the IFS model is more concretized than it's ever been, but it's still evolving. That's one thing that Michi Rose said that, why she loved IFS so much is that she said it's organic, it continues to grow. 

Aníbal: Yes. 

Ann: And I love teaching the basics. And I believe I'm very good at it. So, I still see myself teaching the basics and I feel like every time I do a level 1, I deepen with the basics. But I also see a need for using the model as the base but understanding our legacy burdens and our spirituality. I guess those are the two areas that I'm very much drawn to. 

Aníbal: Wonderful. So, Ann, I thank you so much for having us. I'm very, very grateful for this wonderful conversation with you. It was a joy to be here with you and Tisha. And I hope we can meet again and share this model, our work and our lives. Is there any way that our listeners find you or find out more about your work? You have this wonderful chapter on the Innovations book, and you just announced your wonderful projects for other, eventually level 2 topics on IFS that are so much needed.

Ann: Well, thank you so much for inviting me to this interview today. And I would be happy to just take people's email addresses and let them know what I'm doing and when. Maybe a training, I mean, trainings will always be listed on...

Tisha: On the website.

Ann: On the institute's website, yes. And I have parts that think it's time to write a book. And I have other parts that say no way.

Aníbal: Yes, it's a lot of work and a lot of sitting time. I believe so, yes.

Ann: I think I would rather right now help create trainings and training manuals more than books.

Aníbal: Yes, are very welcome. I love to hear your wonderful plans for IFS for new topics.

Tisha: You make a training on shame, anxiety and depression seem really fun. 

Ann: Thank you. 

Tisha: Fantastic.

Ann: Yeah. And I'm really hoping to do much more of that with Mike. We would love to come to Lisbon. 

Tisha: This was an IFS Talks episode, an audio series to deepen connections with the internal family systems model through conversations with lead trainers, authors, practitioners and users.

Recorded the 20th November 2019
Transcript Edition: Carolina Abreu