The importance of a first session is that it leads to a second session, which is why creating a safe, collaborative context is key. Use the free exercises provided here to help you empathize with the fear and reluctance clients often feel when working through addictive or problematic behaviors.


Cece Sykes, LCSW, ACSW, consultant and senior IFS lead trainer, specializes in trauma and addiction and educates therapists around the world on how to apply the IFS therapy model to addictive processes. Additionally, Sykes is now exploring how psychotherapy affects the therapist’s life. She lectures, consults, and leads workshops on these and related topics, and also maintains a private practice in Chicago. She has co-authored a number of articles on treating the impact of sexual trauma in families and authored the chapter "An IFS Lens on Addiction: Compassion for Extreme Parts" in the 2017 book, Innovations and Elaborations in Internal Family Systems Therapy.