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Embodied Dialogue Series

Cece Sykes

IFS and Compassion for Addictive Processes’ 
with Cece Sykes

Thursday 12pm-1pm EDT on March 14, 2024

Free to join, all welcome.

***Please be aware that by participating in these community meetups via Zoom, your image and name may appear online, including in replay recordings and podcasts. Meetup events are livestreamed to social media channels.***

“Clients with addictive process issues too often feel cast adrift from general therapy.   Yet sending off clients to  ‘get treatment’ in order to be  ‘ready’ for help is distressing and stigmatizing for hurting clients, and often leaves them with nowhere to turn. What can psychotherapists do to better support such individuals?

The Internal Family Systems (IFS) model offers a paradigm shift. Rather than viewing addiction as a unique and self-destructive pathology, we see addictive behaviors as desperately trying to help. United in their drive to do ‘whatever it takes’ to protect the system, the  parts engaged in soothing, escapist  activities are committed to addressing underlying pain. Starting with acceptance and a non-judgmental context, we help clients  to explore the inner intentions and reasoning behind high-risk parts. We build relationships, gain their  trust, and ultimately help  connect to the underlying trauma and attachment wounds they protect, that fuel the process. “

About Cece
Cece Sykes, LCSW, ACSW, is a consultant and senior trainer with the Internal Family Systems Institute where she specializes in trauma and addiction and educates therapists internationally on how to apply the IFS therapy model to addictive processes. Additionally, Sykes is exploring how psychotherapy affects the therapist’s personal narrative. She lectures, consults, and leads workshops on these and related topics and has a consultation practice in Chicago. Her recent book IFS Therapy for Addictions: Trauma-Informed, Compassion-Based Interventions for Substance Use, Eating, Gambling and More was released March, 2023.


Join Jan Winhall's group on the PVI (Polyvagal Institute) Community App for updates and discussion.

The Felt Sense Polyvagal Approach to Trauma & Addiction Group is a place for you to explore with others, through a polyvagal lens, the experiences of trauma and addiction. We are focusing on understanding addiction through the lens of the nervous system, as an adaptive response to maladaptive environments. Our group is growing in leaps and bounds indicating a hunger for change, for the kind of transformative change that polyvagal theory brings us. The group interacts  online as part of the PVI (Polyvagal Institute) Community App. Once a month the group meets live on Zoom for an hour of exploration and discussion with a guest presenter, in what we now call the Embodied Dialogue Series. 

Free to join the group, all welcome!

PVI Community Member Guidelines

  1. We are cultivating cues of safety, so please be supportive.
  2. Encourage and support your colleagues – Remember criticism, cynicism, advice, or judgment may be signs of threat.
  3. Be courteous and assume the best intentions – respect all opinions, no hate speech.
  4. Share generously – Your stories and experiences may be what another person needs to hear today to solve a problem or seize an opportunity.
  5. Be constructive – We’re here to push each other forward and lift each other.
  6. Find ways to help each other find and create cues of safety and co-regulation, reframe challenges, and stay curious.
  7. Advertising, solicitation, personal or company promotion is not permitted. Those who don’t comply with the guidelines will be requested to leave the app.

Click to read more about the PVI Community

Jan Winhall, M.S.W.  P.I.F.O.T. is an author, teacher and seasoned trauma and addiction psychotherapist. She is an Educational Partner and Course Developer with the Polyvagal Institute where she offers a training program based on her book Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, Routledge 2021. Completion of four levels leads students to become Felt Sense Polyvagal Model Facilitators. Her new book, 20 Embodied Practices for Healing Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model, will be published by Norton to be available in March 2025. She is an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Toronto and a Certifying Co-Ordinator with the International Focusing Institute. Jan is Co-Director of the Borden Street Clinic where she supervises graduate students. She enjoys teaching all over the world.

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