"Thank you, everyone, for my wonderful celebration on Saturday and the thoughtful and generous gift you gave me. I had a great time and my husband and I look forward to trying these restaurants near our new home! I forgot to ask…who wrote the poem that accompanied my gift?

A special thank you to the two special friends who volunteered to organize and host this special event! The food was delicious and the company was terrific. I had a little trouble during our ritual, hearing what everyone had to say about me and my time at IFS, but I let the group know and they were very patient with me. Their sentiments meant a lot to me and touched my heart greatly.

I also want to acknowledge our special junior hostess for her precious hand-made card and the thoughtful shoe bags she asked her grandmother to make for me. Thank you also to our sole male attendee and host for his very special card.

Below is something I shared with those who were there so that those who couldn’t attend can also hear my gratitude:

To borrow from Charles Dickens, “It’s [been] the best of times and the worst of times…"

When I first became part of this community,
My children were at risk,
My marriage was failing,
My family was broken,
And I was lost.

Then, I found the team and all of you.
You taught me to set limits,
To expect and demand respect,
To not accept abuse in any form for myself or my children,
How not to enable,
And to celebrate myself.

Because of this community,
My children are alive, happy, and flourishing,
My marriage has been resurrected,
My family is mended,
And I am at a place I never expected to find…
I am at the beginning of a wonderful future.

I would not be here celebrating with all of you today
If not for all of your help, encouragement, love, and support.
If it “takes a village to raise a child”,
Then it takes a community like this one
To take all the broken pieces and put them together again
To create a new whole, one that is better than the original.

Thank you all, as a group and individually,
For sharing your vulnerability and short-comings so I could share mine,
For being at the other end of the phone when I needed you most,
For putting up with my struggles and failures,
For not accepting my successes but demanding more intstead,
For seeing through me when I was not being transparent,
For helping me learn to celebrate myself even when I saw nothing worthy of celebration,
And, most of all, for giving me back my children, my family, my marriage,
My self-worth, and my future.
You will always have a special place in my memory and in my heart.



"I can only begin to share how incredibly supportive and beautiful and loving it was to be connected to everyone.

I joined the IFS community about 25 years ago when I started therapy with Rhea Almeida. I developed deep connections with the men and women, some of which will last a lifetime. I moved to CA 20 years ago and remain in contact with quite a few folks. They have seen me through a lot of growth and change and continue to do so.

Recently, while my parents attended a family destination wedding in PA, my father fell very ill with sepsis and was rushed to the emergency room. I was still in CA and felt like my parents were stranded alone with no support. Family and friends were over an hour away from them, but not near enough to be there constantly or easily. I reached out for emotional support to a couple of dear friends who I met through IFS. They all rallied and quickly communicated to more people near and dear to my parents. Another friend shared that another former IFS member actually worked at the hospital where my dad was! My mom got clothes from her and she went shopping for her for some more. They visited with my parents and celebrated her birthday with her, while she was away and sitting in a hospital room with my father.

All of this happened while I was making plans to come to PA to help my parents get back home. He was in the hospital for 2 weeks. I absolutely know that he would have recovered, but he and my mom felt emotionally safe and cared for because of the beautiful and caring IFS community."

Mia JonesRacial and gender diversity


"We are so great Rich and I and enjoying our new baby Nellie is just about six months old and we are enjoying her massively. We are very much a partnership around everything related to her and the other children and in a very good place in our marriage. There is not a week that goes by that I don't offer a prayer of gratitude..."

Marriage as a Partnership Racial and gender diversity

Liberation Based Healing

"My name is Diana Jauregui and I am an MSW student at California State University Northridge. I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the Liberation Based Healing Conference in St. Louis this past weekend. I wanted to take the time to congratulate and thank you all for organizing such an empowering conference. This is my first year attending the conference, and after those two powerful days, I was fascinated with the speakers, the concepts discussed and the information presented.

Thank you for having presenters and topics that reiterated the importance of black and brown lives, their experiences and personal healing. I am already looking forward to next year's conference. Thank you!"

Diana Jauregui
MSW Student CSUN


"I thought I came here for therapy. What I received was a gift of life that included learning how to be a man in today's world both in my home and at work. I feel more loved at home and my work colleagues describe me as more caring and competent than ever."..."

Life outside Work Racial and gender diversity


“I have always struggled to bridge the teachings of our scriptures with fairness in the lives of women, our lives. Here we were able to integrate the powerful readings and forces of Goddesses in Hinduism, and bring their relevance to bear on daily life. It was also healing to share this with the circle of women from different cultures and hav..."

Intersectionality of Spirituality and Family LifeRacial and gender diversity


"I never imagined that learning new notions of masculinity such as expanded emotionality, embracing femininity, balancing work and family life, embracing relatedness over individualism, valuing collaboration, maintaining flexibility, valuing shared power of relatedness, could make a better and more courageous man."

Expanding Definitions of Courage and MasculinityRacial and gender diversity


"Your vision and your ability to help us recognize our own wisdom has helped us to create our own community where we can be supported, make mistakes, celebrate our successes, and encourage our growth. Thank you for being an incredible power in my life.

Finding CommunityRacial and gender diversity


“I was shocked to hear a bunch of white, Indian and Latino and Black men talking about racism in the workplace at my third session! What I discovered, though I never expected it, was a mutual sense of respect and care that I did not believe could exist in a mixed race circle.”

A Different View of DesegregationRacial and gender diversity


"Your vision and your ability to help us recognize our own wisdom has helped us to create our own community where we can be supported, make mistakes, celebrate our successes, and encourage our growth. Thank you for being an incredible power in my life."

Finding CommunityRacial and gender diversity