IFS Training Team

The IFS Training UK team with Dr. Richard Schwartz, PhD,
the founder of the Internal Family Systems method


Ginny Bennett, from IFS Training UK, organised the first-ever IFS training course in the UK in 2010. Since then, the IFS Training UK team have been building a thriving community of IFS practitioners who are all as passionate about the method as they are.

Our trainers, course organisers and facilitators also use the IFS method in their own practices and have each completed all the IFS training Levels (1, 2 and 3), as well as specialist IFS trauma training – you can read all about them below. Level 3 training courses are led exclusively by Dr. Richard Schwartz, creator of the IFS method, and Toni Herbine-Blank. A carefully selected group of senior IFS trainers from Dr Schwartz’s Center for Self Leadership teaches Level 1 and Level 2 training courses.

Find out about individual IFS therapy sessions and how they have helped other people here.

Olivia Lester

Olivia teaches IFS Training UK’s Introductory Workshops and, jointly with Nicola Hollings, is the driving force behind the organisation.

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My work as an IFS Practitioner is a natural extension of my training in Humanistic Psychotherapy as well as in the Hakomi Method. Having practised and taught yoga for 25 years, I am interested in the mind, body, spirit connection.

I have extensive experience of working with groups, couples and individuals during the perinatal period, including having attended over 40 births as a ‘birth companion’.

I am interested in facilitating healthy relationships both in the inner and outer world.

I have a BA (Hons) Degree in Art History and worked for 10 years in the film and television industry as a Location and Production Manager. I have two grown-up daughters and, whilst raising my family, I trained as an Active Birth Teacher and moved from London to Sheffield.

I am an experienced IFS Training Programme Assistant (working in Ireland and the UK) and currently teach the IFS Introductory Workshops as well as organising IFS training courses in the UK. I have completed all the IFS training Levels (1, 2 and 3), as well as specialist IFS trauma training. I also offer IFS sessions to individuals.

I enjoy travelling, walking outdoors, going to the cinema and theatre. My current passion is learning to dance tango.

Nicola Hollings

Nicola helped Ginny Bennett introduce and establish Internal Family Systems training in the UK and continues to develop this work with Olivia.

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In 2010, I helped Ginny Bennett to introduce and establish Internal Family Systems training in the UK. I now continue to develop this work with Olivia Lester. I’ve been a secondary school science teacher for 28 years; I’ve trained in Hakomi and the Internal Family Systems method for personal development and, in particular, to connect more fully with family, friends, colleagues and the global community of people I have met on this journey.

My training inspired me to change direction with my career and look at how I can contribute to a better understanding of emotional barriers to learning. This led me to set up the first nurture group for teenagers in Chesterfield.

My main role at Internal Family Systems UK is to provide the organisational and administrative support needed to develop IFS trainings in the UK.

It is truly a great pleasure to see how the IFS model is becoming more well-known and loved – and to be a part of a growing and thriving community of people who are passionate about IFS.

Liz Calvert

Liz is a psychotherapist with specialist knowledge in the areas of addiction, attachment disorders, trauma and loss.

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I have worked as a full-time psychotherapist for the last twelve years and have specialist knowledge in the areas of addiction, attachment disorders, trauma, loss and abuse. I worked for three of those years in child and adolescents services as a therapist. I have also frequently worked with the military, social services, local GPs, healthcare and other agencies.

I have completed Hakomi training and EMDR (Eye Movement, Desensitising and Reprocessing) Critical Incident Training and am a qualified, practising Holistic Aromatherapist.

I have a private practice in York, England, and work with clients nationally and internationally using the internet, FaceTime and telephone. I work with individuals, couples and small groups. I aim to serve my clients to the best of my ability and feel privileged and delighted to be in the job that I have.

I have completed all the IFS training Levels (1, 2 and 3), as well as specialist IFS addictions and trauma training. I regularly visit the USA to enhance and update my IFS studies and practice. I am a programme assistant on IFS training courses, and deliver IFS Introductory Workshops as well as offering private consultations.

I am a mother to three grown-up children and recently became a grandmother.

Sue Smith

Sue is a psychotherapist with an empathic and gentle approach and a deep appreciation of the uniqueness of every individual.

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I am a fully qualified counsellor with over 10 years’ experience and have a First Class Honours Degree in Person Centred Counselling from Lancaster University’s BACP-accredited course. I offer therapy to adults, children and young people, working on a wide range of issues. I currently work for a well known children’s charity, providing counselling and therapy to young people, and have a private therapy practice seeing people of all ages in person or via internet sessions. As ‘TingleSmith’ (tinglesmith.co.uk), I jointly facilitate training and workshops in related fields.

I have completed the training for the body-centred therapy Hakomi (Assisted Self Study in Mindfulness) and assist on Hakomi training courses in the UK. I have also studied play therapy and attachment theory, as well as shamanic and synergistic healing.

My approach as a therapist is empathic and gentle; I have a deep appreciation for the uniqueness of every person and am committed to working with each individual in the way that best facilitates healing and growth. I believe deeply in our connection to all things and I work with clients and workshop participants to nurture awareness, healing and connection within themselves to embody their true nature.

I have completed all three levels of training in the IFS method, as well as specialist IFS trauma training. I am passionate about the IFS model, which I have fully integrated into both my therapy practice and my way of being. I assist on IFS training courses in the UK and run IFS Introductory Workshops and related training courses.

I live in Preston, Lancashire.

Krissy Tingle

Krissy is a psychotherapist who is passionate about providing a therapeutic environment that fosters freedom of expression and growth.

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Sometime back in the 1990s, I reached a stage in my life when I needed to seek support, which I attained through many meaningful hours with a person-centred counsellor. In 2003, I qualified from the University of Cumbria with a Counselling Diploma – subsequently my ‘ticket’ into what I like to describe as an extraordinary opportunity to become a companion to others. Since then, my practice and experience has continued to evolve around the understanding and importance of human beings as ‘relational’, both in terms of an individual’s relationship with themselves and with other people.

My initial training and subsequent therapeutic practice is firmly grounded within the person-centred approach. For me, this is about providing a safe, trustworthy and therapeutic environment which fosters freedom of expression, self exploration and growth. I have expanded my practice to include Hakomi, Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy and creative therapy, all of which have complimented, strengthened and expanded my client work. By offering a more holistic approach to therapy, with a primary focus on working with the client as a whole, I have been able to develop an increasingly supportive, flexible and effective way of working with a client to connect with and transform his or her core issues and concerns.

I have completed all three levels of the IFS training, as well as specialist IFS trauma training; I work as a programme assistant on IFS training in the UK and run IFS Introductory Workshops and related training.

I am extremely enthusiastic and passionate about bringing IFS into the world. IFS has, in particular, brought a greater depth of therapeutic healing and transformation to my practice, both for myself and the clients that I work with. I am deeply grateful to have discovered this way of working and to Richard Schwartz for bringing this incredible model into the world. More recently, I am enjoying exploring and training in shamanic and synergistic healing practice.

I have been a member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) since 2001 (number 547310). I am based in Preston, Lancashire.