Better Together Therapist Training

Better Together at Ghost Ranch

Lori Marchak, Better together founder

Experiential Workshop for Mental Health Professionals

Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, New Mexico

Tuesday-Sunday, February 25-March 2, 2025

24 Credit Hours, pending application and approval

Limited to 35 Participants

 

Are you an Emotionally Focused Therapist intrigued by the Internal Family Systems model? Are you an IFS therapist who wants to offer your clients a more loving and co-regulating presence? Do you want to explore cutting-edge psychotherapy grounded in neuroscience? Join us as we expand our therapist presence and skills while integrating both models and beyond.

Ghost Ranch is a 21,000-acre preserve with stunning land, rock, and skyscapes and fascinating geographical, fossil, archeological, and art history. It is located 65 miles northwest of Santa Fe in Abiquiu, NM. Now a non-profit learning and education center, Ghost Ranch offers learning spaces, accommodations, dining services, and activities. We have a mid-day break each day and the entire afternoon on Friday set aside to explore the ranch and absorb its beauty, history, and spirituality.

We’ll celebrate all that the EFT and IFS models have given us and honor the challenges they present. We will see, hear, and appreciate each other for our accomplishments and struggles. Through experiential learning, we will grow our connection with our own selves and nervous systems by grounding in both models simultaneously

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), developed by Sue Johnson, continues to expand in recognition and popularity. It is perhaps the most respected and empirically supported couple therapy model. EFT is increasingly appreciated as a general model of psychotherapy for individuals, families, and groups. At the same time, Internal Family Systems (IFS), developed by Richard Schwartz, is spreading at lightning speed, not just in the psychotherapy world but across a wide range of professional disciplines.

Better Together is a relational parts model inspired by EFT, IFS, and PSIP, a protocol for accessing the body’s wisdom and healing at the autonomic nervous system (ANS) level. Like all of these models, Better Together radically de-shames, seeing “negative symptoms” or “parts” as positive attempts to maximize belonging. By working directly and relationally with client parts, we develop clarity, compassion, and a more substantial and safer working alliance.

An attachment-based parts model, Better Together, involves seeing, understanding, and supporting the client’s parts that emerge and engage in the room. With an appreciation of the enormous cultural and generational burdens we all carry, we bring radical support to these parts’ needs to protect the client from others, including ourselves as mental health professionals, as we are all limited in our capacity, willingness, and availability to provide needed support. We support clients in seeing and appreciating how strong, capable, and right their parts are to keep them safe. By embracing mistrust, we develop the client’s ability to say “no” clearly and understandably rather than in hidden and controlling ways through their protective parts.

As clients begin to trust themselves and us in asserting “no” to connection, we develop their ability to say “yes” to test whether we can see, appreciate, and join them in their experience. The sense of no longer being alone is not entirely pleasant, but also frightening. After a lifetime of being alone, judged, and unseen, it isn’t easy to believe that another could understand and support the pockets of experience beneath our protective parts.

In this training, we learn to welcome emptiness, collapse, cynicism, disgust, and rage and what it takes to be trustworthy guides in the client’s journey to reassociate with these disowned experiences. We support clients in bringing these experiences into awareness with validation and appreciation. We develop the client’s ability to trust their wisdom about whether and when it is safe to let us “in,” to trust they do not have to be alone, and are safe to explore these spaces with our guiding presence.

Clinicians need care and support to explore those places within themselves to work with clients at this level. This training will focus on being seen and supported for our caretaking, accommodating, and other protective parts that work hard in the room in our professional roles. We will develop our ability to say “no” and “yes” to deeper connection and to glimpse and begin to appreciate and explore the pockets of dissociated experience beneath our protective parts.

We will create an intimate, accepting, and caring container. From there, we will encourage our parts to be seen, validated, and supported as they resonate with and react to different ways of working more powerfully with our clients. We will emerge with more clarity and understanding of ourselves and how we want to approach our clinical work. We will be encouraged to be open and creative while continuing to appreciate current and beloved models. 

We will offer 24 certified education credits for this training, pending application and approval. Trusted Journeys, Inc. is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

Scenic view, Ghost Ranch
Learning is an Adventure. It helps to have a map.

Brittany Burch, Houston, TX

I truly cannot recommend this training any higher – 6 stars wouldn’t even be high enough. It was a game changer!
By integrating IFS into my EFT skill set, I’ve seen significant growth in my work with both individual clients & couples. Lori’s exquisite attunement modeled a style that demonstrated how to slow down, deepen and resonate with clients in a way that is a palpable shift in my work. And Jenny’s mastery of IFS brought to life how to apply this approach in a way that had previously eluded me. The experiential components interspersed with lecture gave us ample opportunities to practice new skills in a way no other training has offered. February cannot come soon enough – learning from these two master clinicians was like drinking from a well of wisdom that rehydrated and revitalized my passion as a psychotherapist. And this next training is sure to be even more nourishing. I cannot wait!

Mark Scheffers, Kalamazoo, MI

I had tried on my own to integrate IFS and EFT in my work with couples. I knew both models helped facilitate change but found myself slipping into one or the other as I worked. If I had leaned toward IFS in a session I felt like I’d missed something EFT would have contributed. If I leaned toward EFT in a session I would come away feeling like I hadn’t gone as deep as if I had used a little IFS. When I heard about the “Better Together Training” I signed up right away. I’m so glad I did. The training helped me see the different models like two layers of one process as I work. Each enriching the other. The training gave a boost to my work. I know I will continue to learn from the intersection of the two models for a long time to come.

Laura C Spiller, Ph.D.

I am a certified EFT therapist and Supervisor Candidate who loves the road map that EFT provides and embraces the guideposts provided by the EFT stages, steps, and moves of the Tango. EFT training has provided me with the ability to bring healing presence and attunement to my clients in their loneliest, darkest places. I was unsure about opening up to the IFS approach; however, Lori Marchak’s Better Together training opened up new, deeper levels in my clinical work. I experienced new ways of being exquisitely attuned to my clients inner world. It was like a new level of tango opened up, where I could move forward and *back* with the client. Previously, I tried to validate the protective moves and organize the secondary emotion to get to the vulnerability under the clients protection. In this training I learned how to dance more effectively with all parts of the client in an even more attuned, responsive manner that helps the client listen to and honor their protection. This deeper work with protectors is allowing clients to experience a more expansive and safe inner world, and provides greater access and tools for bringing care and light to those darker, isolated parts. This training potentiates the non-pathologizing stance of EFT even further, helping therapists befriend and experientially validate their client’s protection, providing an even more powerful healing container. The safe and supportive environment of the training also helped me see and care for my own parts that come alive in my clinical work.

Warren Michelson, Missoula, MT

For me, who loves big ideas and deep insights, the finest measure of a training is its applicability.
I started using the frames and confidently curious stance of this unique training Monday morning, back in my office with my lovely, suffering couples.
This training-experience (because it is both!), brings together, maybe for the first time, EFT and IFS in a highly interactive, experiential retreat format. IFS “parts language” can help couples explore the most vulnerable attachment fears and injuries with less overwhelm. EFTs attachment focus can help us find, feel and finally welcome home (love on) our exiled parts. Hope to meet you at a future EFT & IFS Together experience!

Mindy McGovern, LMFT, CST, Seattle, WA

The first iteration of this training was amazing. Lori and Jennifer provide such a wealth of experience and deep respect for EFT and IFS and how they can combine to create a richer therapist/client experience. I got so much out of their combination of didactic, experiential and hands-on learning. They create such a safe container that allows therapists more experienced with one model or the other to be vulnerable in exploring something new and leading edge. I would highly recommend this training and would be happy to answer any questions you might about participating from a participant’s perspective.

Kristin O’Hara, MS, LMFT, Woodinville, WA

Lori and Jenny did such a nice job demonstrating how to integrate IFS and EFT. From the very beginning, they created a safe and cohesive group that allowed for and encouraged personal exploration and growth. They showed us how to create safety with our clients through attunement and helped increase our awareness of and compassion for the burdens that we each carry and how this shows up in therapy. This training was so enriching for me both personally and professionally…plus it was a lot of fun!

Noah Roost, Portland, OR

Lori Marchak’s integration of EFT and IFS is invaluable. She helped me learn to befriend my clients’ most reactive and provocative parts. She provides hands-on, very applicable techniques to skillfully address the most challenging and stressful aspects of couples therapy (e.g. working with your clients’ rage, contempt, and dissociation). Since attending her workshop I have noticed more vitality and more effectiveness in my couples’ practice. I highly recommend the training to both individual and couples therapists interested in deepening their work with clients. Her training will help therapists bring more true acceptance and secure connection to ALL of their clients.

Workshop Participant

Having taken all the EFT required trainings for certification; Externship, Cores I & II, Self AS Therapist, the supervisory hours to be qualified as “Advanced” as well as EFT Lab II, about 6 months of EFT Cafe, an in person two-day training with Les Greenberg on EFS, a workshop with David Schwartz and IFS workshops in person and on line, I learned so much from Lori’s day long workshop on synthesizing and integrating IFS & EFT. In my experience, EFT trainers rarely mention other modalities and seems to advocate ONLY the EFT script so if one wants to add other modalities, it is either actively discouraged or ignored. I believe the EFT “map” and staying on track is usually very useful. This perspective is the one which has been validated with data from Susan Johnson research and it may be more effective than incorporating other modalities but I have not seen data comparing strict EFT with data using EFT and IFS. There are times when I believe it is useful to incorporate IFS with EFT or to shift to IFS. Lori clearly demonstrated doing just that and clarified how to determine which modality might be more effective depending on the position of the client and the therapist. She made the “Tango” much more explicit and helped me filter the variables which indicate where the work is needs to be deepened in the “Tango.”

Workshop Participant

I was fortunate to attend this workshop integrating EFT and IFS. I was awed by the clinical mastery Lori possessed in her demonstrations and didactic materials. I was confident I was in the presence of a clinician who was always present to the moment and people before her. She clearly was knowledgeable about both therapeutic models and able to speak to both fluently.

Workshop Participant

Lori Marchak is a brilliant woman with a gentle spirit. She exudes an aura of safety and confidence that makes it comfortable for anyone to be her client! I would not hesitate to refer anyone to see Dr. Marchak for individual, couple, or group counseling. And I’d refer any EFT-er or any IFS-er to attend her workshop.

Workshop Participant

Superb material – integrating two rather large theories into one. Both EFT and IFS have their strengths and together they are even more powerful. Dr. Marchak has blended the two and neither detracts from the other.

Lori Marchak, MS, Ph.D, LMFT, LCPC

Lori is an ICEEFT Therapist, ICEEFT Supervisor, and Certified IFS Therapist. A deeply experiential therapist, Lori has been at the forefront of bringing both EFT and IFS to the State of Montana. Lori has trained for over a dozen years in EFT, and is a founding member and training director for the Montana Community for EFT. Lori has worked closely with several EFT trainers, and has provided joint trainings with Roy Hodgson in Seattle and Debi Scimeca-Diaz in New Jersey. She led a Bozeman-based group practice grounded in IFS as well as EFT.

Lori’s clients travel from all over the country and internationally to work with her in three-day intensives designed to bring healing and transformation. Lori specializes in working with complex and generational trauma. Lori is passionate and gifted as a couple therapist, and finds intensive work with individuals incredibly meaningful as well. She is known for her ease, safety, and warmth, as well as her strength and confidence as a guide through deeper, underlying material.

More Details

Benefits of attending this event:

  • See yourself and your clients with more clarity and compassion.
  • Gain confidence in embracing and integrating the gifts from both EFT and IFS models.
  • Develop a clear understanding of the similarities and differences between popular and influential experiential therapies.
  • Develop your ability to work relationally with client parts in the room.
  • Deepen your work beyond what either model can provide on its own.
  • Become reinvigorated and re-inspired in your work.
  • 24 continuing credit hours.
Learning Objectives

This workshop is designed to help clinicians

  • Appreciate the extent of cultural and generational burdens in understanding attachment trauma and client personality systems
  • Articulate the key similarities and differences between EFT and IFS.
  • Translate between EFT and IFS terminology.
  • Experientially compare and contrast the IFS and EFT therapist stances.
  • See and appreciate client parts in the room that are used to being ignored or managed.
  • Understand and practice the use of relational encounters when working with parts.
  • Assess, welcome, and engage with the client’s mistrust of the therapist.
  • Understand the process of reassociation to dissociated experience and its relationship to healing.
  • Apply more transparency and client collaboration.
  • Receive support and appreciation for your own parts.
  • Conceptualize working with ANS states and protection around those states.
  • Deepen confidence and skill in working with contempt, anger/fear, collapse, and emptiness.
  • Explain the neuroscience that supports a relational parts model.
  • Observe live sessions in a relational parts model.
What's New in BT 2025?

Have you attended a Better Together training before? If so, here’s what will be new in this training.

  • This model is being articulated as a new model standing on its own, inspired by EFT, IFS, and PSIP, and not simply about integrating EFT and IFS
  • More and different experiential exercises to enter into trust and mistrust, connection and disconnection, and pockets of dissociated experience, with the support of other participants
  • Updated and clarified teaching modules
  • More focus on working with emptiness, collapse, disgust, rage, and terror
  • While all of these principles and teachings apply to working with individuals, all of the modeling and exercises will be done with couples as clients, to provide more support to those doing couple work.
Staying at Ghost Ranch

Healthy and delicious meals will be provided in a group dining room, including dinner on Tuesday, breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Wednesday through Saturday, and breakfast on Sunday morning. Vegetarian and vegan diets will be accommodated. Participants are welcome to bring food to Ghost Ranch, and a guest refrigerator will be available in a shared space.

Ghost Ranch’s accommodations are simple, with private bathrooms in each room. Many rooms have two queen beds, and you may choose to have a room on your own or double occupancy. Several suites and historic rooms with private baths are also available. ADA-compliant rooms are available. Check-in is from 3-5 pm on Tuesday, February 25.

At just over 6,000 feet elevation, Ghost Ranch is in a high desert climate, where daily temperatures fluctuate widely. Bring clothes to be comfortable exploring the outdoors. At this time of year, it is likely to be below freezing (25-32 degrees Fahrenheit) in the mornings and evenings, when you may want a warm jacket, hats, and gloves. During the day, the temperature will likely be in the 50s, with abundant sunshine and very low humidity, when you might want a light jacket, sunscreen, a sun hat, and sunglasses.

Ghost Ranch offers a variety of guest activities. We will organize one group activity—TBA—for Friday afternoon. If you’d like to arrange another activity, such as horseback riding or a massage, don’t hesitate to contact them directly. Be sure to pack a large water bottle, small backpack, and good walking shoes if you plan on hiking. Ghost Ranch also has two museums and a library that is open 24 hours a day.

Smoking is prohibited inside guest rooms or group facilities, and Ghost Ranch advises against leaving valuables in your vehicle.

Schedule
All times are in local Mountain Standard Time (MST)
 
Tuesday, February 25
3 pm: Check-in
5 pm: Dinner
6–8:00 pm Introductions and Orientation 
 
Wednesday, February 26
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:30-Noon: Workshop
Noon: Lunch
1-2:30 pm: Nature Break
2:30-6:00 pm: Workshop
6:00 pm: Dinner
 
Thursday, February 27
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:30-Noon: Workshop
Noon: Lunch
1-2:30 pm: Nature Break
2:30-6:00 pm: Workshop
6:00 pm: Dinner
 
Friday, February 28
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:30-Noon: Workshop
Noon: Lunch
1-6:00 pm: Nature Break
6:00 pm: Dinner
 
Saturday, March 1
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:30-Noon: Workshop
Noon: Lunch
1-2:30 pm: Nature Break
2:30-6:00 pm: Workshop
6:00 pm: Dinner
 
Sunday, March 2
7:30 am: Breakfast
8:30-10:00 am Nature Break and Room Check Out
Prerequisites

To get the most from this training, participants should understand the Emotionally Focused Therapy model and have practice working with individuals or couples in that model. Ideally, participants will have completed an EFT Externship. Likewise, participants will have some understanding and experience with the Internal Family Systems model and, ideally, have completed an IFS Level 1 training or equivalent.

EFT and IFS

EFT and IFS have fundamental differences. EFT prioritizes the attachment relationship, beginning with an attachment relationship between the client and therapist as the primary source of healing. IFS assumes the existence of an intact, infinite, and spiritual Self within each of us, and prioritizes one’s own Self as the primary source of healing. From a client perspective, EFT and IFS sessions feel very different. With lack of collaboration between model leaders, practitioners who are attracted to both models can become lost and confused while attempting to bring them together.

This experiential workshop helps clinicians clarify what is the same but said in a different language and what truly differentiates the Emotionally Focused Therapy and Internal Family Systems models. It shows clinicians how they can playfully, creatively, and powerfully integrate these models in a manner that resonates with their own parts and Self. This workshop focuses on teaching and practicing new, emergent concepts and techniques that arise when working from both the EFT lens and IFS lens simultaneously. These include cultural burdens and attachment, encounters with parts, developing the ability to say “no” before “yes,” encouraging mistrust and working with ANS states and protection around those states.

Getting to Ghost Ranch

One way to the Ghost Ranch is by shuttle from the Sante Fe or the Albuquerque airport. As we get closer and we poll everyone’s travel plans, we will work to arrange a group shuttle from one of those locations there on Tuesday, returning on Sunday.

Nonstop flights to Santa Fe depart from Denver, Dallas, and Phoenix. Nonstop flights to Albuquerque depart from 12 airports, including Dallas, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Chicago with American Airlines; Denver, Houston, and San Francisco with United; and Salt Lake City, Atlanta, and Minneapolis with Delta.

Another alternative is to drive to the Ghost Ranch from the Santa Fe or Albuquerque airports. The driving distance from the Santa Fe airport is approximately an hour and a half, and from the Albuquerque airport, approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. If you plan to drive, please carpool with other participants. An email group will be formed before the training to facilitate travel coordination.

Policies and Procedures

Confidentiality of Participant Information and Breaches of Confidentiality

Trusted Journeys, Inc. will ensure that participant information, including name, contact, and payment information, will be kept confidential. In the case of a breach of confidentiality, Trusted Journeys will contact the participant.  

Program Complaints

If a participant or potential participant would like to express a concern about Lori Marchak or a continuing education program provided by Trusted Journeys, the individual may  email Lori Marchak at trustedjourneys@gmail.com, Laura Spiller, drspiller@lauracspillerphd.com, training coordinator, or Tahlia Rainboldt, t.rainboltphd@gmail.com, training coordinator. Although we do not guarantee a particular outcome, Trusted Journeys will consider the complaint, make any necessary decisions, and respond within 30 days.

Fees, Refunds, and Cancellation

The fees, refund, and cancellation policy are located on the registration form, below. 

Attendance

Credit will be given for live attendance only. Partial credit will be given based on hours in attendance, when the participant attends at least 6 hours of the live training. 

Disclosure or Use of Client Information in a CE Program

Client information must not be disclosed by a presenter or participant unless proper informed consent has been obtained for use in a continuing education program.

The room price includes tax and gratuity. *The double room price is only available if two people share a room. Double rooms have two queen beds and a private bath. Please list a roommate below if you are planning to room with someone in particular. If no one is listed, we will pair you with a roommate as available.
Please list the name of the person you want to have a room with. If no one is listed, we will assign you a roommate as available.
Price: $235.00
All-inclusive meals include Dinner on Tuesday, Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on Wednesday through Saturday, and Breakfast on Sunday. The price includes tax and gratuity.
$0.00
As an training participant I affirm that I have training and educational qualifications to practice legally as a professional mental health practitioner or am currently in a formal training to be a professional mental health practitioner. I also agree to abide by a mental health professional code of ethics. I will follow legal confidentiality requirements regarding all client and participant information shared in the training. I understand that this training does not count toward certification in EFT or IFS, and that Trusted Journeys, Inc. is not affiliated with ICEEFT or The IFS Institute. Enrollment in this training constitutes an agreement to hold harmless Trusted Journeys, Inc. and all presenters and trainers from any and all claims, actions, and judgements, including all costs of defense and attorney’s fees incurred in defending against claims.
Tuition may be transferred to another colleague by contacting Lori Marchak at trustedjourneys@gmail.com. Refunds are available, less an administrative fee, up to one month before the training. Four months or more before the training the fee is 20%. Three months and up to one month before the training the fee is 40%. No refunds are available within a month of the training.