Couples Therapy - Intimacy From The Inside Out (IFIO)
Integrating the Interpersonal and the Intrapsychic in Couples Therapy
"Intimacy from the Inside Out" is a model of couples therapy that draws primarily from the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model of psychotherapy, but also includes aspects of psychodynamic theory, systems thinking and neuroscience. It is an experiential model born out of a desire to carry the concepts of IFS into a relational setting and to use the intimate relationship itself as a vehicle for growth and healing of the individual, as well as the couple.
This work assumes that each us has access to an inward spiritual presence that supports the notion that human beings are resilient and have inner resources of self -love and self-regulation. It is a non-pathologizing approach that helps people make sense of their life experience in a safe and collaborative way.
In IFIO therapy, each member of the couple is invited into a process, which leads to a self-compassionate, and secure relationship with him or herself.
This then makes it possible to stay connected with oneself and one’s partner even in times of stress and relational rupture. Inviting the exploration of each partner’s individual’s inner life supports couples in envisioning a lively dance that includes:
Communicating well; Repairing inevitable rupture; Making room for the needs of both individuals, as well as the relationship; and Exploring authentic heartfelt connection. (Toni Herbine–Blank)
The Goal of Therapy
Is to help you, as a couple, separate out how to have difficult conversations without them being wounding conversations.
We believe you will be able to tolerate difficult conversations and solve your own problems within your relationship, once you learn how to conduct vulnerable interactions safely.
We recognise that no matter what words you use to each other, no matter what demands you place on each other, that underneath there is the desire to know and have a felt sense of:
Do you hear me? Am I safe with you? Will you meet my needs?
We also recognise that wounding from childhood is often beneath troubled interpersonal dynamics and the recognition and exploration of this can become a rich place for growth for you as a couple.
To help you recognise repeating patterns of communications
To offer you an opportunity to gain an insight into these patterns
To offer you a new way of communicating – within yourself and with your partner(s)
Offer a way to create safety between you and your partner(s) in order to work with wounding from childhood.
Relationships are not easy!! Tensions and problems within them are inevitable. Whilst painful and threatening they are also an opportunity for growth, change and a more fulfilling life.
It’s not easy to face up to difficulties but in the words of Brené Brown
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it.”