1st Edition

Intimacy from the Inside Out
Courage and Compassion in Couple Therapy

ISBN 9780415708258
Published August 18, 2015 by Routledge
192 Pages

USD $42.95

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Book Description

Couples in distress enter therapy holding two goals that they now experience as mutually exclusive: to feel loved and to feel understood. Toni Herbine-Blank’s powerful new brand of couple therapy, Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO), offers a comprehensive conceptual map for achieving both goals. In a tour de force of elegant case illustrations wrapped around clear instruction, this book shows the IFIO therapist working with the natural subdivisions – or parts – of the human mind in a dyad, guiding and supporting couples to understand how they project childhood injury into current relationships and then, feeling threatened, frustrated and angry, lose track of their underlying needs to feel safe, connected and loved. With a focus on generating internal attachment stability to sustain each partner through the moments when the other is unavailable, couples in IFIO therapy reconnect with their essential needs, change their conversations and learn to make requests that invite rather than threaten in order to get those needs met.

Table of Contents

Foreword Richard Schwartz  Introduction 1. The Origins of Intimacy from the Inside Out Therapy  I. Beginning  2. Getting to Know the Couple and Introducing the Model  2. The Flow and Eddies of the Middle  3. Tracking Cycles  4. Courageous Communication  5. Individual Work  6. Countertransference in Couple Therapy  7. Negotiating Needs  8. You, Me, We? Negotiating Corresponding Needs that Conflict  9. Shaming and Feeling Shamed in Couple Therapy  10. Deepening Experiential Work  11. What Makes a Difficult Case Difficult?  3. Ending  12. Repairing Relationship Rupture  Appendix 1. Unblending  Appendix 2. Unburdening  Glossary  References  Index

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Toni Herbine-Blank, MS, RN, Cs-P, is a senior trainer for the Center for Self-Leadership and the sole developer of Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO). She runs trainings, retreats and workshops on both methods nationally and internationally and has a private psychotherapy practice in Durango, Colorado. For more information: toniherbineblank.com.

Donna M. Kerpelman, JD, MS, has been immersed in IFS for more than ten years as a student, teacher and therapist.  She has organized and facilitated several IFIO retreats for couples in addition to assisting in IFIO trainings for couple therapists. She also brings her knowledge of IFS and relationships to the legal world where she represents children with lead poisoning.

Martha Sweezy, PhD, has a therapy and consultation practice in Northampton, Massachusetts. She is a clinical supervisor at Cambridge Health Alliance, a Lecturer in Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, an occasional helper at IFS trainings, and co-leads workshops on the topic of shame. She is author of several articles on IFS and co-editor, with Ellen Ziskind, of two volumes on IFS: Innovations and Elaborations on Internal Family Systems Therapy and Internal Family Systems Therapy: New Dimensions. For more information: http://marthasweezy.com


"Take a journey with Toni Herbine-Blank and her co-authors into couple therapy from the perspective of Internal Family Systems therapy. Follow the detailed illustrations of a master IFS clinician as she helps couples move from content to process and discover new ways to be incisive and positive in your response to interlocking defenses. Make your therapy more revealing, compassionate and collaborative with her way of doing intrapsychic work in the presence of the partner. And, especially important, learn to accept the inevitable countertransference challenges that arise when you work with your toughest couples." Ellyn Bader, PhD, founder/director of The Couples Institute.

"Toni Herbine-Blank brilliantly expands the IFS model by adapting it to couples therapy. With detailed, moving case illustrations she and her co-authors lead the reader step by step through the actual process of parts work done inside a relationship. Protectors relax, exiles unburden. The relationship itself unburdens. Both a practical guide and a comprehensive conceptual map, readable, clear, and compelling, Intimacy From The Inside Out will be a classic." Terrence Real, bestselling author of The New Rules of Marriage

From the foreword:

"This book takes a topic of immense complexity—how the two internal systems of a couple collide with each other to produce the rigid patterns that drive them toward dissolution—and in simple, clear language makes it understandable. Along the way, it offers time-tested techniques for helping each partner drop their weapons, focus inside and speak to each other from a different place—the Self. When couples are able to do this, each partner invariably develops new insight and also discovers that speaking from the Self on behalf of (rather than from) both protective and vulnerable parts produces an entirely different response from the partner." Richard C. Schwartz, PhD, LMFT, is a lecturer on psychology at Harvard Medical School, a licensed marriage and family therapist, fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and creator of the Internal Family Systems model.