Request an Appointment Button FAQ Registered Psychologist Counsellor Button

Intimacy From the Inside Out – Learning to be there for ourselves before we can be there for our partner.

Intimacy From the Inside Out (IFIO) is a new and powerful model for couple’s therapy. This approach was developed by Toni Herbine-Blank, senior trainer for the Center for Self-Leadership. The methodology is based on the Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy developed by Richard Schwartz in the 1980’s. IFIO incorporates aspects of psychodynamic theory, systems thinking and neuroscience to create a relationship where both partners can feel loved and understood.


So much in our world is uncertain and as social beings we want to know that the people we choose to have in our inner circle are going to be there for us … to love us, and to understand when we are in pain and need their care and compassion.


What do we do when we feel disconnected or threatened or when we are unable to find safety and security?

We have parts of us that step forward to protect and defend us at all costs.


These parts may show up as anger or complete shut down which often creates more disconnection and alienation from the people we love the most. Once our protective part comes out, our partner’s protective part will also come out to defend. This dynamic can become perpetual and difficult to escape.


These protectors have developed these tactics to protect parts of ourselves that have been injured at some point in our lives and take this job very seriously. Our protective parts are not able to see our partner’s pain or to communicate our own need for understanding and love. Protectors do not seek connection or understanding they just want war!


The IFIO therapist works to help each partner understand how their protective parts get in the way of connection and works to help partners speak for these parts, moving from reactivity to responsiveness. Couples learn how to slow down, put down their weapons, and connect with their wounded parts, learning how to care for these tender wounds that have been triggered in the present. Gaining the knowledge to care for internal wounds and being one’s own safe place, allows you to show up differently for your partner and speak for what you are needing. Intimacy really does start from the inside out!


If you are wanting to learn more about IFIO, please feel free to contact me and I would be more than happy to speak with you and your partner.



Anya Stang, MC, has extensive experience in the areas of self-esteem, anxiety, personal growth, plus many more. For more information on Anya and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.