About Intimacy From the Inside Out©

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. The application of the model moves between fostering internal attachment work and doing relational work between partners.

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.


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About Toni Herbine-Blank

Toni Herbine-Blank, MS, RN, C-SP, is a Clinical Specialist Psychotherapist and Senior Trainer for the Center for Self Leadership.

Toni was trained in Family Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania where she earned both her RN and advanced practice degree in Psychiatric Nursing. She began training students in Internal Family Systems Therapy in 2004 and since has been instrumental in designing programs and writing curricula for Levels 1 and 2 IFS training programs.

Toni has been in private practice since 1996 specializing in the treatment of couples and individuals. In 2009, after designing a training for IFS therapists to apply the model to couples therapy, Toni offered the first Intimacy from the Inside Out© Training Program in Boston, Massachusetts. Since then the program has been received with great enthusiasm across the United States.

Toni's passion is in guiding therapists to become courageous, clear and confident. She has a reputation for being a creative, lively, and fiercely compassionate trainer. Toni currently lives in Durango, Colorado with her husband Jordan. They enjoy the magnificent outdoors whenever possible accompanied by their horses and dogs.


About Internal Family Systems Therapy

Internal Family Systems Therapy, developed by Richard Schwartz PhD, is an experiential, non-pathologizing model of therapy.

IFS gently and respectfully allows clients to explore their inner lives, which is a natural state of psychic multiplicity.The basic assumption of the model is that every human being, regardless of circumstance or trauma, possesses, at their core an untarnished Self from which flows a never-ending resource of love and self-compassion.

IFS Therapy helps clients understand themselves more deeply, unburden negative beliefs about themselves, and access their internal resource of Self, experiencing great shifts in well-being. For more information about IFS, please visit: SelfLeadership.org

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