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Couples Counselling

Couple Holding Hands

Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO)

Once we get past that wonderful ‘honeymoon’ stage with our beloved, intimate relationships tend to lead to moments of feeling misunderstood, hurt, shut down, discouraged—any of the ways our differences come to light. Or perhaps these differences are never looked at and suddenly the relationship is falling apart, seems to be finished, and so much is left untended or not communicated.

Couples enter therapy to get back to feeling loved, safe, understood, and to build intimacy into their relationship.

I offer couples work based on a therapy called Intimacy From the Inside Out (IFIO), a method built on the foundational principles of the Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy. IFIO therapy is experiential and process-oriented. It encourages and guides each member of the relationship to look inside to discover how their internal system is playing a part. This is done from a place of compassion, curiosity and acceptance-qualities that these parts of us don’t get to meet very often.

IFIO therapy helps couples increase their capacity for emotional co-regulation by helping them understand their inner protective parts and bring more compassionate energy into the relationship. We identify and track negative cycles of interaction to help notice how unmet needs for safety, connection or love fuel the fighting. Once these needs have been identified, the partners do internal healing work in the presence of their compassionate witness while being supported by the therapist.


It takes courage to be able to turn and look at yourself, at what role you play in this dynamic.

The 3 phases of IFIO therapy are:
Phase 1 Beginning/Learning: getting to know the relationship; introduce the process, offer hope, something different to their current pattern; challenges and fears; what are the hopes, dreams, goals.

Phase 2 Getting to the crux of the matter: bring attention to the feelings and needs underneath painful interaction; practice Courageous Communication; deepening connection and intimacy.

Phase 3 Ending: the couple repairs and looks to the future, bringing new perspectives to each other’s inner world and how this plays a part on the relationship.

The idea of going to couples counselling can be very unnerving. It is easy to imagine all types of uncomfortable scenarios in the therapist’s office. However, choosing not to go at all can lead to much worse. Finding professional help is a courageous first step to take for the sake of your relationship. Get in touch to find out more or make an appointment.


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