Intimacy from the Inside Out: An IFS Application to Couples Therapy


Ann E. Drouilhet, LICSW, LMFT with Liz Brenner, LICSW


Sponsored by Therapy Training Boston at 
First Parish Church Waltham
50 Church St.
Waltham, MA 02452


Friday, October 18, 2019 - 9:00 am to 4:45 pm


This workshop will offer a thorough review of the assumptions, theory and methods of the IFS application to Couples Therapy known as Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO).  Developed by Toni Herbine-Blank, this model of couple therapy offers an efficient use of many of the basic Internal Family Systems skills to working with couples.  We will begin with a review by Liz Brenner of the basic assumptions and practices of the Internal Family Systems Model. Then our time will be spent with Ann Drouilhet's in-depth presentation of the IFIO model, showing and discussing video of Toni’s work, leading relevant internal exploration to help practitioners learn the model from the inside out as well as demonstrating IFIO protocols.
Ann will teach participants how to track sequences of interaction between couples which include how parts of them interact with each other in repetitive, problematic patterns. She will illustrate a skillful way to invite each couple member to be willing to work on what they bring to the relational impasse. Participants will learn how to help individual clients bring their best Selves to their relationships. This is accomplished by helping each individual be the primary caretaker for their own emotional needs. Participants will learn how to help individual clients to unblend from protective parts that defend them and bring Self Leadership to the relationship (i.e. bring their best Selves to their relationships). Strategies to help them be the primary caretaker for their own vulnerabilities allow them to also show up in healthy ways for and with their partners. Protocols for doing individual parts work in the context of couple therapy will be taught. A model for helping clients speak for rather than from their parts (i.e. speaking about reactive thoughts and feelings rather than acting them out in the session) in a way that creates the possibility of generative conversations that enhance intimacy will be shown.

Ann brings a deep knowledge of family systems, Internal Family Systems and IFIO thinking and practices to her teaching of this model of couple therapy. This workshop is open to helping professionals who have a range of experience with IFS and IFIO. It will be a thorough introduction to those who are new to the model and an intensive review and deepening of practice for those who have been exposed to the work. Before or after the workshop, participants will be glad to read Toni Herbine-Blank’s book Intimacy from the Inside Out: Courage and Compassion in Intimate Relationships. A basic review of the IFS model, The Larger Self, written by Richard Schwartz will be shared with participants prior the workshop to help everyone be oriented to the content of the training.

Learning Objectives
Participants will be able to:
  •     List a few essential assumptions of the IFIO model that differentiate it from other models of couple therapy
  •     Explain the theory and describe the methods of each of the four core protocols of the IFIO model
  •     Identify and “unblend” from parts of the therapist that may interfere with the effective application of the IFIO model in couple therapy

6 CEs available


Individual Registration: $140, $130 early registration, received by 9/6/19.
​Group Registration: $130 per person for groups of two or more, $125 per person early registration for groups of two or more, received by 9/6/19. Groups must register and pay together to receive the discount.
Members of Clinicians United, Black Therapists Rock, NEAFAST and people working in Caring Together programs may access a discounted rate of $120.


For more information and to register, please click here.