chapter
7 Pages

Introduction

Intimate relationships form the core of our social connections, helping us to grow, love deeply and tolerate loss. When couples enter therapy in a state of disconnection, anger and grief at the loss of intimacy, they often hold two goals that feel like opposites: to feel safe and to reestablish intimacy. The Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) approach offers a map for achieving those goals. Reinstituting a loving relationship can heal the wounds that have been caused in relationship, which changes behavior, which changes the brain. Couple therapy, therefore, can offer a variation on unburdening that the author calls relational unburdening. When partners feel safe enough to understand and care about their parts and their partner at the same time, their interactions tend to shift dramatically. They can finally have those difficult conversations, the ones about safety, anger, sex, taking out the garbage, apology and forgiveness.