The U-Turn and Re-Turn for Couples

Learning to make a U-turn, unblend from reactive parts, and speak for them instead of from them is the key to having hard conversations safely.

The process supports each person in gaining clarity, calming the nervous system, and getting perspective on the needs beneath their reactivity. This is why in IFIO we provide a roadmap for the U-turn that can be used in the office with the help of a therapist or in between sessions.

The step-by-step guide on how to make a U-turn (and so much more) can be found in my new book, Internal Family Systems Couple Therapy Skills Manual: Healing Relationships with Intimacy from the Inside Out.

Available to order on Amazon now.

IFIO Spring 2021 Newsletter

Hello IFIO community,
Welcome to Spring! Even though there is still snow on the ground here in Durango, CO I can feel the quality of light and air changing. The horses are lying in the sun, the birds are singing to attract mates and establish territory, and, I believe, to celebrate the emergence of warmer weather.

red bird Robin sitting on tree in Park tree

It’s been one year since Covid-19 upended our world. 2020 was supposed to be a year of clarity, possibility, and hope. For many couples, it brought fear, isolation, and a dramatically new normal. Therapy went online. Couple therapists and their clients were forced to stretch themselves to establish safety and connection despite lack of physical proximity. Some couples began to struggle mightily for a multitude of reasons. 

IFIO therapy offers couples ways to become present to themselves and to better understand parts that stumble into conflict with each other. As we say in IFIO, doing a U-turn leads to clarity and inner connection, which can lead to an ability to see another’s perspective and to speak and listen with an open heart and mind. Please enjoy the free 15-minute guided experience and share with your couple clients if you deem it appropriate. You’ll be asked to include your email address but only so that you’ll receive the downloaded meditation

IFIO News: We thought IFIO might begin to teeter as trainings in the spring of 2020 were canceled and unable to be rescheduled. Miraculously, we, Like IFS-I, began experimenting with online trainings . Much to our surprise, these trainings have been met with such enthusiasm that we are struggling to offer enough to meet demand. People from all over the world are able to take trainings that are less expensive and that don’t require travel and hotels. We are experimenting with new ways of delivering the IFIO curriculum online that make learning easier and lessen the burden of being in front of the computer for hours on end. We anticipate being able to offer both online pieces of trainings and live trainings in 2022. Check out the website for current trainings and interest lists.

IFIO Trainings and Anti-Racism: We, as a team, are currently exploring how the origins of the IFIO model and the cultural influences of those of us teaching this material may make the training environment uncomfortable and unsafe for BIPOC and members of other marginalized communities. Several of us will be attending a training about the prevalence and inequities of institutional and systemic racism. We anticipate that this will help increase our knowledge and strengthen the tools we have to understand racist influences in our method or material. The course is offered by the organization: Challenging Racism. https://www.challengingracism.or

Available Now!

Internal Family Systems Couple Therapy Skills Manual: Healing Relationships with Intimacy from the Inside Out

You can help even the most conflicted, disconnected couples restore and heal their relationship. IFS Couple Therapy Skills Manual presents clinicians with a powerful, non-pathologizing approach to helping couples better understand themselves, their differences, and the underlying reasons for their suffering. Working from the lens of Intimacy from the Inside Out (IFIO) a branch of Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy the authors provide a highly successful therapy that allows couples to feel understood, to decrease shame, and to reestablish loving connections. Inside you’ll find:

  • Step-by-step techniques
  • Case examples
  • Experiential exercises
  • Clear treatment explanations
  • Downloadable worksheets

Order your copy today. If you enjoy the book, Amazon reviews are welcome and appreciated!

Follow IFIO!
If you’d like to stay up to date with all things IFIO, please visit, like, and post on our Facebook page:
We also now have an Instagram page (@IntimacyInsideOut) where you can follow for updates as well as snippets from IFIO books and trainings.


IFS Talks Podcast: IFIO & the New IFS Couples Therapy Skills Manual

I’m excited to announce that I was recently a guest on the IFS Talks podcast where we discussed my history with IFS therapy, the development and theory of IFIO, and some about my forthcoming book (which will be released on March 22nd).

You can listen to the episode on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or the IFS website, where you can also read a transcript of our conversation.

It was a lovely conversation and I hope you’ll all have a chance to give it a listen.


The New IFIO Book is Now Available for Pre-Order

As we move into 2021, I wanted to provide an update that my forthcoming book, Internal Family Systems Couple Therapy Skills Manual: Healing Relationships with Intimacy from the Inside Out, is available for pre-order now. The book, which is really more of a manual, is currently in press with our publisher Pesi and is co-authored by Martha Sweezy, a phenomenal IFS therapist and longtime supporter of IFIO. It will be released on March 22, 2021.

This manual walks readers through the flow of IFIO descriptively and experientially, weaving interpersonal communication techniques with deep intrapsychic exploration. It guides therapists and couples to intervene effectively in patterns of conflict, move from protective power struggles to vulnerable conversations without attack or silence, and use an essential IFS technique called unblending to understand themselves and others.

If you’d like to stay up-to-date with upcoming book news and the rest of the world of IFIO, please subscribe to our newsletter if you haven’t already done so.


An Update on IFIO for 2021

We are so excited that Intimacy From The Inside Out has become so popular, but, unfortunately, that does mean that almost all of our trainings for 2021 are completely full.

There is, however, one training that still has some open slots. The training is being offered by our Spanish IFS international partners and will begin in May 2021. The training will be taught entirely in English and all materials will be provided in English. This training promises to be a fun and lively experience that both educates and enriches its participants.

If you are interested, we suggest signing up soon to receive early-bird pricing. All registration must go through our Spanish partners. IFS is not administering this training. Please contact Imma Lloret to register (

We will be posting the trainings in the United States and Europe for 2022 online very soon. If you have not already signed up for our newsletter, where you can learn the schedule for upcoming trainings, you can do so here.

Learn more about Gender Identity and IFIO

We’d like to share a couple videos of Larry Rosenberg, PhD, speaking about gender identity, sexual orientation, and talking with couples about sex. These topics were covered by Larry at an IFIO post-advanced training in 2019. Larry is a clinical psychologist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, as well as an IFIO staff member. In November of 2020, Larry will be joined by Nancy Wonder, PhD. to teach a three-day IFIO advanced training dedicated to these topics.

How to be an Antiracist as a Therapist

Learn how to start becoming an antiracist practitioner with Thema Bryant-Davis, PhD, who provides us with a road map for Moving from Culture Competence to Antiracism in Clinical Practice. Watch Thema talk about this in the following 6 minute video, which was posted on the Nicabm blog (National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine).

To explore this topic more, you can also read Ibram X. Kendi’s Book, How to be an Antiracist, which can be found on Amazon

A Couples’ Transformation with IFS & IFIO

The article below appeared in the September 2019 edition of OUTLOOK, in the Stories of Transformation insert, published by the Foundation for Self Leadership’s magazine. It is a great testament to the power of both the IFS program and IFIO couple therapy model. It is reproduced here with permission from the IFS Institute.

“I felt like I’d been in a loveless, sexless marriage for three decades! Sure enough, I’d brought my own long-term intimacy and sexuality issues to the relationship between John and I, but the initial connection we’d established in our early years was completely gone. John was constantly angry, resentful, frustrated and bitter, and that led me to feel worthless, emotionally unsafe, and filled with shame when I was near him. At our lowest point I couldn’t stand to be in his presence and divorce was just around the corner. I suggested counseling and John said he’d go – for one session.”

Click on the following link and go to page 15 to continue reading:

For more information about OUTLOOK or for related articles, please see

Caring for the Caregivers – Recorded Webinar

On April 2nd, Toni facilitated a free webinar for the IFS community. During this time of change and uncertainty, Toni aims to care for the caregivers by helping us remain self-led while our clients, or the people we love, are suffering with anxiety and fear. In this recording, you’ll get an hour of self-care with meditation, unblending tips, and reminders on how to differentiate between empathy and compassion.

Finding Calm during a Global Pandemic

Dear Friends,

I imagine like me you are living with numerous polarities that appropriately come with this kind of global crisis. You might notice fear, denial, terror, curiosity, rage. What helps my parts is to try every which way possible to be present with all that is arising inside and out with as much care and compassion as possible. Another thing that helps me is to pay attention to my nervous system and my levels of arousal, and to practice every day, even in a small way, something that allows for a gentle, mindful, compassionate U-turn.

These things may include:
-Time in nature

Try an IFIO guided body scan meditation, designed to allow time to explore parts in the body and invite relaxation and tenderness toward yourself.

Click here to access a free guided meditation

Warm Regards,


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