What is Inner Bonding®?
INNER BONDING a 6-step spiritually based therapeutic modality that heals shame, and the resulting self-abandonment, that is often the root cause of anxiety, stress, depression, low self-esteem, addictions, and relationship problems. INNER BONDING creates profound connections with Self, Spirit, and others that heals emptiness and aloneness, unleashing creativity, imagination, passion and purpose, love and joy!
The practice of INNER BONDING is about learning to love yourself and share your love with others.
INNER BONDING transforms your life, creating emotional freedom, by teaching you to:
- Recognize your true worth
- Discover your passion and purpose in life
- Take loving care of your heart, mind, body, and spirit
- Take responsibility for your own feelings of pain and joy, safety and worth
- Create deeply satisfying and enduring love relationships
INNER BONDING is a deep self-healing process that works, regardless of your spiritual or religious background or how severely you might have been abused, neglected, or indulged as a child.
INNER BONDING is a simple yet sophisticated system that:
- Teaches you how to establish a deep daily personal connection and dialogue with a loving source of spiritual guidance.
- Frees your essence -- your core Self, the light within -- and fills your heart with love.
- Heals the false beliefs of your wounded self, beliefs that are the source of the fear, pain, and relationship problems in your life.
- Develops a powerful adult self who can take loving action for yourself and with others.
Traditional psychology has centered on becoming aware of and healing our difficult and painful feelings and behavior. Spirituality has stressed connection with God. Neither has helped individuals to develop a personally responsible loving Adult self, capable of healing the pain of the past, bringing joy in the present, and connecting with your spiritual Guidance.
INNER BONDING offers a complete self-healing process that has not been offered by either psychology or religion. People are recognizing that life is empty without the spiritual dimension, but religion has not always provided that.
INNER BONDING differentiates between love intended to get and love intended to give, between power over others and power within self. It provides a much-needed process for moving out of fear and into love, out of the need to control and into trust, so you can weather the storms of everyday life and embrace the sacred privilege of life on this planet.
The 6 Steps of Inner Bonding
Practicing the Six Steps of Inner Bonding leads you along the spiritual path of healing the shame and self-abandonment of the ego/wounded self, and creates a profound connection with your personal source of spiritual guidance.
The energy that was drained by disconnection and fear now returns to you, allowing you to live life more fully, experience a fulfilling relationship with yourself and others, and learn to manage the challenges of life in a healthy and sustainable manner.
A brief overview of the Six Steps:
Step 1: Willingness to Feel Pain and Take Responsibility for Your Feelings
In Step 1, you move into the present moment and focus within, tuning into your feelings and emotions. You make the choice to be mindful of all your feelings, including your painful feelings, rather than protect against them with substance and process addictions. You make a conscious decision that you WANT to take responsibility for your feelings, which means that you want responsibility for learning how you are causing your own anxiety, depression, anger, guilt and shame with your own thoughts and actions, and that you want responsibility for learning how to nurture the painful feelings of life - the loneliness, heartbreak and grief that are so challenging.
This begins the process of opening you up to receive the positive energy that enlivens and sustains you.
Step 2: Move into the Intent to Learn
In Step 2, you focus in your heart and invite the compassionate presence of your higher self into your heart.
Now you're ready to focus on "intent" - your deepest desire, your primary motivation. There are only two possible intents you can have in any given moment:
- The intent to protect yourself from pain
- The intent to learn about loving yourself
When you are in the intent to learn you are a loving Adult. When you are in the intent to protect and avoid, you are operating from your shame-based ego wounded self.
This commitment to your intention to learn fully opens you up and allows you to connect with your feelings and your higher self.
Step 3: Dialogue with Your Wounded self and Core Self
With kindness, gentleness and compassion toward yourself, you discover the thoughts/false beliefs from your wounded self that may be causing your shame, fear and pain, and you learn how to release anger and pain in appropriate ways. You uncover false beliefs that were created in the past and have led to the self-abandonment that is causing your current pain and shame. You explore what may be happening with a person or event that is causing the core painful feelings of loneliness, heartache, heartbreak, helplessness, or grief. You explore your core Self - your essence, your inner child, which is your feeling self - and discover what brings you joy.
Only when the unconscious false beliefs that have limited you for so long are understood and identified, can they be replaced by new and healthier truths that will nurture and heal you.
In Step 3, you ask yourself questions, such as, "What am I trying to control?" "What am I avoiding feeling with my protective, controlling behavior?"
Step 4: Dialogue with Your Higher Guidance
In Step 4, you ask your spiritual guidance (whatever that is for you): "What is the truth about the thoughts/false beliefs I may have uncovered in Step 3?" And, "What is the loving behavior toward my Inner Child in this situation? What is in my highest good? What is kind to myself?" You open and allow the answers to come through you in words, pictures or feelings. The answers may not come immediately, but if you have a sincere desire to learn, they will come.
By staying open to learning, you experience that you are never alone. This is where fears fall away and you begin to receive all the love and wisdom you need to take loving action for yourself and with others.
Step 5: Take Loving Action
Step 5 is about telling yourself the truth and taking the loving action based on the information that came through from your guidance in Step 4.
You have opened to your pain, moved into learning, started a dialogue with your wounded self and core self, and tapped into your spiritual guidance. In step 5 you take the ‘loving action' that, over time, heals the shame, anxiety and depression that have been the result of your self-abandonment.
Step 6: Evaluate Your Action
Once you take the loving action, you check in to see if your pain, anger and shame are getting healed. If not, you go back through the steps until you discover the truth and actions that bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.
Turning this daily practice into a way of life is what will protect you from going back into the behaviors and patterns from the past. Much like attending to - say - a child's feelings, you learn to keep a loving relationship with yourself throughout your life, no matter the challenges that come at you. This loving relationship with yourself and your guidance fills you and empowers you to handle life's challenges with strength and equanimity.
INNER BONDING was designed to help anyone seeking to heal their fears, false beliefs, anxiety, depression, anger, emptiness and stress. It helps couples heal their relationship and create more passion and intimacy. It also greatly helps those seeking to enhance their self-esteem, creativity, personal power, joy and inner peace. It helps:
Individuals struggling with issues of aloneness, emptiness, depression, self-esteem, anger, or violence; addiction problems including weight problems and food addiction, drug and alcohol addiction, relationship, love and sex addiction; personal issues including childhood physical, sexual, emotional and spiritual abuse; shame, lack of motivation and goal achievement, and problems at work.
Couples who are suffering from communication difficulties, power struggles, sexual difficulties, boundary problems, or spousal abuse, as well as couples who want to deepen their relationship - their ability to love, connect and be intimate.
Parents who are having problems with their children or parents who want to expand their ability to lovingly parent.
Individuals with issues related to control, resistance, communication and boundary issues.
Professionals who seek to help their clients, patients, or students overcome the above-mentioned conditions.
- Individuals in creative fields who want to enhance their creativity.
Relationship Success Stories
We Were Headed For Divorce
"The inner bonding work has completely changed my life and my relationship for the better. My husband and I went from a relationship that was surely headed for divorce (or misery) to the most fulfilling and connected relationship I have ever experienced! (More than I ever even imagined was possible.) We are now able to communicate freely and openly about all areas of our life, money, emotions, sex. We both feel free to relate to each other openly without fear of the other's reaction."
--Danielle Koprowski, Roselle, IL
We Move Beyond Power Struggles
"Inner Bonding has improved our relationship and our parenting, by giving each of us the tools to recognize, understand, and move beyond power struggles. As a result, we are each able to stay in a deeply loving place more and more continuously, and we bounce back much quicker if either or both of us goes into a wounded place. It's great that we both practice IB as we can get feedback from each other and can enjoy deep learning and spiritual growth together."
--Emily Agnew and Duke Duchscherer, Rochester, NY
Emotional and Sexual Intimacy Starts With Me
"True emotional intimacy, and especially sexual intimacy for me (I've learned) can only exist when I am open to being my authentic self. Intimacy starts with me. The Inner Bonding work I've done both individually and as a couple has allowed me to recognize the beauty within me, and ultimately, free myself of deep fears which meddled in my relationships for far too long. Eventually, every relationship in my life blossomed and deepened as I continued to grow and learn to act from loving kindness, first with myself, and then with others, allowing me to be available for truly soulful relationships. Thank you Margaret for being a source of light for me to find myself."
We've Retained the Passion we had When we First Met!
"By learning to take personal responsibility for our own 'stuff,' we are able to enjoy the true essence of one another. Our love continues to retain the passion, intimacy, and playfulness that we shared when we first met."
--Jeff and Elaine (Santa Monica, CA)
Move from Codependency Toward Real Intimacy
"By teaching us how to take full responsibility for ourselves in relationship, Inner Bonding helped us move from codependency toward real intimacy. Inner Bonding taught us how to recognize and then own and transform the things we have projected onto each other, whether it be our darkness or our beauty. As a result, we have become freer to explore the depths of who we really are, to share this with each other and to support one another in our healing journey."
--Karen Kral, M.A., LPCC and Mark Lersch, M.A., LPCC
We Feel Free, empowered, and Deeply Loving
"Inner bonding has helped us to love and care for ourselves, so that we share our lives and love from a full and connected place without codependent expectations. We focus on our own highest good and support this in each other. This has allowed us to feel truly free, empowered, deeply loving and supported in our journey together."
--Sylvia Poareo and Sean Davidson
"Inner Bonding saved my life!"
Get to know Dr. Erika Chopich, one of the co-creators of the Inner Bonding process.
Erika Chopich, Ph.D.
CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDINGDr. Chopich holds a Ph.D. in psychology, is a best-selling author, and an ordained Chaplain. She has worked extensively with the homeless population around the country. Erika has a medical background and before practicing as a psychotherapist, she was an administrator for the Los Angeles Free Clinic. In addition to working with individuals, groups, and business mediation, Erika is an accomplished speaker and seminar leader. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She is co-author of Healing Your Aloneness and the Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, which have been translated into seven languages and are bestsellers in Germany.
Erika currently resides in Durango, Colorado. She is an accomplished pilot and an experienced chef. She continually offers her insight, creativity, quick-wit, humor and playfulness to the ever-evolving process of Inner Bonding. In addition, her unique ability to see and speak with Teachers supports the Inner Bonding process with a constant source of new information.
Erika writes and publishes her blog from a deep appreciation of nature and of life. She has the ability to observe, apply and to teach the Inner Bonding process in every, day-to-day, situation. Her observations and her humor have gathered a large following.
Erika is passionate about her horses and spends much of her free time training and riding them. She also enjoys photography and paints in pastels. Her two dogs, Merlin and Frodo are her constant companions.
Get to know Dr. Margaret Paul, one of the co-creators of the Inner Bonding process.
Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
CO-CREATOR OF INNER BONDING
Dr. Paul is the author/co-author of several best-selling books, including Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By You?, Inner Bonding, Healing Your Aloneness, The Healing Your Aloneness Workbook, Do I Have To Give Up Me to Be Loved By My Kids?, and Do I Have To Give Up Me To Be Loved By God? Dr. Paul's books have been distributed around the world and have been translated into eleven languages.
Margaret holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is a relationship expert, noted public speaker, workshop leader, educator, chaplain, consultant and artist. She has appeared on many radio and TV shows, including the Oprah show. She has successfully worked with thousands of individuals, couples and business relationships and taught classes and seminars since 1967.
Margaret continues to work with individuals and couples throughout the world -- mostly on the phone. She is able to access spiritual Guidance during her sessions, which enables her to work with people wherever they are in the world. Her current passion is working on and developing content for this Website, as well as distributing SelfQuest®, the software program that teaches Inner Bonding® and is donated to prisons and schools, as well as sold to the general public.
Margaret is passionate about helping people rapidly heal the root cause of their pain and learn the path to joy and loving relationships.
In her spare time, Margaret loves to paint, make pottery, take photos, watch birds, read, ride horses, and spend time with her grandchildren.
"Inner bonding has taught and supported me in redefining god as a wise and gentle presence, as opposed to the taskmaster I once perceived god to be. In having begun to practice inner bonding consistently, I am developing new paternal and maternal voices within, and tending to both the false thoughts of my wounds and the dreams and desires of my deepest self. It has supported me in continuing to seek my answers from that wise place within, rather than outside of myself. It has helped me to evolve in my courage to love in the moments where it's the hardest thing to do.
"I am grateful for this tool that encourages me to tune in and find the most loving steps to take on my own soul's behalf. This process is of great nurturance to my artist, who I see as being synonymous with my inner child. I am very grateful to Margaret and Erika for channeling this information, and sharing it so generously."
--Alanis Morissette, singer/songwriter
'Learning about Inner Bonding has been like learning the secret to life. I have been struggling in my life for so long - spinning in circles. Inner Bonding has a clear, logical method to healing and becoming all you can be. I am blown away by what I have learned and I am grateful.' --Clare Fogle, Brooklyn, NY
"Here...is a method for recreating yourself as a powerful, spiritually connected, loving adult self, capable of taking personal responsibility for your own feelings and behaviors... a powerful method for healing relationship and family conflict, as well as for healing self-destructive and addictive behavior. I am very excited about this material. It takes the truths found in ... the newest wisdom literature, and renders them functional in everyday life. Anything that takes a huge wisdom and turns it into a practical tool is a treasure indeed. It is one thing to behold the wisdom and quite another to be able to use it."
--Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God
"I wanted to let you know that Inner Bonding has made an incredible difference in my life. Your books (Inner Bonding and Healing Your Aloneness) have led to transformation in me. As a result of the personal growth I have experienced, I have been amazed to find that every one of my relationships (work, parent, child, romantic) has undergone a transformation as well. I have found that as I have healed me, these hurts have healed in my relationships.
I have spent the last 20 years searching for a way to heal my life. I have read (literally) dozens of books, done affirmations, tried therapy and worked endlessly to grow past my childhood. It was not until I connected with my own child inside and became a loving adult that I received the benefits of all of the other work I had done on myself. It has been like an avalanche of joy and abundance broken loose by the Inner Bonding process. This level of sheer pleasure in being alive every day- the gratitude that is my every breath was not possible without your help." --Amber Sonne
"Would you think me crazy if I said there was a single process that could solve all the issues with which we as human beings struggle? Over the years, I begin noticing a common denominator in all these problems and came to the conclusion that there is only one issue: humankind's lack of experience in feeling our Divine self and our innate connection with the Divine. All other issues stem from this... we are taught a most loving process [that] will take you on a life-changing journey down a path full of awakenings, tears, compassion, reunion, joy and peace. This path, in reference to our divinity, is one seldom even thought about, much less explored. --Lindsay Wagner,actress, author, humanitarian
"True emotional intimacy, and especially sexual intimacy for me (I've learned) can only exist when I am open to being my authentic self. Intimacy starts with me. The Inner Bonding work I've done both individually and as a couple has allowed me to recognize the beauty within me, and ultimately, free myself of deep fears which meddled in my relationships for far too long. Eventually, every relationship in my life blossomed and deepened as I continued to grow and learn to act from loving kindness, first with myself, and then with others, allowing me to be available for truly soulful relationships." --Jeff Frymer, MFT
"...a powerful, effective method for learning to love ourselves at the deepest spiritual level so that we can love others fully." --Gay Hendricks, Ph.D. And Kathlyn Hendricks, Ph.D., authors of Conscious Loving and The Conscious Heart
"Thank you so much for your teachings, they are changing my life. I have been a student of A Course in Miracles for 11 years and this teaching is allowing me to integrate the teachings of that material in a real life way." --Jackie Parkinson, Ontario, Canada
"Through this process I went from being my last resort to being my own best friend! ...the most rewarding moment in my life. I finally experienced the total goodness and light that is the essence of my being -- my true self. What could be a more powerful gift. It feels good to be whole!" --Catherine Oxenberg, actress
"The integration of spirit with deep psychological work is the missing piece in all the other therapies and meditation practices I've done....Your work has been a huge help in my life....The changes in my life have been nothing short of miraculous....and I'm so grateful for the work you are doing for so many. Unconditional love for ourselves is something almost all of us seem to be missing. This creates so many problems, including disease and even wars. But it can be restored. And your work does that." --Peter Cutler, Sedona, AZ
"Inner Bonding is empowering - what better effect can a teaching have? I have never benefited very much from any other teaching - but actually with Inner Bonding I find I am benefiting more from all teachings... Your work is a beacon.
Everything I read and listen to from Eckart Tolle and Pema Chodron, to Melody Beattie and Gabor Mate all resonates with Inner Bonding, but for me Inner Bonding is the center of a clear and complete teaching on healing." --Val Dudley
"Your work is revolutionary and just what the planet needs right now." --Jim Broughton
"...Your gift to articulate it in such a direct, compassionate, and loving way....there are no words for my gratitude... beginning at 14 years of age...world renown treatment centers, therapy, workshops, lectures, EMDR...almost 40 years and tens of thousands of dollars later and I was still so frustrated not being able to bring those pieces together. I may be wounded but I am an intelligent person who was kicking myself that I still couldn't grasp my life. Inner Bonding has given me the tools, the steps to take all of that information from over the years and use it multiple times daily resulting in comfort, relief and hope. --Cyndi Noonan, TX
"Inner Bonding has created profound changes for my family. Love blooms brighter and clearer and we connect on deeper levels than I could have imagined. Thank you for the process. My God, and I mean MY GOD is good and this Inner Bonding is becoming like my breath, it moves through me and gives me life, a very good life." --Suzi Korsak, Real Estate, Merrimack, NH
"I believe this Inner Bonding work is one of the most valuable tools for enriching our lives available today." --Bob Trask, author and keynote speaker
"That shift from control (it has many disguises including super-niceness, ‘figuring' out why someone else did whatever, etc.) to intent to learn has been like a huge door opening for me. This work makes more ‘sense' than any book, idea, seminar, guru or model I've ever experienced. Truly my ‘higher power' has led me here and I am deeply grateful. Inner Bonding has been perhaps the greatest discovery of my adult life and has actually brought me closer to God. Thank you." --Betty Mahalik
"The inner bonding work has completely changed my life and my relationship for the better. My husband and I went from a relationship that was surely headed for divorce (or misery) to the most fulfilling and connected relationship I have ever experienced! (More than I ever even imagined was possible.) We are now able to communicate freely and openly about all areas of our life, money, emotions, sex. We both feel free to relate to each other openly without fear of the other's reaction." --Danielle Koprowski, Roselle, IL
"Inner Bonding has improved our relationship and our parenting, by giving each of us the tools to recognize, understand, and move beyond power struggles. As a result, we are each able to stay in a deeply loving place more and more continuously, and we bounce back much quicker if either or both of us goes into a wounded place. It's great that we both practice IB as we can get feedback from each other and can enjoy deep learning and spiritual growth together."--Emily Agnew and Duke Duchscherer, Rochester, NY
"Inner Bonding is profound beyond words." --Paula M. Powers, Attorney, Urbana, OH
"I have always looked to new information, new tools abd relying on things external to myself to bring about happiness & overcome obstacles and addictions from the past. Whilst they have all made a difference to living life, none were as deep and truly loving as the inner bonding process. I now have access to a new way of healing myself. There's always been a part of me that has always known the way, but needed to be shown 'how' - simply put the Inner Bonding process shows you the how." --Daniel Balacco, Australia
"Something I read said ‘how could you expect to have a good relationship with someone else if you don't have one with yourself.' It made sense but I didn't know how to really connect with my self until I experienced the inner bonding process, which to me feels like a miracle.... I'm so grateful that I have found inner bonding after so much looking, because I know it's the missing piece....it's incredible that it is so simple but so powerful and so absent from any therapy I have ever." -Barbara Green
"The learning has been profound. Learning how to connect with my Spiritual Guidance to take loving actions for myself so my true essence can shine in the world. Thank-you for sharing your learning."--Deborah Lange, Social Ecologist, South Australia
"As a professional I've seen a lot of approaches to personal growth and liberation and this is by far the best I've encountered...The intention ...makes all the difference...a gift to this culture." --Sue Fraser Frankewicz, Expressive Arts Therapist, Shelburne Falls, MA
'I have tried many healing methods and spiritual paths, and nothing has ever given me so much personal empowerment to heal myself and be responsible for myself. The process is inspired yet concrete and totally applicable in everyday life.' --Maggie Hollinbeck, LMFT, Sacramento, CA
I've recently "completed" the 7-day introductory IB Lessons and Village trial. I single out the word "completed" because it's actually the beginning of a never-ending process, of learning and growth.
Nothing -- no other process, no studies, no counseling, no spiritual quest, nothing -- has ever impacted me so much. The shift inside me is palpable; I can feel huge, positive changes "clicking" into place.
I feel the Love of God. There's no elaboration possible, really. I've heard about it, studied it, reached for it -- grasped at it -- it's always eluded me, until now. Even just this very brief exposure to the IB teachings has been completely life-altering. Which is notable, to say the least, for someone who's been as desolate at heart as I have, for so long.
All I can say is Thank You. Pretty small words, for such a big gift. --Coby Gordon