What is IMAGO Therapy?
Imago Therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. and is an effective form of couple’s therapy that has been helping couples create stronger relationships for the past thirty years. Based on the best-selling book “Getting the Love You Want”, this type of approach looks at the unconscious needs that operate in relationships and help couples learn powerful communication tools. This approach teaches couples to successfully move through the many stages of their relationship. One of the underlying principles of this approach is that romantic attraction is based on unconscious forces that bring us together with someone that we will later have conflict and power struggles with. So according to this approach, conflict is a normal occurrence within our relationships, we tend to unconsciously select a person who is uniquely qualified to frustrate us, we can turn a conflict into a connection, and we can use our relationship to help us to grow and heal. Imago views conflict as change trying to happen. The difficulties we experience arise from our own lack of awareness about what we are doing in our relationships, not from our choice of partners. So, if you experience intense frustration in your relationship, you are probably paired up with the right person! Your “IMAGO MATCH”!!! Imago Therapy is effective as a way to create stronger relationships because it helps us become more aware of the way we are all deeply interconnected.
Imago is Latin for “image”. It explains the chemistry of attraction, why it fades, why we argue/ fight and then repeat the same patterns over and over again. Imago helps couples shift the focus from self to the relationship. During sessions, couples learn a new way of listening and talking- The Imago Dialogue. The dialogue process supports the couple in establishing safety and trust so that important underlying issues and concerns can be addressed and heard. Through the Imago Dialogue, you can discover the purpose of the power struggle, help you both grow together and stretch into the deep joy of true, lasting love.
Imago Therapy very deliberately avoids the idea of blame, shame, criticize or who is right or wrong. A main component of this approach is that both partners viewpoints are valid, given the other’s experiences, background, personality, concerns, and stressors.
How can Imago help you?
In the end, it’s all about relationships and relationships are often challenging. Feeling connected to someone you love can be the most wonderful experience in the world. The primary goal of this approach is to help couples move out of the power struggle stage and into a more conscious, intimate and committed relationship. It is a gift and a skill to give and receive the love you want and to keep the love you find. Imago therapy can help us learn how to really love each other.
Clear communication is a window into the world of your partner; truly being heard is a powerful aphrodisiac.” -Harville Hendrix