You and your partner didn't fall in love so that you could end up hurting and disappointing one another. But, that often happens, especially once the exhilarating romance phase has faded. Through Imago, you can learn why the very quality that attracted you to each other now often drives you crazy, and you also can learn how to get to the root of your problems and turn conflicts into connection.
Imago is classical Latin for "image." This word was chosen because of the fundamental idea that within everyone's brain there is an unconscious picture or an imprint of the partner that we seek. And we will tend to unconsciously select a person who is uniquely qualified to frustrate us. So if you experience intense frustration in your relationship, you probably are with the right partner. It’s what we call the “imago match," and a Certified Imago Therapist will teach you how to work with the frustration to create conscious love.
Imago Relationship Therapy was created by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., and Helen Lakelly Hunt, Ph.D. You may know Dr. Hendrix’s bestselling book, Getting the Love You Want, which Oprah Winfrey included in her list of "Unforgettable! Oprah's Top 20 Shows."
Here are a few premises of Imago Theory:
Couples fall in love and experience the delicious, magical chemistry known as "Romantic Love."
Somewhere, usually around 6 months to 2 years after falling in love, they move into the "Power Struggle." This is a painful and disappointing stage where relationships sometimes end - through divorce, separation, affairs or other types of withdrawal. Or, a couple may stay together for the kids or other reasons, but feel miserably disconnected from each other. Or, hopefully, the couple will seek help.
The good news about the power struggle is that it represents growth trying to happen. The Imago Therapist helps the couple understand what is going on psychologically, and teaches a set of skills for deep communication. This communication reveals some of the unconscious needs, and seeks to meet them. With a deeper understanding of what is going on in this painful power struggle, along with honoring each other's needs, a couple can begin to experience the safety, joy, growth, rewarding, fulfilling and amazing reconnection that is "Conscious Love."
How does Imago Therapy work?
The goal of Imago Therapy is to assist clients in developing conscious, intimate and committed relationships.
At some point in their relationships, couples find themselves struggling and conflicted, emotionally distanced from one another; wondering if they will ever again feel love for each other. But when a couple recognizes what is happening when they select their mates, and why they chose that specific partner, they can then choose to respond differently to resolve conflicts and, in fact, build lasting intimacy. This is achieved through the Imago Dialogue Process.
Imago Therapy facilitates growth and healing for a couple in crisis. Imago Therapy is about teaching couples to function in their relationships in such a way that dissolves negativity while restoring the connection. Couples in Imago Therapy learn to hear each other more completely and reintroduce the passion and joy to their relationships and to move to a conscious place where both partners grow as individuals and take responsibility for strengthening the relationship.
What does “Imago Certified” mean?
Certified Imago Relationship Therapists & Educators have undergone a lengthy, thorough and rigorous training and certification process through Imago Relationships International. The result is a practitioner with proven skills.
By choosing an Imago-certified therapist, you can rest assured that their work is of the highest quality.