Imago Relationship Therapy
"Being heard is so close to being loved that for the average person,
they are almost indistinguishable"
– David Augsburger
Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is based on the practices and principles developed by Harville Hendrix, PhD, and described in the bestselling book “Getting the Love You Want”. Conflict or tension is a normal occurrence within our romantic relationships. However, when we become more aware of the source of our “triggers”, we can both grow and heal from past hurts, which we may not even have realized were influencing our relationship.
In Imago therapy we encourage couples to stop blaming, shaming, and criticizing. We teach a dialogue process where partners can respond to each other in more compassionate and loving ways, thereby deepening their connection and fulfillment. If the negative patterns in a relationship go untreated and we don’t become more aware of what’s fueling them, we will continue to “re-wound” our partner in the same way they may have felt wounded in childhood or other relationships.
When there is conflict in a marriage or relationship, the partners often feel it is not the right partner or even that they need to leave the relationship, rather than it being an opportunity for both parties to grow and heal. Your most important relationship is worth the time and effort to recreate the joy and connection you once felt!
Imago Therapy very deliberately avoids the idea of blame, or who is right or wrong. A basic tenet of this approach is that both partners’ viewpoints are just as valid, given the other’s experiences, background, personality, stressors. etc. One of my favorite things that I’ve heard Harville Hendrix say is “there are two people in this relationship and one of them isn’t you”. So if you’re tired of having the same conflict over and over or feeling blamed, this type of couples therapy may be right for you.
By learning the dialogue process, you will be more able to stay in your “rational” brain and listen to your partner without being so reactive. When you can listen to your partner in a way that makes them feel really heard, then they will be more willing and able to listen to your viewpoint as well. Imago Therapy can also help individuals explore their background to understand why they keep choosing the same type of unsatisfying relationships. Again, it is not about blaming anyone in your past, but helping you to recognize and change your patterns in your marriage or relationships.
My profile on Imago Relationships North America: https://www.imagorelationshipswork.com/user/debbie-plonkey/timeline