What is Imago Relationship Therapy

Imago Relationship Therapy is a way to connect with your partner that helps you overcome the most common obstacles affecting relationships today. Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt developed this groundbreaking couples therapy through their experience mending relationships, including their own. They published Getting the Love You Want (for couples, 1988) and Keeping the Love You Find (for singles, 1992) which provide a roadmap to understanding the complex and often puzzling aspects of relationships. An indication of Imago’s success is that Oprah Winfrey has featured it on her show seventeen times, and she included the first episode she aired on Imago in her twentieth-anniversary list of “Oprah’s Top 20 Moments”

Imago therapists practice what they teach in their own lives and are trained to provide you with effective tools to improve your relationship. Imago Therapy is available in more than 20 countries across the globe and couples can attend a weekend workshop in addition to working with a relationship therapist.

Why do we fall in love?

Imago Relationship Theory helps us understand what is really happening when we fall in–and out of–love. Our choice of a romantic partner is influenced by our imago (Latin for “image.”) Our imago is formed without our awareness in childhood and represents the image we have of the kind of person that we most expect to love us. When we learn about our partner’s imago (and our own) we are able to develop more understanding of our partner and find ways to be loved the way we want.

From conflict to hope

Pain and conflict of committed relationships arise not out of lack of love for our partners, but from a misunderstanding of what love relationships are about. All relationships go through predictable stages. When we fall in love we are unconsciously expecting our partner to fulfill all of our needs. When this romantic illusion fades, we tend to develop negative feelings and blame our partner. We think or say things like, “you’ve changed,” or “you’re not the person I married.” In reality, the relationship is changing—predictably—and our unwillingness to change with it and grow together can threaten the relationship. But if we recognize our conflict as an indication of growth trying to occur, then our relationship can be a catalyst for our own healing and wholeness.

Working with one of our professionally trained Imago Relationship Therapists can help you and your partner look at your marriage or long-term relationship with new eyes. Together, you can explore:

  • How childhood experiences are recreated (and can be healed) in long-term relationships
  • A new way of talking that improves communication
  • How to develop and maintain empathy and compassion for one another
  • Ways you can re-romanticize your relationship
  • How to transform frustrations into growth and healing

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