Those that are familiar with the Imago therapy dialogue but haven’t fully delved deeply into what it truly is, think that it’s just a communication technique where one person talks and the other person listens fully by repeating back what was said.
It’s important to know that effective communication is only one of the benefits of Imago Theory.
How does Imago therapy work? Imago therapy is all about connection. Our goal is to help you connect with your partner, even about the difficult issues that come up in your marriage. We believe that conflict is an opportunity for connection, and connection is an opportunity for you to heal your childhood.
The Imago dialogue was created so that you can communicate safely with each other always- as communication problems in marriage are the most common source of marriage problems and relationship breakdown.
Once we calm down with the dialogue, we no longer live in a storm of reactivity. We make proactive choices that are conscious and intentional. We are able to change because we realize the role our own anxiety plays in our relationship to our spouse.
Watch the Imago therapy dialogue deeply heal:
- What happy couples do differently
- The Getting the Love You Want Imago Retreat is Magical
- Everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Imago Therapy
Yesterday, I was invited to guest lecture for the Psyd program’s couple’s counseling class at my alma mater, Loyola College. It was exciting to share the power of Imago and the Imago theory of relationships, with these future therapists. In addition to a live demo that my wife and I did, I centered the talk around a presentation I heard 6 years ago at the Imago Conference, entitled 25 years of Imago. Dr. Harville Hendrix outlined some of the ways in which Imago differs from other modalities of couples therapy. He prefaced his talk by saying Imago is not a communication therapy.
As time has passed, I have realized the importance of this statement. There are some people who have been exposed to Imago and think they know what it is all about. When speaking to me about a couple in need of help, one person told me that “they need more than mirroring,” implying that this work is merely about communication skills but does not treat deeper issues. This person does not “get” Imago and about Imago’s theory on relationships. While we can’t not communicate and communication employed through the dialogue process is the tool that we use imago to create safety and structure in the session, it is only a means towards an end.
The end is transformation. The dialogue is the vehicle of a transformative process that assists couples to grow and heal. Their perspective on their relationship and on each other radically shifts so that they can truly “show-up” for their spouse, accepting their “otherness”, and viewing them with compassion instead of judgment.
This is why I have seen couples in the worst situations heal their marriage. Whether it is infidelity, or even spousal abuse, couples have used this process to make their marriages, which other therapists have given up on, survive and thrive.
Yes, you will learn communication skills, but more importantly those skills will enable you to connect with your spouse, experience compassion, and heal. In fact, it is the structure of the Imago process and the safe way of communication that allows for Imago therapy to help couples even in the most difficult situations.
While it is easy to point fingers and blame and wish that our spouse or children would just comply, coercion does not produce effective results.
When we get in touch with why we are feeling frustrated, our tension levels decrease and we can better deal with the situation.
To watch us talk with each other in a safe and connected way and to learn how to enjoy healthy communication, take the 5 step online couples communication course.
Click to purchase the course here
It is so fulfilling as a therapist to see suffering transformed into joy. This is what keeps me going everyday. Although it can be painful to hear my client’s stories and their hurt, the change that occurs right before my very eyes in the session provides me the motivation and the obligation to share this work with as many people as possible. No couple should suffer needlessly when they can get help that really works.
Imago therapy believes that you picked your spouse unconsciously for a reason. All kinds of studies went into researching this axiom and is laid out in Dr. Harville Hendrix’s noted book, Getting the Love You Want.
One of the results of us falling in love with someone that we picked unconsciously is the way we see them as our future partner. We see a “future” picture of our spouse that is complete, that is whole, with all of his/her missing pieces filled in, and without his/her baggage. We have a beautiful inner KNOWING about what kind of potential our spouse comes with and that’s one of the many reasons that we fall in love with who we do.
So unconsciously or consciously, we see our spouse through a lens that includes what he/she is capable of. It’s like an inner knowing that we have- we see a picture of our spouse not only as they are now but all that they can BECOME. And one of the things that becomes frustrating is when that picture does not line up! It’s frustrating that we see our spouse’s potential and it is not yet being fully expressed.
This beautiful picture that says,
“If I could give you one special ability in life it would be the gift of seeing yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you – Then you would realize just how amazing you truly are”
reminded us of the profound awakening that often happens in Imago workshops.
We are woken up to our own potential. After seeing why we aren’t truly living it out, we are able to shed the baggage that we brought along into our marriage, let it go, and become fully alive and vibrant for ourselves and in our marriage.
We finally see what our spouse sees in us and the full picture that they fell in love with. We do this so that we can reclaim those lost parts of ourselves and live a new reality.
We are awoken to the amazing potential that has been living in our spouse all along. Potential that we once saw but perhaps haven’t seen in quite a long while.
If you would like to contact me about your particular situation, I would be more than happy to discuss whether Imago therapy could be right for you. I work with couples both in-person and on Skype so distance should not deter you from getting the help you need.
Talk with us today to begin healing the past, improve your health, become more successful with our 2 Day Marriage Restoration Retreat. We’ve already done the work and created the proven formula that helps 90% of our couples stay together and happy. Talk with us today about the Marriage Restoration Retreat!
There’s nothing quite like the power of gaining clarity on a confusing situation. Complete the form below to talk with Rabbi Slatkin to see what he thinks would be best for you and your unique situation.