I have to say, as a Maximizer, I find it really hard to respond vs react. It takes a lot of effort to use conscious non violent communication skills that convey compassion rather than reacting (which tends to be the default mechanism that my brain goes to when feeling threatened (or tired, or hungry, hangry or whatever 🙂

Part of what life is all about is growing and stretching. And nothing “forces” you to grow and stretch more than marriage does!

Living with others- your partner, your kids, you can’t just scream and react all of the time. The damage that is done from blaming and aggressive can be irreparable. You can’t get those moments back. That’s when your partner or your children lose trust in you and feel unsafe, blamed, shamed, and abused.

If you want to have better relationships with all of those around you, take stock of how you currently communicate.


In Imago therapy, we teach No Blame, No Shame Communication

What saved my marriage was learning to use the Imago Dialogue with my husband Shlomo. I had come from a home that was very reactive- if my parents felt like screaming, they did. I often bore the brunt of their frustration, being the oldest and witnessing their early years of conflicted marriage and contentious divorce. I have to say, as a result of their unhealthy patterns of communication, I lost a piece of my childhood and parts of myself.

Because we repeat what we witness in childhood, upon getting married and having our first child- with sleepless nights and stress- I started getting reactive in my marriage. My communication was very unhealthy.

Through hard work and new skills- when we ultimately found an Imago therapist who taught us how to use safe and compassionate communication with each other- those were the things that saved our marriage and kept us together. Without it, we wouldn’t be here today.


The Imago Dialogue

The Imago dialogue is the best tool for teaching communication within a relationship. It’s a 3 step process primarily- you can watch this video below to see how we structure it, and essentially, it includes:

  1. Mirroring
  2. Validation
  3. Empathy

These printable worksheets can also help you get started with responding vs reacting.


If you’d like to begin changing your communication with your family members, talk with us today about how we can help you completely transform your way of interacting and communication through our intensive retreats and nonviolent communication training. We offer certification opportunities for therapists and for those that want to be professional coaches of Imago facilitation.

Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin

Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin is an Imago relationship therapist and certified (master level) Imago workshop presenter with over 20 years of experience hosting couples therapy retreats in-person and online. Contact info@themarriagerestorationproject.com or