How does Imago Relationship Therapy change the unhappiness in your marriage or relationship?
- Imago Relationship Therapy is the process of giving couples information and even more importantly, teaching them tools and skills to:
* help make the unconscious aspects of their relationship conscious
* address conflict at its roots rather just trying to solve it in a surface way
* be successful in the work of healing and growth as an individual and as a couple
* create emotional safety for each other
* learn how to better meet each other’s needs
* transform conflict into opportunities for deeper intimacy and connection
* make small changes that make the biggest difference in terms of happiness and fulfillment as individuals and as a couple
* learn how to become a source of pleasure instead of pain for your partner
* realize how to make your marriage or partnership a fulfilling, alive, passionate, fun, transforming source of increasing wholeness and sacred transformation
• increase emotional and sexual intimacy and connection
How is a session with a certified Imago therapist different from any other therapy?
- One way is that they are working from the assumptions we just talked about in Parts 1 and Part 2 of “What is Imago Relationship Therapy?” Certified Imago therapists are trained and certified to use this model of marriage and couples counseling, and in working with individuals about relationship issues.
Imago Relationship Couples Therapy involves the therapist teaching and coaching you as a couple in specific tools as you work with your own issues and conflicts to help you transform distress into deeper connection and growth. Instead of each of you talking with the therapist or the therapist being a referee, you will be talking to each other in a safe and more structured way that is not blaming or shaming. You will learn a way to identify and understand the more vulnerable parts of the conflict and that you usually hurt each other without meaning to.
- Most people become much more motivated to be conscious of unintentional ways they trigger those old stories because they understand their partner’s reaction in a new way. You will also learn how to use the information about yourself and your partner to take very specific steps to change your behavior in a way that not only meets your spouse’s needs and helps heal his or her unmet needs. It can also help you get some of your best self back and express your own aliveness more fully.
- In addition to working with conflict and disconnection, you also learn ways to increase closeness and to bring more romance, fun, and pleasure into your marriage.
How do I get Imago Relationship Therapy for marriage counseling or couples counseling?
You can go to a certified Imago therapist in your area or travel or do an extended session of 3-4 hours or an intensive session of 1 or 2 days with Dawn. (Dawn also does regular weekly or bi-weekly sessions in her office in in the Orlando-Winter Park area.
You can attend a Getting the Love You Want couples weekend workshop in which you get the basic information and tools all laid out in one weekend. Click on the link to see upcoming dates and information about the workshop for couples.
Both with the workshop or in working with a certified Imago therapist, YOU have to work to implement what you are learning and practicing. It’s not magic. It is a powerful and effective set of tools to transform your relationship, but requires your willingness to push yourself, to take risks, to try new behaviors and learn new ways of communicating.
What if I am not in a marriage or love relationship at this time?
Many Imago therapists have had advanced training to do this work with individuals not currently in a committed partnership. It is especially useful if you find yourself ending up in the same unsatisfying place in relationships or if you have had a marriage or partnership end and want to do some of your own work to begin to shift your own patterns.
I do Imago work with individuals through regular appointments in my office if you are not currently in a relationship. If you are, both people need to come in because you both create the quality of the marriage or relationship for better or worse. If your partner does not want to return after the first session and you do, I will see you.. Certified Imago therapists are further trained to work with couples and singles using this approach and process and are certified by Imago Relationships International.
Workshop presenters and clinical instructors for mental health professionals are also trained and certified by Imago Relationships International.
Who developed Imago Relationship Therapy?
Imago Relationship Therapy, a research-based approach to marriage and relationship counseling, was developed primarily by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. in the 1980’s. A core of Master Trainers; Maya Kollman, Sunny Shulkin, Pat Love, Joyce Buckner, and Bruce Crapuchettes made significant contributions to further development of the counseling and couples workshops. Harville, Helen, the Master Trainers, and now many more therapists around the world work together to continue to refine and expand the theory and process, keeping it true to the original core theory and process.
Imago Relationship Therapy can be a profound and exciting journey to renew the aliveness, passion and joy in your marriage or partnership. If you need some help, get it! Your love is precious!