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Imago Therapy

Imago Therapy

Imago Therapy

Imago therapy. When people fall in love, it can be an amazing experience. And we usually think it will be forever.


The world seems a wonderful place, we feel fully alive and connected with our partner and excited and hopeful about the future.


All too often these wonderful feelings disappear, and we end up in disappointment, frustration, and conflict.  Before we know it we can be in a relationship of diminished passion and connection.


Imago therapy provides information and helps couples make sense of their experience. It can help you become aware of the hidden agenda of romantic love, and see that relationship is an opportunity for growth.


Imago provides tools that enable a couple to move from conflict and disconnection back into connection.


It can provide relief for the struggling couple, as understanding grows and problems begin to be addressed through structured dialogue.


Imago therapy, widely known as Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is aimed at equipping couples with the tools necessary to relate to each other in healthier ways.


It reveals the emotional pathway formed in childhood that led them to their current situation.


Imago therapy combines spiritual and behavioural techniques with Western psychological methodologies in assisting couples in unveiling their unconscious components.


Imago relationship therapy involves viewing a conflict between couples as merely the outcome of specific circumstances not the cause of disharmony.


By examining the conflict itself, a couple can arrive at a satisfying solution, heal, and then grow together.


Imago Therapy is great for couples and individuals seeking to have more connected, conscious relationships with a high level of healthy communication.


Imago Relationship Therapy helps you gain a deeper understanding of the childhood wounding stored in your unconscious that is often the source of hurt in your romantic relationships.


Thus, it is helpful for couples or individuals that keep having the same fights and patterns that show up in their relationships over and over again.


Imago counselling is also very helpful for couples who have trouble communicating calmly and kindly when in conflict because it gives you tangible tools for how to communicate respectfully to resolve conflict.


It’s excellent for couples who want actual tools and exercises they can use at home to improve their relationship as well as those who want to use therapy to process and create a deeper connection.


What Is The Imago?

What is the Imago? Imago is the Latin word for “Image.” In Imago Relationship Therapy, imago refers specifically to an unconscious, idealized concept of familiar love that an individual develops during childhood, and which remains unchanged in adulthood.


The development of the imago is based primarily on early interactions with one’s parents or other significant adults in early life.


Each one of us is unconsciously searching for a partner with this very particular set of positive and negative personality traits to heal the wounds inflicted on us in childhood.


Our unconscious drive is to get our partner, who is similar to our parents, to change and give us love in ways that our parents never did.


Most of this occurs behind the scenes in your unconscious mind so it’s not something you are actively aware of unless you’ve been taught to look for the patterns.


Due to a child’s individualized construct of what love is, he or she will develop specific behaviors or survival patterns to obtain love and stay safe.


However, even the best parents fail to meet a child’s every need and expectation. As such, an individual’s Imago will incorporate both the positive and negative behaviors that he or she associates with his or her ideal loved one.


As we consciously seek love in adulthood, we unconsciously seek out people who are similar to our Imago and who will allow us to develop the qualities we either inhibited or were not allowed to express in childhood.


Imago therapy or Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is a specific style of relationship therapy designed to help conflict within relationships become opportunities for healing and growth.


What is the Imago? Imago Relationship Therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. In the late 1970s, both clinicians had experienced divorce in their relationship history.


After looking for effective and evidence-based support for understanding relationship dynamics, they found very little in the way of helpful resources.


As a result, they chose to build from their own experiences to research and develop an evidence-based model of counselling that would help facilitate healing and growth in committed relationships.


There is not one word that creates anxiety in people more than the word “relationships.” Sometimes we desire them, sometimes we detest them.


We obsess about not having one, followed by a strategy to get out of one. Valentine’s Day focuses a spotlight on these ideas and passions, making them even more unbearable and acute.


What is the Imago? Imago’s theory teaches us how we can use our adult relationships to heal these childhood scars.


Of course, Imago therapy did not invent a way to have a healthy relationship: It just describes the process and develops some techniques to help people in the places we often get stuck.


According to the Imago theory, when we are attracted to a potential love partner, we’re picking the perfect person to help us work through our wounds from childhood.


We tend to be drawn to someone who is a reasonable facsimile of the person or people who wounded us in childhood.


The combined traits, both negative and positive, of our male and female caretakers from childhood form what is called our Imago.


Once we have found our Imago match, the relationship journey continues in fairly predictable stages:


  • Stage one: Romantic Love Stage

which is generally fairly short, lasting three to six months. This stage might be significantly shorter or a little longer depending on factors such as geographic distance, previous relationship history, or level of childhood wounding.


An interesting note is that as people cycle through relationships, the romantic love stage seems to become shorter.


  • Stage 2: Power Struggle phase

which can and often does last for a long time, generally ending in emotional and or physical separation.


  • Stage 3: Conscious Relationship.

It is in this stage that we can maximize the potential of the relationship that our unconscious has methodically sought out.


Consciously, you will probably be aware of and attracted to the positive similarities your partner has with your family of origin when you first fall in love.


You might think, “he or she is a great provider and hard worker like my dad” or “he or she is kind and nurturing like my mom.”


You know you’ve met your Imago match when you get that feeling you’ve known someone forever when you hardly know each other at all. The comfort can be immediate and the attraction intense. They kind of just feel at home.


What you won’t see in your Imago match (until you’ve gotten past the romantic love stage) are the negative qualities that are also just like your family of origin.


Sometimes these even turn out to be the same qualities you loved in the beginning. For example, you might have loved that your partner was outgoing, talkative, and confident in the beginning but now you view him/her as an attention hog who never lets anyone else get a word in edgewise (much like your older sibling).


Or, perhaps you were focused on your partner being a hard worker and good provider in the beginning but you missed the fact that (s)he can be unreasonably irritable just like your father was with you when stressed with work.


Or perhaps now you resent the fact that (s)he is never home and you don’t feel like a priority, much like you felt as a child when your dad didn’t come home for dinner.

What Is The Imago Method?

What is the Imago method

What is the Imago method? The Imago method is based on feelings you experienced in your childhood relationships that are bound to come up in your adult relationships.


By understanding how negative experiences and feelings from childhood carry over into adult relationships, you can better understand your reactions to your partner, and vice versa, and develop the skills and empathy necessary to transform yourself and your relationship.


The goal of Imago Therapy is to help couples stop blaming, criticizing, and negatively reacting to their partners and, instead, become more understanding and empathetic.


What is the Imago method? There are two ways that Imago therapy may be used. While primarily used within the context of committed relationships, it may also be utilized in individual therapy.


Imago Therapy For Relationships


The concept of Imago as an image of familiar love suggests that your early relationships teach you something about love and yourself.


Through these early experiences, you develop a sense of an identity related to love, such as what love is and what you need to do to experience love from others and feel safe.


Imago For Individuals


Although Imago therapy is a model of counseLling designed to effectively work with couples in committed relationships, you certainly do not need to be in an active relationship to benefit from Imago therapy.


Many people who are dating may find this type of therapy very useful for examining their history and how it might be influencing their dating patterns and choices in partners.


What is the Imago method? By participating in Imago therapy by yourself, you can learn about some of your old wounds or emotional raw spots that might be impacting your relationships.


Finding a sense of healing around these raw spots can be valuable in helping you move forward with more confidence and learning how to be a great, compassionate partner in your next relationship.


Imago Therapy for individuals can also help you understand and become conscious about parts of yourself you may have repressed in childhood due to the way you were socialized by your family and society.


This is important because we tend to be attracted to partners that bring out our repressed or lost self but this later triggers us as the relationship progresses.


Uncovering and loving those parts of yourself will allow you to attract a partner from a more whole and conscious place.


Imago Therapy Training Online

Imago Therapy training online

Imago therapy training online. Learning about Imago Relationship Therapy and/or fine-tuning your couple therapy skills with either Clinical Training or Advanced Imago TherapyTraining online, will ensure you are the best Imago Therapist you can be for the benefit of your couples.


For information about the upcoming online training, visit Imago therapy training online Miss Date Doctor

Does Imago Therapy Really Work?

Does Imago Therapy really work

Does Imago therapy really work? Many couples who have participated in Imago Therapy highly recommend it, Oprah Winfrey is one of them.


She credits Imago Therapy for the long-term success of her relationship with Stedman. She has done over 17 shows promoting the modality because she feels so passionate about it.


The first Emmy she ever won for her talk show was for the episode where she interviewed Harville Hendrix, the founder of Imago Therapy.


Imago therapy, though not as popular or widely used as other types of marriage and couples therapy, including the Gottman method or emotionally focused couples therapy, is effective.


It has also not been very well researched. Still, the heavy focus on empathy development in Imago therapy is important, as increased empathy has been proven to improve trust, intimacy, and relationship satisfaction.


Does Imago Therapy really work?


Couples who may benefit from this approach include:


  • Couples who have unhealthy communication styles or a lot of relationship conflict.


  • Couples who avoid difficult but important conversations.


  • Relationships where there is a lack of sexual or emotional intimacy.


  • Couples who struggle with jealousy, infidelity, or trust issues.


  • Individuals who don’t feel heard, seen, or understood by their partners.


  • Relationships where one or both partners experienced childhood trauma.


  • Couples who have trouble communicating often misunderstand each other.


  • Relationships where one or both partners become reactive, critical, or defensive.


Does Imago therapy really work? Regardless of whether the couple decides to proceed with an open relationship or remain monogamous, a therapist using an Imago approach may:


  • Help each partner become curious about the feelings, wants, and needs of the other by asking questions and trying to deeply listen and understand.


  • Encourage each partner to verbally validate the feelings, wants, and needs of the other out loud in a session.


  • Help the couple develop rituals and routines that help to foster more emotional and sexual intimacy in their relationship.


  • Asking for a re-commitment to the relationship could come in the form of agreeing to attend a certain number of sessions together before or during the first instance of non-monogamy.


Does Imago Mean Therapy?

Does Imago mean therapy

Does Imago mean therapy? The definition of Imago itself doesn’t suggest therapy. But therapy has been drawn from its meaning and has been used to form a therapeutic approach for couples.


Recent psychological studies have confirmed the importance of therapies that focus on communication and interpersonal skills to improve relationship satisfaction and reduce distress (Schmidt & Gehlert, 2016).


And several controlled studies have reported significant increases in empathy and marital satisfaction in couples who have received IRT over multiple weeks (Schmidt & Gehlert, 2016; Gehlert, Schmidt, Giegerich, & Luquet, 2017).


Does Imago mean therapy? Imago relationship therapy is a form of couples counselling and coaching that helps those in committed relationships work out their misunderstandings, reduce conflict, and rediscover ways to bond, communicate, and find common ground.


Much of the work in Imago workshops and private therapy involves learning to recognize how early childhood relationship experiences affect how we communicate, behave, and respond to others in adult relationships.


Does Imago mean therapy? Imago relationship therapy can benefit couples who are trying to improve their relationships and become closer to their partners, and individuals in need of communication skills to better their relationships in general.


Coaching is facilitated through group workshops and private counselling, depending on the needs and preferences of the couple involved.


Some research suggests that individuals with ADHD can also benefit from the development of communication, self-control, and listening skills that form the basis of Imago relationship therapy.


How Do You Practice Imago Therapy?

How do you Practice Imago Therapy

How do you Practice Imago therapy? Every Imago Therapy session will follow the same structure but have different content. For starters, you will be placed in chairs facing each other, not the therapist.


In Imago Relationship Therapy, the goal is to foster communication and connection between the two of you, not between you and the therapist.


An Imago Therapist acts as more of a guide to facilitate communication rather than someone you communicate with directly.


An Imago relationship therapist will be present as a coach and guide but will not be part of the conversation between you two.


Each Imago session will open with both partners sharing something they love and appreciate about their partner.


Next, you will have an Imago Dialogue. The dialogue is the only way couples will communicate in a session and it is honestly pure magic.


Imago therapy can be practiced by using Imago dialogue. Imago dialogue also called intentionally or couples dialogue is the main component of therapy.


Most of your interactions will follow this format:


  • mirror
  • validate
  • empathize


The structured nature of this dialogue prevents conversations from becoming judgmental or unkind. This can increase your comfort level around talking through painful conflict and difficult emotions.


You’ll take turns sending (speaking) and receiving (listening) until you’ve both had the chance to share your feelings.


When the sender speaks, the receiver will mirror. Mirroring involves paraphrasing the sender’s words in the same tone, without altering the meaning in any way.


They’ll also validate, or offer to understand. The receiver doesn’t necessarily have to agree with what the sender is saying, but they should offer an understanding of where the other person is coming from.


They’ll also try to empathize. Here, the receiver imagines and describes the feelings of the sender.


For the receiver to communicate understanding successfully, they need to have absorbed the messages in the previous steps.


  • Closing the exits

When your relationship doesn’t engage your attention, you might devote your “relationship energy” to other hobbies or people.


Of course, it’s perfectly normal to have other interests and friends outside of your relationship.


It only becomes unhealthy when you use these outlets to distract you from relationship issues or put so much energy into outside pursuits that you have little time left for your partner.


The closing exit exercise helps you identify and share your escapes, such as venting to friends or playing video games.


You can then choose to cut back on these activities to dedicate more effort to your relationship.


  • Imago workup

How do you Practice Imago therapy? At the beginning of therapy, you’ll learn more about the therapeutic process and what it’s meant to accomplish.


You’ll also explore similarities, both positive and negative, between your partner and your early caregivers. Your partner will do the same for you.


Identifying these patterns can help you begin recognizing the roots of relationship conflict. You might, for example, note your partner and parents are both mild-mannered yet emotionally reserved, a challenge when you wish they’d open up.


  • Behaviour change request

How do you Practice Imago therapy? You’ve probably learned criticizing your partner’s behavior doesn’t help much and may even make matters worse. Imago therapy teaches you another option: the behavior change request.


This exercise teaches you to express one specific frustration, such as feeling unwanted and offer your partner three potential options for changing the behavior.


This process is called stretching. Instead of holding fast to old habits, both partners learn how to change to better meet each other’s needs.


These new actions might feel awkward or unnatural in the beginning, but consistent practice can promote improved communication and reconnection


The 5 Processes of Imago Therapy are:


  1. Re-Imaging: Starting to see your partner in a positive light again.


  1. Re-committing: Many Imago Therapists will request that you commit to 12 weeks without any threat of breakup or divorce because it is so de-stabilizing to the safety of a relationship to threaten to leave. It’s hard to truly connect without safety and commitment.


  1. Re-visioning: You’ll create a shared vision of your ideal relationship so you know what you are working towards.


  1. Restructuring Frustrations: To have healthy love, you have to heal the wounds from your past. You’ll use the dialogue to reprocess some of the major wounds inflicted by your partner as needed. You’ll also use it to process current conflicts as they arise.


  1. Re-romanticizing: You’ll discover what makes each other feel loved and cared about and start focusing on more fun and romance in your relationship.


What Does Imago Mean In Psychology?

What does Imago mean in psychology

What does Imago mean in psychology? It is an unconscious mental image of another person, especially the mother or father, that influences how an individual relates to others.


The image is typically formed in infancy and childhood and is generally an idealized or otherwise not completely accurate representation.


What does Imago mean in psychology? The term was originally used by Sigmund Freud and the early psychoanalysts, and its meaning has carried over into other schools of psychology and psychotherapy.


An unconscious prototype of personae, the imago determines how the subject apprehends others. It is elaborated based on the earliest real and fantastic intersubjective relations with family members.


What does Imago mean in psychology? The image is linked to repression, which in neurosis, through regression, provokes the return of an old relationship or form of relationship, the reanimation of a parental imago.


This regression is linked to a particular quality of the unconscious, that of being constructed through historical stratification.

Imago Therapy Worksheets PDF

Imago Therapy Worksheets PDF

Imago therapy worksheets pdf. The Imago concept serves as the basic principle behind the Imago model, while the driving force of therapy is the Imago dialogue, and this technique will guide your sessions. It aims to:


  • Remove negative, hurtful language.


  • Create a safe environment for mutual communication.


  • Eliminate power differentials that give precedence to one person’s feelings.


Imago Therapy Worksheets pdf. Your therapist may also employ the behavior change request dialogue in an attempt to produce concrete behavioral changes.


You’ll be asked to channel the negative emotions attached to your childhood experiences and communicate them to your partner.


Imago therapy worksheets pdf. Your counsellor will help you frame your general needs as small requests that your partner can easily fulfill.


Your partner will be guided to see these requests as gifts. Imago emphasizes the importance of positive, loving, and mutually respectful dialogue at all times.


Imago Therapy Worksheets

Imago Therapy Worksheets

Imago therapy worksheets. Your clients must build a clear picture of how they felt about their childhood and the environment in which they grew up.


Ask them to recall their caretakers’ (carers’) positive and negative traits and write them down in the Finding Your Imago worksheet.


Then ask the client to write down what they would like to say to each caretaker, such as “I wanted you to show that you loved me,” or “I loved it when you used to take me on picnics.’


Imago Therapy Worksheets

  • Childhood Frustrations

Use the Childhood Frustrations worksheet to build a picture of the frustrations your clients felt during their childhood and how they reacted.


  • Positive Memories of Childhood

While it is important to remember what was difficult in our childhood, it is equally important to remember what was good.


Use the Positive Memories of Childhood worksheet to capture some happy memories such as, “I remember the family get-togethers at Christmas,” or “I remember my tenth birthday party.”


  • My Imago

Imago Therapy Worksheets. Our childhood can strongly influence who we choose as a partner and how we handle difficulties in our relationships.


Complete the My Imago worksheet to understand how our childhood can influence the current relationship.


  • Mutual Relationship Vision

The Mutual Relationship Vision worksheet should be completed individually for both partners in the relationship and then shared and discussed.


Working together, complete the “Our dream relationship” section to capture a shared vision of how the ideal relationship would look.


  • Caring Behaviors List

Do you know what you do in your relationship that has special meaning for your partner? And do you know what they would like you to do?


Use the Caring Behaviours List worksheet to capture what you should keep doing and what would make your relationship even better.


Imago Therapy Exercises

Imago Therapy Exercises

Imago therapy Exercises. Most Imago Therapy exercises are completed together as a couple – and the first exercise involves the discovery of each other’s Imago.


Harville describes the Imago dialogue as a three-step process that involves:


  • Mirroring
  • Validating
  • Empathizing


These therapy exercises lend themselves to use outside of the office, and you’ll most likely be encouraged to practice them at home.


The behavior change request dialogue can also be performed abroad. Instead of succumbing to frustration, this dialogue advises you to turn your negative emotions into a simple request, such as asking for a hug or kiss.


A certified therapist will play a role in this discovery, although they will play more of a guiding role in helping couples to understand and complete this process.


The therapist will either ask a series of personal questions and jot down the answers or present a questionnaire for you to write the answers yourself.


These questions center around your childhood experiences.


  • What were your childhood frustrations?


  • How did you respond to these?


  • What were the highlights of your childhood?


  • What were the negative and positive aspects of your childhood caretakers?


  • What did you want from them more than anything?


  • If your answers are written, you’ll be encouraged to read them out to your partner. The therapist will guide the discussion to ensure both people understand how this potentially connects to the conflict in their relationships.


The ultimate goal of understanding your Imago, and your partners, is to develop a deeper understanding of what they desire in a relationship. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll learn why certain behaviors trigger toxic reactions.


You’ll hopefully develop more empathy for your partner’s weaknesses as a result of this discussion, instead of letting them tear your relationship apart. It should also create a deeper connection between the two of you.


From there, your therapist will recommend a series of exercises to help you overcome the conflict in your relationship.


Imago Therapy Exercises

  • Healing And Letting Go Of Trauma

The process of discovering your Imago is likely to reveal some childhood trauma that you’ve been unknowingly carrying into your relationship.


A key part of your Imago Relationship Therapy will therefore involve understanding, processing, and letting go of this trauma.


There are many therapeutic techniques available for this, which you may prefer to engage in outside of couples therapy. See my guide on letting go of the past for more information.


The conscious partnership; understanding each other’s strengths and weaknesses and making a conscious effort to use this knowledge to proceed as a happy coup


  • The holding position

Imago therapy views a couple as, at times, surrogate parents. It means each person can receive what they missed as children.


Physically holding one another can be a powerful exercise for building empathy and trust.


One person sits at the end of a sofa holding their partner with their head on their lap. The person cradled is then asked to talk about what it was like for them when they were little.


The exercise forms an increasing bond as the holder feels a sense of nurture for the partner held.


  • Little surprises exercise

The little things we do for each other are incredibly special yet quickly become part of a routine. The morning cup of tea becomes less of a gift and more of something expected.


Instead, a relationship can benefit from a list of firsts. An unexpected meal, a note left on the fridge door, and responding to something mentioned earlier in the week show you are hearing your partner’s needs and keep them on the edge of happy anticipation.


  • Belly laughs exercise

All relationships can benefit from having fun, and yet it can be easily forgotten.


Luquet (2015) offers the following silly suggestions to introduce “sustained belly laughs” and a release of feel-good endorphins:


  • Butterfly kiss

The couple moves their faces close together so that when they blink, their eyelashes tickle each other.


Imago Therapy Exercises

  • I can do that

The couple stands facing one another. One partner moves their body and says, “I can do this, can you do this?” The other repeat the action and adds a new one.


The game continues until both are unable to keep adding to the sequence which often leads to giggles and laughter.


Ultimately the game itself does not matter. The laughter, joy, and learning to be fun together are what are important.


Criticisms of Imago Therapy

Criticisms of Imago Therapy

Criticisms of Imago Therapy. There have been some criticisms of Imago’s Relationship therapy. During this therapy, the therapist is less the director of healing and more there to assist the process (Hannah et al., 2005).


  • Criticisms of Imago Therapy. The therapy is unlikely to be suitable for couples going through domestic violence, substance abuse, or other addictive behaviors.


  • It may also not be appropriate for relationships where one or both partners are experiencing unrelated mental health problems (Lipthrott, 2016; Harryman, 2008).


  • Criticisms of Imago Therapy. Imago therapy has its roots in (Jungian) psychoanalysis, which has been challenged for its overwhelming focus on personality development in childhood rather than as a lifelong journey.


 Imago Therapy Pros And Cons

Imago Therapy Pros and Cons

Imago therapy pros and cons. whatever has an advantage have its downsides as well and imago therapy is not excused from the list.



The main benefit of Imago Relationship Therapy is a better understanding of your partner. However, this singular idea can branch out to help the relationship in a variety of ways.


The first is that conflict resolution is much easier when we have a deeper understanding of what drives our partner’s behavior.


Unconscious issues with our relationships can be brought to light through explorations of dialogue with each other. This clarifies undiagnosed problems and sets the stage for improvements.


Relationships become more open and emotionally safe for the participants. This provides the necessary tools to create a relationship that is more fun and fulfilling.


Ultimately, Imago Relationship Therapy gives participants the ability to improve all aspects of communication between them. A stronger and healthier relationship that mutually benefits each person emerges from the discussions.


And this capacity for awareness blends into other relationships and makes the participants more mindful of their interactions with others.


Imago therapy aims to use conflict as an opportunity for a person to learn about their partner and gain a level of understanding of their feelings and life experiences. It can help couples grow together.


It aims to help partners listen deeply to each other’s concerns and needs, develop empathy and understanding, and heal from past experiences together.


Imago therapy can help with communication, increase positive feelings between partners, and improve intimacy.


Although couples experiencing conflict were the motivation for developing Imago therapy, people not in relationships may also benefit from trying this therapy.


Imago therapy aims to encourage understanding and healing in relationships, and it can help couples in several ways.


Imago Therapy Pros and Cons. A 2021 study found that Imago therapy helped couples improve the quality of their relationship in the following areas:


  • relationship satisfaction
  • trust
  • commitment
  • repeated conflict
  • physical and emotional intimacy
  • relationship burnout
  • Learn more about what makes a relationship healthy.




Imago therapy aims to use conflict as an opportunity for a person to learn about their partner and gain a level of understanding of their feelings and life experiences. It can help couples grow together.


Imago therapy involves a therapist, but their role is not to give advice or control the conversation. Instead, they aim to help structure the conversation and create a collaborative environment where all members of the session work together.


This can allow couples to feel like their conversations are more authentic to their dynamic, making them feel more in control.


Marriage is a lovely union of two people who have their personalities but are willing to adjust to make the relationship work.


Various therapies, such as imago relationship therapy, may be able to help you see things in a different light and discover a way to resolve the conflict.


If your marriage’s disagreements seem never-ending and outweigh love, it’s wise to seek counselling before things get out of hand.


Marriage, in addition to these therapies, also necessitates love, the desire for understanding, and a conscious effort to live in harmony.


According to the proponents, the frustrations in adult relationships have a connection with painful childhood experiences. They propound that if these core issues are addressed, the couple might find it easier to trust and love each other unconditionally.


It is good to screen for any other psychological issues of both the partners and treat that before the application of Imago therapy.


How Is Imago Therapy Different From Other Therapies?

Imago therapy is based on the belief that no person is bad by choice. It is the experiences they go through in the various stages of life that shape their personality.


For example, if a person was subjected to neglect as a child, they might develop feelings of abandonment.


This would either make them cold and distant in a relationship or make them too attached to their partners, fearing abandonment.


When one person in a relationship has such unresolved childhood issues, they can cause trust issues and unfulfilled desires.


Through imago therapy, couples can understand why their partner is who they are. It helps them know that the problems in their relationship are not because of their partner, but due to some early experiences that their partner has gone through.


This realization helps both the partners to understand each other’s childhood wounds with empathy and work towards healing each other. Imago therapy helps remove “blame,” a core issue, from the conflict.


Also, in imago therapy, the counselor does not act as an authority giving relationship advice but serves as a facilitator and works together with the couple.


The therapist gives the steering wheel to the couple and occasionally takes control if they go wrong. This provides the couple with a sense of ownership and control over their relationship.


Imago Therapy Pros and Cons



Imago therapy has certain limitations. Although it helps couples understand each other and rekindle the lost love, it may not be suitable for couples experiencing substance abuse, gambling issues, domestic violence, etc. Imago therapy might work once these issues are resolved.


So, make sure you give your therapist all the information, including any mental illnesses.


If you and your partner love each other but are in constant conflict due to misunderstandings and miscommunications, give this therapy a shot.


You might learn many new things about your partner through the process, which would bring you both closer to each other.


Always keep in mind that any therapy’s effectiveness depends on your level of commitment, as old habits die hard.


So, do not lose hope if you hit a few roadblocks. Keep trying, and do not hesitate to seek assistance from your therapist.


  • Sessions are trickier to control: Though not always the case, Battistin says it can be difficult to keep more volatile couples calm without having the physical presence of the therapist.


While research shows that Imago therapy can help couples in several ways, it may not be suitable for everyone.


  • Imago therapy follows a very structured conversation and may not be the best therapy for someone who wants a more fluid conversation style.


  • In some situations, such as those involving substance misuse or severe mental health issues, individual therapy may be more suitable than relationship therapy.


  • In cases of abusive relationships, couples therapy may be inappropriate. If a person knows or suspects that they are in an abusive relationship, the National Domestic Violence Hotline offers anonymous help by phone, text, or online chat to people in the United States.


Imago Therapy PDF

Imago Therapy Pdf

Imago Therapy Pdf. Imago relationship therapy is a form of couples counselling and coaching that helps those in committed relationships work out their misunderstandings, reduce conflict, and rediscover ways to bond, communicate, and find common ground.


Much of the work in Imago workshops and private therapy involves learning to recognize how early childhood relationship experiences affect how we communicate, behave, and respond to others in adult relationships.


Imago Relationship therapists are trained to provide support to couples and individuals dealing with issues such as conflicts, ineffective communication, affairs, blended families, empty nest syndrome, addictions, sexuality, negative relationship patterns, and much more.


Imago Therapy Pdf. In addition, many Imago therapists also work with individuals and families on a wide variety of issues including anxiety, depression, addictions, and trauma.


Imago Relationship Therapy is primarily used with couples. However, it is also leveraged in individual therapy for those who want to improve communication and develop a deeper connection with relationships in their life.


Imago Relationship Therapy (also known as Imago Couples Therapy) is an opportunity where couples to relate to each other more healthily and effectively.


As a result, Imago Therapy turns misunderstandings into opportunities to know each other in a better way and strengthen the relationship.


One of the premises of Imago Relationship Therapy is that your early childhood experiences impact your adult relationships and teach you things about yourself.


Therefore, those early experiences mold your sense of identity and self-worth when it comes to love and being loved. For example, have you ever noticed that when you experience conflict in a relationship that it brings up some familiar emotional wounds?


That is because Imago suggests that you choose partners who feel familiar to you. However, by learning the techniques of Imago Relationship Therapy, you have the opportunity to heal and grow together.


When it comes to improving marriages, one of the ways to do so is through imago relationship therapy.


Imago couples therapy transforms conflicts between a couple into something that’s healing. Both partners finish therapy with a deeper and loving connection and are eager to continue their lifelong journey together.


Imago relationship therapy sessions are based on our “imago” or the “unconscious image of a love that’s familiar.”


In other words, people seek a romantic relationship that either mirrors the love they received from their parents or hope will heal their childhood wounds.


Much of the conflict that occurs in relationships is due to expecting that one’s partner will fulfill their needs in a certain way, but that expectation is not met.


If these expectations and needs are not met, it can make each partner wonder if they chose the right mate.


For example, suppose a person had a difficult childhood where they were criticized by their parents often.


When their partner criticizes them, they may be very sensitive to that criticism and experience intense feelings and worry about being abandoned.


Though they hoped and expected that their partner would not be critical of them, that expectation did not match reality. Therefore, they may wonder if this is the right mate for them.


As a result, the relationship may experience more emotional instability, and both partners may experience less relationship satisfaction. These issues that come up are “core issues,” which are the primary focus of healing in the relationship.


Therefore, problems in a person’s early life, as well as their partner’s childhood experiences, can create conflict and emotional problems in the relationship.


Much of the conflict found in adult relationships is rooted in painful experiences of the past and early attachments. This is particularly true for anyone who experienced domestic violence or neglect in their childhood.


Furthermore, because people seek relationships to heal, they may be drawn to incompatible people as conflict often brings opportunities for healing.


Imago Therapy Pdf. Through the use of imago relationships therapy, couples can gain a deeper understanding of each other’s feelings and process those childhood wounds so that they’re not affecting the relationship.


Imago relationship therapy teaches couples how to be in a conscious relationship and how to offer each other support and validation for their concerns and vulnerability.


Imago Therapy Conclusion

Imago Therapy Conclusion

Imago Therapy Conclusion. When it comes to improving marriages, one of the ways to do so is through imago relationship therapy.


Imago couples therapy transforms conflicts between a couple into something that’s healing.


Both partners finish therapy with a deeper and loving connection and are eager to continue their lifelong journey together.


Imago Therapy is recommended for couples at any stage in the relationship from those that have been dating a few months to those married for decades.


Imago Therapy Conclusion. You don’t have to be having huge problems in your relationship to see an Imago Therapist (though you can be) because it can also be used to improve romance, connection, and knowledge/understanding of each other’s world.


A key component of Imago Relationship Therapy is developing empathy so it’s very helpful for couples that have a hard time seeing each other’s perspectives.


Find out how imago couples online therapy can benefit your relationship, at Miss Date Doctor today.

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