Imago Relationship Therapy
I use Imago Relationship Therapy as the way I work with couples because I have found it to be the most effective form of couple's work that I have come across. I have seen couples take a marriage or relationship on the brink of break-up, and transform it into something stronger and more fulfilling than ever. I have seen couples with no complaints about their relationship use the tools to move into a level of connection, intimacy and personal healing and growth beyond anything they could imagine.
The two most important tools learned are a form of healing and intentional dialogue and another is using the dialogue process to then help each of you make successful changes in your behavior that honor both of you, lead to healing and growth, and deepen the connection between you.
So what is Imago Relationship Therapy?
Imago Relationship Therapy is the process of giving couples information and even more importantly, teaching them tools to:
Communicate effectively to resolve conflict.
Create emotional safety for each other to deepen intimacy and connection within the relationship.
Help make the unconscious aspects of their relationship conscious.
Discover the rewards of real love and the little things that make it last.
So what does this mean for couples, or other relationships?
It means that you will choose to be with someone who gives you some good things, and they will also come with some of those things that feel familiar in a negative way. You may find that they often seem to be the most incapable of giving you what you most need (and vice versa, by the way!). And, some of the things you like in the beginning, will be the source of conflict later! What was free-spirited and playful begins to be called 'irresponsible'. What was ambitious and stable begins to be called rigid and boring.
It also means that conflict is healing and growth trying to happen. It is something new trying to be born. Conflict itself can be a door to deeper intimacy when we approach it through a conscious intention.
How is a session with a certified Imago therapist different from any other therapy?
Imago therapy is different from most therapies because it involves the therapist teaching and coaching you as a couple in specific tools to help you transform your relationship in this way. 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, and that helps each of you help your partner understand what an issue is like for you.
You will also learn how to use that information about yourself and your partner to take very specific steps to change your behavior in a way that is not only healing for your partner and meeting their needs, but in a way that helps you get some of yourself back and express your own aliveness more fully.
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.
To find out more about Imago: www.imagorelationships.org
© Dawn Lipthrott, The Relationship Learning Center, 1993 Renewed 2009 www.relationshipjourney.com