29 Oct What is Imago Therapy?

Posted at 7:52 pm in News by jlbworks

Imago Therapy, also known as Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), is a type of couple’s therapy that was created by Dr. Harville Hendrix. Like standard couple’s therapy, IRT helps loved ones reconnect, reduce conflict, listen to each other, and find common ground, but it does so in a unique way. Imago Relationship Therapy teaches couples how early childhood relationships and experiences affect how we respond and carry out adult relationships. While the way IRT is implemented is dependent upon the therapist, IRT tends to combine behavioral and spiritual techniques with standard western psychological practices. If you are looking for an imago therapist in Nashville, TN, contact Dr. Phil Chanin, today. Dr. Chanin is Board Certified through the American Board of Professional Psychology. He is a nationally Certified Group Psychotherapist and an Advanced Imago Therapist.


Diving into Imago Therapy

Imago Relationship Therapy is based on the emotional interactions made with family at an early age. Our idea of love–how we seek it out, the way we treat it, how we give it–is very much based on how it was given to us when we were children. Depending on how we conceptualize it, individuals will develop behaviors that best reflect that construct, also referred to as survival patterns–expressing and hindering. Experts believe that when we seek out love in adulthood, we look for individuals who are similar to our ‘imago’, our image.

Imago Therapy is an excellent resource to couples who want to improve their relationships and grow closer to their partner. This form of therapy is also beneficial for partners who need to improve their communication skills within their relationship. Imago Therapy helps partners explore the root of their emotions by following five core principles, also known as the five basic tenets of Imago Therapy. These principles include the following:

  1. Re-imagining your partner as a wounded child.
  2. Re-romanticizing your relationship through surprises, gifts, and appreciation.
  3. Restructuring your displays of disappointment and frustrations by making requests instead of complaints.
  4. Resolving feelings of anger.
  5. Revisioning your relationship as a place of safety and happiness.


Throughout the therapy process, these core principles will be implemented for couples to build on. With each session, patients will learn more about how their negative experiences as a child carried over into their relationship, allowing them to attain a better understanding of their partner, their needs, and the way their mind and emotions work. These sessions are designed to give couples the tools to become more understanding and empathetic.

It is in the sessions of Imago Relationship Therapy where the unconscious is brought to life. These sessions can be deeply emotional for each person, for it digs deep in the past and provides moments of complete revelation. Imago Therapy is an excellent solution for partners who are looking to reconnect on a deeper level.