15 Jul How Imago Therapy Can Help Your Relationship
Posted at 7:00 am in Couples Therapy by jlbworks
Relationships can be confusing. We spend a lot of time with our partners but few of us truly understand why they behave the way they do. There can be a list of unconscious behaviors and motivations that they might not even be aware of themselves.
So how do you get to the core of problems in a relationship?
Imago therapy is a useful and effective method of conflict resolution and gaining a more thorough understanding of our partner, our relationship, and how we interact with them.
What Is Imago Therapy?
Imago therapy addresses an early idealized version of love and how we interact with it. Everyone’s formative years are different and this plays itself out in how we inhibit or enhance certain character traits to attain and maintain our image of love.
Our childhood sets the stage for much of how we will interpret life as we grow older. Love is no different. We create an idealized version of love when we are younger. This is often based around our interactions with our parents, or whichever significant relationship with adults that are present in our early lives. This idealized version of love is the “imago” — or image — of love that we hold into adulthood.
An Imago Relationship Therapist will explore our ideations of love and how it affects our interactions within a relationship.
What Is The Process of Imago Therapy?
Imago Relationship Therapy involves guided discussions between the participants in a relationship. There are five core principles that are explored throughout the process in an effort to better understand each other.
- Re-imagining your partner as a wounded child
- Re-romanticizing your relationship through surprises, gifts, and appreciation
- Restructuring your displays of disappointment and frustrations by making requests instead of complaints
- Resolving feelings of anger
- Revisioning your relationship as a place of safety and happiness
Understanding your partner better opens lines of communication and provides a framework for improving the relationship. These discussions explore the unconscious beliefs we have about love that drive our behaviors. Our motivations can be both positive and negative. Understanding why we act the way we do — as well as understanding our partner — creates a healthier environment for the relationship to thrive.
What are the Benefits to Imago Therapy?
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.
Which Situations are Addressed during Imago Therapy?
Relationships are complicated. And sometimes all of the things we don’t understand about our partner results in conflict. It’s important to know that many of these conflicts are a result of this lack of understanding and not a genuine dislike of the other person.
Conflict and lack of communication go hand in hand. Opening the lines of communication can have a great effect on the quality of time shared by two people. Imago Relationship Therapy seeks to not only explain why our partners act the way they do, but why we act the way we do.
Unconscious beliefs and motivations can be uncovered with the help of a trained Imago Therapist. Uncovering the reasons for anger and dissatisfaction provides the opportunity to address them.
What is the History of Imago Therapy?
Imago Relationship Therapy goes back to the 1970s. Harville Hendrix, PhD, and Helen LaKelly Hunt, MA had both been through divorces and were interested in exploring the dynamics of relationships.
They theorized in 1977 that a person’s experiences with love from their parents affected their relationships as they grew older. Hendrix released a book in 1988 called “Getting the Love You Want.” This helped Imago Relationship Therapy to gain a wider audience and spread the practice, which was expanded and now has over 2,000 trained Imago Therapists.
Finding an Imago Therapist in Nashville TN
Dr. Phil Chanin has provided individual and couples counseling services to the Nashville, TN area since 1991. He is a board-certified clinical psychologist, a nationally-certified group psychologist, and an Advance Imago Therapist. His experience and knowledge can be put to work for you and your partner. Call today to set up an appointment and get the most from your relationship.