Imago Relationship Therapy is a form of couple therapy developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., who is the New York Times best-selling author of Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples (1988), andKeeping the Love You Find: A Guide for the Singles (1992). He also co-authored Giving the Love That Heals: A Guide for Parents (1997) with Helen Hunt, Ph.D., and together they co-founded Imago Relationships International in New York City.
Dr. Hendrix has culled, refined, and synthesized data from many of the major psychological systems, and adding his own genius, he has creatively expanded on the work of earlier masters. Imago theory, upon which the therapy is based, provides a foundation for a remarkable process for helping couples heal and grow in relationship.
Imago Relationship Therapy offers a road map for the journey from Romantic Love to Reality Love, from an unconscious marriage to a conscious marriage. “Imago” is a Latin word meaning “image,” and in this theory, refers to an imprinting of the positive and negative traits of our significant childhood caretakers. This imprint influences the choice of a mate in adult life.
In Imago theory, the bonding of the Romantic Stage connects couples together to prepare them for the work that lies ahead. Once in a significant relationship, unfinished business from the past begins to surface, and couples experience power struggles and impasses. While this is a stage that relationships go through, it was never meant to be a permanent state. It has been said that, “Getting stuck in the Power Impasse Stage is like being in labor permanently.” The hidden agenda of committed relationship is to heal from childhood hurts and wounds and learn new ways to respond to old hurts. Many couples get stuck at this stage and experience considerable pain because they do not have the knowledge and skills to get beyond this point. Some opt out of the relationship before understanding the process for getting beyond the Power Impasse and moving on to Reality Love.
Imago Relationship Therapy provides couples with a process for moving through the Power Impasse to Reality Love. A key transformation in relationships is developing and integrating the skill of Intentional Dialogue. The journey of becoming one’s authentic self is an exciting journey waiting to be discovered. It is our belief that experiencing the intensive 20 hr. Getting the Love You Want workshop is one of the most powerful ways to make this discovery.