The Imago Dialogue is the central tool used in Imago Relationship Therapy and is described fully in the best selling book “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.
The Imago process involves learning new skills, changing hurtful behavior, identifying defenses and frustrations to provide the space for a deeper level of trust to form. The Imago Dialogue promotes compassion, resiliency and differentiation. The Imago Process, when applied to any relationship, has the potential to repair unmet needs or wounds from childhood. In its highest form, Imago Therapy promotes conscious relationships that become an intimate union and spiritual partnership.
So how come it has to hurt?
The word Imago is Latin for image and is used to describe the inner imprint we have for the person that sparks our romantic interest. It’s the chemistry we feel when we meet our Imago-Match that defines the romantic stage of every love relationship. The characteristics of our imago were formed in childhood from powerful experiences we had with our parents, our siblings and other family members. Not all those experience were good. So by nature we attract someone who has both the positive and negative aspects of our parents. This eloquent and bewildering arrangement is a call for self-repair and self-awareness.
Unfortunately, most couples don’t understand what’s happening when the romantic stage begins to fade, and the power struggle gains traction. It’s like suddenly our partner has turned into a different person. (And they seem to think the same of us.) Our lover, partner or spouse becomes just as important to us as our parents but the emotional part of our brain that forms attachments to another person has no grasp of time. So when your partner forgets to call you and tell you they’ll be late coming home, you may instantly become angry or distant because there’s some unconscious trigger from your past projecting onto them. We are rarely conscious of this. And that is the power of knowing that the IMAGO exists. You and your partner can start seeing projections sooner, lessening the effects on the relationship.
The Imago Dialogue is the tool to unwind or quickly stop our defensive projections.
In a conscious relationship, your partner is the perfect person to help you restore your original wholeness. When they understand how they can meet your needs, and you theirs, you both get really good at asking for what you need, “Hey, could you call me by 5pm if you’re going to be late.” And they become masters at what pushes your buttons and make an effort to avoid it, “Hi, I’m going to be late for dinner.”
The aim of Imago work is to help couples identify unconscious emotional injuries that impact their love relationships negatively. It helps couples become aware of underlying needs and help couples exchange positive, desired behaviors that will meet those needs.
Scheduling your Imago Session will begin the exploration and expansion of your relationship in new and lasting ways.