WHAT IS IMAGO?
Imago relationship therapy, has at its theoretical core, the premise that we unconsciously are drawn to our partner based on a familiar composite of our childhood caretakers. We call that your Imago match.
As human we behave much like zebras in selecting our Imago match. Ever wonder how zebras recognize each other in a sea of black and white stripes? The mother zebra circles the newborn to imprint a pattern for identifying her in the herd, each zebra has a distinct pattern just like snowflakes.
Humans also have an imprint of our caretakers and are drawn to a partner based on that familiarity. How many times have you said to someone you just started dating, “ I feel like I’ve known you all my life.” Well you have ! You were drawn to that person because she/he is an Imago match. The journey with that person can be healing and transformative as you re-play childhood wounds and you can heal each other. However, if you aren’t conscious of of the original wounding and don’t have the skills to navigate through the predictable relationship stages, you will re-wound each other and keep repeating the same conflicts over and over.
Take the Imago Quiz:
Are You Getting the Love You Want?
Communication problems in relationships often erode the passion and hope that we first feel when we fall in love. Imago communications skills for families and couples will help you quickly revive that passion, and reconnect with your partner. Building trust in relationships is an important part of the Imago journey, so that you can feel safe enough to truly understand your partner, and once again appreciate them fully.
Much of Imago is based on connecting with your partner through a form of dialogue. After you speak, your partner mirrors what you said. It can be very uplifting just to experience your partner really taking in your words. The experience becomes richer as your partner lets you know that what you say makes sense, and shares with you their recognition of what you may be feeling.
You can learn these skills and many more from Dr. Janet Greenwood. These are based on the best-selling book “Getting the Love You Want” by Harville Hendrix, PhD, who developed Imago Relationship Therapy together with his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD. Couples are taught why they were originally attracted to their partner, why that love can turn to conflict, and how to use the Imago dialogue to work on these issues together.
Janet Greenwood can help you make effective use of the Imago relationship skills which she teaches, with a strong emphasis placed on helping you and your partner connect through dialogue. Imago couples communication therapy includes some exceptionally effective approaches to mending relationships and rebuilding your marriage.
We Think of Imago as a New Way to Love
When we fall in love, it’s supposed to be forever. We meet the person of our dreams and a magical transformation takes place within us. We feel alive, whole, connected to the world and the people in it. Then before we know it, that magical connection disappears! Where did it go?
Imago Relationship Theory teaches that romantic love, which you experience at the beginning of your relationship, is the way our unconscious seeks to restore the feeling of joyful aliveness we felt as a young child. We’re attracted to people who emotionally resemble our primary caretakers, because we unknowingly believe they can provide these emotional needs. We call this “finding our Imago match”. Imago is the Latin word for image, the subconscious image of our perfect partner.
However when we choose a partner who is our “Imago match” they resemble both the positive AND the negative qualities of our primary caretakers. It’s these negative qualities that create confusion and disillusionment when we realize that they are not able to meet our deepest emotional needs.
How Imago Helps You Rediscover The Relationship of Your Dreams
Imago Relationship Therapy will help you become aware of the hidden agenda of romantic love, and to see that the conflict in your relationship is a wonderful opportunity for growth. The Imago dialogue provides a safe and supportive set of tools to explore these deep issues with your partner. The emotional bond initially created by romantic love is able to evolve into the powerful, lifelong bond that is real love. Imago provides you with some simple tools which help you rediscover the relationship of your dreams!
• Do you love each other, but sometimes feel disconnected and have trouble getting back on track?
• Do you long for the passion and joy of your early days with each other?
• Do you wish to understand each other better?
• Do you desire a deeper emotional connection?
• Do you want more romance and physical intimacy?