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Ever Heard of Imago Therapy?

by Dr. Kathleen Hall

Marriage isn’t always roses and blue skies, or at least that’s what reports from the Census Bureau tell us. Over the past few years the national yearly divorce rate has been 9.2 men per 1,000 and 9.7 women per 1,000. So, what makes for a better and long lasting relationship? A little assistance seems to be the answer.

Studies show that every couple goes through a rough patch, but with some guidance, most of them usually get back on track. And to get to the root of your problems and start fresh some psychiatrists suggest imago therapy.

What is imago therapy?

According to the Relationship Learning Center, the word “imago” is the Latin word for “image.” The fundamental idea of imago therapy is that we develop a pattern for love during our childhood. Our parents or guardians are believed to influence not only how we act in romantic relationships, but also whom we love. According to imago therapy, we consciously or unconsciously look for love similar to what we experienced from our parents.

The purpose of imago therapy is to provide couples with the tools to handle the unconscious aspects of their relationship. The couple will be able to heal old wombs and together grow from the experience. This differs from other therapy sessions because the therapist will not be controlling the sessions, instead the couple will be taught how to develop their relationship on their own — mostly through learning to communicate and to learn more about themselves.

According to Dr. Harville Hendrix, who specializes in imago relationship therapy, there are a few steps that “couples can practice to help them communicate effectively and heal.”

Here are three steps for you to consider:
  1. Listen: Dr. Harville says it’s important to listen to your partner as they talk. Don’t assume that you understand what they’re saying. Ask questions, get them to clarify.” Mirror back” exactly what your heard to verify and make sure everyone is on the same page.
  2. Connect: After you have listened to what your partner has said don’t pass judgment. Instead make sure that they understand that you have listen to what they have said. According to Dr. Hendrix, one thing you can say is “That makes sense.”
  3. Empathize. To build a stronger relationship it’s important to empathize and show compassion towards your partner, specialize as you talk and share together.

If you want to take an active role in your rehabilitation as a couple than maybe imago therapy is for you. There are lots of workshops and professionals around the U.S. that can help you, help yourselves get back on track.

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