When you’re in a relationship, differences are bound to happen. Thoughts or beliefs do collide with each other time and again. There are some couples who are able to embrace these differences and see past them, whilst there are some who get too involved in them and find themselves amidst bad times in their relationship.
To deal with such situations, experts have come up with many counseling therapies that are designed to help couples overcome their troubles in a relationship and be happy, yet again; one such therapy is Imago Relationship Therapy.
What is Imago Relationship Therapy?
Imago is a Latin word for ‘Image.’
Through this therapy, counselors let couples peep deep into themselves and let them find a solution to their problems there. It came into existence in 1970 when Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt developed a counseling method to facilitate healing and promote committed relationships.
Imago Relationship Therapy helps couples rediscover love, connection, and communication by helping them work out their differences and resolve latent conflicts.
It involves unleashing childhood memories and how they had a deep impact on communication and behavioral traits and how it is impacting their adulthood relationship.
Cognitive imago therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on changing negative thoughts and beliefs about oneself. The goal of cognitive imago therapy is to change the way we think about ourselves, so we can make positive changes in our lives.
2. Psychodynamic imago therapy
Psychodynamic imago therapy is a form of psychotherapy that looks at past experiences to gain an understanding of present-day issues. The goal of psychodynamic imago therapy is to help clients understand and resolve issues that are affecting their lives.
3. Behavioral imago therapy
Behavioral imago therapy is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on improving behavioral and emotional issues through the development of positive habits. It aims to help people develop healthy patterns of behavior and improve their quality of life.
Richard Stuart demonstrates his integrative approach to Behavioral Couples Therapy in an actual couples therapy session.
Jungian imago therapy is a form of psychotherapy that uses the client’s imagination to help resolve emotional and psychological problems. The goal of Jungian imago therapy is to identify the images and symbols in a client’s dreams and fantasies that can help them overcome psychological obstacles in their life.
There are many imago therapy methods that can be used to help improve self-esteem and build confidence. Here are a few of the most popular Imago Therapy exercises:
1. Mirror work
This is one Imago technique that involves looking in a mirror and repeating positive statements about yourself, such as I am worthy, I am enough, I am beautiful, and so on.
2. Guided imagery
Guided imagery involves imagining yourself in a calm and relaxing environment, like at the beach or in the forest, and noticing how you feel.
A metaphor is a symbolic image that helps us to better understand ourselves and the world around us.
This therapy technique involves looking at situations in a different way. For example, if a person hears the words “You’re stupid,” reframe it to say “That’s not bad.”
How to get started with Imago Therapy?
While growing up, we do tend to develop our self-worth based on how important people around us treat us. This is where we start to believe how we should be treated and what they should expect out of us. This is where we all get our self-identity, which is directly proportional to love.
For instance, if, while growing up, you were loved for all your good deeds, you get a feeling that you must perform tasks better in order to get love.
However, when you’re in a relationship with someone, things might alter a bit, and this would put you in a belief that you must have done something wrong for not getting the love back the way you used to while growing up.
This surely brings all the past wounds back to life and can sabotage the entire base of a relationship. With Imago Relationship Therapy, individuals are given a chance to heal and grow with these wounds.
Certainly, altering the past is not possible at all, but what one can learn is to grow old gracefully with these wounds.
Imago Relationship Therapy is based on 5 principles:
Revisit your mate as a wounded child
Reinvent romance in your relationship with gifts or appreciation
Restructure your disagreements by altering your complaints into requests
Resolve extreme anger feelings
Reconsider your relationship as a source of safety, satisfaction, and happiness
What you should be expecting?
To conduct Imago Couples’ Therapy, couples are often taken out on weekends to some place where they can be given some activities and can have dialogues aiming to improve their communication and make them a better person.
They’re assigned an Imago Relationship Therapy worksheet with instructions as to what they should be doing during the course of their stay there.
Once couples have attended these group sessions, if they wish to, they can also attend individual sessions with the therapist as well to come out with a better solution to their issues.
These are couple sessions; hence one must either be with their partner or must choose a partner who is going through similar trouble.
8 benefits of Imago Therapy
With the Imago Relationship Therapy exercise, couples can get the below benefits:
Couples will resolve childhood wounds
Couples see each other as wounded beings and try to heal each other
Communication between couples improves post-therapy
They start valuing your partner’s needs
They learn to embrace their dark sides
They learn to satisfy their own basic needs
They develop the strength that they believed they didn’t have previously
They start rediscovering their true nature
How can I find an Imago Therapist?
Everyone faces challenges in their lives. Some are bigger than others, but no matter how big or small they may be, we all need and deserve to be heard and helped. That’s what Imago therapists are all about.
Imago therapists are trained professionals in a particular field who know specific techniques of this type of therapy. You can find the nearest one around your location or find one onlinehere.
There are so many benefits to Imago relationship therapy that it’s hard not to contemplate taking a couple of sessions of this. It can really improve a relationship even if there aren’t any pre-existing issues in the relationship.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Sylvia Smith loves to share insights on how couples can revitalize their love lives in and out of the bedroom. As a writer at Marriage.com, she is a big believer in living consciously and encourages couples to adopt this principle in their lives too. Sylvia believes that every couple can transform their relationship into a happier, healthier one by taking purposeful and wholehearted action.