Imago Relationship Therapy is a therapy process developed by Harville Hendrix to create safe, conscious relationships – especially marriage relationships. As he describes in his book “Getting the Love you Want”, couples (and singles) are able to develop a relationship that uses the past to understand the present and plan for the future.

  1. With the Imago system, couples are able to realize that the love relationship has a hidden purpose - the healing of childhood wounds. Instead of focusing entirely on surface needs and desires, people learn to recognize the unresolved childhood issues. When marriage is analysed under this particular lens, daily interactions become more meaningful. Puzzling aspects of relationships start making sense, and people are then better equipped to take control over their actions and reactions. By understanding each person’s past, a more accurate image of your partner is created.
  2.  At the very moment of attraction, you began merging characteristics of your new love interest with those of your primary caretakers. As the relationship progresses, partners often project their negative traits onto each other, further obscuring the partner’s essential reality. As you move toward a conscious marriage, you gradually let go of these illusions and begin to see more of your partner’s truth. You see your partner not as your saviour but as another wounded human being, struggling to be healed.
  3.  You take responsibility for communicating your needs and desires to your partner. In an unconscious marriage, you cling to the childhood belief that your partner automatically intuitively knows and understands your needs. In a conscious marriage, you accept the fact that, in order to understand each other, you have to develop clear channels of communication.
  4.  You become more intentional in your interactions. In an unconscious marriage, you tend to react without thinking. You allow the primitive response of your old brain to control your behaviour. In a conscious marriage, you train yourself to behave in a more constructive manner. You learn to value your partner’s needs and wishes as highly as you value your own.
  5.  In an unconscious marriage, you assume that your partner’s role in life is to take care of your needs magically. In a conscious marriage, you let go of this narcissistic view and divert more and more of your energy to meeting your partner’s needs.
  6.  You embrace the dark side of your personality. In a conscious marriage, you openly acknowledge the fact that you, like everyone else, has negative traits, As you accept responsibility for this dark side of your nature, you lessen your tendency to project your negative traits onto you mate, which creates a less hostile environment.
  7.  You learn new techniques to satisfy your basic needs and desires instead of coercing and manipulating  your partner to meet your needs. Once you abandon these self-defeating tactics, you are able to witness your  partner as  a resource for you.
  8.  Once you develop strengths and abilities that you previously thought you lacked, you can be a whole person, which benefits you and your partner. In an unconscious marriage, you might have thought that you were unable to develop certain skills, and therefore you  were attracted to your partner because he/she displayed strengths and abilities that you lacked. Being with your partner gave you an illusory sense of wholeness. In a conscious marriage, you learn that the only way you can truly recapture a sense of oneness is to develop the hidden traits within.
  9.  During the Imago course, you will learn to become more aware of your drive to be loving, whole and united with the universe. As a part of your God-given nature, you have the ability to love unconditionally and to experience unity with the world around you. Social conditioning and imperfect parenting made you lose touch with these qualities. In a conscious marriage, you begin to rediscover your original nature.
  10.  Imago will help you accept the difficulty of creating a good marriage. In an unconscious marriage, you believe that the way to have a good marriage is to pick the right partner. In a conscious marriage you realize you have to be the right partner. As you gain a more realistic view of love relationships, you realize that a good marriage requires commitment, discipline, and the courage to grow and change; marriage is hard work.