Imago relationship therapy is a type of couples counseling developed in the 1980s by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. Imago therapy is founded on the belief that there is often a correlation between the issues faced in adult relationships and early childhood experiences. Therapists who use the Imago technique strive to teach their client’s how to effectively communicate their needs to one another. Imago therapy helps couples to validate each others needs and to form a more empathetic connection to one another.
An underlying emotional discontent felt within a relationship can often lead to conflicts arising. Conflicts are usually displayed as criticism, anger, and dissatisfaction. During Imago relationship therapy couple are helped to explore the causes of the emotional hurt or need as well as to consider which elements causes manifestation of these emotions as negative behavior or feelings within their relationship.
Imago Relationship Therapy in principal handles a dialogue process incorporating speaking and listening techniques that assist couples with reaching contingent communication. Contingent communication is when an expression of vulnerability in one partner is met with empathy and validation from the other partner. Techniques involved within this therapy are mirroring, which involves repeating of your partners words to ensure you both hear and understand the expression and feeling behind them. Validation is when the listener will summarise the message to validate their understanding. Building techniques and consciousness of empathy is a crucial factor within the dialogue.