What is Imago Relationship Therapy?

“Imago Relationship Therapy, the means for achieving a conscious relationship, facilitates the conscious mutual healing of childhood wounds between two partners.  At its theoretical core is the idea that we pick our partners based on an unconscious image- called the Imago - of “the person who can make me whole.”  This image is a composite of our caretakers, especially the negative traits that were most wounding to us, and of the original aspects of ourselves that got lost in the process of conforming to social expectations.  We seek in our partnerships to re-create the context in which we were wounded, so that we can finish the business of our childhood.  Thus we seek from someone like our caretakers what we didn’t get in childhood in order to heal old wounds, thereby restoring the joyful aliveness with which we came into the world.

But because this agenda is unconscious, and because we are carrying around the character defenses we’ve built up all our lives to protect ourselves against further pain, our wounds are reopened by our Imago partners because they are similar to our parents, and we react in the same old childish ways.  In a conscious relationship, we recognize this unconscious agenda and make its completion our conscious intention.

The Imago process involves committing to understanding our own wounds and those of our partner, to learning new skills and changing our hurtful behavior, in the course of which we meet our partner’s needs and restore the lost and denied parts of ourselves, thus achieving spiritual wholeness.

Every relationship travels a predictable path from the bliss of romantic love to the nightmare of disillusionment and conflict.  Yet every relationship, with the addition of conscious intentionality, has the potential to be a transformative journey toward spiritual growth and wholeness.”

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