What is Imago?

Theory of Imago

The basic assumption of Imago (Latin word for Image pronounced Im-ah-go) is that committed partnerships have a higher calling/mission than simply the pursuit of happiness.

The purpose is to help each other heal the childhood ‘wounds’ that have resulted from imperfect parenting. Often people incorrectly assume that it is only in homes of abuse and profound neglect that “wounding occurs”. However as Freud said, “children are creatures that are never satiated, (therefore) there is no parent in the world who can react perfectly to the changing needs of the children”.

The premise of Imago is that we are called into relationship in order to heal these relational wounds. Because we are born in relationship, and we are wounded in relationship (by imperfect parents), healing needs to occur within a relationship.

Imago proposes that we each carry an internalised blueprint of love which is made up of a combination of the positive and negative characteristics of significant childhood figures, our experiences of them and their attitudes toward us. This image is called the ‘Imago”.

Our selection of a partner is thus influenced by what feels familiar or previously known. In our quest for wholeness, the unconscious seeks a partner that matches this blueprint (best and worst of mom, dad and others). However this person initially is incapable of giving us the love we need as they carry the limitations of our parents. Harville Hendrix thus contends that not only are the frustrations we experience as adults actually tied to unfulfilled needs or hurts in our childhood, but that choosing our partner is a consequence of our unconscious desire to heal or repair those wounds, so that now as adults we can get the love we need for wholeness and fulfillment.

Video excerpt featuring Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.

Imago Principles

The Heart of Imago Therapy is to help you understand the root causes of your relationship conflict and frustrations, your role, your reactive behaviour and what you bring to the space.

Imago gives you the relationship communication tools and skills you need to work through your relationship conflict(s) irrespective of the nature of the relationship. As a result you will experience wonderful new depths in your day to day living. If the Imago principles and tools are applied sincerely, consciously and willingly, one can gain:

• Greater compassion.

• New communication skills to break destructive, repetitive cycles.
• Channel your energy from arguing to rather create passion and stability in your relationship/s.

• Discover how the unconscious forces that attract you to your partner are also the source of your conflict and can be overcome Imago Objectives

When relationships get tough, it can be hard to listen, and impossible to feel heard.

Imago shows you how to reconnect by using a new way of talking together, called the Imago Intentional dialogue. It’s a way of listening and speaking which helps you learn more about each other.

We help you discover what lies underneath relationship conflict, and how to resolve it together.