Imago Relationship Therapy

Imago relationship therapy, developed by Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, focuses on collaboratively healing childhood wounds couples share. Imago takes a relationship approach, rather than an individual approach, to problem solving in a marriage. Imago is founded on the belief that there is often a connection between the frustrations experienced in adult relationships and early childhood experiences. By exploring and creating an understanding for each other’s feelings and “childhood wounds”, you can begin to heal yourself and your relationship, and move toward a more conscious partnership. Think this approach might work for you? Reach out to one of TherapyDen’s imago relationship therapy experts today.

Meet the specialists

Imago relationship therapy is a form of couples therapy that helps those in committed relationships work out their misunderstandings, reduce conflict, and rediscover ways to bond, create joy, communicate effectively, and find common ground by learning to recognize how early childhood relationship experiences affect how we communicate, behave, and respond to others in adult relationships. By engaging into a structured dialogue to be truly appreciated, heard and understood by your partner.

— Nikki Nolet, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Del Mar, CA

There is a link between frustrations in adult relationships and our experiences growing up. Childhood feelings of abandonment, suppression or neglect will often arise in an intimate relationship. When partners meet wounds with defensiveness and reactivity it can overshadow the positives in a relationship and lead to feelings of disconnection, pain and dis-empowerment. Imago Relationship Therapy aims to help couples learn to shift out of the power struggle and into loving connection.

— Cindy Ricardo, Counselor in Coral Springs, FL

I am a Certified Advanced Imago Clinician. I work with couples and partners, can help families, adult siblings, parents and children and others in their approach to relationships. Imago Therapy is a holistic and healing approach to relationship health. Through a series of dialogue exercises partners develop necessary skills including active listening, empathy, and validation. Partners emerge with lifelong skills of connection.

— Aviva Chansky Guttmann, Social Worker in Kingston, NY

"Imago Relationship Therapy helps remove the blame, shame and criticism common in negative relationship patterns and transform your relationship into one full of understanding and deep connection. We teach you to understand your relationship triggers and reactive behaviors that may stem from unmet needs and how to respond to your partner in a healthy way that benefits you both (From Imago Relationships North America Website)."

— Andy Dishman, Licensed Professional Counselor in MARIETTA, GA

The cornerstone of Imago Relationship Therapy is teaching the couple "intentional dialogue" and good communication skills that are best practices for any relationship. I will help you to communicate directly with your spouse or partner, using mirroring, validation, and empathy, so that you can re-connect with your beloved, and feel heard and understood in your relationship.

— Sara Kerai, Licensed Professional Counselor in Washington, DC

Attended numerous conferences and talks by Harville Hendrix / Helen Lakelly Hunt on "Imago" Relationship Therapy

— Ciara Braun, Licensed Professional Counselor in Birmingham, MI

I use Imago therapy to help couples and families to lean into each other for their needs like comfort and reassurance. We begin by finding the ways that our partner has been there for us during the week. Then during session, a couple finds a way to both experiment and to experience having their partner open up and have their needs met in the moment.

— Elizabeth McGinnis, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Palo Alto, CA

I've seen the positive difference Imago makes for couples. It not only helps couples learn to communicate in a very helpful way, it also leads and teaches them to be curious, rather than reactive, about their areas of growth. They learn how conflict helps them develop deeper compassion and empathy in their relationship.

— Nichole Hart, Counselor in Silverthorne, CO

My couples and relationship work pulls from the leading experts in the field, including Stan Tatkin's PACT model, Sue Johnson's Emotionally Focused Therapy, Ellyn Bader's developmental model of differentiation, and research by the Gottmans. However, I have a special liking for Harville Hendrix and Kelly LaHunt's Imago therapy.

— Olivia Stadler, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Pacific Grove, CA

I create an Imago profile for you so that you can understand what you each bring to the table and the mechanics of your interaction. Being able to understand each other in this way helps us to understand how to make the relationship work better.

— Kari Silverberg, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Monticello, MN

I help couples heal the wounds that they have been projecting on to their partners to restore harmony in the relationship. I also facilitate the Imago Dialogue for healthy communication.

— Lauren Pichard, Psychologist in Oceanside, CA

Imago Therapy provides you with skills to mirror, validate, and empathize with your partner and building effective communication.

— Cassandra Hesse, Counselor in Georgetown, TX

Having a partner who REALLY listens to you can make the difference in whether a disagreement becomes a fight. We'll use techniques developed by the Harville and Helen Hendrix to improve communication, which includes listening to really understand, rather than just waiting to fire back a rebuttal.

— Kathryn Gates, Marriage & Family Therapist in Austin, TX