Every member of our staff is a Marriage and Family Therapist, and much of our therapy is done with couples, regardless of whether alcohol or substance abuse is an underlying issue. Each of our therapists has their own approach to couples work, and we always utilize therapist/client matching to ensure the best possible outcome for the client.
One such approach to couples therapy is based on renowned therapist Harville Hendrix’ concept of Imago Relationship Therapy. This is a groundbreaking approach to working with couples. The “Imago” is the unconscious image we hold of our parents and significant caregivers. According to Hendrix, people select their mates by seeking “Imago matches” – individuals who resemble their parents in positive and negative ways. A couple’s relationship dynamic is created and shaped as each partner interacts with his or her Imago match, revisiting unfinished or unresolved issues from childhood.
The goal of Imago Relationship Therapy is to align our conscious mind (which usually wants happiness and good feelings) with the agenda of our unconscious mind (which wants healing and growth). Thus, the goal of therapy is to assist clients to develop conscious, intimate, committed relationships. The transition to align the conscious and unconscious parts of our mind cannot take place through insight alone. Specific skills and processes are necessary that need to be practiced daily to shift us from having an unconscious marriage to a conscious marriage.
The therapist coaches couples to work through their unresolved childhood issues by increasing awareness. This process helps to create a safe, passionate and committed conscious relationship.