Imago Relationship Therapy

September 18, 2018
by Elizabeth Cusulas

Imago therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix and his wife Helen Hunt in 1988. Imago means “image” in Latin and is based on an idea that we have an unconscious image forming since birth of what love feels like, and this image dictates who we pick as partners. Imago therapy helps people understand why the show up the way they do in relationships and, most importantly, teaches the Intentional Dialogue process which improves communication in every relationship.

An Imago therapist becomes a coach for couples, individuals, parents, and businesses who want to improve connection, raise consciousness and awareness, decrease reactivity, and foster a new way of being in relationship. The process transforms conflict into connection and understanding. The Intentional Dialogue teaches couples how to have safe conversations by mirroring, validating, and demonstrating empathy. The primary source of conflict in relationships is lack of communication.

Research shows that when listening there is a 13% accuracy rate and an 83% distortion rate.

Imago therapy provides tools and concepts that improve accuracy and restore safety to ruptured relationships. Mirroring is the processes of repeating back precisely what you are hearing without paraphrasing. This form of listening creates connection and can help the listener calm their reactivity by not automatically responding. Validation allows the “otherness” to be safe and allowed in relationships. If what someone says “makes sense” because you have listened to them, it does not mean that you agree; it allows the perspective of someone else to exist and helps transcend righteousness. Empathy is not sympathy rather it is an attempt to imagine what someone else may be feeling.

There is a quote by Bill Bullard, “Opinion is the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our ego and live in another’s world. It requires profound purpose, larger than the self-kind of understanding”

While this process is transformative, it is easier said than done and requires practice. Watch “Grow Your Guru” for numerous segments that will dive deeper into the theories and tools that will help improve your relationships.


About the Author

Susie Kamen – LMSW, CIRT, SILC
Host of Grow Your Guru on New Radio Media

“I was fortunate to have the type of childhood that provided enough baggage that would require me to pay extra at any airline counter. Although I did not always appreciate my luggage, once I began to unpack it, the “Growth Gifts” inside became the foundation for my lifelong journey to grow, learn, and serve.

For the past 27 years, I’ve been a therapist working with individuals, couples, families, and adolescents. I have expertise in premarital counseling, divorce recovery, anxiety, and depression, and specialize in relationships and communication – including the relationship you have with yourself. I’m passionate about my own growth and dedicated to providing safety and the non-judgmental space necessary for your sacred journey of personal growth.

Unfortunately, we are not taught to care for our mental health individually, or in relationships, without stigma or shame. I remain committed to my mission to teach the value of growing in every area of life, so you may unpack your baggage and grow!”


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This weekly LIVE show is created based on a belief that within each of us is our “inner guru”, our true self, which is beautiful, whole, complete, and worthy.

TRANSFORM YOUR LIFE! Life circumstances – and the stories we tell ourselves – often cause us to forget the truth of who we really are. We then show up in our lives with self-limiting and self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. This show will provide strategies, inspiration, motivation, tools, interviews, and Growth Gifts to enhance and transform every area of your life.

CHANGE YOUR STORY! Together we can change your story, unleash your soul, teach you how to create connection in your relationships, and produce empowering and positive choices that are in alignment with the life you deserve and desire. Let’s get Growing! It is never too late to heal and step into your true potential.

“As a psychotherapist, Imago therapist and Robbins-Madanes Strategic Intervention Life Coach, it is my intention that Grow Your Guru provides services and tools that promote GROWTH in every area of your life and reconnects you to your inner Guru. I provide coaching services that promote healing, increase awareness and insight, help you transcend limitations, and help you reach your full potential by GROWING in every area of your life. ” Host, Susie Kamen