I’ve been a psychotherapist for 24 years…hard to believe it’s been that long. I’ve specialized in Imago Relationship Therapy for the last twelve years, and that work has taught me the bulk of what I know about relationships. My clients have taught me the rest. Twelve years ago, after attending a three hour lecture about the Imago theory, the nature of relationships made sense to me for the first time.
Soon after that, I trained to be an Imago Relationship Therapist and nothing has ever impacted my life, personally and professionally, like this training did. I knew I could help couples. I understood the reason for the deep pain, the confusion, disillusionment, and disconnection that so often occurred in intimate relationships. I learned that it wasn’t that one person was the problem, but that each person brought a history from childhood and past relationships with them….each person equally contributed to the struggle…neither person knew what to do to fix the problems they so desperately wanted fixed. No one was guilty. Both were innocent. Both had a reality that made sense, and both wanted the same thing; to feel loved, valued, important, safe, and that they mattered; that their feelings, their needs, their sensitivities mattered; that their partner cared enough to listen and understand. AND they wanted to be happy!!!!!
So I started listening. Both people in a relationship have a reality that desperately wants to be heard. They’ve wanted that reality, their truth, to be heard forever. When we fall in love, it’s such an amazing feeling to know that we finally found that person who wants to listen to every single thing we have to say. They think we’re wonderful and the sexual chemistry is palpable. We’ve finally found that long sought after magical connection. FINALLY!!! No longer will we feel alone or lonely. No longer will we have to be out there searching. AHHHH, the joys of Romantic Love. When we fall in love, we feel omnipotent. Nothing can hurt us, or upset our applecart! Life is good, and we want everyone to know!
Over time, a few months to a few years, not only does the romance dissipate, but the mind, body, spirit connection we so deeply felt, seems to disappear, as well. What happens? Well, the bad news is that Romantic Love never lasts forever, and the good news is that it’s not supposed to. When we “fall out of love,” the journey of real love begins. I know you don’t have a clue what that means, but trust me! When the conflict begins, if you can hang in there, learn what the conflict is REALLY about, learn how to understand it, have compassion for each other’s world, and commit to the journey, the rewards are endless. You see, we’re never upset for the reason we think. There’s always something deeper. I do know it feels as if your partner is the problem. Truth is, your partner triggers old and deep issues in you that are longing to be healed. Truth is, that’s why you married them. Truth is, if you fell in love, you fell in love with the right person. The real problem is that we don’t know that. The real problem is that no one told us that. Until now. Aren’t you relieved? You’re not alone, you’ve done the very best you could do given the knowledge you had, and there is help.
We hire coaches to help us in our chosen sport. Can you imagine playing golf without anyone helping you understand how to play? Not just how to hold and swing the club…which we know is difficult…but the game itself. Which clubs to use, and when to use them; how to putt, get out of a bunker, how to keep score. If we learned from people who didn’t know how to play well, we wouldn’t play well either. So we get a professional to teach us.
Our parents learned how to do their relationship from people who probably weren’t coached by pros. Then you learned from watching them. Your children will learn from watching you. The most important part of our lives, and we don’t get coaching. I hope this makes sense to you, because Imago Therapy can teach you how to play the game. So when you’re doing this thing called relationship, you can feel successful and confident. You can consciously create the relationship you dreamed of when you first got together. I get excited each time a new couple begins this work. Just as I was impacted when first learning about Imago, my hope is that if you become my clients, that you will be equally excited and impacted.