spiral2grow Marriage Family Therapy, a leading provider of Imago relationship therapy in NYC, has professionals that include imago therapists or imago couples therapists as well as marriage counselors, who are expert in imago relationship therapy. spiral2grow Marriage Therapy, located in midtown Manhattan at 260 Madison #8023, New York, NY 10016, offers imago relationship treatment through marriage counseling, couples therapy and relationship coaching.
Imago couples therapy – Overview
While there are several marital enrichment programs and courses currently available, most are psycho-educational and approach relationship challenges primarily on a cognitive level. Imago Couples Therapy, even in a short time treatment or workshop for couples, works on an affective/emotional level to establish a healthy and positive therapeutic climate that allows work with previously unconscious material.
Imago Relationship Therapy has assisted many couples worldwide. Emotional disconnection and disharmony in intimate relationship may be expressed as criticism, dissatisfaction, disappointment, anger or resentment. Imago Relationship Therapy explores the root of the unpleasant emotions and destructive behaviors which is manifested in unhealthy communication dynamics between partners. As such, it enables individuals in intimate relationships move from unconscious and automatic to conscious and mindful relationship. It empowers individuals to see their role in the relationship while healing childhood wounds within a supportive and safe environment. Imago therapy lays the foundation of thriving relationship and provides the tools to enhance deeper connection, experience joy, harmony and fulfillment.
Imago counseling approaches challenges and problems on multiple levels (emotional, rational and behavioral). The fundamental premise of Imago is that deep understanding of each other’s feelings, needs and experiences is crucial to being able to empathize, understand and connect with each other. In addition, change must be on the behavioral level, rather than being a change in the mind to increase the chances to get closer to what we want. Also, an important element of the Imago therapy is the emphasis that even when one partner change, the dynamic of the relationship change. The process of therapy leads to a valuable growth and healing for both partners. Couples at any stage of their relationship, in crisis or in love, married or unmarried can enjoy the benefit of such transformative therapeutic technique.
Communication Skill: Mirroring, Validation, and Empathy
Communication skills involve the use of “I-messages” and of active listening, which consists of paraphrasing of one person’s statements. It also includes elaboration and questioning to understand more clearly, thinking of what is underlying the person’s feelings and communicating an encouraging and empowering response. These methods are important and leads to an improvement in a couple’s communication program do not lead to healing. At the same time, Imago therapy believe that creating the safety is necessary for the couples to move beyond a conscious level to ultimately establish profound long term change.
Harvill Hendrix’s communication model also includes a mirroring response, teaches couples to communicate honest validation with compassion which expresses cognitive empathy, and then, to make an attempt to communicate an affective empathic response. This two-fold communication of empathy creates high level of safety. The safety and security allows the partner to move deeper into the process, and promotes greater intimacy in the relationship. In addition, addressing childhood issues and gaining access to unconscious processes is done. This further safety, and respects, as well as validation. It promotes understanding perceptions and feelings of the partner expressing a frustration or concern. Both people are given the time and space to show up in the relationship as differentiated, yet connected partners.
Healing the Self and Growing it
Imago therapist realizes that teaching couples on communication, de-escalation and negotiating skills as well as building the skills to create a truly mutually therapeutic relationship is paramount. It starts by mutual curiosity to learn and understand your partner, gaining access to the unconscious childhood wound and empowers couples to do the work of healing their wounds. The energy used by the unconscious to hold in place the repressed wounds and split off parts of the self, and to maintain defensive patterns is now freed and brought back into the relationship and to the life of the individual. The result is greater passion, spontaneity, intimacy and aliveness result and move both partners toward reclaiming their whole selves.
Read more about couples counseling by spiral2grow.