Bob Beare, Ph.D. is a regional specialist in couple’s therapy. He uses the model pioneered by Dr. Harville Hendrix, Imago Therapy.
Imago relationship therapy is a form of couples work that takes a relationship approach rather than an individual approach to problem solving in a partnership. It is documented in Hendrix’s book, “Getting the Love You Want, A Guide for Couples.”
Imago therapy focuses on collaboratively healing childhood wounds that the couple share. Our primitive old brain has a compelling nonnegotiable drive to restore the feeling of aliveness and wholeness with which we came into this world. The brain constructs an image of characteristics from their primary caretakers that are their best and worst traits. We have an unconscious desire to repair the damage done in childhood as a result of needs not met, so we find a partner who can give us what our caretakers failed to provide. The traits of a person’s parents will be found in their future partner. The brain unconsciously creates this image of a partner to seek healing, and to leave the wounds of childhood in order to grow.
The wounds a person has with a parent will unintentionally be repeated by their partner, which triggers old emotions. Both people in the relationship will learn how to REALLY LISTEN TO ONE ANOTHER and appreciate them for the person they are. However, it takes time for couples to learn this type of dialogue and integrate the process into their relationship. For people who can commit themselves to this process for a period of time, the results can be extremely strong for both individuals, and for the future of the relationship.