Imago Relationship Therapy

Problem dynamics in couples often stem from experiences in each partner’s family of origin. Indeed, Imago is premised on the assumption that many of us unconsciously pick our partner in part on the basis of how our issues match with theirs. Our childhood wounds – often feelings of abandonment or domination – influence our adult relationships and crop up in our couple. When one or both partners do not have a handle on these issues, they may be expressed in the couple in a negative way. For example, as partners recreate in their couple dynamics from their upbringing, they may lose sight of the positive aspects of their partner and relationship and wonder if committing to was the right thing to do.

A core aspect of Imago Relationship Therapy is a communication model called the Imago Dialogue. The Imago Dialogue helps a couple to develop an empathic understanding of each other’s feelings and family of origin issues. By doing so together, they can help heal themselves, each other and their relationship, creating a deeper and more loving connection.

Imago Relationship Therapy emerged from decades of study and practice by the noted couples therapists Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt. Much of their work is set forth in the most recent edition of Hendrix’s NYT bestseller “Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples,” St. Martin’s Griffin: New York (2019). The Counseling Center of MarylandTM has therapists (Marjorie Kreppel and David Christy) knowledgeable in Imago techniques to help couples repair and strengthen their bonds. For more information, see

Imago Relationship Therapy provides model dialogues that allow a couple to communicate more calmly and directly, and to better understand and empathize with one another.