Harville Hendrix is the co-founder of the Imago Relationship Therapy method, along with his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D. He graduated from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and was a faculty member at the Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, before he earned his degree in theology from the Theological Seminary in New York. He went on to receive both a Ph.D. and an M.A. in psychology and religion from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago. Hendrix is a therapist, educator, and pastoral counselor and has more than three decades of teaching and educational experience. He has spent the last two decades practicing and teaching his own form of marriage and relationship therapy known as Imago Relationship Therapy.
Hendrix is internationally renowned for his work. He has received honorary doctorates as well as service awards. He has published books with his wife and on his own describing the techniques of his method. He has helped millions of people throughout the world improve their lives and relationships through his techniques.
Contribution to Psychology
Imago Relationship Therapy integrates spiritual teachings, psychological fundamentals and behavioral practices into a therapeutic technique to enhance love relationships. It is founded on several premises that state that each person is born completely whole. It states that our early upbringing created internal wounds, and that each of us has an unconscious image made up of all of the negative and positive traits of our primary caregivers, called the Imago. This image is a map that leads us to the person we must partner with. Our Imago causes us to marry someone who will complete the experiences left unfinished from childhood. We look for our love partner to heal the wounds inflicted by our caregivers. Our romantic connection to a person is a higher power’s way of joining us with the person designed to heal us and help us grow. This romantic connection is followed by an unavoidable Power Struggle that is part of the healing process. Both the “Romantic Love” connection and the “Power Struggle” are necessary stages for healing and are performed at an unconscious level.
Imago Therapy involves using the conscious mind and the unconscious mind to create a committed, loving relationship with the person who is meant to help us find ultimate healing. “Couple’s Dialogue” is at the heart of Imago therapy, and can be conducted with the help of a therapist or without. Each partner is required to mirror each other’s words, summarize the content and validate what they hear. Finally, a partner is guided to give empathy to their partner. This allows each partner the opportunity to fully understand what the other is feeling and experiencing from a different perspective. Through helping a partner heal their wounds, the other partner realizes their own human growth. This is mainly the result of being with a partner who is aligned with the Imago. When each partner is able to help the other heal, they each grow closer to healing themselves and achieving wholeness.
Quote by Harville Hendrix
Books by Harville Hendrix