Imago Relationships International
Year Founded: 1980
Model of Therapy: Imago Relationship Therapy
Available training types: In-Person Based Programs
Imago Relationship Therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix, PhD and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD, and forms the basis of the extremely popular book, “Getting The Love You Want”.
The approach integrates leading approaches to psychotherapy to create a practical model for working with couples. Imago Therapists use a dialogue structure to guide couples to discover for themselves the issues which lie at the heart of their power-struggle, and to commit to each other to make the behavior changes which restore their connection. The Therapist acts as a coach, guiding the couple to dialogue with each other, rather than as a problem solver giving answers. The most effective use of the method requires extensive training in attunement to the couple, so that the therapist can create a seamless flow in the couple’s dialogue, which leads them to the heart of their attachment issues, and enables them to use these issues to heal and grow. Imago training primarily focuses on practical clinical techniques to develop attunement so that a therapist can apply their existing psychological understanding together with new insights from Imago theory to guide the couple in dialogue. There is also a strong educational component to Imago, helping the couple to gain the understanding they need about their own relationship dynamics, so they can be effective participants in their own healing process.
About the Founder(s)
Harville Hendrix, PhD and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD
Clinical Pastoral Counselor, Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., is internationally known for his extensive work with relationship partners. Together, Dr. Hendrix and his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., originated Imago Relationship Therapy as well as established the “conscious partnership” concept. Their unique relationship and expert collaboration has given rise to nine books focusing on close relationships and raising children.
Hendrix earned his Ph.D. in Psychology and Theology attending the University of Chicago, was the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree, and has been honored with two distinguished service awards.
In addition to his awards and honorary degree, Hendrix has been a guest on numerous national tv shows, including 17 episodes of the Oprah Winfrey show. One of the shows on which he was a guest resulted in Ms. Winfrey winning an Emmy for having the "most socially redemptive" talk show on daytime television, and was deemed by Ms. Winfrey as one of her top 20 shows. As well as radio show guest appearances, Hendrix’s work and expertise has been featured in numerous international magazines and newspapers, including the The Oprah Magazine (November 2005), in which he was called the “marriage whisperer.” As a Redbook Marriage Institute member, he serves on the marriage expert team for the magazine.
Dr. Hendrix is the author of two New York Times best sellers: Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples and Keeping the Love You Find: A Personal Guide. He and Helen have co-authored best seller Giving the Love that Heals: A Guide for Parents, and Receiving Love: Transform Your Relationship by Letting Yourself Be Loved. In addition to these two fabulous works, they have created three books about meditation, a pair of study guides, as well as a video program for couples, which has been aired on over 300 public access television stations. The books they authored have been printed in more than 57 different languages.
Helen Lakelly Hunt is active in the women’s movement and has been for 18 years. She is president and founder of The Sister Fund, which is a privately run women’s fund committed to spiritual, social, economic and political empowerment of girls and women. LaKelly Hunt has also assisted in founding several other organizations for women’s funding, including the New York Women's Foundation, the Dallas Women’s Foundation and what is now the Women’s Funding Network (formerly the National Network of Women’s Funds). In addition to her work with women's funding institution, LaKelly Hunt has served on Boards of Directors for organizations such as the New York City Women's Agenda, Ms. Foundation for Women, and Women and Foundations. Some of her more prominent civic activities include active involvement and membership on the Childcare Commission for the office of the Mayor of the City of New York.
Together, they have parented six children and live in New York and New Mexico.
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