Here in Houston marriage counseling, I practice Imago therapy, which emphasizes openly communicating with your partner to create empathy. Why do I think this practice is so important? Well, ask yourself this: have you ever been blindsided by an argument with your partner and ended up thinking, Where did that come from? Maybe you thought everything was going fine, and you don’t understand why your partner lashed out at you like that.
The reason why we can be caught unaware like this is because early on in relationships, our brain chemistry convinces us that we want to be with our partner because they are like us, and their world is a mirror of our world. However, in longer-term relationships we learn that our partner is not exactly the same as us – they have their own thoughts and feelings, and we don’t understand them. That’s why dialoguing with our partner is such an important part of resolving relationship issues.
Houston Marriage Counseling Utilizes the Imago Dialogue
The idea behind the Imago Dialogue is to gain a better understanding of your partner’s feelings and history in order to move towards a more conscious relationship. It’s especially important to focus on a person’s history, because in conflicts generally only about 10% of the painful interactions are about the present situation, while 90% are about unresolved past relationship issues. By talking with your partner about the problem, you’ll get to the core of the issue sooner, rather than just dance around it through passive-aggressive fighting. Once you understand the root of the issue, you’ll be able to better empathize with your partner. You’ll see that while their world is not an exact replica of your world, you can understand where they’re coming from.
If you’re interested in learning more about Imago therapy and how to dialogue your way to a conscious relationship, I would recommend ordering a copy of the book “Getting the Love You Want” by Dr. Harville Hendrix or going to an Imago counseling workshop. My Houston marriage counseling center frequently puts on this type of event, and I’d be happy to work with you and your partner, whether you’re grappling with relationship issues or just want to understand each other better.