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What to expect from your first Imago Therapy session

by Shlomo & Rivka Slatkin / April 14, 2017

imago therapy

Imago therapy is quite different than traditional marriage counseling. How can you tell?

The moment you enter the office, you'll notice that there are two chairs facing each other. While you may want to shift them to face the therapist, you'll see that they were put in that position intentionally.

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Why do Imago therapists put the chairs in that fashion?

Your relationship is the focus of the session and you will be doing most of the talking to your spouse, not the therapist.

You can expect the therapist to emphasize the importance of safety and introduce the mirroring technique where you learn how to listen without judgment and reactivity.

While it may feel awkward at first, you will quickly appreciate the value of it as you'll truly feel heard for the first time and you'll be able to control your reactivity when you listen to a difficult issue.

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What else can you expect in your first Imago therapy session?


  • You can expect to explore the childhood connection of the frustrations you are experiencing in your relationship because Imago therapy believes that we pick a partner who will trigger our unmet childhood needs or wounds.


  • Our partner will remind us of some of these painful memories.


  • It is when we both get conscious about this that we will see us get unstuck from the current power struggle and see the bigger picture.


  • Instead of feeling criticized when we hear a frustration we will have greater compassion and sensitivity for our spouse when we realize it is usually only partially about us, and much more about the past hurt that is being triggered.


  • You can expect to have your eyes opened to a new way of understanding your relationship, a more effective way to work together, and hope of the possibility of a better future together.

If you're looking for marriage counseling that will be a positive experience rather than a negative one, Imago therapy is a marriage counseling approach that focuses on helping you reconnect with the therapist only there as a guide, not as a mediator or as "expert".

You can see how marriage counseling that is setup where the therapist is the "expert" can lead to all kind of potential problems.


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