Common Questions

“Our hearts are bigger than our hurts.” – Sofia E Jamison

What’s this Imago stuff all about?

One of the main ideas underlying Imago Relationship Therapy is that we unconsciously choose our partners in order to complete unfinished business from childhood and so that we may grow into the full potential of who we are. The goal is to bring our reactive parts into awareness and to find out what these parts need in order to feel understood. Once this happens on an emotional level we are better able to choose healthier responses to whatever is being triggered in our interactions. Relationships need conscious time and attention and Imago helps bring that forward in safe, compassionate and mature ways.

Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) in the Press: (selections)
In the Oct 2005 issue of “O Magazine”, Oprah lists her “Unforgettable!
Oprah’s Top 20 Shows” in a feature celebrating her 20 years on TV. Oprah
talks about Harville Hendrix’s introduction of IMAGO and how it changed
forever her understanding of relationships — one of her “light bulb”
life-changing, perspective-changing moments.

This is the ONLY marriage/relationship show that made the top 20 list and that’s even more remarkable when you realize that she’s done so many many shows on marriages and relationships.

How can I get my partner to go to counseling with me?
It is sometimes hard to accept, but the fact is that we cannot make anyone do anything they do not want to do. If your partner is not willing to see a counselor at this time, go yourself. Get started on your own work, and see what happens. Usually when one partner brings positive change to the relationship the other person becomes more open.  As you begin to get clear on your own contributions to the challenges in the relationship, you will be better able to approach your partner in a way that can be received.  Your partner may become ready to join you in counseling when they feel that it will be safe and not a shouting, blaming or finger-pointing match.  You will discover more choices for yourself and you will receive support and encouragement as you continue to do your own work.

Here are some additional thoughts from a relationship blog that you may find useful:

We’ve already tried counseling and it didn’t really help. How would this be different?
My husband and I also tried counseling prior to our Imago work and unfortunately did not find it very helpful. There was a lack of structure, no mechanism for resolving conflict, and we often left feeling drained and discouraged. Imago provides a profound level of safety and a “container” where you can work through your challenges without shame, blame and criticism. It also brings forward a level of compassion and understanding in your communication that deepens connection and allows you to leave your sessions feeling hopeful, encouraged and committed to making things better.

We’re already separated and don’t have any hope. Why should we try Imago?
Again, my husband and I have been there. For us, the separation was the catalyst to do what we had to do to figure things out. We went in feeling pretty hopeless and wondering how we would ever find our way back to one another. Imago gave us hope in the very first session, and gave us the direction and tools we needed to reconnect and grow even deeper in love.

Love is the answer!

What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is utilizing hypnosis to achieve one’s goals and behavior changes. Hypnosis is a very normal and natural state where the body is relaxed and the mind is very alert and focused inward. In a state of hypnosis we are highly responsive to suggestion and can more easily access the resources of the subconscious mind.

The thought of someone controlling my mind is scary to me – why would I want to do this type of work?
There are some myths out there surrounding hypnosis that are based on inaccurate information. Hypnosis is not mind control and you cannot be hypnotized against your will. It is not possible for someone to make you squawk like a chicken or do anything that you do not want to do. You will not accept suggestions that go against your moral and ethical values.

It is up to you what you will share while in hypnosis. You are in control of your own mind and will know everything that is being said and done. In most cases you will remember the session just like you would remember the events after having lunch with a friend.

Can I get stuck in hypnosis?
No. At the very least, if you fall asleep while in hypnosis, you would just awaken after taking a nap and feel quite refreshed! You can end a hypnosis session at any time by opening up your eyes or choosing not to participate.

I’ve never been hypnotized before, how do I know if I can be?
Most people can be hypnotized. Very young children and people with certain severe mental illnesses are usually not good candidates for hypnosis.

Hypnosis is progressive, which means you get better at it the more you experience it. You also have to be willing to be hypnotized and therefore all hypnosis is considered self-hypnosis.

Why would I want to use hypnosis and how can I use it?
When used as a tool in the hands of a trained therapist, hypnosis is very effective and useful for many issues. It can be used for emotional issues, motivation, goal setting, stress management, improving confidence and self-esteem, anxiety, physical conditions and sports enhancement, and more. It also works very well as a complementary therapy with traditional medical, dental and psychological therapies.

There is a growing body of medical research and scientific evidence validating the safety and effectiveness of hypnosis. As all hypnosis is considered to be self-hypnosis, it allows the individual to be an active participant in their care and self-growth.

What is Spiritual Psychology and Soul-centered Counsel?