FAQ About Imago

Frequently asked questions about our services.

happy couple1. What is Imago Relationship Therapy?

Imago relationship therapy is based on the work of Harville Hendrix in his books Getting the Love You Want and Keeping the Love You Find. It is based on the theory that individuals consciously pick partners based on their attraction, likes, shared values, etc. and that more importantly one unconsciously picks a mate based on one’s unhealed childhood wounding. In other words, one picks a partner that brings up their deepest hurts and then gets angry with their partner. Imago is based upon a series of dialogues that help couples honestly connect with their partners and live in a more conscious relationship with their partners and the world around them.

2. How is Imago different from other marriage counseling?

Imago is a time-limited approach to counseling which lasts 10-12 sessions. The therapist is mostly a facilitator of the dialogue between the partners, thus focusing more on process than content. The therapist’s role is not to point out who is right and who is wrong, but more to help the partners hear each other’s hurts, hopes, needs and desires.

3. What if my partner does not want to come to therapy?

In Imago the view is that it is common for one partner to be more willing to come to therapy than another. This is known as the “dragger and draggee” phenomenon. One partner is seen as being the voice for the couple and as long as both are willing to attend, the process will be convincing in and of itself.

4. What if we are not a traditional married couple?

Imago therapy does not discriminate against any type of couple. The only requirements are a committed partnership and a willingness to attend.

5. Is there any situation which would exclude my partner and I from being candidates for Imago work?

As in most couples therapy, if one or both partners are in an active addiction, current affair or if one or both have an untreated mental illness, the couple would not be good candidates for the therapy or the workshops until the issues are addressed.

6. What are the Imago Couples Weekends?

Imago Couples Intensives, entitled Getting the Love You Want are a 15-20 hour workshop over a 2-3 day period. Couples learn about Imago theory, how it applies to their own history and couples are taught the dialogue method, with private dialogue time. Workshops are sponsored throughout the United States and internationally by Imago Relationships International.

7. Can I attend Imago therapy or the weekend workshop on my own, without a partner?

One can work on their individual relationship issues in individual Imago therapy. While the Couples Workshops are reserved for couples, there are Singles Imago workshops in various locations entitled, Keeping the Love you Find.

8. Is Imago a spiritual model?

Imago is a spiritual model in that it views coupleship as a spiritual journey and growth path.  It does not advocate any specific religious perspective.

9. What if Imago is not a good fit for us as a couple?

Dr. Ashkins is trained in several other methods of therapy, including Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and Relate.