Requested page not available (because user or community was deleted)

Couples Therapy, Session 3, Harville Hendrix: Comment Board


harville_hendrix_p003Thank you for attending Session 3 of Couples Therapy: Today and Tomorrow. This session with Harville Hendrix will delve into the basic principles of the Imago approach to authentic connection between couples.

Hendrix, the co-developer of Imago Relationship Theory and the co-founder of Imago Relationship International, will discuss how to understand the resistance to love that was founded in childhood experiences, how to help partners learn to heal wounds from each other’s childhoods, the basic skills of mirroring and empathy, and how couples can validate each other--even when they disagree.

We invite you to participate in this Comment Board to share your experiences with couples  therapy, comment on what was most interesting to you about Imago Relationship theory, and ask any questions you may have. What was most relevant about what you learned today?

Please include your name and hometown along with your comment. Thank you again for your participation and your comments.

02.17.2011   Posted In: P003 Couples Therapy: Today and Tomorrow   By Rich Simon
    You must login to leave comment. Why?

    • Not available avatar 02.21.2011 08:47
      Finally navigated to the comment section! I just listed the Rich Simon/Terry's Real presentation. Much thanks to Rich/Psychotherapy Networker for providing opportunities in continuing education...with or without cost! Having worked in a Federal Prison with inmates, w/'grandiose' individuals in individual and couples therapy, I found Terry's approach 'right on'! I immediately ordered the book, 'The New Rules of Marriage' following the seminar. I learned a lot and much of what was presented supported my approach which isn't all that 'touchy-feely'! Usually I come from a state of compassion and "truth" as Terry define's it... This is not congruent with the approach of many therapists w/whom I work. Really appreciated the 'golden rule' -- "What do you need from me to help you give me what I want", the four quadrant approach (great way to assist both clients and myself in understanding the dynamics of the couple; "I hate how you're treating me-what can I make you for lunch" (a dynamic I frequently witness); the importance of the therapist not being "one-up" or "one down"; first and second consciousness (which reminds me of IFS' who's (what part/aspect) occupying the 'Seat of Consciousness' -- not to forget sometimes there's a blend; and finally the list of "losing" and "winning" strategies. Again, thanks for the helpful input! One quetion, what about those grandiose individuals who use withholding as opposed to acting out as a defense...would like to hear more about this stance! Susan LW Miller MS LPC LMFT NCC; Roswell, GA, USA
    • 0 avatar Linda Marshall 02.24.2011 07:09
      I am an Imago trained therapist and today was the first time I heard Harville name the Dialogue "the listening cure." I love that. What I love about Imago is that all the ways to avoid the mistakes Wm. Doherty cautions against are built into the methodology of Imago. When I work with couples, I most often witness touching sacred moments of healing connection. It is awesome work and I walk away feeling so privileged and honored to be a part of facilitating it. Linda Marshall from Dayton, OH
    • 0 avatar Loren Gelberg-Goff 02.24.2011 07:10
      Thank you so much for such a great overview of Imago Therapy. While I use a number of the strategies in my practice, your descriptions of the cognitive rupture and how it impacts us in our marriages was quite powerful I will embrace this knowledge, not only for my practice, but in my own marriage as well. Thank you. Enjoy your trip... Loren River Edge (wellfromwithin.com)
    • Not available avatar 02.24.2011 07:13
      I just viewed the Harville Hendrix module and especially appreciated the insight into structuring of the first session by moving the couple immediately into to Imago dialogue and putting the focus on the possible/the desired rather than allowing the couple to mourn what they do not have today.
      Sandra Prillaman, Ed.S., LPC Tucker, GA
    • 0 avatar Linda Marshall 02.24.2011 07:15
      Just one more comment. I am so proud of Harville and Helen for inviting the leading theorists in couple's therapy to their ranch to begin a collaborative process together. This speaks to their commitment for cultural transformation that they are all willing to work together to pool their knowledge and make living together in harmony possible on a wider scale. There are exciting things ahead in this field. Linda Marshall from Dayton, OH
    • 0 avatar Florence Calhoun 02.24.2011 07:23
      ...Wonderful presentation. I attended an Imago Therapy Workshop at one of the Networker Symposiums a few years ago and was impressed with the process. I am more impressed now after seeing this presentation. I would like to incorporate Imago Therapy in my practice.
      As I have begun to work with more couples, I see the validity of the Imago process. I will check out the website and look into more training opportunities. Thanks. Florence Calhoun, Los Angeles, CA.(fcalhoun2003@msn.com
    • 0 avatar chris cable 02.24.2011 07:33
      I've attended several Imago workshops, read several books, and have used it in therapy, so I didn't expect much new. I'm delighted I still got new ideas. I need to explain less and model more from the start instead of educating first. Chris Cable, Annapolis MD

    • Not available avatar 02.24.2011 07:58
      I am an Imago therapist and have practiced for 20 plus years. I thought this was an excellent introduction to gives new therapist a beginning framework to work from. I have found this modality extremely helpful for creating the deep character structure change. I have also lived this model for 22 years with my partner and have experienced the healing effects of attunement and presence on my personal history and reactive defense pattern. I also believe in the healing power of universal peace by creating change in ourselves and with our clients.

      Charlie Love, Austin, Texas
    • Not available avatar 02.24.2011 07:58
      I really enjoyed Harville's presentation today and feel honored to hear him "in person", as I have read his books years ago and have integrated much of his approach into my work. I particularly appreciated today his discussion about establishing a more relaxed and empathetic connection at the beginning of the therapy process--in a sense having the couple "take off their armor", as much as is possible, from the get go. What do you do when the clients cannot adequately mirror and empathize, when the resentment or their own narcissism continues to overpower their ability to listen and hear the other? Or their words are paraphrasing, but the attitude is invalidating.
      Heidi Roth, PHD, LMHC Bloomington, IN
    • 0 avatar Dale Pavich 02.24.2011 08:53
      A wonderful overview of Imago Therapy. I was reminded of Carl Rogers' work and enjoyed the synthesis of theories reflected in the Imago model, e.g. Freudian and neo Freudian. One question that comes to mind is how to use Imago Therapy when working with couples in crisis, i.e. due to discovered affairs or other wounding life events. I often wondered if Imago Therapy is more for stagnating couples vis a vis couples in more acute despair.
      • Not available avatar 02.25.2011 17:26
        I have a similar question as most of the time couples come in in crisis..
    • 0 avatar Patricia Hollister 02.25.2011 03:50
      Not sure I'm at the comment board....
      I've just watched--and was riveted by--the Hendrix/Simon conversation. Most helpful is the image of stubbing your toe on the way to the beach, and how that postpones (for some permanently) the dream of the day at the beach--replacing it with the focus of dealing with the toe!
      This process? I'm really enjoying it. (my first webinar). So convenient--and the mechanics are minimized by the dynamic interaction between Rich and his presenters.
      Patty Hollister, Gottman Therapist, Las Cruces, NM.
    • 0 avatar Lynn Pearlmutter 02.25.2011 04:39
      I especially liked the all-too-brief overview of the later stages of the therapy. Some MBA-type clients introduced me to Steven Covey's book on couples and families and how Covey recommends couples write a mission statement for their marriage. I have used this toward the end of the therapy with good results.
      I got a better appreciation for Imago Therapy today. Sometimes I worry that it
      begins with too much of a "wounded" trauma focus. Harville ended today with a statement that not all couples need therapy. Is that because not everyone is as wounded as those who usually come for therapy?
      Lynn Pearlmutter, New Orleans, LA.
      • Not available avatar 02.25.2011 10:04
        My question as well. My understanding is that every human suffers this connection loss at 2 weeks - the universal human tragedy. This would mean no one has empathy. I guess that would mean we have no empathy for the partner we choose - we choose them to heal the childhood wound. But, it doesn't mean that we don't have empathy for others, i.e. witness all the social workers, nurses, doctors, etc
    • Not available avatar 02.25.2011 04:47
      Thanks for a great overview. Just wrote a long reply that did not go through, so this is short. Got tools to get off to a great start.
      Irene Savarese, Ft. Laud. FL. Couples Therapist (I use The Developmental Model created by Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson)but definitely wants to hear more about Imago!
      • 0 avatar Ruth Bergen Braun 03.02.2011 18:00
        I was thinking as I was listening (and I know I need to listen at least once or twice more) that the Imago dialogue meshes well with the I-I as taught by The Couples Institute.
    • Not available avatar 02.25.2011 09:14
      Thanks to Harville Hendrix and this great presentation, there is a new direction I can take with a couple stuck in emotional symbiosis. I am thrilled with the paradigm of connection (neuro-psyche-attachment-relational-quantum connection). Paula Casey, LMFT, Whidbey Island, WA
    • Not available avatar 02.25.2011 12:43
      I loved the presentation.It was clear concise and coherent. I am still relatively new to the practice of couples therapy. My question has to do with when you go to Restructure frustrations and a behavior change request has not been honored where do you go from there? Teri Harget in San Jose Ca
    • Comment was deleted

    • Not available avatar 02.26.2011 08:23
      Thank you so much for a nice session. Dr. Hendrix started the session by saying that he asks clients to know what they would like to get from the session vs what the problem is. The problem is that I get stuck sometime with people that don't know what they want but only what they don't want. Any ideas how to help them to get in touch with that?
      isabel Kirk
      Arlington, VA
    • Not available avatar 02.26.2011 08:26
      Sorry I forgot to ad on the same line of thought...usually you find a partner more closed up emotionally that the other, how do you get to sell them the imago dialogue? I tend to find a lot of resistance sometimes.
      thanks again,
      isabel Kirk
      Arlington, VA
    • Not available avatar 02.26.2011 09:45
      I have used Dr. Hendrix's dialogue process with most of the couples I work with with great results!I truly loved the presentation and how in such short time he puts together the core of his approach. When couples who are in great distress I found Dr. Gotma's and Susan Johnson's approach very useful in couples learning how to calm each other,and resolve conflict. Yet moving into the dialogue process ASAP creats a big shift and moments of true, deep connections in couples!It truly creates safety and trust!
      Thank you for the presentation
      Elsa Alanis, Ph.D. San Diego, CA
    • Not available avatar 02.26.2011 13:33
      Thank you for sharing this helpful session. I have been using this process but sometimes find myself lost along the way. Your framework will be most helpful in keeping me on track. Thank you Dr. Hendrix and Webinar!
      Vicky- Philippines
    • Not available avatar 02.26.2011 14:54

      Wonderful session. I have used mirroring with couples a lot but never "is there more?" and never "you make sense to me..." and also the empathy piece. I can't wait to use it. I really enjoyed listening to this and it was presented in a very useful manner. Thank you to the networker for providing this webinars. Certainly they have been a gift. Renee-mtka, mn
    • Not available avatar 02.27.2011 22:01
      Hi from Australia. What a great hour listening to one of the most well known couple therapists today explain Imago therapy. I was wondering if the emphasis on recognising your partner as 'other' and the discussion on the importance of differentiation was a nod to Bowen family systems therapy? It seems to me that recognising the individuals within the relationship is quite central here, perhaps even more so than the relationship itself? Many thanks! Nicole Robins, Sydney.
    • Not available avatar 02.28.2011 12:06
      Harville hendrix was excellent. I love his work and appreciate it being in the form of a webinar. Thank you!
    • Not available avatar 03.03.2011 13:18
      Great training. I appreciate the view that marriage / partnership is the structure for pesonal growth. Also very much respect your vision of a movement of couplehood transforming the cultural empathic rupture globally...how delightfully illuminating!

      Kathleen Santa Rosa
    • 0 avatar Nick Child 03.07.2011 02:27
      Thanks again for another long-crafted but still lively and inspiringly new and passionate if not idealistic way of thinking about relationships, yet also a clear picture of how the therapy looks in practice too. It is amazing how the hour of the webinar conveys not just the gist but the do-able detail of it all.

      My thoughts were contrasting ones. I like the relational imago theory because it relates so well to older theories from psychoanalysis to "object relations" to attachment theory. Yet the actual practice of imago therapy is about as modern and "solution focused" as you could get! Steven Covey starts with "Have the end in mind", and this is a good example of that. So that's quite an achievement to put together all that in one package. And the global vision at the end is wonderful.

      Again, I will not expect to be able to do imago therapy after one webinar, but it is great to have yet another strong model of ideas and therapy to be adding to my repertoire, and to be talking about with UK colleagues locally and nationally as we look for a way to meld couple and family therapies here.

      I gather that British solution focus therapists find that British clients really feel short-changed if they don't get a bit of a chance to moan about their problems in the first session, so I imagine that British couples might not like their therapist to go straight to their dream solution! Any tips for clients like that?

      In FT we learnt that the (mainly US) master therapists had advantages that the more ordinary beings in their audiences did not. It is likely to be the same yet, and for the leading names presented on this webinar series. As a therapist becomes more sure and skilled and famous, the more their clients will be actively seeking what they know they are going to get from a particular therapist or method, and more ready to do what they're asked (if not told!). The rest of us have to find our own kinds of competence and confidence with a wider range of clients who are less prepared and motivated for anything in particular. What we need is a paradox - a webinar by a leading therapist on the question of "how to be eclectic"!

      Oh, and it's so impressive to see someone at ease with talking about their own personal history and problems and struggle, as well as making the neuro-psycho-physiological and behavioural aspects such an integral part of the skill and work.

      Nick Child, Family Therapist, Edinburgh, Scotland
    You must login to leave comment. Why?
    I do blog this IDoBlog Community