The Relationship Institute of
Santa Barbara
Dora L. Dunlap, LCSW  •   Mark Dunlap, MFT
A Center for Imago Therapy
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About Imago
Imago Therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix and has been written about in his books, including Getting the Love You Want.  It has a distinctive, hopeful view of marriage, and some specific and very practical methods for helping couples.  Some central ideas are:

We are unconsciously drawn by romantic love to a certain type of partner so that we can engage in a 
process of personal healing and psychological growth with that person

It is inevitable that we will have differences and conflicts with that person.

The conflicts, even though frustrating or painful, are not the problem.  They are actually opportunities for 
growth presented to us by the relationship.   The problem is the way we are handling the conflicts.

The conflicts are often a replay of what didn't go well for us growing up, and that's why they are especially maddening or painful.

When couples are dealing with their issues unsuccessfully, they have become mired in a negative cycle of relating, in which they continue to frustrate and hurt each other.

In order to break out of the negative cycle, couples need to understand clearly how they are frustrating each 
each other and understand the "unconscious agenda," what it is they they are really want from each other.
They need to learn new ways of communicating that actually work, and ways of addressing each other's needs
more effectively.  As couples successfully work with the unconscious agenda, profound personal healing and
      psychological growth will occur. 

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