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The aim of Imago Couple’s Counseling work is:

The aim of Imago Couple’s Counseling work is:

• To help couples create conscious relationships
• To help couples identify their unconscious emotional injuries that impact relationships negatively
• To help couples become aware of underlying needs that are needing attention
• To help couples exchange desired behaviors that will meet these needs

The basic premises are as follows:

We were born whole and complete individuals. We became wounded in relationships during the early nurturing and socialization stages of development by our primary caretakers (usually inadvertently, in relationships with parents who were doing their best).
We developed a composite image of all the positive and negative traits of our primary caretakers deep in our unconscious mind. This we call our “Imago.” It is like a blueprint of the one we need to marry someday.
We marry someone who is an Imago Match; that is, someone who matches this blueprint of the composite image of our primary caretakers. This is important because we marry for the purpose of healing and repairing the unfinished business of childhood. Since we were wounded in relationship we need to repair in a relationship.
Romantic love makes the selection and is nature’s way of connecting us with the perfect partner for our eventual healing.
We move into a power struggle as soon as we move into a committed relationship. The Power Struggle is necessary, for imbedded in a couple’s frustrations lie the information for healing and growth. The struggle, however, is supposed to end.
The first two stages of marriage, “Romantic Love” and the “Power Struggle,” function at an unconscious level. For growth and change to take place, a couple needs to move into a conscious level of functioning.
Inevitably our love partner is incompatible with us and least able to meet our deepest needs which results in re-wounding us again and again.
The goal of Imago Relationship Therapy is to align our conscious mind (which usually wants happiness and good feelings) with the agenda of the unconscious mind (which wants healing and growth). Thus the goal of therapy is to assist clients develop conscious, intimate, committed relationships.
The transition to conscious behaviors requires both psycho-education and the establishment of specific skills that honors the connection.

The Power Struggle
When we enter into the power struggle stage of the relationship we may try to coerce our partner into giving us what we need. We may criticize, withdraw, shame, intimidate, or cry to get our need met. Some of us can stay locked in this painful power struggle for years until we either break up or seek help, desperate to re-experience the romantic stage of the relationship.
Most of us can easily identify parts of ourselves on the following Imago chart:

Implode feelings inward
Diminish feelings
Deny dependency
Mostly deny their needs
Share little of inner world
Withhold feelings, thoughts, behaviors
Think mainly of others
Take direction from themselves
Act and think compulsively
Are usually submissive

Explode feelings outward
Exaggerate feelings
Depend on others
Mostly exaggerate needs
Are compulsively open
Are excessively generous
Think mainly about themselves
Act impulsively
Try to dominate others
Ask direction of others

Imago Relationship Therapy provides tools necessary for transforming relationships, and it can help offer important, immediate relief.

Imago Relationship Therapy can help you understand the unconscious factors (the Imago) in your relationship.  It can reveal the emotional dynamics that are being replayed from childhood in your current relationship. Imago therapy can teach you how to relate to each other in a more nurturing, loving way.
Many of us have learned that we will meet and fall in love and live happily ever after. Using Imago relationship therapy, I would like to help you experience living in love ever after.  Love is actually something we do rather than something that happens to us. I would like to teach you how to act rather than react and teach you how to become more conscious and intentional in your current relationship.
Imago therapy integrates and synthesizes the insights of the major western psychological systems, behavioral science and spiritual disciplines into a uniquely comprehensive and systematic theory of primary love relationships.
The “Imago” is a composite image in the unconscious of the significant character traits and behaviors of childhood primary caretakers. By pairing us with an “Imago match” — an individual who is like our caretakers in emotionally significant ways — our unconscious drives us to re-create our childhood psychological dynamics in an attempt to heal the central wounds we carry. The process of Imago Relationship Therapy is aimed at using this context to transform relationships into a therapeutic encounter and fuel for each partner’s psychological and spiritual self-completion.
Imago Relationship Therapy utilizes a variety of clinical processes to teach couples, and singles desiring an intimate union, to identify their defenses against intimacy and to understand the unconscious forces that influence partner selection and contribute to difficulty in relationships.
Goals of the therapy include: identifying the frustrations rooted in primitive and illusory ideation of one’s love partner; recognizing the failure of archaic behavior to gratify needs and achieve self-completion; and perceiving one’s partner realistically without the encumbrance of one’s own unconscious projections.
Other aspects of the Imago process involve learning new skills and changing hurtful behavior, in the course of which partners consciously aim to meet one another’s needs and thereby restore the lost and denied parts of themselves. A core skill set is a three-part dialogue that breaks couples out of defensive and symbiotic relating and promotes differentiation and compassion for the other. Therapy is ultimately made obsolete as each partner becomes a skilled advocate and “container” for the others’ growth process. The Imago process, when consistently applied in any relationship, has the potential to be a transformative journey toward mutual healing and maturation.

meet dawn, our founder

Dawn T Barry Hulme, Director, Marriage and Family Therapist MFCC 50153, Masters in Psychology with emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy

As the founder and lead counselor of Windows of Hope Counseling Center, it was my hope to create a non-profit agency offering effective and affordable counseling to the community. It is my belief that everyone deserves to be nurtured and supported during their healing process. Many times while on our life journey we can become confused and experience difficulty finding our way. My hope is to help clients become anchored so that when life difficulties become part of their journey they stay flexible while keeping their direction intact. I specialize with couples and individuals using "Imago" therapeutic techniques along with mindfulness based practices.

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