Imago Relationship Therapy

About Imago

Imago relationship therapy was developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., who co-authored with his wife, Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph.D., the NY Times best sellers:
“Getting the Love You Want”; ‘Keeping the Love You Find”; and the book for parents, “Giving the Love that Heals”.

This unique approach to therapy is focused on personal growth and healing through committed relationships and brings together the major Western psychological theories of the last 100 years. Imago Relationships Therapy (IRT) proposes that there is an unconscious purpose (we call it Imago) guiding us in our selection of a mate and our conduct of our relationships. The difficulties we experience arise from our lack of awareness about what we are doing in our relationships, not from our choice of partners.

What will we do in this therapy?

Goals of the therapy include:

  • Identify the frustrations rooted in primitive and illusory ideation of one's love partner.
  • Recognise the failure of old behaviour patterns to gratify needs and achieve self-completion.
  • Perceive your partner realistically without the encumbrance of one's own unconscious projections. 
  • Learn new skills and change hurtful behaviour, as 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 enmeshed relating and promotes differentiation and compassion for the other. 
  • Therapy is ultimately made obsolete as each partner becomes a skilled advocate and "safe container" for the other's growth process. 
  • The Imago process, when consistently applied in any relationship, has the potential to be a transformative journey from pain and conflict toward mutual healing, maturation, joy and connection.

The aim of Imago Relationship Therapy is:

  • To help the couple create a successful, conscious, loving relationship
  • To develop greater compassion for each other
  • To help the couple understand how their childhood experience impacts on their adult relationship
  • To help the couple identify the unmet needs that are causing frustration
  • To help the couple learn new communication skills to break destructive patterns
  • To help couples exchange desired behaviours that will meet these needs and build safety and connection.
  • To model a strong, loving relationship for your children

Imago Relationship Therapy is for couples who:

  • Are experiencing difficulties and want to resolve their conflicts
  • Are just beginning a relationship and want to keep it
  • Want to further enrich a good relationship

Imago NZ member

Imago New Zealand members have specialist training in marriage and relationship counselling.

Based in Richmond, Nelson, Angela works with individuals, couples and as a supervisor and educator and offers her relationship counselling/therapy services throughout the Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough regions. Angela is happy to work with you in person or can work with you online via Zoom.

Discernment Counselling

Whether you are in a long-term relationship or in a new commitment, uncertainty about the relationship can be difficult. 

Discernment Counselling may be helpful if one or both partners are uncertain or ambivalent about their relationship. You may be considering separation/divorce.

You may have noticed yourself thinking:

  • I have been treated so badly
  • We are just too different
  • I no longer feel like myself
  • I am just not ‘in love’ with them
  • We met so young and are different now
  • I don’t even like them
  • I just want someone who understands me
  • I have been betrayed
  • I want a soul mate
  • I have stayed for the children
  • I want a fresh start with someone new
  • I don’t know if I can trust them again

Discernment Counselling is short term work, (up to 5 sessions) where Angela will work with each of you individually and together to help you determine whether you leave the relationship or put in the necessary work to create a healthy, loving relationship.

If you decide that you both want to engage in relationship counselling, then Angela may continue to work with you.

relationship counselling nelson