In his article “Bad Couples Therapy and How to Avoid It” (Psychotherapy Networker, 2011) Bill Doherty notes that many therapists who are offering couple therapy are not trained in working with couples. The dynamic between couples, as it plays out in the therapy room, is very different than working with individuals talking about their relationships or even acting it out in the transference relationship. It leaves many feeling just as overwhelmed as when we were children and our parents argued. I have heard numerous horror stories from couples who went to see a therapist for help with their relationship and were either told they should separate or were referred to two individual therapists because the therapist didn’t have the training or competence to help the couple effectively.
Reasons to train in Imago Relationship Therapy
- To respond with integrity to the increasing demand for top quality relationship therapy that will really help couples work through their issues. Most who go for couples’ therapy do want to stay together.
- To enhance the connection between partners, in the moment, in the here and now;
- To have a solid theory of relationships that makes sense, is supported by the latest research into interpersonal neuropsychology and guides your interventions;
- To have tools to share with couples to increase awareness of the deep emotions that lie beneath conflicts and how these are often connected to childhood relational hurts. It does this in a way that evokes empathy rather than reactivity between partners (You might want to check out the RSA video The Power of Outrospection https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BG46IwVfSu8, for a perspective on the importance of empathy to society in the coming years. Where better to practice it than at home);
- To get support and input from an international community of Imago-trained therapists, who are dedicated to effectively helping couples and committed to growing Imago theory and practice.
- To participate in a one-year program consisting of 96 hours of in-class training plus supervision to a standard of competence for accreditation and to have access to extensive written material in the form of a text and a toolbox.
- To expand your skillfulness in facilitating couples through a safe, supportive feedback process based on an understanding of what it takes to develop competence;
- Perhaps most importantly, to have a unique experience of safety and connection that will most likely transform your own relationships and impact your work with all your clients.
These are just some of the reasons so many therapists who take the Imago Relationship Therapy training describe it as “the best training I have ever taken”.