Through a review of Imago Developmental theory, videos, role-plays, case studies, and discussions, participants deepen their understanding of the first four developmental stages of Attachment, Exploration, Identity, and Competence. Wounding, unmet needs, and adaptive strategies from childhood experiences can manifest in the adult couple relationship. It gives therapists a sense of the language, behaviors, and complaints through which the developmental issues manifest and how to help couples do the critical work of healing and growth to finish childhood and reach their fullest potential.


This course starts by exploring participants’ personal experiences, unmet needs, and adaptive strategies around developing competence in childhood and at other critical points in life. We explore how we can fine-tune the supervision process to respond to therapists’ particular adaptive styles. In Imago Theory, we explore how wounding in developmental stages presents in the early stages of couples’ therapy as a primary element in the power struggle. Therapists can also be triggered into competence wounds when they are learning a new approach and feel challenged in their ability to help particular couples.

This course also looks at the work of Scott Miller, Barry L. Duncan, and others from the Institute for the Study of Therapeutic Change in Chicago regarding what helps therapists become highly competent and beliefs that therapists hold around their effectiveness.


Most people who want a committed relationship look for the ideal partner match. They have limited or no understanding that the person they select and the relationship they have is influenced by their early life experience and the formation of their character defenses.

This course will greatly deepen the therapist’s understanding of character structure and how to assist persons to modify their character structure thereby improve their unconscious choice of a partner, as well as the outcome of their relationship. The first two days of this course involve attending the “Keeping the Love You Find” workshop. The focus is on saying goodbye to old relationships hurts and old ways of be- ing in relationships that have not served well and re-integration of the missing parts of the self: the lost, denied and disowned, and developing a personal growth plan. The subsequent three days addresses how to bring these elements into working with individual clients. Three models for working with individual clients within the relational paradigm present long-term psychotherapy. The therapist is the primary attachment figure and moves with the client through the developmental stages, a supportive model, and a relationship coaching model. Designed to help therapists become more effective in repairing their single clients for committed relationships and marriage.

This training is designed for relational work in a group setting with theory and processes to show single people how to modify their character adaptations in an intimate relationship. In relationship we were wounded, and only in relationship can we be healed. This course is also useful for therapists in doing character work with couples. Course Requirements: Attend five days (40 hours) of training, complete assigned readings, participate in training exercises and serve as clinical support staff at a singles workshop within one year of course completion.


Based on the book Giving the Love That Heals by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, the Imago parenting program, “Connected Parents, Thriving Kids,” applies the Imago Dialogue process and Imago theory to the practical and challenging situations that occur with children. With the understanding that behavior is need driven, therapists, teachers, parents, and others who interact with children, including the ‘inner children’ within us all, learn to attune to the underlying messages. These help children feel seen and heard, and support the child’s natural inclination to cooperate and connect. The 3-day training program’s design is to prepare Imago Therapists, Educators, and Facilitators to coach groups in these concepts and skills.


DAY 1 Agenda

Day 1 focuses on what every Imago therapist needs to know about how to relate to the sexual issues our couples grapple with to determine what is appropriate for our office and what situations indicate the need to refer to a certified specialist in the field of sexuality. We look at an Integrated model of sexuality and the medical, psychological, and relational causes of sexual challenges in couple relationships. We also focus on the stages of arousal and the challenges associated with each stage. We practice doing a sexual assessment interview using three case studies to make an informed decision.

DAY 2 Agenda

Day 2 looks at the sexual relationship through the lens of the Imago theory of the Psychological Journey – the unmet needs and adaptive strategies at each developmental stage. We explore how these adaptations play out in the bedroom in positive as well as conflictual ways. It provides therapists with a perspective for understanding what might be underneath the specific presenting issues and how we can use and adapt our Imago structure to support healing and growth in this sensitive area, going beyond verbal forms of dialogue into more tactile ways of connecting. We role-play couples challenged in their sexual relationship at the different developmental levels and how to work effectively with them. We will also examine our blocks and barriers in dealing with the topics of sex and sensuality in the office.

DAY 3 Agenda

Day 3 looks at the Journey of Socialization and how the repressive social messages we receive can impact our sexuality. We practice Lost and Denied -self Dialogues to explore and grow back into these aspects of the Missing Self. We also explore a variety of Imago based practices and processes to enhance a couple’s sexual enjoyment and design the sexual relationship they both want to experience.


Imago Master Trainer, Maya Kollman, and Senior Clinical Instructor, Sophie Slade, developed this course a few years ago when they were grappling with the challenges that couples face when trying to make the changes they have committed to in the Behavior Change Request Dialogue. Sophie and Maya had noticed, as had others, that despite the good intentions and beautiful work couples do during the BCR dialogue, they often do not follow through with the new behaviors. This course addresses the difficulties that result from couples needing to make some very significant shifts in their relationship in order to be successful. The nine shifts are:

Association Of Imago Relationship Therapists Australia - AIRTA

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