Imago Relationship Theory - Part 3

ORDINARY LIFE - Thoughts and Ideas to Help You Live a Happier Life

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Summary of July 26, 2015

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Dear Folks -

We are wrapping up a wonderful holiday and I look forward to rejoining you in our Ordinary Life class on Sunday, August 2.  We will take up where I previously left off, talking about our "Revolutionary Mystic", except that I may need to spend just a few minutes telling you about some of the highlights of our trip.

Last Sunday was the third Sunday I have been absent from Ordinary Life, and for the third time, Roddy Young, LCSW, therapist, friend, and long time member of Ordinary Life, spoke to you about: 

"Imago Relationship Theory and Therapy:  Insights and Techniques For Thriving in a Relational Cosmos, Part 3"

In the final session of his presentation, Roddy shared more information about Imago Relationship Therapy, provided examples of that therapy, and demonstrated how it offers couples an alternative to being stuck in the unconscious power struggle. 

 Roddy demonstrated a technique which allows people to cooperate with the intention of their unconscious by creating a conscious/committed relationship in which they meet each other's unmet childhood needs.  Roddy explained that the three part Intentional Couples Dialogue, consisting of the Mirror, the Validation, and Empathy was designed such that couples could engage in a dialogue promotes mutual healing and growth.  An outline of the Intentional Couples Dialogue can be found at the link below.

Roddy and class member Susan Hulbert demonstrated how the dialogue works.  In a humorous and yet clearly understandable fashion, Roddy and Susan engaged in a Power Struggle dialogue with one another, a dialogue that seemed to resonate with at least a few Ordinarly Life members in attendance.  Nobody got what they wanted.

They then repeated the same scenario, only this time they used the elements of the Intentional Couples Dialogue to guide their conversation away from the power struggle and into transforming the relationship.  The example showed how mirroring a partner's words, validating those words and feelings, and then empathizing with your partner, even if not in agreement with all the sentiments, is a way to move a relationship away from two inwardly focused individuals determined on getting their own way, to one of equality, with two separate points of view in communion with each other.

In closing, Roddy noted that the Imago Therapy approach works for any kind of relationship, not just the primary love relationship in one's life.  And for future thought and contemplation about relationships, Roddy handed out a piece entitled, "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", a short list of behaviors in a relationship which just about guarantee that the relationship will be destroyed, and as a counterpoint, a list of things an Imago therapist might say in guiding couples forward into growth.

Links to the "Four Horsemen" and "Things You Might Hear an Imago Therapist Say", as well as last week's handout, are found below.

Roddy spoke extemporaneously; hence, there is no accompanying text this week.  However, the presentation slides and audio version of the talk can be found on the Ordinary Life website.

Finally, I offer Roddy my own special round of thanks for stepping up to the podium (literally!) and speaking to you over the last three Sundays.  Thank you, Roddy.

Be well!

Much love,

Bill Kerley

To view the presentation slides, click here.

To view the Intentional Couples Dialogue, click here.

To view Things You Might Hear an Imago Therapist Say", click here.

To view, "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", click here.

To view last week's handout and worksheet, click here.

To listen to the audio of the talk, click on the link below.