BN Counseling, LLC

Coaching and Counseling Social, Emotional and Relational Life Management Skills

IMAGO Relationship

 “Your feelings make sense. Not only do I hear you, but I understand why you feel the way you do. You are not bad or wrong or crazy for feeling the way you do.”


Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is a form of relationship therapy innovated by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. Dr. Hendrix was author of the two Best Sellers “Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples,” and “Keeping the Love You Find: A Guide for Singles.” It integrates and extends the insights of the major western psychological systems, behavioral science and spiritual disciplines into a uniquely comprehensive and systemic theory of primary love relationships.

IMAGO Relationship Therapy helps:

  • Clarify why originally attractive attributes also lead to arguments, frustrations and fights.     
  • Strengthen bonding through attentive hearing in an emotionally safe place.
  • With speaking from an open heart which requires the softening of the heart.
  • Communication with simplicity and sincerity without moral judgment.
  • Increase a sense of goodwill & compassion for the partner.

The benefits and value of IMAGO Relationship Therapy:

  • Learning that Validation is about supporting & strengthening a relationship while having different opinions.
  • It increases the acceptance of a partner’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors
  • It promotes reflection and Empathetic Mirroring for relational repair
  • Synchronicity in a relationship as perceptions change.
  • Evolving together to adapt to new demands or needs

For more info on IMAGO go to

Why We Argue

In our Neanderthal past, we fought with others to protect ourselves, family and territory. In that sense, arguing or fighting is a survival instinct, a threat response. The problem is that during an argument, unless we are very conscious of our feelings, thought processes, prejudices, etc., then our brain automatically defers to that instinct. This means that every time we get into it with someone, the instinctual response is to be right & to dominate. While this may work for animals, it doesn’t for us.

We get tangled up in anger and it blinds us to the truth. We then start growling, roaring, and blaming. Healing begins when couples speak peacefully, candidly and honestly. Then it’s not about who was right, but about how we were feeling.

You cannot argue with emotions. Your feelings are your feelings and no one can tell you otherwise. The difficult part is learning how to speak openly about those feelings. It can be a frightening and vulnerable position, but those are insecurities we must acknowledge, validate and accept.

The bottom line is that when we argue with someone else, it is about what’s going on inside of us. When we realize that, then argument can be an enormously constructive part of life and love. As such, learning how to argue constructively is a must if you want to be in any long-term relationship—romantic, familial, or platonic.

Adapted from

Harville Hendrix addresses using Imago Therapy:

What is Imago Dialogue?