Imago Relationships Blog

Are You Saying Yes to Life?

Posted by Josh Gressel, Ph.D. on Jan 16, 2020 4:12:20 PM

Look more carefully at your default responses to life's invitations for growth.

My best guess is that 99% of you reading this will answer the question of this title in the affirmative.  Of course, I’m saying “yes” to life. Why wouldn’t I?

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Topics: Healthy Relationships, Appreciation and Gratitude, Eliminating Negativity, Forgiveness, Healthy Connection, Healthy Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Imago Relationships, Emotional Connection, Defense Mechanisms, personalgrowth

Communication Skills - Are They Needed in Your Relationship?

Posted by Anna Gold, M.S.W., R.S.W. on Dec 21, 2019 12:15:00 AM

Do you and your partner have difficulties communicating? Do you have the same core fight over and over again? You know the one, it’s the dreaded topic that keeps coming back and never resolves! 

Does it often feel as if you are each repeatedly working to ensure the other understands your point of view and your ‘way’ of doing things? Perhaps it appears that your partner is neither truly listening, nor appears to care?

If this pattern feels familiar, as it does for so many of us, it may be time to explore what keeps you in connection and what pulls you out of connection. While it seems overly simple to say better communication is vital in relationships, it’s true. And redefining communication as ‘going beneath the surface of what is being said’ can teach us how to change these dynamics in a lasting way.

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Topics: Healthy Relationships, Happy Relationships, Resolve Conflict, Appreciation and Gratitude, Eliminating Negativity, Relationship Therapy, Couples Therapy, Healthy Communication, Imago Relationships, Relationship Vision, Intentional Dialogue, Emotional Connection, Celebrate the Differences, Defense Mechanisms, couples workshop

Discovering We're Like Our Parents May Not Be So Bad

Posted by Josh Gressel, Ph.D. on Dec 14, 2019 7:00:00 AM

How to cope with the realization that you may be like the parent who hurt you.

Are you like the person who most hurt you growing up?

Most of us carry some form of injury from one or both of our parents.  For some of us it’s on the more serious side of the continuum: We were physically abused, sexually molested, or seriously neglected.

For others, the injury was more subtle but left its mark nevertheless, taking root in our internal narrative and causing us to make internal oaths not to be like one or the other of our parents when we grow up and have children ourselves.

Our parents were either too strict or not strict enough, they overcontrolled us or didn’t seem to pay attention to what we needed, they lived in their own private world or tried to live their lives through us.

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Topics: Managing Conflict, Family Culture, Healthy Relationships, Happy Relationships, Appreciation and Gratitude, Eliminating Negativity, Forgiveness, Healthy Connection, Healthy Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Imago Relationships, Emotional Connection, family therapy

The Space-Between and the Point of Connection for Couples

Posted by Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D. on Dec 6, 2019 10:19:50 PM

Most people describe a committed love relationship consisting of two people. But we define a love relationship as "two people plus the Space-Between them.” 

This Space-Between is a core theme in our work with couples. But, what is it and how does it help guide you and your partner to create a conscious, thriving relationship?

It may look like there isn’t anything between you and your partner. But there is. Consider outer space. Our universe is filled with stars, planets, meteors, and comets. We used to think the space between these celestial objects was empty. But, astronomers have proven that the dark space isn’t empty at all.

The dark space is filled with gravitational pull and energy fields that actually hold the planets in their orbits. Just because something is not visible with the naked eye doesn’t mean it’s not there. The intangibles, in fact, are often the invisible glue that holds it all together.

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Topics: Managing Conflict, Marriage Issues, Appreciation and Gratitude, Eliminating Negativity, Couples Therapy, Imago Relationships, couples workshop, therapy

Words Can Kill Relationships - 5 Words and Phrases to Avoid

Posted by Norene Gonsiewski, LCSW on Nov 23, 2019 7:00:00 AM

Sticks and stones may break your bones, but let’s be honest: words hurt, too.

Even after years of a marriage where you and your partner are completely open and honest with each other, it’s still wise to set some boundaries and refrain from using words and phrases that may hurt your relationship.

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Topics: Healthy Relationships, Marriage Issues, Eliminating Negativity, Couples Therapy, Healthy Connection, Healthy Communication, Emotional Intelligence, Imago Relationships, Relationship Vision, Intentional Dialogue, Emotional Connection, couples workshop

Monthly Digest July 2019: Imago Relationships Blog and Relationship Tips

Posted by Imago Relationships North America on Aug 4, 2019 11:11:00 AM

Here's your Monthly Digest packed full of the amazing Imago Relationship Blog posts and Relationship Tips.

Be sure to subscribe to both and share!

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Topics: Sex Therapy, Managing Conflict, Family Mission Statement, Family Culture, Healthy Relationships, Conflict Resolution, Happy Relationships, Marriage Issues, Breaking Habits, Bad Breakup, Emotional Safety, Appreciation and Gratitude, Eliminating Negativity, Invisible Abuse, Anxiety, Finding Love Again, Forgiveness, Relationship Therapy, Couples Therapy, Recovering from an Affair, Self Care, Healthy Connection, Healthy Communication, Human Connection, Mental Health, Male Sexuality, Mental Fitness, Gender Bias, Sexual Fluidity, Digital Emotional Intelligence, Emotional Intelligence, Monthly Digest, Imago Relationships

Gratitude is a Choice - Even in Challenging Times

Posted by Dawn Lipthrott, LCSW on Jul 7, 2019 11:39:44 AM

Gratitude is a choice - attitude of gratitude

One of the best things you can do for your marriage and for your overall happiness is to actively cultivate an attitude of gratitude. It requires some dedicated focus, but it’s much easier than you think!

Here’s an example why:

Last year we decided to paint our house gray, so we looked at many shades of gray at the store. We even compared all the gray houses in our town, and then one day I noticed the perfect shade of gray on a parked car - so I took a picture! I was relieved and never thought about finding that perfect color again. Yet, my brain took over and for the next two weeks, I somehow noticed 10 gray cars.

The point of the story is that you’ll always find more of what you search for in life, and your brain is very helpful in noticing things you want to pay attention to and looking for evidence to support what you already believe. This action in our brain is called confirmation bias, and it relates to our personal relationships as well.

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Topics: Healthy Relationships, Conflict Resolution, Happy Relationships, Resolve Conflict, Appreciation and Gratitude, Eliminating Negativity, Relationship Therapy, Couples Therapy, Imago Relationships, couples workshop, therapy

Stop Abusing Your Partner with Negativity

Posted by Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D. on Jun 30, 2019 11:11:00 AM

During the time our marriage teetered between renewal and divorce, we were visiting a book store when we happened on a book about how astrology affects relationships. Just for fun, we opened to the page where our two astrological signs intersected. Then we read, “You will destroy your relationship unless you stop the unrelenting negative scrutiny of each other.” We were stunned. And then we laughed. We knew the book had gotten it right.

For a time, we were quiet and separate as we turned our thoughts around those words. That sentence fell like a bombshell because we knew it was true. The more we thought about it, the more we realized we had to stop what we now call the “invisible abuse” of belittling, negating, and undermining each other. We started by trying to be more aware of what we were saying, what words we used. We worked out a plan to monitor ourselves for negative behaviors, and negative thinking. In the beginning, as we tried to stop, we grew to realize our negativity seemed to have a life of its own. We then realized we were addicted to our negativity. This just had to stop.

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Topics: Managing Conflict, Marriage Issues, Appreciation and Gratitude, Eliminating Negativity, Invisible Abuse, Couples Therapy, couples workshop, therapy

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The Imago Relationships Blog features content from our team of professional therapists, workshop presenters and facilitators who are passionate about helping you discover a new way to communicate and love your life.

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