Love In The Mirror
Dr. Hendrix and Dr.Hunt co-founded imago relationship therapy. They proposed that people search for wholeness when looking for the partner in romantic love. We are unconsciously attracted by people possess character traits that we repress. By doing so, we try to heal relational wound with our caregivers in childhoods. Sometimes, couples become annoyed by partner’s quality that intrigues us at the very first place or fights and distance start setting in. Sweet love could turn bitter. Nevertheless, it is the very opportunity to grow and to heal past trauma.
Imago dialogue is a simple exercise to recover the fractured connection with our partner. It composes 3 stage, mirroring, validation, and empathy. One person chooses to be the “Sender” first, and the other the “Receiver.” Prepare to settle in a safe and warm space between each other.
Mirroring: Sender invites Receiver to have an imago dialogue. Sender chooses a topic to talk about. Receiver listens attentively and repeat word-by-word or paraphrase. Sender confirms the correctness of response or could complement more if missing.
Validation: Receiver acknowledges that what Sender sends make sense to her/him. It doesn’t mean the Receiver agrees with it but shows support to the partner that he/she must have his/her reason to think, feel, act certain way in some context.
Empathy: Receiver tries to be in Sender’s shoes to imagine what his/her feelings might be.
Couples then switch roles so that each one can express and be heard thoroughly. This is building process of positive connection.