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Imago at a glance – The Imago Relationship Fitness Q&A

Why is my partner so annoying at times?

We fall in love with someone, and imagine that now at last life will be full of peace, joy, companionship and hope. But after a while we often become aware that our partner seems to
stand in the way of us achieving our own dreams of peace and fulfillment. We become angry with our partner, because we feel they aren’t able to provide what we expected
of them, when we fell in love. And now we are committed to them – we can’t get those things from someone else either! They
stand between us, and the life we dreamed of.

That can make us very angry and frustrated.

Why doesn’t my partner love me a little better?

In our dreams, maybe we imagine the perfect partner to be the one who we fall in love with, and it carries on that way for ever. They understand us so well, they are there for us when we need
them, saying the right words, providing the right support that we need. Perhaps in our dreams we don’t have those big arguments, or disappointments. It really is “happily ever after!”

Why couldn’t we find that perfect partner? Maybe we secretly long that our partner was a little bit quieter, or noisier. We wish they were more generous, or better with money! We wish they liked
sex more, or left us alone occasionally

There’s a reason why we fall in love with the partner who doesn’t seem quite able to match our dreams. We see in them an ability to love us, in a way that we learned from people who loved us in our earliest years. (more…)

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Preparation For Imago Couples Therapy

Imago Relationship Therapy

When couples arrive at my office or workshop for counseling with Imago Relationship Therapy, they are often in a stew of anger and shock, despair and sadness. Some are newlyweds and can’t understand how they have plummeted from the heights of love and glory into a swamp of hopelessness and conflict. Others have been married for many years, and though they have been slogging along  – in calm or storm – their days of wine and roses are a dim memory, they are no less devastated by the shambles of their marriage, and the consequent lack of fulfillment in their lives. Even if live at home is relatively peaceful, couples lament that they have “nothing in common anymore”. And so they lead a disappointed or angry co-existence, each with their own friends and interests, in a marriage of convenience, or an arrangement they endure “for the sake of the children”.

They wonder if they will ever again feel love for their mate. Can they ever breach the chasm of silence, or anger, that has grown between them? Perhaps they should just cut their losses and find someone who loves and understands them, someone who offers one more chance at the love and security they long for.

Shattered dreams, whatever form the take, are painful. In seeking counseling, it is likely that you are also struggling to find love and meaning in your relationship. I assure you, as I assure other couples that have come to me, that there is hope. In fact the pain and conflict of committed relationships arise not out of love for our partners, but from misunderstanding of what love relationships are about. Your conflict can be the very fuel for the fulfillment you seek.

What’s really going on in relationships?

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5 Imago tips to keep your marriage strong in 2020:

5 IMAGO tips that work!

  1. The first step in ensuring a strong and healthy marriage is to make a conscious decision to improve and maintain your marriage. Remember, what you don’t change you choose.
  2. Be an active listener when your spouse is talking; stay present in what they are saying- do not get lost in your in own thoughts. In order to ensure you heard everything that was needed to be heard, mirror back to your spouse what you heard them say. Start your mirroring by saying, “I heard you say…” and then continue by repeating what you heard.
  3. Practice your empathy by placing yourself in their shoes- this will make it easier to understand your spouse’s feelings and reactions.
  4. Be confident enough in your own feelings to be able to realize when you are feeling overwhelmed by a situation. When a situation feels too much for you, will your reaction to the situation most likely be destructive? Take a moment for yourself to calm down, take some deep breaths, and gather your thoughts about the situation at hand until you’re ready to calmly discuss it with your spouse.
  5. Most importantly, don’t forget why you fell in love in the first place with your spouse. As time progress is it quite easy to forget all the lovely things about one another, but make sure to stay aware, and in awe, of all the beautiful things of your spouse, do not make a habit thereof to overlook the good qualities. A nice addition to this step is to tell your spouse when you see something which you admire of them.

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Happy Marriage – Introduction to Imago therapy

Looking for a way to strengthen your marriage, to overcome the power struggles within your marriage, and to enjoy a happy marriage altogether? No need to search further for a solution, Imago therapy has the answers to all your questions!

What is Imago Therapy?

First off let’s start with the meaning of “Imago”; it is the Latin word for “image”. Imago therapy is based on the idea that one chooses a partner based on the images of love one begins to form at birth. Thus meaning, our imago, our picture of how love looks, is based on the love we have received from our primary caregivers.

Due to the fact of choosing a partner based on the love and care from our parents or caregivers, is it common to feel as if you and your partner have always known each other when you fall in love. The reason for this is, you and your partner have faced some of the same struggles as well as being challenged at the same stages of development. The difference between you and your partner is that each of you overcame the challenges in different ways. Where you may have decided to become quiet, your partner decided to become loud. You developed the ability to express your feelings and your partner learned themselves to ignore their feelings.

The differences between how you overcame your struggles and how your partner overcame their struggles, can cause a lot of discomfort in the marriage. Your actions make no sense to your partner and to you it seems as if your partner’s actions are deliberately careless. Although the differences can cause challenges within your marriage, don’t be fooled, it is because of the differences you fell in love with.

This is where Imago therapy comes in. Imago therapy can be described in one word, “consciousness”. With help from your Imago therapist can you become aware of your emotions and why you feel them, your partner’s emotions and why he/she feels them, and ultimately what the influence is of your emotions and the causes thereof on your marriage. When you become aware of how you learned to cope with your challenges and your partner’s coping strategies as well, will you achieve a better understanding of each other’s actions within the marriage? Through being aware of how and why your partner, as well as yourself, acts within the marriage, will you be able to make the conscious decision to understand and love them ultimately?

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Through Imago therapy will you be able to discover and develop the ability to love your partner consciously in order to enjoy a happy marriage together.

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Expressing your feelings in a healthy way.

Expressing your feelings in a healthy way will grow your relationship.

Quite often it can feel as if your partner does not understand what you want. No matter how
many times you tell him or her, they just don’t seem to get it. This can most probably because
of the way you are expressing your feelings. It is much easier to give recognition to the fact
that you are experiencing a feeling than it is to identify the exact feeling you are
experiencing. When you are not able to be specific about what you are feeling, it becomes
challenging to express what you want from your partner. Therefore, mixed expectations are
created which leads to unfulfilled desires.

How do I express my feelings in a healthy way?
The first step is to identify what exactly you are feeling. Do this by asking yourself: Where in
my body am I experiencing this feeling? How does this make me feel, good or bad? To help
with this, find one word to describe best what you are currently feeling, it does not have to
capture the intensity of what you are feeling, just a short, simple descriptive word. This can
be words such as; depressed, alone, sad, or worried.

After identifying what you are feeling, can you start to express it? Give the body and clarity to
your emotions by using “modifiers”.

Start expressing your emotions by defining what the word means to you. Use synonyms to
describe what you are feeling. The reason for this is, your understanding of a feeling/word is
different from how your partner understands/experience it. For example, being stressed is not
the same as your partner’s understanding of being stressed.

Learn the tools to communicate better with your partner.

After defining these emotions, describe the intensity. Are you a “little bit” angry or are you
“furious”? This will be linked to the next step; defining the duration of your emotion. State
how long you have been feeling the way you are. Here it is important to refer to a specific
time because it will help with putting your emotions into context. When placing your
emotions into context and subsequently identifying the cause, is it important to remember
not to blame your partner’s actions. Blaming your partner will only lead to self-defense, and
to them not hearing your feelings completely. Also, think about what does this feeling
reminds you of? Where in a time in your childhood have you experienced a similar emotion
or feeling? What we see is that what happened in the past has an ultimately affect on how and
what you are feeling today.

Your way of communication must be done in a “give and receive” manner. Communicate
your emotions effectively to have your needs met.

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Your differences are the reason why you are together. #7

Opposites attract!

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Connect with safety. #5

Play, touch, support and kiss more!

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Safety leads to passion. #4

Change your wording a little bit to create safety

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Marriage is not about perfection, it’s about connection. Tip #3

Your marriage doesn't have to be perfect.

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Your marriage has a plan. Tip #2

The focus of love is aliveness.