“Conscious couples replace all spontaneous expressions of anger and rage with containment by expressing their negative feelings to each other ‘by appointment only’. Containment allows the expression of long-buried childhood resentment, anger, and rage in a safe environment in a way that leads to mutual healing and growth.”
When attending an Imago course or session one of the tools we teach our couples is the Imago dialogue. The Imago dialogue is a tool we can use which involves both the ability to express and contain emotions.
Anger and aggression are present in all intimate relationships. Recent research shows that anger leads to more anger. The more negative affect is expressed in a relationship, the angrier the partners become. Angry outbursts activate and further facilitate the activation of the neural pathways that are involved in anger thus further amplifying the anger.
Conscious coupes use the Imago Dialogue to share their feelings without blame or criticism and use the Behaviour change request Dialogue to transform frustrations. When unmet needs from childhood are acknowledged and respond to by the Imago Match partner anger and rage, triggered by the rupture of connection and the helplessness to restore that connection, diminish. It is important for couples to develop self-regulatory strategies to manage and calm their own anger so that they can express it by appointment in ways that create the increased safety, deeper understanding, and empathy that lead to growth and healing.
-Imago Couple’s workshop manual.
We as Imago therapists are trained to support your relationship and teach couples a new way to deal with difficult, painful, and/or negative situations in their relationship. A way that leads to more growth, understanding, and safety.
The emphasis is on a new way because we believe if the way you have been working through difficult situations was successful, you would not get stuck at the same place over and over again. We need to do something different to arrive at a different place.
Also, it is a process. The Imago dialogue is a structured process. It is not just having a normal conversation. To work through difficult situations in the same way we have a normal day-to-day conversation only leads to more aggression, misunderstandings, reactivity, and as a result to more disconnection. We as therapists, teach and facilitate you and your partner to communicate to each other in a different way which leads to more connection, despite the pain or uncomfortableness of the topic.
If we are able to have the most difficult conversation with our partner AND feel more connected towards each other afterward, just imagine what new possibilities can arise.
If you are interested in learning a new way to communicate, which will allow you to express and be contained in any and every emotion you are currently experiencing and to feel more connected, contact us today to book your space for now of our available processes.
Go have a look at our website for more information
We have different options to cater to every need and every relationship. Head over to our website to find out more about our session options, upcoming workshops, or intensives.
Book one of our other processes here:
Workshop/ Intensive/ Sessions with:
Kobus van der Merwe
Hendrien van der Bijl
Dr Cornel vd Merwe (Medical aid)