Because I am certified to provide imago therapy, and I help couples unravel how they become an imago match when a couple comes to me for help with their relationship, one of the first things I ask is, “What did you have for dinner last night?” It is amazing how much I can learn from this question, unearthing volumes of information about the couple without their even realizing it.
Uh, you know I’m not being serious, right?
While my obsession with relationships stems as far back as I can remember, my desire for couples-counseling-super-powers started when I read this book: Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix. This book changed everything. It was just one of those moments where I knew. I knew exactly who I was, who I was to become, and the path I needed to walk. I was immediately fascinated by the power of understanding our imago match, and how imago therapy can help improve relationships.
That’s the thing about therapy – it’s easy to believe that anything a therapist says. I tend to be that way with mechanics, plumbers, electricians, and web designers. I generally assume that if this is their specialty, they know what they are talking about. Sometimes, however, like the time I had my transmission “fixed,” specialists are not so special after all.
What you want to be sure of is that your therapist has some additional training (beyond their counseling degree), that is specifically focused on relationship counseling. This is a specialty in itself. Certifications to look for are – Imago Certified Therapist, Gottman Certified Therapists, and EFT Certified Therapists. I happen to be Certified in Imago therapy and Gottman trained with partial EFT training that I plan to continue pursuing (because if I long to have couples-counseling-super-powers). I am also a Discernment Counselor, but that’s for couples who don’t want couples counseling; instead, they want to “discern” whether or not they want to make their relationship work before actually committing to couples counseling.
I returned to the School of Social Work for my MSW, and for nearly two decades now, I am still as passionate about the Imago theory, and about working with couples – maybe even more so!
The Imago theory is explained in the book, Getting the Love You Want, and the more you understand the theory, the more you realize how easy it is to answer the following four questions:
- With what type of person am I most likely to create a passionate relationship?
- With what type of person am I most likely to feel safe in a relationship?’
- What do I most want to experience in my relationships that my partner has the most trouble helping me experience?
- How do I participate in NOT getting the love that I want
See if this Imago formula will help you begin to find answers to these questions. I’d love to hear your feedback!
Michele O’Mara, LCSW, Ph.D., that's me. Third-person "about me's" are too impersonal. It's like saying, "You are loved," when what I really mean is, "I love you." Relationships are my thing. Some would say, my obsession. While I only scored an 83.75% on my own "How Lesbian Are You" test, don't let that fool you. Since returning to school in the'90s for my MSW, I knew exactly what I wanted to do: help lesbian couples grow love. While my fantasy to be in the WNBA, and my dream of joining the Peace Corp, or my desire to have twelve children, has faded with time, my fixation on helping lesbians grow love remains. I am that person who has built her life around one thing: lesbian relationships. For fun, I do things like create online quiz's at asklesbians.com, to learn more about real lesbians. Or I write books. like, "Just Ask: 1,000 Questions to Grow Your Relationship," to give couples an easy way to communicate. (Shameless plug - you can get this on Kindle on Amazon, as well as an app on Itunes /Google play). And, now that our boys are young men, my love, and my wife, Kristen, and I are growing lesbian love through Lesbian Couples Retreats throughout the U.S. in awesome destinations where our motto is, "love out loud" with Adventures in Love. You can learn more about those at lesbiancouples.co.