The Imago Dialogue:
A Path to Bringing Down Emotional Walls
Emotional walls – they come up automatically when our brains sense danger. Their purpose is to keep us safe, and in the short run, they do. Over time, though, they can become fixed and impenetrable so that even those desperate to connect will find it next to impossible to scale them.
Communication skills are critical to bringing our walls down. By themselves, they may not break down all the barriers, but seldom can these be removed without them.
But how do you “communicate” when you and your partner find it tough to get through even one discussion without things breaking down? Sadly, despite how much we humans seem to require good communication to keep our relationships healthy, we don’t seem particularly well designed to deliver it, and rarely does anyone teach us, yes? So most of us need help, a little guidance.
Introducing: The Imago Dialogue
The Art of Seeing Things From Another’s Point of View
The Imago Dialogue is a unique and powerful communication tool originally conceived by Dr. Harville Hendrix and his wife, Dr. Helen Hunt, that has been utilized by thousands of couples for over twenty five years.
The Dialogue is built upon the premise that while we humans are designed to believe there is just one “reality” out there, (naturally the one we perceive), the truth is, each person has their own unique reality, their own legitimate experience of the world and any given situation in it. What’s more, in Imago, the belief is that each individual’s “reality” is just as valid as any other person’s.
Most adults understand and accept the concept that we each have our own equally valid reality. But in a committed relationship, once things slip into a cycle of anger and withdrawal, both partners typically become so focused on self-preservation, that they lose their ability to see the validity of each other’s perspective, much less feel empathy for it. The Dialogue tool is designed to help any two people move out of reactivity and back to a place of mutual acceptance.
Dialogue: A simple path to restoring connection and empathy
With practice, and used in the spirit in which it was intended, this simple tool can give you a way to actually sit down and talk about your issues, (even difficult ones), with a high degree of confidence that you and your partner will each leave that discussion feeling better heard and understood than when you began.
It is from this sense of renewed mutual understanding and empathy that leads partners to feel re-connected – this, in turn, opens the door to mutual and effective problem solving.
Ready to start?
The Dialogue steps themselves are pretty easy and clearly defined, but take some practice to reach the full potential for your relationship.