We are born into relationship…
Humans are by nature relational beings. The inborn drive to connect ensures that the infant is cared for and nourished, and therefore will thrive. The neurosciences continue to accumulate evidence to support the importance of this connection, not just for survival, but for the development of brain structures that underlie our ability to experience joy, a sense of well-being, and to maintain meaningful relationships. The infant needs to know there is someone who is attuned to her feelings and needs, someone who will comfort and soothe her when she cries out of hunger, pain, or fear. This attunement and comforting is what helps to promote the infant’s later self-soothing and emotional regulation.
Dr. Martin is now retired and is no longer seeing clients. Please go to
www.imagorelationships.org to find other therapists who can provide
this valuable approach. Best wishes to all.
This need for love and attunement is with us throughout our lives!
Even in adulthood, we need that meaningful connection to another human being. There is an expectation in many cultures that as we become adults, we should be independent, and “shouldn’t” need love and affection from another. However, brain researchers are now telling us that we have a natural drive to connect with others, and that being in a loving relationship has tremendous benefits to our physical and emotional well-being across the life span! As adults, we still derive satisfaction from eye contact, touch, and verbal messages that say, “You are important, special, and valuable to me.”
In the initial stages of a relationship, we tend to feel we have met the person of our dreams! We feel that joy and aliveness we’ve been longing for since childhood. But after a while that magical feeling somehow disappears, and conflicts arise. We are left feeling disillusioned, angry and betrayed. What happened to the romance?
Imago Relationship Therapy…
helps couples understand the hidden value in this disillusionment. Conflicts are seen as “growth trying to happen.” Through the dialogue process we can uncover the meaning beneath the conflicts and shed light on what both partners need in order to rekindle the feelings of love, joy, and aliveness. We all deserve to feel heard, valued, respected and loved.
Imago Relationship Therapy has much to teach us about Parenting. The basic tenets of IRT provide a rich foundation for parents. Many parents tell me that they become better parents after learning how to connect more deeply with their partner. They are better able to empathize and connect with their children, and therefore have more meaningful and satisfying family relationships. A separate Imago program is being developed specifically for parents.
Imago Relationship Therapy…
-Couples who want to create a true and lasting partnership, in which both partners feel heard and valued!
-Couples who want to rekindle feelings of love and connection in their relationship!
-Parents who want to provide a stable, happy, home environment for their children!