Clinical Training In Imago Relationship Therapy

Course Content

couples counselling training

The Couples Counselling Training in Imago Relationship Therapy is broken down into 3 modules.  Each module lasts 4 days.

Between each module you will be working with couples and practising the skills you have learnt.  You will bring your observations and questions back to the next module training so you can grow and improve your skills as a couples counsellor.

Learn both "Why" and "How"

In The Clinical Training in Imago Relationship Therapy I will teach you both the "Why" and the "How" of working with couples.  One is useless without the other.  In order to deliver both, in the training we will use the Training Manual and Training Tool box

The Manual

The manual covers the "Why" of Imago Relationship Therapy.  You will learn Imago Theory and be able to apply it to the couples you work with.

The Tool Box

The tool box covers the "How" of Imago Relationship Therapy.  You will learn techniques such as the Imago Dialogue Process and practise with your peers until you feel confident to use them with the couples you work with.

How + Why = Confidence

Module 1

Theory

  • Basic Ideas of Imago Relationship Therapy
  • Basic Assumptions of Imago Relationship Therapy
  • The Relational Paradigm
  • Meta Theory - The Four Journeys of the Self
  • The Human Brain
  • Pleasure and the Fear of Pleasure
  • Integrating The Positive in Imago Relationship Therapy

Practice

  • Imago Supervisory Process
  • Learning the Full Imago Couples Dialogue
    • Mirroring
    • Validation
    • Empathy
  • The Initial Intake Interview
  • Deepening The Dialogue

At this point, you will have a good feel for Imago Theory and understand how to use the basic dialogue structure with couples.

Your task will be to work with couples using your new found skills so in the next module you can bring back what you've learnt and questions you have.

Module 2

Theory

  • The Psychological Journey - Childhood
  • The Formation of the Imago
  • The Origins of Symbiosis
  • The Psychological Journey - Adulthood
  • The Stages Of Relationships
  • Overcoming Resistance to Giving and Receiving Love

Practice

  • The Relationship Vision
  • Re-Romanticising The Relationship.  Increasing Pleasure and Decreasing Pain
  • The Parent - Child Dialogue
  • The Behaviour Change Request Dialogue
  • The Positive Flooding Exercise

You now have a much better understanding of Imago Theory.  This will be useful to you because you will understand why the couples that you work with behave as they do and you will know what to do about it.

The regular practise of the Imago skills in the training and the feedback on your experiences in your practice with couples will really be starting to build your confidence at this point.

In this part of your couples counselling training you will be working with couples and applying what you've learnt.  You will bring your experiences back to module 3 so you can build on what you've learnt.

Module 3

Theory

  • The Story So Far
  • The Missing Self
  • Closing Exits - Decreasing Pain Through Deepening Commitment
  • Working With Affairs and Addictions
  • The Use of Touch In Imago Therapy
  • Handling High Reactivity: Anger and Rage
  • Re-Romantcising: Sex and Physical Intimacy

Practice

  • Working With Highly Reactive Couples
  • The Seamless Flow of Imago Therapy
  • Consultation and Feedback Process of Your Work
  • Review of Typical Imago Sessions
  • Clinical Practice - Working With Couples Around Sex
  • Requirements for Certification

Now you will have learnt the all of the basic theory and will have practised working with a range of couples.  You will know what to do with couples that are reactive and have an understanding of how to work with affairs, something you will see in your therapy room often as a couples therapist.

At this point all of the steps in the Imago Dialogue will come much more naturally to you and your attunement with your couple will have increased, moving your couples sessions towards a natural flow as your confidence rises.

The Certification Process

The final stage of your couples counselling training is qualifying as a Certified Imago Relationshp Therapist.

Requirements:

  • 6 months supervision (6 full hours, at least 4 of which you present a recording of you working with a couple).
  • You have assisted at a "Getting The Love You Want" couples weekend workshop
  • 2 short written peices, one after 3 months and one at 6 months, exploring your personal and professional Imago journey (no more than 2 pages of A4 required).
  • A recording of you working for a full session with a couple which passes the requirements of assessment.

Let's break this down a bit.

Supervision  - This is usually one hour a month.  It can be individual or group supervision.  Each supervision session costs £70 for the hour.

Recording your work - All of the assessment part of the Imago process requires you to video record your work and play a section of this recording for feedback.  It has to be video as we will be watching the process of you working, not just listening to content.

Sometimes therapists feel apprehensive about this aspect of the course.  They worry that the clients won't allow themselves to be videoed and also feel overwhelmed about how to do the videoing.

In my experience, most clients don't care that you are going to video the session if you reassure them that it will be used for supervision purposes only and that it will be deleted afterwards.  They get that if you become a better therapist then they benefit from that.

From a technology perspective, your good old mobile phone will do the job of videoing nicely.  It might involve buying a stand from amazon for a fiver but then you're good to go!

Assisting at a "Getting The Love You Want" Couples workshop - You will have attended a "Getting" workshop as a participant at the beginning of your journey, now you get to attend as a facilitator as you come to the end of the training process.  Your role will be to share your knowledge of Imago with the couples on the workshop, support them in the dialogue process and see the workshop from the perspective of an Imago Therapist.

Written work - There is no long and arduous written component in this couples counselling training.  We want to know that you're a comptent therapist with your couples, not that you can write a good essay!  We see your competency in the videos.  The written part of the certification gives you an opportunity to talk about how the Imago Clinical training has impacted you personal life and changed the way you work with couples and individuals.  It's a reflective piece, not something you can get wrong, and demostrates how Imago has been integrated into your life and your practice.

Final assessment - This is a full video recording of one couples session where you demonstrate using Imago Relationship Therapy in your practice.  It's purpose is to check you've got all of the basics you've learnt in place and to assure us that when we refer to you as an Imago Relationship Therapist, that's what the couple is getting!

The work you show doesn't have to be perfect or in any way fancy, just a clean, straightforward Imago session with your couple will pass.  I will work with you to get to this point and as your confidence and competence increases, this aspect will seem more and more straighforward.