As we continue our series covering IMAGO therapy we’ll hear again from one of my male patients to get a real-life guy’s perspective on his work and experience. This is a real couple going through real, sometimes very tough circumstances, just like you and me.
IMAGO: Trust the Process
One of the first things I recall noticing in recovery circles (AA, Celebrate Recovery, etc.) is the seemingly strict adherence to certain guidelines and routines, and a general orderly process. This stood out to me right away because, as I see it now, at the time I was a huge fan of doing just about everything MY way… which landed me flat on my face time after time after time. 12-step groups make it easy to follow rules and take a measured, chronological approach to the work.
I Don’t Get It!?
Well, I’ve observed similar characteristics about the IMAGO work my wife and I are doing. By this, I mean some of the early exercises appeared to be unimportant or a bit disconnected from what I expected (dirty word) the work to be. For example, one exercise early-on asks me to take a trip down memory lane to my early childhood years. In this exercise I have “conversations” with important people I remember from my youth, sharing with them what I liked about them and what I wished they could have done differently. I mean, what does my 6 year-old self have to do with my wife not making me perfectly happy?? Sarcasm, anyone?
Connect the Dots
Becky, along with the book, encouraged us to keep trudging through the chapters and the exercises and to “trust the process”. I struggled to trust, and as a result my motivation to continue has been fluctuating between high and low, and some days it’s simply “meh”. Just being real. But slowly I began to see the connections in our work. The dots DO connect and there IS a big-picture, which is pointing my wife and me to real discovery, real healing.
It’s A Building Process
IMAGO is a building process. Step-by-step, emotional brick-by-brick, one exercise at a time. I’m the sort of person who likes to see the endpoint, the goal, the big picture. Surely it’s tied to my control issues, which Becky will no doubt bring up in my next session after she reads this! But here I’ve chosen to put myself and my expectations aside and do what I’m being told. My best ideas and best efforts landed me in the mud more than once, so today, I’m willing to follow. So if you find yourself seeking real growth, real breakthrough in your relationship IMAGO will get you there. But my encouragement is to set aside your ideas on how it “should be” and just trust the process.
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CRT, CCDC, CACC | Counselor & Life Coach
Empowering individuals, families and communities to grow and heal through advanced approaches in Creative Arts Therapy, setting the standard for treatment, practice and training within the field.