Imago Couplehood: Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt

In this episode...

Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt are the founders of Imago Relationship Therapy, a paradigm-changing and pioneering model of couples therapy that helped revolutionize the way psychotherapists view couples and the nature of healing.

Imago uses the lens of attachment-theory—the idea that, neurobiologically, we belong to one other and are expertly equipped to heal each other’s trauma from our earliest attachments in life.

Getting the Love You Want, a book by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt, has been on the New York Times Bestseller List for over 25 years.

Harville and Helen teach that by being aware of and reflective of these attachment patterns couples can have a “conscious relationship” that is able to transform conflict into a blueprint for growth.

They have written over 10 books, including three New York Times bestsellers. Harville has appeared as a featured guest 17 times on The Oprah Winfrey Show. They are the co-founders of Imago Relationships International, a non-profit organization that has trained thousands of therapists and educators in 51 countries around the world.

"Structure creates safety, which creates safety, which makes it possible to experience connecting and intimacy."

– Dr. Harville Hendrix, who’s latest book, with Helen LaKelly Hunt, is The Space Between: The Point of Connection

Harville and Helen co-created Imago Relationship Therapy to promote the transformation of couples and families by a creating relational culture that support universal equality. In addition, they’ve developed resources that help couples, families, and educators strengthen their relationship knowledge and skills. They are the co-founders of Imago Relationships International, a non-profit organization that has trained over 2,000 therapists and educators in 51 countries around the world.


Harville and Helen were inspirational to my early career as a couples therapist. Imago was the first post-grad psychotherapy training I received, and like so many of us in this field at times, I became evangelical about Imago for a while. 

Many years later I see the value in having a vast skill set with many diverse tools to facilitate healthy minds and healthy relationships and am grateful to have learned the life lessons of Imago early in my career.  

In 2015 I wrote my first book, Love Under Repair: How to Save Your Marriage and Survive Couples Therapywhich features a chapter summarizing how Imago works in therapy. 

Love Under Repair is a consumer's guide to what I consider "The Big Three" models of attachment-based couples therapy: Imago, The Gottman Method, and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT).
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