2 thoughts on “Imago Audio

  1. A great summary of Imago. The sharpening, if I notice it all all, seems more to do with what is left out. Harville and Helen seem to be focusing more on the conscious communication dialogue. Other dialogues or techniques are not mentioned. The only other techniques mentioned are appreciations and stopping negative comments.

    They seem to say that if a safe connection is established, pretty much everything else takes care of itself. Dialogue is a meditative, a spiritual practice. In quieting the self to be more open to the other, the self emerges, entering the relational space — as does the self of the other.

    They mention “stretching into the needs system” of the other but are not specific about that. The intention is what matters. How you know what that is, they seem to trust, emerges in dialogues. “Conflict is change trying to happen”, they say.

    As I appreciate their message, I am noticing myself warm up to faith in connection — and my own capacity to be open to meeting the needs of the other. It is not easy. It can be stormy in that relational space. Helen and Harville’s faith in this is encouraging.

    One thing I like about Harville and Helen is that I find it easy not to idolise them. I thought their demonstration of a dialogue was clunky. Their claims about how wonderful their relationship is seemed shrill. Some of their assertions about how dialogues work seemed simplistic or exaggerated. I found their stories about “co-operative problem-solving” unconvincing.

    At the same time, I would like to find them more credible. Sue Johnson, in her book “Hold Me Tight” claims to survey the recent explosion of research about couples but neither Hendrix nor Hunt appear in her references. Why is that?

    For all this, their central message is clear and inspiring. Their plan to transform society through safe conversations is a wonderful one.

    They do mention that Sue Johnson joined but then left their coalition to achieve this. Harville asserts that she will rejoin. But this smells incomplete.

    I filter this through my own projections about warring parents and my own struggle with attachment. Although I come out of their talk with renewed encouragement about the possibility and power of safe connection, I also leave wanting a little more connection *with* *them*.

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