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The Mandel Center of Arizona's experienced and caring professionals offer our clients emotional, physical and spiritual healing. Because all people are unique, our treatment plans are tailored to your individuality. We are committed to providing the personalized guidance and support necessary to live a healthy and productive life.

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Couples Counseling

Couples Counseling

“Conflict is inevitable in any committed relationship. Usually it rears its ugly heads as seemingly petty disputes over the practical things in shared lives. But while the argument is visible on the surface, the deeper emotional content is neither explored nor understood. Instead partners simply blame or criticize each other. They often decide their partner is just not the right person for them, and turn to others for love.

Imago helps couples learn more about their partner's emotional history, and what the underlying reasons are for things which show up in their disagreements. They begin to understand why their partner is really upset, and why what they are saying really makes sense in the context of their past. This might sound like a difficult conversation to have, but Imago makes it much easier by teaching couples a specific way to dialogue about emotional issues like this. The Imago dialogue shifts the conversation away from blame, shame and criticism, into mutual support and understanding. “ – “What is Imago?” Imago Relationships International

“Couples therapists are often portrayed as controlling counseling sessions. The partners often sit facing the marriage counseling, telling them about the other partner's faults, and listening to their expert advice.

In Imago practice, the couples therapist has each of you facing the other, and talking directly to each other rather. While you speak, your partner would listen, mirrors back, and even validate what they hear, and connect with your feelings. The couples counselor guides this process, making sure that it is safe, positive and effective.” – “How Imago Couples Counseling Works,” Imago Relationships International

“From Freud to the latest neuroscience, marriage counselors have a wealth of theory to draw from. But how can they actually apply this theory in practice when they are with a couple? Explaining theory rarely results in change, people need an experience for the theory to have an effect.

Imago trains therapists with a framework of techniques which enable them to guide you and your pertner to have experiences that will help you. For example, research indicates that "attachment theory" is a powerful and valid model. In Imago practice, an attuned therapist guides you through a dialogue by suggesting sentence stems for you to complete when you talk to your partner.

One example would be "And when that happened I felt....." which helps the dialogue go deeper. These sentence stems can guide you to re-experience and heal from incidents during your early development which affects your ability to reach your fullest potential in your relationship with your partner. The process works for them too.

Imago also helps to create change using latest insights from neuroscience. Recent research shows that healthy relationships are possible when all parts of the brain being integrated. Using the dialogue process, the couples counselor can guide youthrough validating the experience and feelings of their partners. This dialogue strengthens your neural pathways that support connection and your overall fulfillment in life.” – “How Imago Couples Counseling Works,” Imago Relationships International

“Imagine that you can take a holiday from being you for a moment. You can walk across a bridge to sit for a while in the land of your partner, as a welcome and valued guest. There, without judgment, you can learn about what it is to be them, what they need, and how you can help them, just by listening, and sharing their experience. And then they can do the same for you. It’s fascinating, to be able to learn so much about the person you love most in the world!

One thing many of us learn when we do this, is how different our partner really is from us! The things they did never made sense before we really listened. They may have just seemed a little selfish, or irresponsible, or uncaring. But now when we really listen to them speak, we realize that to them, it all makes perfect sense in a way that is amazing! Our partner isn’t like us at all – how interesting.” – “The Imago Relationship Fitness Q&A,” Imago Relationships International

For more information, please see Imago Relationships International.