Become An Imago Clinician

Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) was developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., author of the best-selling book “Getting the Love You Want”. The model has deepened and expanded over the years, and continues to be on the cutting edge of depth relationship therapies. In this training, you will learn:

  • A comprehensive theory of relationships, and how to apply this theory in your practice working with couples.
  • How to identify core relationship issues– getting beneath the surface issues so that you can effect change on the deepest levels.
  • A variety of powerful interventions which will increase your effectiveness and confidence working with even the most difficult couples.
  • A model that teaches couples how to move “from conflict to connection”, and to utilize their relationship for growth and healing.
  • To understand your own relationship dynamics, and how to apply this knowledge for personal growth/healing and for the enhancement of your own intimate relationships.

Upon completion of the post-training requirements, you will be able to present yourself as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, and get referrals from the Imago Institute web-site. In addition, you will be entering a vibrant world-wide community of therapists dedicated to the advancement of this work, and have all the support and advanced training opportunities that this offers.
Hope to see you there!

Ben and Michelle

This is not your mama's Imago.

Sure, it has the benefit of nearly thirty years of a proven curriculum and a consumer driven interest in the work (Couples actively seek out Imago therapists because of the New York Time's best selling book, Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendricks and his endorsement by Oprah and other celebrities) and Neuroscience has now explained to us what we already knew back in the 80's – how exactly Imago works! I can now explain in great detail using "big fancy brain words" how the Imago skills and tools begin to heal childhood emotional pain while reducing the escalation cycles in a couple's communication. I can also tell you how they begin a process of personal growth that moves us towards full maturity, greater mindfulness in all of our relationships, and a deepening of our consciousness. But if all of that doesn't impress you (a built in client base, change for your couples, and your personal development of consciousness), let me tell you why I am involved in Imago.

It is because of the next generation of young and vibrant therapists training around the world. Harville is out to change the world, one couple at a time and due to his commitment to that vision, my Imago community lives in Qatar, New Zealand, Denmark, South Korea, Turkey, Israel, South Africa and Canada as well as in my own hometown of Austin, Texas. Okay I admit that is an idealistic vision and maybe even cheesy, but it appears that is something the next generation is down with, and that includes me. My Imago community is about to expand once more because my colleague and friend Ben Cohen, the Dean of the International Faculty is going to begin the clinical training in here in AGAIN in March of 2017 in Austin, Texas.

The Next Round of Training in Austin!

2017's certification training dates in Austin, Texas:
Part 1: March 23-26, 2017
Part 2: June 1-4, 2017
Part 3: September 7-10, 2017



To become a certified Imago Relationship Therapist and be eligible for clinical membership in Imago Relationships International (IRI), you will need to:

  • Attend all 12 eight-hour days of the Basic Clinical Training, and complete all course requirements.
  • Complete 6 months of Imago supervision after the 12-day training. (Cost: $600)
  • Present video samples demonstrating your use of IRT with couples, and receive a positive evaluation from your trainer.
  • Serve as clinical support staff at a “Getting the Love You Want” Couples Workshop within one year of course completion.
  • Hold a degree in a mental health field. (Go to for full certification requirements.)

The following information is a search of scholarly articles and dissertations on Imago Relationship Therapy found on ProQuest and Academic Search Complete. Each of these articles is either an article specifically about IRT, uses IRT as a treatment modality, or contains a significant reference to IRT.


Please go to Ben’s web-site,, or to the Imago Institute web-site,, and go to the “Training” page to see the full list of admissions requirements. Note that each applicant will be considered on his or her own merits, so if you have any questions, contact Ben directly at 303-717-5651.

It is required that you participate in a 20-hour “Getting the Love You Want” Couples Workshop prior to, or shortly after beginning the training. We would like for you to attend with your intimate partner or if you are single, you may attend with a friend or colleague. To see a listing of upcoming workshops in the Boulder, Colorado area, please go to Ben’s web-site (above). For Austin, go here. For other areas, go to:

Clinical Track: The Clinical Track is designed for all those who wish to become a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist. This 96-hour training is designed for the beginning as well as seasoned therapist. Graduate students in the fields of counseling/psychology/social work are welcome to attend, though you will not be eligible for certification until you are licensed.

The Structure of the Training is a powerful combination of theory, demonstration, and experiential practice and supervision. Learning occurs in a safe, supportive, and encouraging environment. Each session is separated by two to three months to allow practice and integration of the material.

Tuition: $3,000 for all three parts of the Basic Clinical Training required for certification.
CE Credits: 96

For questions or further information, call Ben at: 303-717-5651.
Ben Cohen, International Dean of Imago Faculty
1634 Walnut Street, Suite 221 Boulder, CO 80302


Peer-Reviewed Articles on Imago

Aram, D., & Shlak, M. (2008). The Safe Kindergarten: Promotion of Communication and Social Skills Among Kindergartners. Early Education & Development, 19(6), pp. 865-884. doi:10.1080/10409280802516090

Feldman, D. B., & Kahn, G. B. (2009). The integration of relationship-focused group therapy with couples treatment. International journal of group psychotherapy, 59(1), pp. 109-126.

DuRousseau, D. R., & Beeton, T. A. (2015). System Level spatial-frequency EEG changes coincident with a 90-day cognitive-behavioral therapy program for couples in relationship distress. Brain Imaging and Behavior, 9(3), pp. 597-608. doi:10.1007/s11682-014-9319-7

Gehlert, N., Schmidt, C., Geigerich, V. & Luquet, W. (submitted). Randomized controlled trial of Imago Relationship Therapy: Exploring statistical and clinical significance. Submitted to The Journal of Marital and Family Therapy

Hannah, M.T., Luquet, W., McCormick, J. Galvin, K., Ketterer, K.,May, K., Hayes, R.,& Kott, L.A. (1997). Brief report: Short-term Imago therapy and changes in personal
distress. The Journal of Imago Relationship Therapy 2 (2), 55-67.

Holliman, R, Muro, L., & Luquet, W. (2015). Imago relationship therapy and accurate empathy development. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.

Kim, D.K. (2011). The Phenomenological Study on Experience of Reconstructing the Image of God in Pastoral Ministry after the Pastor's Participation in Imago Relationship Therapy. Journal of Family and Counseling, 1(2), 1 – 22.

Love, P., & Shulkin, S. (2001). Imago Theory and the Psychology of Attraction. The Family Journal, 9(3), pp. 246-249. doi:10.1177/1066480701093002

Luquet, W., & Hannah, M.T. (1996). The efficacy of short-term Imago therapy: Preliminary findings. The Journal of Imago Relationship Therapy, 1 (1), 67-75.

Luquet, W., Hannah, M. & Mccormick, J., (1997). Compass as a Measure of the efficacy of couples therapy. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 25(1), pp. 76-90. doi:10.1080/01926189708251056

Martin, T. L., & Bielawski, D. M. (2011). What Is the African American’s Experience Following Imago Education? Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 51(2), pp. 216-228.

McMahon, M. (1999). Applying Stolorow's theory of intersubjectivity to Hendrix's imago techniques. Smith College Studies in Social Work, 69(2), pp. 309-334. doi:10.1080/00377319909517557

Muro, L., & Holliman, R. (2014). Relationship workshop with high-risk, hispanic couples.
North Carolina Perspectives 9, 51-62.

OH, JE; MINICHIELLO, V. Psychosocial Development in South Korean Couples and Its Effects on Marital Relationships. Journal of Family Psychotherapy. 24, 3, 228-245, July 2013. ISSN: 08975353.

Oh, J. (2010). Psychosocial Development in South Korean Couples and Its Effects on Marital Relationships. Journal of Human Understanding and Counseling. 31(1), 47 – 63.

Protinsky, H., & Flemke, K. (2003). Imago Dialogues: Treatment Enhancement with EMDR. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, 14(2), pp. 31-45. doi:10.1300/J085v14n02_03

Robbins, C. A. (2005). ADHD couple and family relationships: Enhancing communication and understanding through Imago Relationship Therapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(5), pp. 565-577. doi:10.1002/jclp.20120

Schmidt, C., Luquet, W. & Gehlert, N. (2015). Evaluating the impact of the Getting the Love You Want Couples workshop on relational satisfaction and communication patterns. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.

The following articles were published in Iranian, Korean, and Turkish journals Abdolvand, N. (2015). Study Evaluate the effectiveness of communication imaging (IMA Gotrapy) Amount of marital commitment referred to the counseling in Isfahan Township (2013-2014). Gazi University Faculty of Education Journal, 4(3), 1-9.

Abdolvand, N, Sedrposhan, N, & Masoud Dayarian, M. (2015). Evaluate the effectiveness of communication image (IMA Gotrapy) on marriage, couples counseling center of Isfahan Township in 2013-2014. Journal of Scientific Research and Development 2 (1): 172-177.

Amini Khoeiy. N, Shafiabady, A, Delavar A, & Nuranipoor, R. (2014). Comparing the effectiveness of two approaches Life Skills training and Imago Therapy on improving young couples communication patterns. Journal of Science and Today’s World, 3(1), 13-14.

Arman S, Zahed Gh, Shakibaei F, Bina, M, Baghereian R, Roohafza H. The effect of couple’s diologue technique on marital conflicts and child behavior. Journal of Arak University of Medical Sciences 2008; 11(3): 9-19. Persian.

Etemadi, Ozra, Navabi-Nejad, Shokouh, Ahmadi, Ahmad, and Farzad, Valliollah. (2006). Investigate the effect of couple therapy by imago therapy on increasing marital intimacy referred to counseling centers in the city of Isfahan. News and Research Services, 19, pp. 22-9.

Etemadi,O;Navabinejad,Sh;Ahmadi,S.A;Farzad,V.(2006). The effect of couples therapy by method of Imago therapy in increasing marital intimacy referred to counseling center in the Isfahan city. News and Research Counseling, 5(19), pp. 9-22.

Golestaneh, S.M., Mohanaee, S, & Mahnaz. J. (2015). The effectiveness of couple’s therapy training on increasing of psychological capital of couples. International Journal of Psychology and Behavioral Research, 4(1), 66-72.

Jalili1, M. & Pasha, R. (2015). Considering the effect of Imago Therapy (relational-imagery) on loving styles of couples in Masjed Soleyman city. Gazi University

Faculty of Education Oh, J. (2005). Impact of childhood wounds on couple relationship. The Korean Journal of Counseling, 6(3) 1055-1070

Dissertations and Thesis Beeton, T. A. (2005). Dyadic adjustment and the use of imago skills by past participants of the "Getting the Love You Want" workshop for couples.

ProQuest Dissertations Publishing. Byun, B.K. ( 2010 ). A Phenomenological Study on the Change in Spouse Image and Perception of Childhood Wounds Through Imago Relationship Therapy.

Gerrand, M. (2010). Therapists’ Perceptions of Their Roles and Functions in Imago Relationship Therapy

Heller, B. C. (1999). An evaluation of Imago Relationship Therapy through its use in the Getting The Love You Want workshop: A quantitative/qualitative assessment. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Ditsky, M. G. (2008). Attachment and satisfaction in midlife marriages. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Kleven, D. R. (2013). Relationship alchemy: Marriage as a container for individuation. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Lee, O.K. ( ). The Phenomenological Study on Christian married women's Experience in the Imago Couple Relationship Therapy

Liberty, S. (2010). The dance with other: Couples therapy and the art of relationship. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Oh, J. (2012). The impact of Psychosocial Development and Attachment Styles on Subsequent Partner Selection and Marital Satisfaction in South Korea. University of New England School of Health.

Opperman, M. C. (2005). The creation and manifestation of reality through the re-enactment of subconscious conclusions and decisions. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Pitner, G. D. (1995). The effects of a couples' weekend workshop experience on marital satisfaction and relationship change. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Weigle, J. B. (2006). The effect of participating in an Imago therapy workshop on marital satisfaction. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.

Wise, J. M. (2015). Outer Marriage, Inner Marriage: The Necessity of the Other in the Discovery of Self. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing.