The story of Harville and Helen - Imago Founders


Harville Hendrix PhD and Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD founded Imago, and it has since spread around the world. But one of the relationships it has most strongly influenced is their own.

Much of the background theory of Imago comes from major psychological insights from Freud right through to the latest neuroscience, and much of the practical features were worked out in Harville's clinical practice. But together Harville and Helen also tell of how there were times when as they developed the principles they found that they were just what they needed.


For example, the Imago Dialogue is a process that sits at the heart of Imago, and the first step in dialogue is just to listen and mirror back. This fast-paced high-achieving couple found that this was just what they needed to build connection.

Harville often tells the story in public of when the couple decided to embrace another Imago concept - which was to eliminate shame, blame or crticism from the relationship. "We didn't have anything left to say to each other" declares Harville, to his audience. Now Imago has many ways to help couples through that critical process of building a positive connected relationship - far less brutal than the "cold turkey" process that Harville and Helen committed to when they banished all negativity from their discussions.

Like all real relationships, times can be great, and times can be more challenging. During one challenging time Harville and Helen finally made a tough decision - which was to attend one of the Imago Weekend Workshops as participants, and take their own medicine! It was a wonderful experience for them - going through a series of carefully constructed exercise which together build a romantic journey to restore the connection.

Article contributed by

Imago Relationships


Imago Relationships International helps couples have the conversations they need to change their lives together.  We've been saving relationships for 30 years, ever since our co-founder Harville Hendrix, PhD wrote the best-seller "Getting The Love You Want".

Today you can find an Imago weekend workshop in 25 countries, or get help from over 1200 Certified Imago therapists.  We give you the communication skills and understanding you need to forge a deeper and more loving connection.

Try our some free relationship help online at

Location: New York, NY
Credentials: MA
Specialties: Communication Problems, Couples/Marital Issues, Dating/Being Single Support
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