Lila here~ A few weeks ago, my friend Adam blogged about the 3 P’s of relationships from an Imago Relationship
Therapy standpoint. The 3 P’s are: Pick, Provoke and Project.
First you pick a partner who reflects the positive and negative traits of
your caregivers when you were a child.
We call this your imago match.
Then you provoke those traits
to come forth. At first you provoke the
positive traits, but after the honeymoon phase of the relationship is over, you
provoke the negative traits to come out.
Then you (I say you, but we all do it) project those traits onto your partner, whether they actually have
them or not. If you’ve ever thought or
said, “you’re just like my father (or mother)” then you know what projection
If there are only three P’s in relationship
dynamics, then we’re doomed to cycle around and around. After enough provocation and projection,
we’ll decide that it’s time to pick again, and start back at square one.
As Pinkee and I were talking about this
subject last week on the Booty Doctors radio show, it occurred to me that there
are two more P’s possible for couples who want to move into a conscious
The fourth P is “Peel away.” You notice what you’re provoking and what you’re
projecting onto your partner. You become
aware of it and then peel away the
layers of childhood wounding that attracted these traits to you. It usually takes a trained professional to
help peel away these layers. Find a good
Imago therapist or a relationship coach to help you.
The fifth P is “Prevent.” You prevent
the cycle from repeating by bringing your awareness to the layers you have
peeled away. Typically, these layers are
ways you learned from your caregivers that you were not worthy of unconditional
love. As you peel away the layers, you
learn to love yourself more and you realize that you are, in fact, worthy of
unconditional love. Then, instead of
having to pick a new partner, you will be able to enter fully into a loving
relationship, just as you deserve.