Marriage Counseling meets Michelangelo


What does a renaissance sculptor and marriage counseling have in common? More than you might think according to researchers at NorthWestern University, who have completed an international review of papers on the "Michelangelo phenomenon" in marriages. This shows that when close partners affirm and support each other's ideal selves, they and the relationship benefit greatly.

The Michelangelo phenomenon views each of us like a block of marble, and inside is our ideal self, just waiting to be fully revealed. If you recall Michelangelo said that the sculpture already existed inside the marble, and his job was just to make it visible. Like Michelangelo, our partners can help shape us so that it is this ideal self that emerges in all its fullness and aliveness. That's interesting to me because its another way of looking at the goals of Imago marriage counseling.

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