“Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree. As you approach it, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared. You are frightened and angry. But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap. Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern: You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain. This applies to all of us. When we behave in hurtful ways, it is because we are caught in some kind of trap. The more we look through the eyes of wisdom at ourselves and one another, the more we cultivate a compassionate heart.”
– Tara Brach
Empathy is directly related to one’s satisfaction with a romantic partner, and therefore, most approaches to couples therapy explicitly address empathy as a means for creating positive relational change.
When faced with a disagreement, how do you usually react?
Are you able to see / hear your partner’s views with an open mind?
Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is practiced at The Huntington Relationship Center in Long Island, NY. Imago is a form of marriage therapy that takes a relationship approach rather than an individual approach to problem solving in a marriage. It was co-developed by Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt, and documented in Hendrix’s 1988 book, “Getting the Love You Want, A Guide for Couples.”