Imago Relationship Therapy: How it works for singles

Vancouver Marriage and Family Counselling – By Grace McDonald

What distinguishes Imago Relationship Therapy from other types of therapy it that it provides an immediate, positive impact on relationships and tools to manage conflict in a way that feels safe and supportive. Imago consists of several important principles: we are born in relationship, wounded in relationship, and heal in relationship.


Imago is also helpful for those of us who are single. Imago invites singles to do some self-growth work, while possibly feeling broken-hearted, wanting a new relationship, or wanting to restore love in your relationship. We can all relate to feeling despair, disillusionment, and disappointment in love.

Whatever your heartbreak, whatever your history, you can learn about what you need to know and what you can do to greatly improve your chances for finding and keeping love!

Imago gives us all something to think about, as it offers an enlightening perspective on being single. Singlehood needs to be accepted, understood, and encouraged. Singlehood is a time to explore life and people, learn who we are, take responsibility for ourselves, and identify our desires and needs. Singleness can be beneficial what ever your age.

It is a time for healing, re-establishing priorities, becoming happy with yourself, developing friends and interests, possibly going to therapy, and learning how to live and care for yourself. In addition, singlehood is a stage in your growth, and when you successfully work through this stage, then you are ready to be in a long-term, committed relationship. It’s then that you will know yourself, be able to be intimate, and can take on the responsibilities of partnership.


Culturally and historically, having long years of singlehood is a relatively new social standard. There is often pressure to get married, and many people go from childhood straight into marriage. So it makes sense that it’s hard to know how to use singlehood well. Some of us struggle with the reality that we married too young, before getting to know ourselves as a single person; without a clear sense of direction and what we want in life.


This perspective helps you understand why you either haven’t found partnership or have experienced failed attempts in partnership. It’s in this perspective, we learn about how to authenticate singlehood as a part of our culture and educate singles of the purpose and benefits of this time of life.


Regardless what stage you’re at during your single life, (and applicable for those of you in relationships!) here are four things you can to do in preparation, as part of the process of mindfully discovering your single self:

  1. Educate yourself about relationships!
  2. Educate yourself about yourself!
  3. Train yourself in relationship skills!
  4. Change your behaviors and defenses that keep you from keeping the love you find!

A key Imago principle states that human beings have an unconscious yearning for partnership. Relationship is essential for our fulfillment, to feel whole, and we all have an innate powerful desire for committed relationship. You first work on yourself and make the necessary changes, then do the same work on your relationship. When you become healthier and more mature, you meet a healthier and mature lover.


So, once you have successfully gone through the single stage, and experienced self-growth, and are ready to be in relationship, pick someone who is self-aware (like you) and willing to do work necessary for lasting love! By doing this work, it will be easier to find a partner who is able to commit to loving you for the long-term.


(This information is based on the book, Keeping the Love You Find by Harvelle Hendrix)

 – Article Prepared By Grace McDonald RMFT, RCC