Imago – definition

I have mentioned Imago a couple of times and it will crop up again. From the little I have read about it, I suspect We have just been introduced to a subset of the technique, but it is the label We have been given, and so is a convenient shorthand.
In terms of the tool Dr Ruth suggested, Imago works roughly as follows:

  • Ideally both partners sit face to face.
  • In short sentences, Partner A says what they are feeling or have experienced. They explain their perspective.
  • At the end of each sentence, Partner B repeats back what has just been said. They do not comment, unless to ask for brief clarification. They listen.
  • Partner A may then continue, Partner B again having to repeat back Partner A’s words.
  • When Partner A seems to have finished, Partner B may ask if there is anything else Partner A wants to say.
  • If Partner A is finished, Partner B has their chance to respond.
  • The roles are then reversed. Partner B gets to say their piece, and Partner A has to listen, repeating Partner B’s words.

The idea is that it gives each partner the opportunity to be heard, whilst removing the danger of tit-for-tat point scoring or fighting back.

3 Responses to “Imago – definition”

  1. This sounds like a great communication technique for those that struggle with being heard or talking over one another. Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s taking us a bit of discipline to do it, and feels a bit contrived when we do. But when the listening wanes, or the answering-back starts to creep in, then it does seem to help.

  2. Things won’t change overnight. And this Imago thing sounds great. Keep trusting in the process XO

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