Psychologist Dr. Herbert (“Herb”) Tannenbaum has relied upon imago relationship therapy (IRT) as a means of supporting relationships for more than four decades. Based in River Edge, New Jersey, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum also works with individual patients.
IRT provides couples with the tools they need to endure challenging times together and, in some cases, to view their relationship as unhealthy or unsustainable. Although the timing of its application and specific issues to be addressed by IRT can vary from case to case, several aspects of IRT make its application suitable for most if not all cases.
A number of relationship problems can be traced back to poor communication and an inability of an individual to share his or her true desires with another. IRT helps both people in a relationship to identify their subconscious needs and convey them directly to the other. Similarly, imago therapists seek to explain the ineffectiveness of treating surface problems, focusing instead on helping patients to identify core issues that multiply into hurt feelings and negative encounters.
As one might expect, a successful IRT regimen can take a significant amount of time, even for couples that do not view their relationship as unhealthy or in serious jeopardy. One of the primary tenets of IRT is the construction of an emotional safe place through which couples can establish a healthy, long-term partnership. This safe space allows potential fights to evolve into opportunities for deeper connections and greater understanding. That said, emotional safety does not necessarily come easily, but can perhaps be achieved through hard work.