Couples Therapy Objectives in Imago Relationship Therapy

Getting the Love You Want pic

Getting the Love You Want

Herb Tannenbaum, Ph.D., is the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Effective Living, located in River Edge, New Jersey. In addition, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum has obtained certification as an Imago therapist and has served as a faculty member at the Institute for Imago Relationship Therapy since 1997.

Imago is a therapy method that combines Western psychology, behavioral science, and spiritual doctrine to form a unique love relationship theory that can be applied to both individual and couples therapy.

By helping those seeking or struggling with an intimate relationship adjust their thought processes through an understanding of intimacy defenses and how humans select intimate partners, Imago teaches clients new skills to conquer unconscious and detrimental behavior and ultimately foster “mutual healing and maturation.”

When working with couples, Imago therapy strives to:
Create a safe space for couples to interact and connect
Assist with the development of communication skills that will lead to improved understanding between the parties involved
Help with the transformation of frustration–which can result in a power struggle–into positive understanding and response to the partner’s needs
Develop the inward recognition and acceptance of the qualities within one’s self that provoke hostile feelings and may, in turn, be projected onto one’s partner.

Imago therapy is intended to improve the couple’s relationship and leave them feeling fulfilled and more connected to one another.

Maintaining Healthy Relationships with Couples Therapy

Herb Tannenbaum pic

Herb Tannenbaum

A psychologist in private practice, Dr. Herbert (Herb) Tannenbaum is also the Executive Director of the Center for Effective Living. Through his private practice, Dr. Herb Tannenbaum provides couples therapy.

When communication in a relationship has turned negative or one partner is considering having an affair, it’s time to see a therapist. For the majority of those who seek help, couples therapy can improve the bonds between them and allow the relationship to progress into a healthy partnership. Research conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists showed that over 98 percent of individuals who were surveyed indicated that they received excellent couples therapy. Of those same individuals, 93 percent said they were able to learn effective techniques for improving their relationships.

Counseling is designed to help partners remember how they fell in love and why they wanted to be together in the beginning. Couples learn techniques to deal with negative emotions and cope when arguments arise.

What to Expect from Couples Therapy

Getting the Love You Want pic

Getting the Love You Want

Dr. Herb Tannenbaum earned his PhD from New York University and is a member of the National Accreditation Association of Psychoanalysis. One of Dr. Herb Tannenbaum’s specialties is couples therapy, and he is a clinical instructor of Imago relationship therapy and a Workshop Presenter for the “Getting the Love You Want” couples workshop.

Couples who are fighting or having other issues may want to consider couples therapy (also known as couples counseling). However, even people who have tried individual therapy may not realize what couples therapy involves. Knowing the basic procedures and goals can help couples get the most out of it.

The therapist generally starts with some basic questions to get to know the couple and their history and then goes more into their points of contention. Equal voice is given to each individual, and they are both encouraged to be talkative and forthcoming and to listen to one another. Depending on the therapist or the couple’s dynamics, a couple might be seen together or individually.

Effective couples therapy will achieve change in a few different aspects of the relationship. Dysfunctional behavior, such as angry reactions, are modified. Their strengths as individuals and as a couple are promoted to de-emphasize shortcomings and enhance cooperation. Communication is improved. Emotional avoidance is decreased so that couples can confront their underlying fears and other unpleasant feelings that interfere with healthy interactions. Views of the relationship are changed to encourage more constructive conversations.

Achieving any one of these goals can drastically improve the relationship, but it may take some work. By the time they go into therapy, couples generally have been wrestling with their issues an average of six years. It can take months or years of regular sessions to work through them. Goals like improving communication and dysfunctional behavior are difficult for even individuals to achieve, much less couples.