Imago Clinical Training

Become a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist®

At its essence, Imago is a shift in consciousness - we’re all in relationship, all of the time. Through the lens of a relational paradigm, Imago creates truly healing, healthy, and loving relationships in a profound and dynamic way. Imago training gives you the actual tools and practice to become comfortable and adept with any couple that walks into your office, and it also puts you on a spiritual path for your own wholeness and healing in relationship. This truly transformational training increases awareness of your own potential whether in relationship with your clients, your partner and/or the world.

Program Description

Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is a comprehensive yet remarkably coherent theory and application, developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D., and Helen LaKelly Hunt. IRT powerfully synthesizes major aspects of depth psychology, object relations, systems theory, and humanistic-existential theory into a comprehensive approach to working with relationships.

Through the Imago Clinical Training program (ICT), you’ll have an opportunity to learn Imago theory and methodology that helps you love working with couples. The clinical training program is broken up into 3 modules of online instruction delivered through lecture, demonstration, and experiential learning.

With this training, you’ll gain the tools and support necessary to integrate this unique and effective approach to working with couples into your professional practice, therefore, being able to teach couples how to use necessary skills to grow through power struggles inevitable in many committed partnerships.

You’ll find yourself becoming increasingly more conscious of healing that occurs when a difficult relationship begins to move into the empathic connection as opposed to the defensiveness so characteristic of couples experiencing pain.

You’ll also begin to realize the possibilities and opportunities for all couples when “individual diagnosis” is replaced with a relational lens. “The paradigm of relationship” allows us to see the wonderful potential for growth and healing via the interpersonal as opposed to the pathological labeling associated with a focus on the intra-psychic.

The Imago model…

  • turns working with couples into an inspiring experience
  • integrates proven clinical methodologies into a powerful and effective system of interventions
  • provides a new path for both personal and professional growth. 

Consistent with the approach itself, Imago believes that learning comes as much through experience as through understanding. Therefore, we compliment all of our theoretical teachings with direct practice, as well as personal exploration.

Our goal is to help therapists develop the skills that will allow a sense of confidence and competence in working with couples and relationships, thus skillfully guiding clients into “healing through relationship.”

This highly gratifying work will...

  • Take your professional career to the next level.
  • Provide relationship insight with Imago Relationship Therapy’s unique approach to resolving relationship issues and identifying opportunities for healing and growth.
  • Help couples quickly reconnect using Imago Relationship Therapy tools.
  • Teach transformative, and research-based methods to bring safety and restoration to relationships where conflict and rupture impact connection.
  • Allow for individual growth in your own personal and professional relationships, your way of working with clients, and of being in the world.
Learning Objectives

After this training, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss childhood stages of development and wounding as well as resulting characterological adaptations in primary relationships.
  • Discuss the concept of the Imago and the role it plays in partner selection and subsequent stages of adult relationships.
  • Work with a couple’s resistance, flow with it and keep volatile couples in dialogue.
  • Demonstrate dialogical skills to assist couples in restructuring conflict and frustration, resolving adult and childhood rage, bringing them into a healing relationship, and guiding them from unconscious to conscious relating (moving them from reactivity to intentionality).
  • Demonstrate skills to assist couples in increasing validation and empathy and achieve a deeper level of commitment and intimacy.
  • Focus on their own personal Characterological Growth and thus be more able to deepen client’s affect, getting them in touch with childhood pain, and thus helping them find healing in the adult intimate relationship.
  • Empower couples to continue the work of healing after therapy is terminated.
Course Structure

Level 1 (Training) - a 96 hour online training program which is completed in three modules, each equivalent to four days, broken up over 6-8 sessions. 

  • Module 1
  • Module 2
  • Module 3


Level 2 (Supervision, Self-Study) - based around a six-month program of supervision which prepares for submission of a final clinical video for evaluation as well as written reports.

  • Consultation
  • Video Review
  • Assist a Getting the Love You Want Workshop
Overall Cost and CE Credits

3 Modules of Training: approx. $ 3,000 ($1000/module)

Getting The Love You Want Couples Workshop: $500 - $800*

Supervision: $100 per month (6 months minimum)

Final video submission and Certification: $195**

96 CE Credits: $120 or $40/module

*Price of the workshop may vary depending on the location and format.

**If a subsequent video is needed, the fee will be $150 for each further video presented for certification.

Admission and Certification Requirements

(Not required for Module 1, Introduction to Imago)

  • Participation in a Getting the Love You Want Couples Workshop led by a Certified Couples Workshop Presenter® prior to certification. (Note: Participation should be with one’s committed, intimate partner. Single therapists may attend with a close friend, relative or colleague of either gender). This must be done before training.
  • Proof of advanced degree (masters or doctorate degree) in the mental health field (the common degrees are M.A. or M.S. in counseling or psychology, M.S.W. in social work, M.Div. in pastoral counseling, Ph.D. in clinical psychology, M.D. in psychiatry) or enrollment in an advanced degree program.
  • Proof of membership in a recognized professional association (i.e. NASW for clinical social workers, AAMFT for marriage and family therapists, AAPC for pastoral counselors, APA for psychologists, AMA for psychiatrists). All Imago Therapists must keep their memberships in their professional organization current at all times.
  • License to practice psychotherapy if required by your state or province.
  • Proof of malpractice insurance.
  • Two letters of recommendation from colleagues who know your work well.

Each applicant will be considered on his or her own merits. If you do not have all of the above credentials, please attach a cover letter that addresses the exception to your applications. Please note that admission to this program does not guarantee certification.

Certification Process
  • Complete the 12 Days of training to the satisfaction of your clinical instructor
  • Complete 6 months of supervision to the satisfaction of your clinical instructor or consultant
  • Submit 3 and 6 month reports to your clinical instructor (see below)
  • Assist at a Getting The Love You Want weekend workshop
  • Provide a video of your work for evaluation
    Complete a signed copy of the certification agreement

At three months, the participants should write a one or two-page typed report of their experiences both in their personal lives and in their clinical practice and submit it to their Clinical Instructor. This report can be written before the evaluative video is passed. It is important that this report is not a glowing report of how wonderful everything is. It is to be a report of your growing edge and what you are personally and professionally working on to become a better clinician.

At six months, the participant should write a second one or two-page typed report of their development both in their personal lives and in their clinical practice and submit it to their Clinical Instructor.

These two reports should be about the trainee’s growth edge both personally and professionally to encourage the theory and practice of Imago Therapy to become more integrated in the trainee’s life and practice.

Assisting at a workshop
After completion of the 12 Days of training the participant should serve as a support therapist in a Getting the Love You Want Couples Workshop conducted by a Certified Workshop Presenter®. The trainee must meet with the presenter after the workshop for feedback and receive a positive evaluation from the presenter, which must then be submitted directly to the Professional Training Coordinator with a copy sent to the course instructor.

*After completing the requirements of the 12 Days of training and the 6-month supervision consultation to the satisfaction of your clinical instructor for 6 months you may apply for Certification.

Video Evaluation

  • Record a video of a clinical session involving the Imago Dialogue and self-evaluate it using the current scoring sheet. Be sure that this video achieves a pass mark of 70%.
  • Ask your Clinical Instructor, or whoever is providing your 6 months of supervision consultation to review this video as part of their consultation service to you, and to provide a note indicating that they agree that the video is at a 70% or above level.
  • Send the video, your evaluation and the note from consultant to the trainer together with the fee of $195.
  • Your trainer will either provide clear, detailed written feedback to you, or may contact you for a telephone consultation of your video. This consultation will focus on reviewing and providing feedback of your self-assessment.
  • Provided that the trainer agrees that you pass at 70% or above, he/she/they will notify the Imago International Training Institute to issue a Certificate, as long as all other training requirements have been met.
  • If the video is not passed, we recommend that you review the feedback from the evaluator with your consultant/supervisor. Once integrating the feedback, your Clinical Instructor or consultant will support you to submit a second video. If desired, you may request a different evaluator for the second video.
  • Please do not be disheartened if your first submitted video does not pass. We have a culture of learning whereby it is fine to be asked for another video. We want you to receive the best training possible from us, and requiring a certain degree of proficiency in the model takes considerable time to achieve.

Review Process
In the event that the video is not considered by the Assessor to be a passing video, the Assessor will contact the trainee’s Clinical Instructor.

The CI will watch the video. If they agree that it is not a passing video, the Assessor will let the trainee know, and will proceed to give feedback to them. They will email the CI to let them know when this is done.

If the Clinical Instructor thinks it is a passing video, then the trainee will have the option to send it to another faculty member. This will be done anonymously. The Central office will send the DVD to another faculty member. That view will be binding.

What can you do once certified?

Graduates of this track are eligible to:

  • Represent themselves as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist®
  • Advertise the practice of Imago Relationship Therapy
  • Present at conferences and various meetings up to four hours in length and may demonstrate the Intentional Dialogue and the Flooding of Admiration in public

Upcoming Online Clinical Training

Imago Relationships North America
12172 South Route 47, #207
Huntley, IL 60142
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(866) 960-1550

Diversity and Inclusion

IRNA welcomes and aims to be enriched by all people and cultures.

Outside North America?

Imago networks can be found all around the world.

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