Archive for September, 2014

THRIVE – 6 Essential Imago Practices

September 2, 2014

Francine Beauvoir, Ph.D. and Bruce Crapuchettes, Ph.D., long time Imago therapists and teachers, have developed the acronym THRIVE to remind us of six essential Imago practices that will help us…well, thrive in our relationships. 

Francine and Bruce write: “ We propose that you commit to the following CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING PRACTICES. In fact, we suggest that you commit to doing them for the next 90 days. Neuro-science has shown that when a new practice is done for 90 days, a new neural pathway is developed in the brain to allow that behavior to be a new habit. Our common culture has validated that by AA members being asked to attend 90 meetings in 90 days, and employers hiring new workers for a 90 day trial period. 90 days is the magic number for beginning a new behavior.”

We suggest that you memorize the word THRIVE as an acronym for this new practice. We are presenting here six essentials to THRIVE in your Imago practice. Here they are: 

THRIVE          

T – Thank & Touch

Thank your partner for at least one recent behavior each day.  First, make an appointment to do this.  We find that making an appointment is a VERY consciousness raising thing to do.  This gets the attention of the receiver and if they say “Yes”, then they will mirror what you say in order to let it in.  It may sound like the following: 

“I would like to give you a formal appreciation, is now a good time for you?”  

“Yes, now is a good time.”  

“I would like to thank you for taking me to the movies last night.”  

“You are thanking me for taking you to the movies last night.  You’re welcome!”

This goes very quickly, AND is a huge consciousness raising practice!

Touch your partner lovingly each day.  Hold her hand.  Give him a kiss on the neck.  Give a hug.  Not only is this a consciousness raising practice, but it is very bonding!

H – Have a Dialogue

Ask for at least one dialogue each week.  This might be an “Imago Dialogue” or a “Frustration Dialogue”.  Here is the way to differentiate between the two.  An Imago Dialogue is about a recent event that you want to process.  A Frustration Dialogue is about a general frustration that you have (like a river runs through it).  A Frustration Dialogue ends in making three Behavior Change Requests (BCRs) giving the opportunity for the receiver to do only one if they choose (of course, you can grant more than one if you want).  Receivers write the requests down so they can be reviewed.  We recommend that you have a special clip-board to keep track of your BCRs.  Changing behaviors is at the heart of developing a transformed relationship.

R – Review BCRs Regularly

Schedule a BCR Review every two weeks.  This is essential to shift the patterns of the relationship.  It is easy to have good will and say that you will do such and such for your partner.  But following through with this commitment is a totally other story.  No behavior will change because of good will.  Only staying on top of the BCR Review process will allow new behaviors to actually happen in the relationship, and we believe that no relationship will change unless behaviors change.  We recommend putting the BCR Review on the calendar, such as every other Thursday night after the kids are in bed…  or go out to breakfast every other Saturday morning for the BCR Review.

I – Intentionality

Give an intentionality that touches your partner’s heart each day.  We are on a journey from reactivity to intentionality.  An intentionality is when you gift your partner with a behavior that will touch your partner’s heart.  It needs to entail some form of stretch.  It is growth producing.  We recommend that you tell your partner of your intentionality right after giving them your thank you for the day.  It might sound like, “I was intentional for the good of our relationship when I did all the dishes after our party last Friday.”  Your partner will mirror that by saying, “You were intentional for the good of our relationship when you did all the dishes after our party last Friday.  Thank you!”

V – Vision

Read your Relationship Vision to each other every two weeks.  This assumes that you have created a Relationship Vision.  If you haven’t, dig out your Couples Workshop manual and turn to page 85-89 and finish developing a mutual vision with your partner.  Reading your vision to each other is a wonderful way to keep in mind the journey that you are on together, and saying it repeatedly helps your brain to pull you in that direction.  We recommend reading it just before you do Imago work, such as a bi-weekly BCR Review.  Also we recommend that right after reading the vision, you look it over and give an appreciation and an intentionality from the vision.  That might sound like: “In regards to #4, ‘We have fun together.’  I want to thank you for going to the comedy club with me last Friday.”  Then your partner mirrors that and says, “You’re welcome!”  Then you might say, “In regards to #8, ‘We lovingly touch each other daily.’  I was intentional for the good of the relationship by holding your hand in the car last night.”  The partner mirrors and says, “Thank you!” 

E – Eliminate criticism and blame

Put yourself on a path to eliminate all criticism and blame.  The way to do this is to replace criticism and blame with curiosity. This might sound like:  Instead of saying, “I hate that nasty tone in your voice.”  You might say, “I could hear the upset in your voice.  I’d love to know what was going on.  It sounds like something really got to you.”

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