IMAGO Training Programmes in New Zealand

The Imago Institute for Relationships provides the following training programmes in Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT):

These trainings are presented by Brenda Rawlings. For more information on Brenda click here.

What is Imago Relationship Therapy?

Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is a coherent, comprehensive and dynamic theory and practice, offering a cutting edge and effective method for working with couples. IRT offers systematic, structured processes to transform painful relational dynamics, create safety and connection, and increase passion.

An effective, research based modality, IRT offers both short term therapy and a deeper long term approach for couples in distress. It teaches clear strategies which will transform your work with both individuals and couples.

For more information see Imago Relationship Therapy

Two Day Imago Training

This Two Day Training presents an opportunity to experience Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT).

It gives an overview of Imago theory and clinical practice. It offers an in-depth understanding of relational dynamics from both an attachment and developmental perspective, incorporating developments from both clinical research and neuroscience. This module introduces therapists to the Relational Paradigm, and what it means to view couple dynamics through this lens.  Participants will be introduced to the practice of the Imago Dialogue through both clinical and experiential work and receive an introduction to the impact of neuro-biological functioning on couple relationships, the need to integrate the positive (including the Appreciation Dialogue), and clear steps for relationship repair which promote safety and connection.

There are no specific requirements for attending these two days of training and they can be taken independently without proceeding to the next step, the Imago Clinical Training, Clinical Skills 1.

The training can impact upon one’s relationship and doing the training together with your partner can be a powerful growth experience. Partners, who are not therapists or trainees, are invited to attend this Two Day Training and can continue with all of the training.  Non-therapist partners attend at half-price.

More information on the Two Day Training

For more information on Dates, Fees and Registration,

Imago Clinical Training (with the option of Certification)

Imago Clinical Training focuses on Imago clinical processes, clinical demonstrations and review of participants’ cases. It is open to Counsellors, Psychotherapists, Psychologists and Counselling Social Workers who wish to extend their skills or specialise in working with couples.

This Clinical Training comprises the following  options:

  • Clinical Skills 1 (Days 3-7)    5 Days
  • Clinical Skills 2 (Days 8-12)  5 Days
  • Certification as an Imago Therapist

Please note that registering for Clinical Skills 1 does not commit participants to the remainder of the programme and that certification is optional.

Clinical Skills 1  (Days 3-7)             5 Days

The pre-requisite for this training is attendance at the Two Day Training (see above) and core competencies in counseling, psychology and/or psychotherapy.

Clinical Skills 1, can now be attended independently from Clinical Skills 2. This training is limited to 12 trainees

Please note for Certification as an Imago Relationship Therapist (which is optional), full membership of a professional association is required, along with other requirements. Some trainees will be in the process of completing these requirements at the time of attending Clinical Skills 1 and 2.  Certification will occur once the requirements are met.  See Certification as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist

The learning objectives of this 5 day training include:

  • Expanding the repertoire of the Imago Dialogue, including affective deepening. The appropriate use of sentence stems, focusing and ‘doubling’ will be explored.
  • Introduction and Practice of the Dialogical Interventions of Parent/Child Dialogue to expand empathy and Behaviour Change Dialogue to work with frustration.
  • The ability to use Relationship Visioning to deepen a sense of working together and hope for the future.
  • Learning how to enable couples to be present with each other in the moment, softening the space between them and building limbic resonance and emotional co-regulation
  • Take away a deeper understanding of how to work with the impact of childhood experience on adult relationship dynamics using a present day focus
  • An understanding of the reactive interactional cycles which arise through attachment and developmental wounding and how to work with this.
  • Learn emotionally focused tools for working with couples with attachment wounds
  • Recognition of the unique needs and therapeutic tasks of the initial session
  • Theoretical understanding of the psychological Journey, stages of relationship and partner selection, emotional symbiosis and the need for differentiation in couple dynamics.
  • Teach couples how to become a source of growth and healing for each other
  • A focus on re-romanticising and working with positive interventions which build connection and secure bonds between couples.
  • Recognition and understanding of the fear of pleasure in couples dynamics.

Clinical Skills 2 (Days 8-12)         5 Days

The pre-requisite for this training is attendance at Clinical Skills 1.  See above. In addition, you are required to attend at a “Getting the Love You Want Couples – Couples Workshop” with your partner at a Couples Workshop presented by a Certified Imago Workshop Presenter.  If you do not have a partner, then a friend, relative or colleague will qualify.  This requirement must be completed prior to Day 8 of the Training Programme.  However it is beneficial to attend the workshop as early as possible in the programme.  Please contact us if you have any queries regarding this requirement.  For more information see Couples Workshops.

After completing Clinical Skills 2, there is the option of Certification.  See Certification as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist

This training is limited to 12 trainees.

The learning objectives of this 5 day training include:

  • Consolidation and supervision of the Imago Dialogue and Behaviour Change Dialogue.
  • Experiential work which will deepen your understanding and skills.
  • Introduction and Practice of the Dialogical interventions of Commitment Dialogue, Holding Exercise, Positive Flooding.
  • Focus on working with sexual issues between couples.
  • Deepen understanding of the reactive interactional cycles which arise through attachment and developmental wounding and how to work with this.
  • Learn more emotionally focused tools for working with couples with attachment wounds
  • Learn about the Self and the way we defend ourselves in response to connectional rupture, the impact on relationship and the use of dialogical interventions for repair
  • Gain insight into how to work with couples in crisis and how to work with highly reactive couples through the use of particular interventions, the use of containment and affect regulation.
  • Learn how to track energy within the therapist and couple.
  • An emphasis throughout this work on building empathy, romance and appreciation.
  • Learn clear steps for relational repair

Why register for the Imago Relationship Therapy Clinical Training Programme?

We want to enable you to transform your work with couples. It is possible to feel enlivened and passionate about working with couples, no matter what they bring. We believe that you will leave this training inspired in your work with couples, and significantly impacted in your work with individuals and families. There is no better way to help children than to ensure they live in a peaceful, loving environment with parents who are able to connect and feel passionate about their relationship.

As an Imago relationship therapist you will:

  • Help couples to understand the relationship journey from romantic love through to potential disconnection, frustration and conflict, and enable them to restore connection, passion and hope
  • Gain in-depth understanding of relationship dynamics from both an attachment and developmental perspective
  • Incorporate developments in clinical research and neuroscience into your work with couples
  • Learn affective, cognitive and behavioural interventions which will allow you to hold couples safely in processes which offer them the opportunity and capacity to make sense of their negative interactional cycles
  • Learn clear steps for relationship repair
  • Coach attuned and connecting experiences for couples through the use of Imago Dialogue and other dialogical and relational processes
  • Join a growing group of committed couples therapists in New Zealand and an alive, energised and creative international community dedicated to transforming relationships.

Certification as a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist

Graduates of the Clinical Training Programme in IRT are eligible for Clinical Membership of Imago Relationships International. This distinction qualifies them, among other things, to call themselves Certified Imago Therapists and allows them to be listed on the Imago Relationships International Directory and on the website of Imago New Zealand Aotearoa (INZA).

Requirements for Certification:

  • Full attendance at all twelve days of training, including attendance at a “Getting the Love You Want – Couples Workshop”. See Clinical Skills 2 above, for more information.
  • During Days 3-12, present DVD samples of your work with couples for supervision.  (This can be achieved after the training if necessary).
  • Execute an “Understandings and Agreements” contract.
  • Complete six post-training supervision sessions; either individual or group.
  • Be a Member of a recognized Professional Association
    • In New Zealand, eligibility includes, but is not exclusive to, membership of NZAC, NZAP, NZCCA, NZPsS or NZCCP.
    • If you are a member of an organisation, not specifically mentioned above, then please contact us for further information.
  • Complete two reports following the training, as outlined by the Clinical Instructor.
  • Serve as clinical support staff in a “Getting the Love You Want – Couples Workshop” following completion of course requirements.
  • Submit one DVD of your work with couples, for assessment, after completion of the six supervision sessions.

More information on the Clinical Training Programme

For more information on Dates, Fees and Registration,

Two Day Enhanced Relationship Skills Training (for Non-Therapists)

This weekend is designed to improve your effectiveness in the workplace and at home, and transform your personal and professional life! It is for those who work in a wide range of vocations outside the realm of therapy, and who wish to bring Imago concepts, processes and understandings into their work and lives.

Our goal is to provide a safe environment for individuals to reach their full potential in guiding others toward successful relationship outcomes within the context of family, community and workplace environments. It offers a comprehensive theory of relationships that has broad application and usability in a wide variety of settings.

Whether you are a parent, coach, manager, leader, teacher, doctor, home-maker, builder, community leader, lawyer, health worker, family mediator or part of a couple – this training will enable you to relate consciously and to build new relationship patterns and possibilities with those with whom you interact, impact and influence.

The Enhanced Relationship Skills Training is a pre-requisite to (and the first two days of) the 12 Day Imago Professional Facilitator Training. The Two Day Training can be registered for without committing to further training.

This training is open to both individuals and couples.

Please note that this is not a training to become a couples’ therapist or counsellor.

How wiil you benefit?

The Enhanced Relationship Skills Training is an innovative programme designed to provide you with skills to communicate more efficiently and facilitate stronger relationships.

You will:

  • Build facilitation skills to help individuals and groups work more effectively
  • Have the ability to facilitate a dialogue between two or more people who might be experiencing conflict, helping them to understand each other, reconnect and request change
  • Learn a proven model of communication that builds trust, teamwork, and problem solving
  • Learn relationship based tools for successful work relationships
  • Assess your strengths and vulnerabilities
  • Manage conflict situations and apply the appropriate behaviours to build trust, and promote teamwork
  • Experience personal growth and development – extend and deepen personal work, and explore the potential of Imago in both your personal and professional life

This is the first time this programme has been offered in New Zealand.  However, many people internationally have found that a deep understanding of relationships through an Imago lens substantially enhances their work and their effectiveness.  You might be interested to watch this short video made by participants in the Imago Facilitator Training in Austria

Those who have integrated Imago into their business lives have reported that it not only increases their sense of effectiveness and pleasure in their work but has also increased profitability.  Teachers and child-care workers find it invaluable in working with children, parents and staff.  Coaches have found it gives them new skills and a new orientation for their work.  Team leaders have found it very effective in building team relationships that lead to greater productivity both within and between departments.  Couples have found it deepens their Imago work both as partners and parents.

More information on the Two Day Enhanced Relationship Skills Training for Non-Therapists

For more information on Dates, Fees and Registration,

12 Day Imago Facilitator Training (for Non-therapists)

This training is offered as a Two Day Training (see Two Day Enhanced Relationship Skills Training for Non-Therapists , above)  followed by a further 10 days, available in 3 modules.  All modules can be attended independently.

For those who complete the full 12 days training: you will also be able to assist with, or present on your own, Imago educational programmes – the Start Right Stay Connected, A New  Way to Love and Imago Connects workshops (Please note it will not credential you to provide Getting the Love You Want Workshops).

We encourage partners to train together and offer a reduced fee.

Prerequisite to Attend the 12 Day Facilitator Training

In order to proceed to Day 3 of this training, participants must:

  • Attend the Two Day Enhanced Relationship Skills Training for Non-Therapists (see above)
  • Attending a Getting the Love You Want workshop for couples or a Keeping the Love You Find workshop for individuals

More information on the 12 Day Facilitator Training Programme

For more information on Dates, Fees and Registration,

Advanced Trainings

These are offered annually by Brenda Rawlings and other international Certified Imago Trainers and are available to those who have completed a minimum of 8 days of the 12 Day Imago Clinical or Facilitator Training Programme.

For More Information on Training

For information on Dates, Fees and Registration