Dear friends of healthy relationships let me introduce myself. I am Gene Shelly an Imago therapist and trainer for over 35 years in the United States. In 2009 I spent a week in Sri Lanka introducing Imago concepts about helping couples have the relationship of their dreams. Since that time, I have taught, supervised and nurtured several therapists in Sri Lanka. One outstanding Imago therapist in Sri Lanka who has been in a mentoring relationship with me for over 10 years is Nilu Fernandopulle and he has achieved the certification as a “Certified Imago Therapist.

Imago is a therapy and a belief that partners have been drawn into couplehood for many reasons, but a major one is for an unconscious reason to repair and recover one or more childhood emotional unmet needs. Children usually have to give up desiring some common features like feeling safe or wanting parents to validate or listen to them.  And frequently the family context is so painful, abusive and unsafe that children are majorly traumatized and this leaves deep emotional wounds.

So we believe that repair can really take place in an adult love relationship through the use of the Imago Dialogue. Here we use this listening exercise to help each partner “listen” carefully to their partner and listen deeply so we can understand how our partner understands their own needs and frustrations. Since most humans have the capacity to listen, it takes a conscious awareness to pay attention and understand. Then empathy can begin.

Eugene Shelly, M.Div.

40 S. Penn Hall Dr.,

Chambersburg PA 17201