Someone asks if imagery couldn’t be used to help couples who are entrenched in anger, finding themselves unable to connect, or just drifting apart, and BR agrees that imagery is great for breaking through old patterns.. Dear BR,
I believe that imagery could be very helpful for couples who might be entrenched in anger, drifting apart or unable to connect with one another. Can you address this please?

I couldn’t agree more. Couples can get into tired, old, round-robin arguments, dialogues, projections and stereotypes that go nowhere, and a nice way to interrupt that debilitating process is through guided imagery, which uses other parts of the brain that are less cognitively oriented, and more likely to allow the listener to perceive his or her partner with fresh eyes.

In fact, my Successful Relationship imagery contains four different exercises designed to address this, precisely for this reason. The first one on that set is designed to help the listener go within and explore in a judgment-free way any hindrances coming from inside (that have nothing to do with the partner); the second one is an empathy exercise that gets the listener in the shoes and consciousness of his or her partner, to see what it’s like over there; the third is essentially our grief imagery, to help clear the decks of old pain and loss, so the listener can be more open and free to enjoy the current relationship; and the final, paired exercise is one very popular one I do in many workshops, where one person sits behind the other and focuses attention on one small spot on the back or neck or shoulders of the person sitting in front, and deliberately elicits feelings of loving kindness for that one spot. What happens is pretty amazing. It opens the heart and allows a flood of delicious feelings of unconditional love for that spot to wash through the heart. This is a great place to start. More and more territory can be included. It breaks the cycle of anger and arguing, but without force-feeding too much fake acceptance too early in the healing process.

Emmett Miller’s Sexual Intimacy is very helpful too, for similar reasons.

Thanks for asking the question!