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IRI Research Study Crowdsourcing Project


Imago Relationships International needs your help. We will be conducting an important study to understand the reach and impact of the Imago therapy and how best to increase these going forward. This study will not only benefit IRI, but also the therapists who help to spread the therapy through workshops and in their individual practices.

Soon after the publication of Getting the Love You Want in 1988 by Harville Hendrix, with his wife Helen LaKelly Hunt, sales reached over a million copies. And with the good fortune of strategic marketing, Hendrix made his first of 18 appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show to explain his new approach to helping couples in challenging marriages, thereby launching his work into worldwide renown.

Imago, as Hendrix’s theory has come to be known in practice is used by thousands of therapists and counselors in over 40 countries. “Imago” in Latin means image. Why we are attracted to the partners we choose and why relationships can become difficult is explained in this theory. Couples can begin to learn Imago relationship skills during a weekend Getting the Love You Want workshop led by a specially trained Imago practitioner. Or, after reading Getting the Love You Want, couples can attend a workshop to strengthen their understanding of and deepen their skills.

Thirty years after this work was introduced, Imago has spread to over 40 countries. A study undertaken in 2013 showed that highly distressed participant couples showed significant positive change after 12 weeks of treatment. Although many couples in the control group improved, they remained at a distressed level throughout the time of the study.

Shortcomings of the study were identified as small sample size and homogeneous sample group, mostly white, which limited proven effectiveness. Clearly, further investigation of the effectiveness of Imago therapy is warranted.

Proposed Study

In the interest of discovery and adding to the empirical findings that establish Imago therapy as an evidence-based intervention, the Imago Relationships International, Inc., (IRI) will sponsor a follow up research study to replicate and extend findings from an earlier study. Additionally, this new investigation will address some limitations of the 2013 study by including significantly more couples, having a more diverse sample of participants, using independent assessment of relationship quality as well as self-reported marital satisfaction, and extending treatment for couples who could benefit from more sessions.


The total budget is $228,000 to support this ambitious study. A complete itemized budget is available upon request.

Significant details:
Money raised prior to match announcement: $74,000
Money pledged to the match: $50,000
Money raised since match announcement: $12,000
Money needed for full match: $38,000
Total shortfall: $92,000

Click Here to Donate

Impact Statement

The results from this study will add to the information base of interventions that work in couples therapy. This information will impact our ability to attract therapists to our trainings and couples to our workshops. The research outcomes will propel Imago to spread good relationships to every street corner of the world!

Make a donation to this research project to show evidence of the effectiveness of Imago. The success of the project will help to democratize Imago, making it available and affordable to the whole world. Healing the world, one relationship at a time.

Project Contact

Tani Strain, Past Chair IRI
Email: tanistrain@hotmail.com

Imago Relationships International, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible within the laws and regulations of the United States.