Friday, May 17th 2019

12.30 p.m.




01.30 p.m.



Official opening and welcome with Mag.a Susanne Pointner (president Imago Austria) and Dr. Peter Stippl

(president of the Austrian professional association of psychotherapy)


02.00 p.m.












Prof. Joachim Bauer, PhD (presentation and discussion)

"Enabling or disabling developmental opportunities through mirroring and resonance - a neuroscientific perspective"

Presentation language: German, with English translation


People can respond to another person's verbal and body language signals through resonance by means of neural resonance

systems. Interpersonal resonances permits  two things: In one respect, they give the interlocutor initially experiencing

resonance (R) a concept of the inner well-being of the person sending the signals (A). In another, the resonance-experiencing

person (R) will express and send back the resonance through verbal and or body language to the person (A) initially provoking

the resonance. We (A) feel the resonance we trigger in the other (R). What returns to us (A) as resonance from the other (R), can

unfold a dynamic power in us, often in the sense of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Resonance which we give each other can enable or

disable our development.


03.00 p.m.




Communologue is an innovative group process for building an atmosphere of safety and inclusiveness that promotes deep

connection and discussion. All persons attending the conference will be involved, and small groups can be in language of choice.


04.00 p.m.


Coffee break


04.30 p.m.-

06.00 p.m.










Harville Hendrix, Ph. D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt, Ph. D. Co-Creators of Imago Relationship Theory (presentation and discussion)

"Journey to Wonder and Full Aliveness: Imago and the SPACE-BETWEEN"

Presentation language: English, with German translation


Where does therapy happen and what is the outcome? Traditionally, the location of therapy has been an exploration of our

inner world and the desired outcome has been freedom from our emotional pain and living in peace with ourselves and

others. This lecture will relocate the therapeutic process in the SPACE-BETWEEN, rather than the Space-Within, and propose

its outcome is the sensation of full aliveness and joy that is stimulated by the “felt sense” of connecting when the

SPACE-BETWEEN is reliably safe. Rather than mere relief from suffering, Imago is the conduit to the “felt experience”

of our true nature as connecting beings experiencing “belonging” in a connecting universe.


08:30 p.m.


Opening "Imago & More" - Ball on the occasion of the 20th jubilee of Imago in Austria

You can find more infos here

Saturday, May 18th 2019

10.00 a.m.










Harville Hendrix, PhD und Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD (Workshop)

"FINDING AND KEEPING THE LOVE: Experiencing Full Aliveness and Wonder in the SPACE-BETWEEN"

Workshop language: English, with German translation


Finding love and keeping it alive is the human dream. In this workshop, participants will learn how lovers find each other,

the interactions in the SPACE-BETWEEN that sustains or destroys love and practice skills that stimulate the sensation of

full aliveness and wonder. This workshop will include lectures, demonstrations and practice. It is open to all persons

interested in having a thriving, wonderous relationship and to therapists who help others find and keep love.  Participants

should come with a partner (spouse, friend, colleague etc.) in order to practice techniques.



11.30 a.m.


Coffee break



12.00 a.m.



Harville Hendrix, PhD und Helen LaKelly Hunt, PhD (resumption of the 10.00 a.m. workshop)

Workshop language: English, with German translation



01.30 a.m.


Lunch break













Choose between 5 parallel Workshops, 03.00 - 05.30 p.m.


Workshop A

Facilitator: Maya Kollman, MA

"Staying Calm in the Eye of the Storm: How to Manage Your Own Reactivity with a Couple in Crisis"

Workshop language: English, with German translation


When couple’s come to our office, they are often in a state of despair. They don’t understand despite their many efforts

why they can’t connect with each other.  They experience their disconnects as dangerous and a sign that something is

wrong with them and the relationship.  Our job as therapists is to provide a pathway for them to repair their ruptures so

that the ruptures are no longer cause for a sense of hopelessness and failure.  We live in a society where success means

you are happy all the time.  We are not prepared for the inevitable ups and downs of our relationships.  We do not

understand that our conflicts and ruptures are growth trying to happen.  In this training you will learn about your role as

a regulator of a dis-regulated system.  Of course the place where this is most difficult is when the rupture involves an

infidelity or a chronic addiction or domestic violence. When a crisis of this nature shows up in our office  it is even more

vital that we explore our own biases and triggers so we can stay neutral and grounded.  In this training, you will have a

chance to explore your own triggers and what gets in the way of you being able to be calm in the face of the pain and

upset in your office.  You will gain tools to quiet the stormy waters, so that a couple can move from their reptile into their

frontal lobe and become a team in service of the relationship.


Learning Objectives:

1: Understand the gold underneath the crisis that is presenting itself.

2: Explain the therapists role in establishing a safe and empathic structure when couples are polarized and in crisis.

3: Utilize Imago processes to promote secure attachment and emotion regulation in an insecure, dys-regulated couple system.

4: Describe and clinically use a relational neuroscience model to enhance the dialogue.

5: Assess the therapists counter-transference and potential for vicarious traumatization when working with crisis couples.



Workhop B

Facilitators: Mag.a Elisabeth Gatt-Iro and Mag. Dr. Stefan Gatt

 "Courage to Liveliness - Expressing feelings to inspire couple relationships"

 Workshop language: German (with English translation!)


We feel alive when we are well connected with our body, are well in general and can feel and express our feelings freely.

However, in everyday life, we find that we cannot, in fact, do that due to stress, social and cultural conventions and our inner,

unconscious patterns. We recognize that something inhibits our ability to feel and express our feelings by feeling unmotivated,

drained, tired and tense. We don't feel at home in our own bodies and can't tap into our happiness, joy of life and desires and

often also experience conflict with our most beloved person. In this workshop, we offer theoretical concepts on feelings and

bodywork as well as exercises to try out (including on yourself) and sentence stems leading from self-reflection to dialogues.




Expressing feelings






Workshop C

Facilitator: Florian Bösel

 "Theatre as a mirror of therapy work“

Workshop language: German (no English translation!)


This workshop lets you think outside the Imago box. It shows how issues from everyday therapy can be represented creatively

using methods and exercises from theatre pedagogy in order to create inspiration for our therapy work.

Although Imago therapy sessions stir up many things on the inside, physical activity is often neglected. This is why it might be

valuable for couples as well as therapists to use other methods in order to relax and get in the right mood for a dialogue. The very

aim of Imago therapy is similar to that of acting, as well; not only in that both fields require partners to accept each other’s offers.

Theatre pedagogy provides methods for exploring group dynamics as well as personal traits. It also helps sharpen the eye for

aesthetics; and in the end, finding beauty in each other often proves to be half the battle for a struggling couple.

I am looking forward to an engaging workshop experience with participants who are eager to try out new things. Previous theatre

experience is not required.



Workshop D

Facilitators: Wiebke and Ingo Anton

“The power of emotions in family systems – strengthening bonds and creating a new sense of togetherness”

Workshop language: German (no English translation!)

Every family has a story...
Different roles and responsibilities, different expectations; families have dynamics. Patterns are passed down over generations.

Whereas in couples’ relationships “only” two worlds may clash, family members live in many different worlds; misunderstandings,

conflicts and even profound power struggles are often inevitable. Soon, what should be a foundation and a safe haven becomes

a burden. Ultimately, it is not uncommon for families to break apart.


In this workshop, we want to present exercises that will support you in creating new family bonds and in helping family members

to realize their roles, understand their needs and break old patterns.


theory: understanding families better

case examples: from practice for practice

exercises: family dialogue try-outs



Workshop E

Facilitators: Claudia Luciak-Donsberger, PhD and Mikael Luciak, PhD

"The power of forgiveness“

Workshop language: English (no German translation)


Drawing from our own experiences as well as discussions with workshop participants, we want to look at how the act of

forgiving can nurture personal growth. At the same time, we want to acknowledge challenges caused by unresolved

personal wounds which might obstruct the process of forgiving.

How do we, as therapists, deal with the issue of forgiving? When do we personally find it easy or difficult to forgive? Do

we wish to be forgiven for anything ourselves?

Through various exercises and dialogues, participants in this workshop will get the chance to reflect on how they, personally,

deal with forgiveness. Worksheets used in the exercises can later be used when working with couples seeking therapeutic

help because of attachment wounds.


“Forgiveness is the way we return what has been taken from us and restore the love and kindness and trust that has been

lost. With each act of forgiveness, whether small or great, we move toward wholeness.”  Desmond Tutu



07.30 p.m.


Guided city tour "Tradition and modernity in Vienna"



Sunday, May 19th 2019

09.00 a.m.


















Eva Wessely (presentation and discussion)

 “Imago – attachment right from the start. Working on the family climate”Prese
Presentation language: German, with English translation


The concept presented in this workshop tries to connect the SAFE programme, developed by Karl Heinz Brisch, with IMAGO

therapy, developed by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt. It can help expectant parents to learn how secure bonds are

created and strengthened.


Mirroring as an integral part of conscious communication is an art form which needs to be (re-)learnt as an adult. It may

initially feel difficult to use it in a way such that we can understand and experience its connecting effects. However, parents of an

infant will soon realize that mirroring is the very starting point for our language.


Couples often talk too little about changes and challenges that come along with the birth of a child. Sometimes, there is also a

lack of understanding of how to constructively discuss feelings of being overloaded or frustrated. Functioning as a parent takes

priority over personal needs. In connecting the SAFE and IMAGO approaches, our concept focuses on practicing a conscious and

appreciative IMAGO attitude within the family. The combination of recent attachment research, neurobiological findings and the

IMAGO concept draws out a way in which friendly family climates can be created and preserved.



10.00 a.m.


Coffee break


10.30 a.m.
















Claudia Luciak-Donsberger, PhD and Mikael Luciak, PhD (presentation and discussion)             

“Forgiveness as a sign of (self) love”                                         

Presentation Language: English, with German translation   


Emotional injuries and wounds are part of every partnership. Sometimes, however, they are so severe that it becomes

difficult for us to forgive our partners or ourselves. This is when they turn into obstacles to a fulfilling relationship and start

draining our vitality. Anger, hostility, shame or feelings of guilt make us withdraw from each other and lose connection with our

partners and ourselves. In couples therapy, we seek to re-establish secure emotional connections and promote resilience by

working on attachment wounds caused, for example, by an affair.


The core questions we want to address in our presentation are: How can we support couples in the challenging process of

regaining trust? What kind of interventions are needed before the actual process of forgiving can be started? And how can partners

forgive the seemingly “unforgivable” without compromising their own boundaries, dignity and self-respect? We want to examine

different effective approaches and interventions that can enable people to forgive themselves and others, as well as suggest ways

in which these methods may be used in an Imago dialogue.


11.30 a.m.