Mary-Linda Sara’s Philosophy

I believe that along with all living matter, we bring into this world with us certain genetically determined drives and attributes. Among the former are the drive to propagate our species, a drive to grow, and a drive to heal our own wounds. Among the latter are intelligence, biochemical predisposition and gender.

I believe that, as the outside world impinges on us from the time we are born, our attributes become molded into patterns, some biochemical and/or physical, and some behavioral. These patterns help us survive and thrive as we grow toward full physical, emotional, and spiritual maturity.

I believe that each person is entitled to live life to its fullest spiritually, emotionally and physically. My aim is to help people achieve this goal in their lives. I focus my couples’ work on intentionally engaging each partner in achieving the realization of their individual goals because clarity and focus here will produce a healthier, more stable, revitalized partnership.

I acknowledge that effective therapy involves a considerable investment of time and resources, as well as requiring participants to be open and reflective. For these reasons I have chosen to exclude third parties from dictating the scope and duration of the therapy process. I believe that how much time a couple needs to realize their relationship goal is a personal decision.

I believe that the way we view those who took care of us in our early years contributes to the patterns we develop to manage our life and cope with others. I call this collage of images our Imago. Along with Harville Hendrix (founder of Imago Relationship Therapy), we believe that the awareness of this collage and an understanding of its implications is essential to unleashing our natural drive for a satisfying life.

Imago Relationship Therapy helps you to understand the “images” (Imago) you bring from childhood to your current behavior and communication patterns. Without fully understanding your Imago, you may choose inappropriate partners, engage in exhausting power struggles, and fritter away your natural gifts of joy and enthusiastic living. Aplying the principles of Imago Relationship Therapy in your intimate relationships umasks the unconscious and enlists its knowledge and energy in your developmental and mutual growth as a couple.

Although I am a certified Imago Relationship Therapist, I do not exclude the place of other modalities in reaching out to people. In fact, I also believe thatsome of our reactions to stress, such as depression, anxiety and/or compulsivity may be responsive to medication without exploration of our childhood patterns, including our Imago.

My therapy emphasizes self-responsibility and is directive, as well as reflective. I am more active than passive. I see myself as a coach and consultant who helps you stay focused. Your past becomes a reference point for understanding and insight, rather than a therapeutic objective. I believe it is more helpful to focus on the present and move forward, rather than spend therapy time exhaustively reexamining the past.

Medication may sometimes be needed during the therapy process. My intention is to make appropriate and comprehensive recommendations in light of each couple’s needs, goals and progress. When couples have the ability to ask for what they need and the skills to provide a safe and healing context for each other, our job as coaches is complete. I work thoughtfully toward that goal.

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