TIM & ANNA
Tim & Anna met as graduate students in 1987. Although they were at the same university, it was at a Halloween party when they first laid eyes on each other. The rest of this story of unlikely pairing is playfully shared at their Getting the Love You Want Workshops!
As with most romantic relationships, it was their similarities which appeared to draw them together. They talked about almost every subject as they explored their own stories, family experiences, their passions and interests. Discovering early on that their shared love of reading, movies, long hikes, music, and family connections. They had a wealth of ideas and values to discuss.
Fairly quickly they discovered that while they were compatible in many ways, they were remarkably dissimilar from one another. Anna is expressive. As a classic extrovert, she often feels the need to sort through even the smallest issue or concern aloud and in connection with others.Tim is a self-proclaimed introvert, socialized through teaching and relationships, he typically finds long periods of engagement fatiguing and often needs time and space to think and sort things through in the quiet of his own mind.
Tim is happiest on a wind-swept beach meditating or in the yard puttering, listening to music, or perhaps at a Blue Jay’s game. He is an avid sports fan, a music lover, and a philosopher. His introvertedness and his distancing can be experienced as rejection for Anna.
While Anna also enjoys and requires solitude and peace, she is passionate about relationships and forming deep and meaningful connections. Anna has always understood that she is a ‘highly sensitive person’, as defined by Elaine Aron. This combination of outgoing and highly sensitive has been a conundrum for both Anna & Tim. Her desire to process can be overwhelming for Tim.
Their family systems were also both very similar and strikingly different. In each of their upbringings Anna & Tim felt acutely responsible for the well-being of their families. The striking difference is that while Tim’s family did not express feelings openly at all, Anna’s family didn’t hold much, if anything back.
As Tim & Anna grew to know one another over the years, and over the course of raising two strong, caring and connected young men, their differences became even more apparent and they found that they were often in conflict.
When they first sought couples therapy, while their children were still quite young, they experienced some limited but positive outcomes. They learned how to share the load of home and family care more equitably, and explored their different ways of communicating. They paid attention more closely to Anna’s tendency to over-communicate and Tim’s to under-communicate. However, what they did not learn was what to do with these differences and how to ‘mine’ them to create more understanding and empathy for one another.
It wasn’t until 2008 when Anna met an IMAGO therapist who became her clinical supervisor, that they began to learn how to bridge their differences. Encouraged to study IMAGO therapy herself, Anna began a new and exciting phase in her counselling career. With an existing passion for helping relationships heal and grow, her desire to develop an IMAGO practice became more crystallized. Anna’s previous work in transactional analysis fit remarkably well with the work of the founders of IMAGO therapy, Harville Hendrix & Helen LaKelly Hunt.
When Anna was required to attend a ‘Getting the Love You Want’ workshop as part of her certification to become an IMAGO therapist, Tim agreed to join her for the experience itself, but also to demonstrate his support. From that point on there was no turning back.
When, in 2014, Maureen Brine, faculty member of Imago Relationships International, was offering the Workshop Presenter’s course in Toronto, It was Tim who suggested that they both sign up! They have been engaged in co-facilitating the Getting The Love You Want workshop, and developing further related programs ever since.