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Embracing Duality and Unity: The Lovers Archetype and Therapeutic Tarot

In the practice of therapeutic tarot, the Major Arcana cards offer profound insights and guidance for healing and self-discovery. Among these archetypes, The Lovers card stands out, symbolizing duality, choice, harmony, and deep connections. This article explores The Lovers archetype and its relevance to trauma-informed therapy and Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, providing practical guidance for therapists and clients to harness its healing potential.

The Lovers Major Arcana
Harmony, Connection, & Sacred Relations

Understanding The Lovers Tarot Card & Archetype:

The Lovers card represents dualities and choices, embodying themes of harmony, romance, deep friendship, and sacred love. It signifies the unity of opposites, the interplay of divine feminine and masculine energies, and the potential for deep, soulful connections. This card invites us to love and be loved, to establish healthy boundaries, and to recognize soulmates as partners in our journey towards wholeness. Conversely, The Lovers also warns against codependency and deceit, highlighting the importance of maintaining authenticity and integrity in relationships.

The Lovers Archetype and Trauma-Informed Therapy:

Trauma-informed therapy emphasizes the creation of a safe and supportive environment where individuals can heal from past traumas. The themes of The Lovers—love, connection, and harmony—align beautifully with this approach, promoting the healing of relational wounds and the restoration of trust.

Key Points:

  • Healthy Boundaries: Trauma often disrupts our ability to establish and maintain healthy boundaries. The Lovers encourages clients to recognize and honor their own needs and boundaries in relationships.

  • Restoring Trust: Trauma can severely damage our capacity to trust others. The Lovers archetype promotes the rebuilding of trust through genuine, loving connections.

  • Unity and Wholeness: Healing involves integrating all parts of ourselves—our wounds, gifts, desires, and beliefs. The Lovers card symbolizes this journey towards wholeness, uniting the fragmented aspects of our being.

The Lovers and IFS Therapy:

Internal Family Systems (IFS) therapy, developed by Dr. Richard Schwartz, focuses on understanding and harmonizing the various parts of our psyche. The Lovers card, with its emphasis on duality and unity, resonates deeply with the IFS approach, encouraging the integration of our internal parts.

Key Points:

  • Self-Love: IFS therapy teaches clients to connect with their Self, the core of their being that is calm, compassionate, and wise. The Lovers card reinforces the importance of self-love and acceptance as foundational to healing.

  • Integrating Parts: Just as The Lovers unites dualities, IFS therapy helps clients understand and harmonize the different parts of their psyche. This process involves embracing and loving all aspects of ourselves, including those that have been wounded by trauma.

  • Healthy Relationships: By fostering self-love and internal harmony, clients can cultivate healthier, more authentic relationships with others. The Lovers card guides this process, promoting vulnerability, honesty, and connection.

  • Practical Application: Lovers Meditation Exercise

The Lovers Archetype Meditation Exercise:

One effective tool to integrate The Lovers' wisdom into therapeutic practice is the Lovers Meditation Exercise. This meditation can help clients and therapists connect with their inner and outer relationships, fostering self-love and harmony.


  1. Create a Sacred Space: Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take several deep breaths to center yourself.

  2. Visualize The Lovers: Imagine The Lovers card before you, symbolizing harmony, love, and connection. Feel the presence of this archetype.

  3. Reflect on Relationships: Think about your relationships with others and with yourself. Consider areas where you may need to establish healthier boundaries or restore trust.

  4. Embrace Duality: Visualize the divine feminine and masculine energies within you, coming together in harmony. Embrace all parts of yourself, recognizing their value and importance.

  5. Affirmation: Repeat the mantra: “Mastering self-love is the key to balancing the duality of relationships. I step into vulnerability consciously.”

  6. Reflect: Take a few moments to reflect on any insights or feelings that arose during the meditation. Journal about your experience if it feels right.

Evidence-Based Support:

  1. Trauma-Informed Therapy: Research highlights the importance of creating safe, supportive environments for trauma survivors. The Lovers’ emphasis on connection and trust aligns with these principles, promoting relational healing (Herman, 1997; Courtois & Ford, 2009).

  2. IFS Therapy: Studies on IFS therapy show its effectiveness in treating trauma-related symptoms by helping clients integrate and harmonize their internal parts (Schwartz, 2019; Anderson & Stewart, 2020).

  3. Self-Love and Relationships: Research indicates that self-love and self-compassion are crucial for mental health and well-being, positively impacting our relationships with others (Neff, 2003; Germer & Neff, 2013).

Resources for Further Exploration:


  • "Internal Family Systems Therapy" by Richard C. Schwartz provides a comprehensive guide to IFS therapy.

  • "The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma" by Bessel van der Kolk explores holistic approaches to trauma healing.

  • "Tarot for Your Self: A Workbook for Personal Transformation" by Mary K. Greer offers guidance on using tarot as a tool for self-discovery and healing.

Online Resources:

  • The Trauma Center at the Justice Resource Institute ( offers resources and training on trauma treatment.

  • The Internal Family Systems Institute ( provides information, workshops, and training on IFS therapy.

  • Insight Timer ( is a meditation app with guided practices for healing and self-love.

Professional Organizations:

  • The American Psychological Association (APA) offers resources on trauma psychology and evidence-based therapies (

  • The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) provides education and networking for professionals working with trauma survivors (


By embracing the wisdom of The Lovers, therapists and clients can foster deeper connections with themselves and others, promoting healing, harmony, and self-discovery. The Lovers invites us all to balance the dualities within us, to love authentically, and to shine our light in our relationships and partnerships.

With love, AGLOW

Stacy Ruse, LPC, RYI, EMDR & IFS Consultant

Stacy Ruse, LPC, is an esteemed Evergreen EMDR & IFS-Institute Consultant, and founder of Aglow Counseling. Stacy teaches a therapeutic style that is characterized by the art of EMDR & IFS therapies with a transpersonal twist, transcending the conventional boundaries of traditional therapy. Her holistic approach acknowledges the interconnectedness of mind, body, and spirit allowing individuals to tap into their innate resilience and ignite their personal transformation journey. As a trauma expert, national and international trainer, and clinical consultant, Stacy's approach is deeply rooted in trauma-informed methodologies.


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