NP0011 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?

This blog focuses on discussion regarding the course NP0011 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?

NP0011, Couples, Session 2, Hedy Schleifer


How can therapists most effectively work with emotion in the consulting room—particularly when it comes to couples therapy? Learn with internationally known couples therapist Hedy Schleifer how to help create a nourishing connection between partners, define a role as therapist-as-guide, and much more. Schleifer, who’s pioneered the training of Imago Relationship therapists internationally, will go into how to use this theory in practice and how to best work with emotions.

We encourage you to use the Comment Board as a way to engage with each other and the presenters in this course, to share what you felt was most interesting, to ask any questions you may have, and to reflect on what you’ve learned. What was most relevant for you in this session?

Thank you so much for your participation, and welcome to this relevant and important series. If you ever have any technical questions or issues, please feel free to email support@psychotherapynetworker.org.

12.12.2011   Posted In: NP0011 Who's Afraid of Couples Therapy?   By Psychotherapy Networker
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  • -0.1 avatar Lynne Clifton 12.14.2011 14:05
    Can you give some guidance on how to use your concepts in a traditional therapy setting? Thank you & I enjoyed this session very much. Lynne
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.14.2011 16:07
      Thank you Lynne for being the first one to respond to the interview. Your question is challenging, because as you heard I experimented with longer and longer sessions, because the traditional therapy setting did not allow for this sense of "there is all the time in the world.....". A 10 part DVD set is now available called Encounter-centered Couples Therapy. You can watch me do the full two day session with one couple. It will give you an idea of how you might apply the structure you heard me talk about in a more traditional therapy setting. Happy exploration!
  • 0 avatar Anne Desmond 12.14.2011 14:09
    Today's talk with Rich Simon gave me a glimpse into your work that is absolutely THRILLING. I am an Imago Relatiohship Therapist working with couples. I am no longer part of a couple. What format of your training could I participate in without a partner? Anne
    • Not available avatar Geoffrey 12.14.2011 15:09
      Hello Anne
      Thank you for watching Hedy's interview.
      Hedy will be leading a three-day training for therapists in Miami on February 3-5, 2012. Although spouse/partners are welcome to attend, it is a training for therapists.
      The training also provides 21 CEUs for your license, and also 21 Imago CEUs.
      You can find more information on the training at http://www.hedyyumi.com/?p=2809

      If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 305-604-0010 or Geoffrey@HedyYumi.com

      Warm Regards,
      Office of Hedy and Yumi Schleifer
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.14.2011 16:11
      Anne, thanks for the expression of your excitement. Come and join me at the three-day Encounter-centered Couples Therapy training I will be doing in Miami in February. I will be teaching the step-by-step structure and show videoclips. It will be a joy to meet you.
  • 0 avatar liz landsberg 12.14.2011 14:10
    Information was creative and novel - however how does one allocate 2 full days and expect to be reimbursed by insurance companies? I'm not sure that I would be able to commit to that kind of structure. Is there any way that concepts could be integrated into 60-90 minute sessions? Liz from NYC
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.14.2011 16:16
      Thanks for the appreciative feedback Liz. As you can see you are not the only one wondering about the application of this model to a more traditional therapy setting. I have encouraged people to join me for the three day Encounter-centered Couples Therapy training that I will be doing in Miami in February. Getting marinated in the model for three full days might inspire you on how to modify it and bring it home to your clinical setting.
  • Not available avatar Janna Becherer 12.14.2011 14:13
    I am curious about the 13-minute "worst" conversation. How does it occur? Does one spouse describe it? Or does the couple actually enact the conversation?

    I also enjoyed hearing and seeing you, Hedy; the deep encounter is intriguing to me.
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.14.2011 16:22
      Hey Janna. This is my very first time responding just like that on a board in cyber space. Thanks for reaching out. Yes! The 13 minutes is an invitation to the couple to just "Go For IT!" You might enjoy getting the new 10 part DVD set I am just releasing, in which I was filmed doing my two day work with one couple. You will see all the segments of the intensive, including the famous "Wygelian couple int the Diner". The DVD is available on my website at www.hedyyumi.com
  • Not available avatar Yehoshua 12.14.2011 20:40
    Hedy, I was thrilled and excited by your presentation the energy that poured off my computer screen was refreshing and I was spell bound for the entire session. I'm new to couples therapy as a mental health professional. I've had previous experience as a rabbi in dealing with couples in the congregations I've been with past and present. Do you have a book or CD out that I could read that might help me get a shmear of what you've got? I can't make it down your way; wish I could, I'd take my wife along in a heartbeat. I'd love to hear more about the sexual encounter approach that you and your husband have developed. Will you be publishing more information on that? Thank you for making yourself available to us via this medium. Blessings & nachas.
    • 0 avatar Florence Calhoun 12.14.2011 22:02
      Hi Hedy, thanks for an exciting and informative presentation. Your model sounds very interestng and I will follow your website for more information about your work. I was struck by your approach in guiding couples to engage in the content of their polluted relationship through the concept of "visiting neighborhoods." This allows the therapist to observe, guide, and teach without having to join them in their battle with content. Very interesting.
      • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.15.2011 08:37
        Hey Florence. It's delightful to know that you "got me"! Come join me in Miami in February. I am doing a three day training in Encounter-centered Couples Therapy. It will be delightful to meet you in person. Warm blessings for a wonderful new year 2012!
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.15.2011 08:34
      Yehoshua, I love the expression "getting a shmear" of what I've got. Thank you for the energy you are sending my way. Yes I do have "stuff" for a shmear: 2 CDs,The Miracle of Connection and Crossing the Bridge, a documentary DVD called Hedy and Yumi: Crossing the Bridge, and now a newly released 10 part DVD called Encounter-centered Couples Therapy, a videotaped two day session with one couple. You can find it all on my web site at www.hedyyumi.com. Happy Chanukah!
  • Not available avatar Sneha Nikam 12.17.2011 03:07
    Dear Hedy Ma'am,

    Enjoyed watching session. A very different approach and perspective altogether what you are practicing. Liked the concept of externalizing and viewing the relationship, also of communication through touch of skin, and making an attempt of going towards the other side of bridge to actually know the person. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experiences. Also the concept of 3 years of MA in Encountered Centered Couples Therapy is absolutely great, I am sure it will be life time experiece for students. All my best wishes to you and psychotherapy network organisation.

    Mumbai (INDIA).
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.18.2011 15:32
      Dear Sneha, how lovely to hear your voice from Mumbai. You did GET ME! Best wishes, Hedy
  • Not available avatar Ishita Sangra 12.17.2011 15:56
    Dear Hedy,
    what an exciting and energy filled presentation.... ! It was as if you took me on this incredible journey of couples therapy. I could visualise myself being there with you in The Space, On the bridge and withnessing the encounter.. thank you very much for such an insightful presentation... !! Can you please send me the link to your website..

    warm Regards
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.18.2011 15:25
      Dear Ishita, so wonderful to hear from you. You can reach me at wqww.hedyyumi.com. I look forward to connect with you
  • Not available avatar michel B. 12.17.2011 18:59
    Listening to your video w Rich Simon was a most singular experience. It made me think of the difference between journalism and poetry, where you are the indisputable poet/alchemist. Not surprising for someone who quotes Marcel Proust, mon auteur prefere.
    This was inspiring and is going to make me rethink about how I do couples work. I will now look for the quintessential in the relationship rather than concentrating on peeling the orange.
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.18.2011 15:27
      Dear michel, i love your metaphor of looking for the quintessential in the relationship rather than concentrating on peeling the orange. I recognize a Marcel Proust lover!
  • Not available avatar Peter Culross 12.18.2011 03:44
    The image / metaphor that was stimulated for me by this very charismatic lady was of Moses leading his people to cross the Red Sea / bridge and delivering them from the poluted and troubled neighbourhood of Egypt / Wygelia to the Holy Promised Land / precious neighbourhood, having been there himself and wanting to release his fellow Israelites from their bondage and suffering. Unfortunately, I missed the name of the guy who spoke to Moses from the burning bush that Rich and Hedy mentioned a few times! I also like that Moses / Hedy has produced the 10 commandments / part DVD! Shalom!
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.18.2011 15:29
      Dear Peter, thank you for the image of Moses. It reminds me of the Psalm: "I called out to you from my narrowness, and you responded with expansiveness". Shalom, Hedy
  • Not available avatar Peter Culross 12.18.2011 17:39
    I believe the name Moses means "one who draws out" in the sense of "deliverer"... As the story goes, Moses was humble in the face of the people's acclaim as a great coach / magician and said, "These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt." Yahweh!
  • 0 avatar Lee Crespi 12.19.2011 18:27
    I am inspired and deeply moved by Hedy's presentation. Her use of metaphor, particularly the neighborhoods, is brilliant. I felt intimidated to even consider applying the approach and yet in my session this evening with a couple who yearn for more connection I found myself introducing some of the concepts, and felt I was able to more actively encourage them to reach for each other. I am very excited to learn more of this approach and look forward to viewing some of the material on her website.
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.20.2011 14:03
      Dear Lee, I am very excited to hear you go from a sense of intimidation to empowerment. Welcome to our site. I look forward to meeting you one day in person. may blessings for the New Year 2012
  • Not available avatar Martha Gunzburg 12.19.2011 23:01
    I do love your metaphors. How those images awaken the couple's right hemisphere where our deepest emotions and yearnings lie, and bypasses the constrictions of the left hemisphere. what made those metaphors really come alive was the energy, passion, love and intensity with which you spoke about them. What ever metaphor you chose would have worked because they embodied you. I believe that's what will live inside of them, that will get stored in their implicit memory. What I plan to immediately apply is to be more insistent about the couple facing each other, looking at each other (so often they stare straight ahead) and invite them to touch hands while talking to each other. Thank you for an enlivening and enlightening presentation.
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.20.2011 14:07
      Hey Martha, what a joy to know you embraced so deeply the metaphors that come from so deep inside me. I love knowing that you will encourage couples to "be" with each other in this deep way that indeed gets indelibly stored in the implicit memory. Blessings for the New Year, HEDY
  • Not available avatar Barb Wolfe 12.20.2011 00:23
    Thank you very much. Your use of metaphor so beautiful. I enjoyed your insights so much. Is the training in Miami in Febuary still open? You are a great encouragement and you are so full of positive energy! Your use of language feels so familiar and the images you stir up in my imagination so real. I feel like I have met a fellow tribeswoman,,,Thanks again. I hope to met you and continue to learn from you.
    • Not available avatar Hedy Schleifer 12.20.2011 14:08
      Hey fellow tribeswoman, yes the training is still open, and it would be a joy to meet you in person. Many blessings for a happy and fulfilling 2012, Hedy
  • Not available avatar Mimi Alexander 12.20.2011 23:58
    You have made couples therapy accessible for me! I was quite moved by you! I could feel myself deeply engaged! I loved the intention of touch! Wow! Someone else besides me values this in therapy. Whew, what a breath of fresh air you are! Truly a gift to our profession and to me. I will look forward to one day learning from you. Blessings, love, and light for a spectacular 2012!!!
  • Not available avatar Cathy McDermott 03.04.2012 06:08
    Dear Hedy(and Rich) - I am an Imago Relationship Therapist living and working in London. I want to thank you both for this interview and the generousity of spirit in sharing such detail about your approach and you're way of working Hedy...and for this Psychotherapy Network, Rich - THANK YOU
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