The Couples Therapist "LAB":

An Opportunity for Supervision and Study with Hedy Schleifer, MA, LMHC in Washington, DC


Colleagues have reached out to Hedy Schleifer asking if she would create an opportunity for supervision and study with her. In response to these inquiries, the Tikkun Learning Center designed a special program: The Couples Therapist “LAB.”

The first series of "LAB"s took place in the Spring of 2014 in Washington, DC. Therapists brought their questions, interests, issues, concerns and frustrations which arise in their work with couples. In an atmosphere of exploration, study and discovery, Hedy focused on the next steps to take in order to bring increased ease, flow and power to the therapists' couples practice. Taking place once a month in Washington, DC, each Sunday session of the "LAB" has been approved for 6.5 CE hours

Hedy says: “The “LAB” will have as its focus the mapping of the premises of the Relational Paradigm. It will explore the theoretical, clinical and philosophical implications for welcoming couples into their deepest intimacies. It will also provide a setting for looking at the multi-faceted and creative role of the couples therapist and the growth edges of our competence. The program will be custom made to fit the professional interests of the group that will gather.”

Learnings from the previous "LAB" sessions

Here are some of the learnings from the January 2014 "LAB":

  • The concept of the therapist as "leader" stepping into the capacity to lead in the direction of living life and thriving, versus coping and surviving.
  • The importance of the readiness of the therapist for 100% engagement with the couple.
  • The essential commitment of the therapist to show up in their full aliveness.
  • The importance for us therapists to keep looking at our own growth edge and our own adaptive mechanisms that keep us from being able to enter into the deepest connection with our clients.
  • The creation of safety for the couple as a dedicated primary task and a bottom line responsibility.
  • The therapist's responsibility to inspire the couple to take 100% responsibility for the relational space between them.
  • The importance of the therapist's calmness, presentness, preparedness and self-discipline.
  • Slowing down the pace of the work to create full presence and limbic resonance.
  • The distinction between the therapist as the expert in fixing the problem, versus the guide in opening possibilities for generative growth.
  • The distinction between the two hats: the hat of the therapist and the hat of the leader, and the wisdom to know which one to wear when.

The February 2014 “LAB” yielded some core learnings for all of the participants. Five of them stand out:

  1. Developing and deepening the generative metaphor of the "neighborhoods" of our worlds
  2. Slowing down the therapeutic process to make sure that connections are made "essence to essence."
  3. Embracing every single moment of the process as in welcoming all the "guests" from the Rumi poem: The Guest House.
  4. Entering implicit memory by conjuring up the childhood climate through the actual "address" of the childhood home.
  5. Bringing the "All is Well" frame of mind to keep one's lightness of being in the therapeutic process.

Session three, the March 2014 "LAB", yielded some productive learnings, both from the lecture portion on "When a couple says Good Bye", and from the live demonstration about the depth of the encounter and the importance of the therapist as "choreographer."


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How to Rebuild Your Life Together After an Affair

Watch this clip from the newly released AFFAIRS: A Step-by-Step Process for Reconnection video program.

“Healing After an Affair” is a two-day experience developed by Hedy, for the repair of the rupture, in the relational bond of couples, created by an affair. The private intensive session results in re-connection, restores compassion, forgiveness and intimacy, teaches how to make authentic mutual amends, and rebuilds mutual trust for a new future together.

Watch Hedy’s TED talk
About the three invisible connectors:
“the Space, the Bridge, and the Encounter”