February 06, 2016

Couples Therapy with Hedy Schleifer

One of the things that started me on this journey of formally becoming a Life Coach was when I did some couples therapy with a former partner. I knew what I was looking for in terms of improvement (lol) in our relationship so I went looking for a particular kind of therapist.

"Good communication" is that thing that is so often touted as the most important thing in a relationship and our efforts were feeling very far from good. As often happens in my life, just the right information found me at this time and I'm not even quite sure where it came from. I had heard about Imago therapy and at its core it's is about learning to have a dialogue with another person where you really listen, or are listened too. Where you get to make sure that you really heard what was said, or that the other person really heard what you said, and where in the end, true shared understanding is created. That's exactly what I was looking for.

It didn't "save" my relationship, and yet it did at the same time. We were going to a bad place, and this got us to a better one where we regained a whole lot of understanding, kindness and respect for one another and we remain very good friends. I'm constantly grateful for that.

Fast forward 4 years and when I was doing my life coach training the things I learned from Imago therapy kept coming up. And then when I started working with people, perhaps the most common issue that kept arising was the troubles in relationships. I thought I could be of so much more service if I worked with couples directly. I just wasn't sure how to go about that, but the idea kept on poking me in the ribs.

So in 2014, after reading Eat Pray Love for perhaps the sixth time, when I came upon that section where Liz decides she wants a spiritual teacher, and then promptly finds one, I decided "I want a couples therapy teacher." About a week later I discovered Hedy Schleifer's TED talk via a friend's facebook post. And I was in love. I had found my teacher.

Hedy Schleifer has been an Imago therapist for maybe as long as I've been alive, and so over the years she has turned it into something uniquely hers. And this woman speaks my language. I mean she speaks about 6 languages, she dresses like Martha Graham, wears incredible jewelry, and speaks directly to my heart.

I became determined to do Hedy's 3-day couples therapy training, maybe even a little obsessed. That always seems to work for me! So when I sold my houseboat on the Toronto Island, I invested in a life-changing escape from winter with a trip to Mexico and then to Los Angeles to learn from Hedy.

And there we are.