LW 2023 Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy: Teaching Couples the Art of Connection with Mary Kay Cocharo

LW 2023 Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy: Teaching Couples the Art of Connection with Mary Kay Cocharo



Live Broadcast Date(s)*:
Thursday, November 9, 2023
Friday, November 10, 2023

Live Broadcast Time(s)*:
10:00 am – 5:15 pm ET each day

Convert to your local time here

*Can’t Attend Live? This webinar will be recorded and archived. All registrants will be given unlimited access to the recording for a full year after the live broadcast date.


If you’re a therapist or coach who has ever felt frustrated or lost working with couples, this 12-hour online course is for you!

Get introduced to Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy (EcCT), a theory and methodology of conducting relationship therapy based on the work of Hedy Schleifer, Master Relationship Builder. EcCT helps individuals fully connect with their partners, allowing them to become more mature and creative together. It is used by trained therapists around the world and has been shown to be effective in facilitating deep communication and emotional connection for couples.

The principles of Encounter-Centered Couples Therapy can be incorporated with other modalities to create safety and deeper connection. Familiarizing yourself with EcCT will set you apart from your colleagues as you learn the structure to facilitate a 2-Day Intensive. These longer sessions encourage a process called ‘From Rupture to Repair’ in the intimate relationship. The structure will also serve clinicians who want to facilitate couples’ workshops and retreats.

Learning Objectives

  • Distinguish between an individual and a relational paradigm.
  • Review how neuroscience informs couples therapy.
  • Build a collaborative foundation with the couple for the work.
  • Identify the survival dance that disconnects couples.
  • Apply the Three Invisible Connectors to create safety and connection.
  • Facilitate Level Three learning to create lasting change.
  • Focus on the importance of co-regulation in the therapy room.
  • Structure a 2-Day Couples’ Intensive.



TimeTopics Covered
10:00-11:00 a.m.What makes couples therapy hard?
–Shifting from an Individual Paradigm to a Relational Paradigm

What EcCT can do for you as a therapist.

From the realm of communication to the realm of communion.
–The I and Thou of Martin Buber
–Unlocking the Emotional Brain by Bruce Ecker
–Leading from the Future by Otto Scharmer

11:00-11:15 a.m.Break
11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.Explore the underlying principles of EcCT
– Imago Relationship Theory
–Explaining the Safety to Connection to Passion pyramid
–Leading from the couple’s resources: what they love, what works, reasons to keep going

Guiding couples to create their wildest dreams
–deepest longings and highest aspirations for their relationship
–exploring essence

Group Exercise: Interviewing for the Wildest Dream and discussion of that process

Identifying the survival dance of the couple: what disconnects
–The Wygelians in the diner exercise

1:00-2:00 p.m.Lunch
2:00-3:15 pm

Learnings, re-learnings, surprises, and intrigues from the morning session

Discovering the distinction between Essence and Survival

The 3 Invisible Connectors in EcCT: The Space, The Bridge, and the Encounter

Video of couple going Over the Bridge

Study questions for group discussion of video

3:15-3:30 p.m.Break
3:30-5:15 p.m.

Facilitating visits to the precious neighbourhoods in the couples’ world

The art of Hosting/the art of Visiting


TimeTopics Covered
10:00-11:00 a.m.

Exploring the journey of relationship

What we know about neuroscience, connection survival, and connection

11:00-11:15 a.m.Break
11:15 a.m.-1:00 p.m.Co-regulation
–The Importance of a calm therapist

Teaching co-regulation

Establishing the languages of love

1:00-2:00 p.m.Lunch
2:00-3:15 p.m.Visits to the toughest neighbourhoods in the couple’s world
–Unraveling the survival knot of the couple
3:15-3:30 p.m.Break
3:30-5:15 p.m.

Visits to the past for memory reconsolidation

Building new neighbourhoods

CE Information

This training offers 12 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch). It is the participant’s responsibility to check with their individual state boards/regulatory body to verify CE requirements for their license to practice.

For Live Broadcast Attendees

Webinar attendance by participants is automatically tracked, documented and archived for future reference. Upon confirming you have attended 100% of the webinar and upon completion of a course evaluation, you will be issued a certificate of participation (see below).

For Attendees of the On-Demand/Recorded Version

If you cannot verify 100% attendance of the Live Broadcast or if you are watching the on-demand/recorded version of this webinar, you will need to complete a Post-Webinar Quiz with a pass of at least 80% in order to verify your attendance.

For US Participants

  • Instructions on how to obtain your Certificate of Attendance will be distributed either upon completion of the Live Broadcast or after participants pass the Post-Webinar Quiz following the On-Demand/Recorded version of the webinar.

More details about CEs for US participants

For Canadian and Non-US International Participants

Upon fulfilment of the above requirements, Canadian and non-US international participants will be issued a Certificate of Participation that includes:

  • Name of Participant
  • Title of Training
  • Name of Presenter plus their credentials
  • Number of hours of training
  • Date of training
  • Confirmation that you have passed a quiz with at least an 80% grade to verify your attendance


Please check carefully with your regulating body/organization that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CEUs.

More details about Continuing Education for Canadians and Non-US International participants

Who Should Attend?

Target Audience:

  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Clinical and Counselling Psychologists
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Pastoral Counsellors
  • Psychotherapists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Physicians
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Counsellors
  • Graduate Students in accredited programs in the above fields
  • Case Managers
  • Licensed Professional Counsellors
  • All other professionals who would like to develop, update or expand their skills and knowledge in mental health practices