At Her Core

Hedy Schleifer is an internationally-renowned master relationship builder and motivational speaker. Her beloved life’s work is guiding people in relationships to experience the most alive and joyful connection with each other.

“Relationships are not problems to be solved, but adventures to be LIVED!”

Meet Hedy


Hedy has dedicated her personal and professional lives to the exploration of relationship building and the development of relational intelligence and maturity. She has 40 years of professional experience with a BA from UCLA in Psychology and an MA in Clinical and Child Psychology from Tel Aviv University, as well as over 55 years of personal experience in her marriage to Yumi and her living relational laboratory. Hedy believes that world peace begins with the human family, and can best be achieved by creating strong, committed, and growing partnerships of all kinds.


Hedy’s current work with Encounter-centered Transformation™ (EcT) has its roots in Hedy’s earlier work: Encounter-centered Couples Therapy® which is an approach Hedy has practiced and taught for decades.

While Hedy no longer offers this work in a therapeutic setting, her innovative, integrative and affirming Encounter-centered Transformation™ approach to the creation of strong, productive, and creative relationships forms the core of her work. Using this approach, Hedy educates and guides couples through private intensives, and trains mental health professionals, coaches, leaders. and executives in EcT so that they can share her approach to relationships with the people they serve.


Hedy’s early career started in private practice where she counseled people affected with AIDS during the height of the crisis. She has also focused much of her attention assisting and empowering women to reach their full potential. Through the creation of a chapter of the Foundation for  Mid-East Communication, Hedy was given a unique opportunity to work on Muslim-Christian-Jewish relations. Through that experience, Hedy dove deep into teachings about conflict dissolution and relational maturity, which she has brought to all of her work.


Hedy speaks seven languages and has taught and provided her approach to relationships in more than 39 countries worldwide. Revered by students and clients all over the world, Hedy proudly works with people of all races, ethnicities, religions, and sexual and gender orientations.


Hedy is the subject of the documentary, “Hedy and Yumi Crossing the Bridge,” which won Best Documentary at the 2009 LA Femme Film Festival in Hollywood, California and tells the story of her life’s work through the lens of her relationship with her husband and professional partner, Yumi, Hedy was hand-selected to be one of the featured therapists on the Emmy-nominated Israeli TV show, “Couples Therapy.” Her talk at TEDxTelAviv on The Power of Connection is not to be missed.

In 1996 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, embraced it as an adventure to be lived, and renamed cancer the “cellular challenge.” In 2016, a new diagnosis of breast cancer prompted Hedy to respond by writing the book, “The Diary of an Amazon: Joining the Clan of the One-breasted Woman.”


Hedy was born in Lausanne, Switzerland and was raised in Antwerp, Belgium. She married and lived in Israel, but today, she calls Washington D.C. home. Hedy and her beloved husband Yumi z”l have two sons, 13 grandchildren, and four great grandchildren.

Hedy’s Approach

Encounter-centered Transformation™ is a beautifully-integrative and interdisciplinary model for relationship building created by Hedy. It lies at the intersection of philosophy, clinical theory, organizational methodology, and relational neurobiology and based on four main pillars: the philosophy of Martin Buber, Imago Relationship Theory and Practice, Appreciative Inquiry and the new frontier of Relational Neurobiology and Memory Reconsolidation. It is an approach that promotes transformational change, a visceral, cellular and internal shift, one that is dependable and sustainable. As new empirical studies have shown, good and strong relationships help the brain change and develop in a way that promotes even better relationships.

Hedy guides partners toward this kind of transformation through what she calls the “Art of Connection,” teaching them how to turn their relationship into a living laboratory for the development of relational intelligence: how to fill their partnership with creativity, wisdom and generosity of spirit. Relational intelligence puts partners on the path to relational maturity and is at the core of having successful relationships both personally and professionally.



The Couple's Journey Intensive™ is private-and-connected work with Hedy as she guides you to your deepest connection through her Encounter-centered Transformation™ approach to relationships. This is the ultimate way to work with Hedy.


Often families need a guide to bring them back to a healthy “familial” environment. Hedy will work with your family to clear the relational space and build a bridge between generations or siblings through Encounter-centered Transformation™.


Empowering audiences to embrace life and the meaning of connection to their fullest is Hedy's gift. She is available to be the keynote speaker, workshop presenter or trainer at your Zoom event.


The Couple's Journey™ is a two-day learning adventure. Small, intimate and safe, this workshop combines the best of group work with the focus of a private intensive session, and gives you the Encounter-centered Transformation™ tools to help you create a significantly deeper level of connection and understanding with your partner.


Clinical trainings for therapists and coaches in Encounter-centered Transformation™.


Business partners are in a relationship that needs tending to just like any other relationship. These sessions with Hedy teach Encounter-centerd Transformation™ and bring clarity of purpose, discovery and clearing away of unproductive energy to create an environment that leads to greater success.



Please contact our office for any of your questions via the form below, or via email to

We are generally in the office Monday – Thursday from 10a – 3p ET, and will always respond via email within two business days.

All of life is in the Encounter.


Newly available energy can flow between partners,
in the service of forging a relationship of choice,
rather than surrendering to relationship of compulsion.


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking
new landscapes, but in having new eyes.


When we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work.
And when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings.

-Wendell Berry

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

-Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Life is not a problem to be solved,
but an adventure to be lived.

-David Cooperrider

Genuine dialogue…satisfied the human hunger to be understood, to be affirmed, to be valued, and to be appreciated.

-Virginia Satir

Our survival depends on the healing power of love, intimacy, and relationships. As individuals, as communities, as a country, as a culture, perhaps even as a species.

-Dean Ornish

Secure bases are sources of protection, energy and comfort, allowing us to free our own energy.

-Professor George Kohlreiser

Only someone who is ready for everything, who doesn’t exclude any experience, even the most incomprehensible, will live the relationship with another person as something alive and will himself sound the depths of his own being.

-Ranier Marie Rilke

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