Encounter Centered Couples Therapy (Ecct) was developed by Hedy Schleifer and her husband, Yumi. ECCT is a dynamic experiential therapy that allows the couple to connect and resonate with each other in a meaningful way and identify underlying issues that get entangled in their interactions. Once they have identified their core conflicts, or their "survival knot" as Hedy coined it, they then engage with the therapist to untangle the knot, so they can create a healthier connection and improve their relationship.
Within ECCT, the couple becomes more conscious of the quality of the space between them and aims to cleanse the space of negative influences that contaminate the relationship. One way of doing this is by crossing the "invisible bridge" that connects the couple and entering the other of the other as a visitor. As a visitor, the individual must let go of their baggage and be fully present while listening to and reflecting the thoughts of the other. This experience of understanding and being understood leads to the couple to an "encounter, " where they connect on a very deep level and negotiate their process of healing.
Although ECCT is traditionally used with partners in a romantic relationship, it is also extremely effective with other dyads including mothers and daughters and coworkers.