Deborah Leeds, 

Specialist in Couples Relationship Work


Deborah Leeds, 

Specialist in Couples Relationship Work


Deborah Leeds, 

Specialist in Couples Relationship Work


Deborah Leeds, 

Specialist in Couples Relationship Work


Deborah Leeds, 

Specialist in Couples Relationship Work


“The first duty of love is to listen.”
Paul Tillich

Relationships are our “safe harbor”. They give us a deep sense of belonging and of being loved. Our partners are often our closest friends and when that ceases to be the case, when as partners we are distant, we experience real sorrow, anxiety and depression. As your therapist, specializing in Encounter-centered Couples Therapy and Imago Relationship Therapy, I help you see how your problematic patterns came to be. From there, it is empowering and deeply satisfying to choose new ways of being with each other that restore your sense of wholeness, both as individuals and as a couple. To help you achieve this I offer longer sessions and am pleased to offer One-Day and Two-Day Intensives. Read more about Couples Intensives.

Encounter-centered Couples Therapy

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”  

Lao Tzu

I am privileged to have trained with Hedy Schleifer, a master therapist who developed Encounter-centered Couples Therapy. Incorporating elements of Imago Therapy, including the principles of the Imago Dialog, Encounter-centered Couples Therapy is a very deep approach for couples who are committed to working through their issues. Using specific exercises in lengthier sessions, Encounter-centered Couples Therapy helps couples connect, in the words of philosopher Martin Buber, where “the real I” meets “the real you”. It is in that field of being, where we are fully present and open, that we cultivate the ground for the encounter between two people who wish to open their hearts to one another fully. This is transformative work at the level of both the individual and the couples relationship. In the words of Hedy Schleifer, it is “a deep bonding, spontaneous, mutual, genuine, unreserved, reciprocal, and most importantly common to each person, yet beyond the sphere of either.” I invite you to view the video of Hedy speaking on The Power of Connection:

TEDxTelAviv - Hedy Schleifer - The Power of Connection

Both of these modalities invite you to identify and envision what you really want for yourself, your partner, and your relationship, and and to find the stretch in yourselves to meet that vision. It is empowering, exciting work, and I look forward to facilitating these discoveries, shifts, and transformations in your relationship to yourself and with your partner.

Imago Relationship Therapy

“It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

This approach to couples counseling immediately empowers each of you as individuals in the relationship. Using Imago Therapy, I help you change your relationship as together we explore the emotions and experiences driving your current responses and behaviors towards one another. As your understanding deepens, your empathy for one another is broadened. Warmth and caring are restored, as the picture begins to change from a crazy-making puzzle of reactions to an easy, optimistic, empowered, loving way of moving forward, together. Through the Imago Dialogue, a respectful and safe interactive process, you experience the following as a couple:

  • Gain maturity as individuals which strengthens your relationship as partners
  • Discover how your previous relationship wounds contribute to your current relationship conflicts
  • Become empowered to handle situations and feelings, both loving and challenging, as allies

 Your Next Step

Please call me today to see if we might be a “good fit” to work together. I’m pleased to see you in either my Pleasant Hill or Berkeley office for your convenience.

Deborah Leeds, LMFT
925.685.9463, Ext.2

Berkeley, Pleasant Hill Couples Therapist, Deborah Leeds, LMFT; Certified Encounter-centered Couples Therapist & Certified Imago Relationship Therapist

Certified Imago Relationship Therapist Masters Encounter-centered Couples Therapist

Two Offices to Serve You

399 Taylor Boulevard, Suite 210
Pleasant Hill, CA  94523

919 The Alameda,
Berkeley, 94707

"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised
as impossible situations."
Charles Swindoll