Bridging is a communication method which slows two people down and creates a deep connection.

Bridging supports a way for two people to meet in their hearts. It involves appreciative enquiry as one person listens and asks the other opening questions. 

Bridging was developed by Hedy Schleiffer and adapted from Harville Hendrix’ work. In his book, “Getting the love you want”, Harville discovered that people are seeking to heal their childhood wounds and are drawn to people who mirror the worst and best of their caregivers. This means that people can find relationships pretty difficult or even traumatic and he developed scripts to help people hear each other.

Hedy Schleiffer took Harville’s work and introduced relaxation, breath and close proximity so that people could relax more while connecting. 

Martin Buber said that the relationship lives in the space between us. When we don’t know about this space we might pollute it with a word or a reaction and as a result, the space may become unsafe. Some people might become louder in this space and some may become quieter.

How it works

Bridging teaches you three invisible connectors:

  • The relational space
  • Crossing the bridge to the other person’s world – bringing our full presence to the other person
  • The encounter – listening with an open heart

Bridging encourages us to slow down, to breathe and to create the right moment to connect. When we do this, it enables us to attune to the other person and and really listen from the heart.

When we communicate in this way, we co-regulate through the eyes of another and there is a joining of our neurobiology. New neural pathways can form when someone gifts us their presence.

We are built for connection and long for the presence of the other.

Cate Mackenzie

Worth a listen!

Check out this podcast episode where I teach Bridging to Denise Van Outen and Eddie Boxshall.

Listen now:

The Bridge Encounter Course

I run an 8-week course on Bridging for individuals and couples. On the course page you can find all sorts of resources including the scripts used for Bridging exercises.

What people are saying

We have just finished Cate Mackenzie’s course “The Bridge Encounter” and want to pass on our heartfelt thanks for bringing this method of communication into our relationship. We would recommend this to all couples or anyone who wants to get better at communicating and listening. The techniques are clearly presented each week with Cate and Paul providing a safe, fun container for our practice. The deeper sharing and active listening practices have enabled us to understand the source of key triggers between us and to navigate them with love and tenderness. We feel valued by each other.

J & D