Who should attend?
The workshop is appropriate for any couple who wants to create a more loving bond. We have had a range of situations, everything from couples in high distress and considering separation to recently married couples looking to enhance and better understand their relationship. Only a few situations would indicate that this probably wouldn’t be the best approach right now: where there is violence in a relationship such that either party doesn’t feel safe, where there is active, untreated drug or alcohol addiction, where there is a recently revealed affair. If you have any doubts or questions, we encourage you to discuss your situation with Dr. Brown or Dr. Skean.
What equipment and internet service do I need to participate effectively?
You will need a reliable, strong Internet connection and a laptop or desktop computer with a webcam. Though it might be possible to use a mobile device (tablets or even smart phones), this is not recommended except as an “emergency” backup option.
Do I have to have a private space for participating?
YES! To get the most out of it, you need to have a private space to have important conversations with your partner without worrying about being overheard by other family members.
How will I join the seminar once I register?
You will receive a link to join the online workshop. We will be using the Zoom platform.
Am I eligible to each CE Contact Hours?
Visit this page for full CE information.
We are able to offer 12 CE credits (for Psychologists, LPCs and LMFTs) approved by APA in conjunction with the NJ Collaborative for Emotionally Focused Therapy, that reflects this intensive didactic and experiential learning. If you do wish to receive CE Credit for this, please let us know in advance.
Do you provide handouts?
We will email you handouts of exercises that you’ll need to use during the workshop. It is probably best to print out a copy for each partner prior to the workshop, so you can have them to write on as you work on the exercises.
For all sessions
What if we aren’t married?
All couples are welcome – married, unmarried, straight, gay, the long-married, the recently-married.
What is the cost of the workshop?
The base cost of the workshop is $625 per couple. This includes the workshop, all materials, and coffee, tea, and bagels each morning. There are discounts for early sign-up. The cost is $550 if you sign up 30 days before the date of the workshop. Then the cost is $595 for less than 30 days but more than 14 days before the workshop. You may use debit or credit cards through PayPal. The HMT Booster, a one day workshop for those who have already attended a previous Hold Me Tight®, is $300 per couple, with discounts for early registration.
I am / my partner is very private and can’t imagine sharing in a group setting.
Many people feel this way and are worried about the group context, yet we have found most people become surprisingly comfortable fairly quickly. We emphasize a warm and supportive environment. There is a substantial teaching component done in the larger group, we spread out through the space to have the couple conversations, and there is no pressure to interact with other couples. Although there is an opportunity to share experiences afterwards in the larger group, only some people do so, and there is no expectation or pressure to speak. On the first day, participants do introduce themselves by their first name.
What is the cancellation policy?
If you notify us more than 30 days in advance of the workshop, you will receive return of your payment in full, less a $25 processing fee. If you cancel within one week of the workshop, half will be refunded. Closer in than one week, refunds are not guaranteed, though we will work with you around rolling your registration forward to a future available time slot.
Who will conduct the workshop?
Elisabeth Brown, Psy.D. and Karen Skean, Psy.D. will be the Workshop presenters. Both have had many years of experience in couples therapy. See more information in the “About Us” page. They will be assisted in the workshop by other trained couples therapists or by advanced doctoral students from Rutgers University.
Where is the workshop and what about food and lodging?
Our workshops are held either at the Rutgers University Inn and Conference Center in New Brunswick, or on the Upper East Side in New York City.
Each workshop location is easily accessible by car or public transportation. Couples who live close-by may wish to go home overnight, but we encourage you to think about this as a weekend to devote to your relationship and to each other. Lodging is not included, but there are a variety of hotels nearby, with a good range of prices and amenities. At the New Brunswick venue, there are sometimes rooms available for a reasonable cost at the Conference Center.
There are also some terrific restaurants in each area that we can recommend for each day’s lunch and Saturday night’s dinner. We provide coffee, tea, and bagels each morning, and coffee breaks each day of the workshop.
What assistance will there be if we need some help during an exercise?
Some assistance will be available during the exercises, as workshop leaders and helpers circulate and provide help where needed. Such one-on-one assistance is not therapy, but facilitation to assist you in getting the most out of the exercises.
How many couples will there be at the workshop?
We expect approximately 10 to 15 couples.
Is there homework before the workshop?
We recommend reading Dr. Sue Johnson’s Hold Me Tight®: Seven Conversations For a Lifetime of Love before the workshop to get the most from the experience. However, it is not required; the workshop is self-explanatory and will make sense even if you don’t get a chance to read it beforehand.