Frequently asked questions about our couple workshop
I’d love to come to your workshop, but my partner is very private and uncomfortable in a group setting.
Many people are private and uncomfortable in group settings, and yet many private people find these workshops surprisingly tolerable and even enjoyable. The lecture part of the workshop is done as a large group, with only voluntary questions and comments from the attendees. All workshop exercises are performed privately as a couple, and no specific couple or individual is asked to interact with others. After the exercises, there is opportunity for participants to share what they learned from the experience, but there is no pressure for sharing. Typically, a minority of the group shares their personal experiences with the larger group. At the beginning of the workshop, participants are asked to introduce themselves by sharing their first name. If your partner is too uncomfortable with a group setting, you might consider private couple counseling or a private couple intensive.
What can I do if I can't convince my partner to attend a workshop or go to counseling?
We recommend letting your partner know how much he or she means to you, your hopes and dreams for a happy and secure relationship for your future, and if appropriate, your fears for your future together if relationship patterns do not change (e.g, that you will lose each other, or have to live with loneliness and disconnection). Seriously and considerately explore, with real curiosity, your partner’s concerns about attending a workshop. If you anticipate this will be a tense or difficult conversation, you might consider writing a letter to your partner. If your partner continues to refuse to go with you, ask your partner if they would support your going alone or with a close friend or family member to learn how to become a better partner yourself.
Can I come alone to the workshop to improve my relationship skills if I don’t have a partner, or if I can’t convince my partner to attend?
You are most welcome to do so. Individuals have come alone to this workshop and have benefited from the information presented and the experience of being there. Because the vast majority of participants are couples, and because the workshop is organized around exercises done together by two people who know each other well, we recommend that if at possible you bring a close friend or family member to attend the workshop with you. This will help you get the most out of the workshop. Please let us know if you will be coming alone, or with a close friend or family member, so that we can tailor the exercises for you.
Will one-on-one assistance be available if we get stuck during an exercise?
Limited assistance will be available to help couples who ask for one-on-one support during the exercise portions of the workshop. The amount of assistance available will depend on how many helpers (volunteers, usually marriage or couple therapists) are available at any given workshop. One-on-one assistance during the workshop is not individual or couple therapy, but facilitation to assist you in completing the workshop exercises.
How many couples attend the workshop?
The number of couples at the workshop is limited to approximately 20.
Are we appropriate for your workshop if we are just getting started and don’t have any real problems?
Yes! This is the best and wisest time to attend a couple workshop! You will very lucky to prevent or mitigate real problems down the road that plague most couples.
Would it make sense for us to attend your workshop if we are already separated or in the process of divorce?
Couples who are civilly separating or divorcing can find this workshop helpful for making sense of what went wrong, assisting with closure, and to improve their ongoing relationship quality as friends or co-parents. Please let us know if this is your situation so that we can be sure to include you in our instructions.
Should we read Dr. Sue Johnson’s Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations For a Lifetime of Love before attending?
The workshop is self-explanatory without advance preparation or reading. However, we recommend reading this book in advance to get the most out of your workshop experience.
Is homework assigned in advance of the workshop?
Yes, there is a brief, enjoyable exercise we will ask you to complete in advance. We will send this to you to complete as a couple about two weeks before the workshop.
Do you provide childcare?
No, we do not provide childcare assistance. Children may not attend the workshop as the workshop’s effectiveness depends on the ability of the participants to fully concentrate and engage.
Are pets allowed?
Because they are a distraction to others, and others may be allergic to them, pets are not allowed except as documented service animals.
Are meals and lodging provided?
We provide morning and afternoon snacks and drinks. There will be an approximately 60 to 90-minute break for lunch on your own unless otherwise specified. Dinner and lodging are on your own.
Who will be conducting the weekend couples workshop?
Lori Marchak, MS, PhD, LCPC, Certified EFT Therapist and Supervisor Candidate, and Tony Silva, EFT Therapist in private practice, a romantic couple based in Bozeman, Montana, are the presenters and facilitators for the couples workshops.
Can we attend the workshop even if we aren’t married?
Yes! We welcome all couples: married and unmarried, straight and gay, young and old.
Hold Me Tight Workshop
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- Here’s what was amazing about the workshop: It was like a veil was lifted and I could see what I didn’t see before – even through 35 years of being together! We’ve both done individual therapy, we’ve done couple’s work several times. In past couple’s work we learned better communication skills – none of that helped us get to where we got in this workshop! We both feel it’s a miracle. We both feel hopeful and excited about the tools we learned and how to stay connected. I’m hearing alot of “I’m so in love with you” from my partner and for me, I’m happy but also grieving the missed years we didn’t have these tools! We really “got” neither of us is to blame and the workshop created so much space and love and HOPE to really move forward in a very connected way and the specific tools we didn’t have before to do that! We are both beyond grateful we did the workshop! Dodie
- The “demon dialogue” – really an eye-opener! The realization that all couples have problems, not just us. The one-on-one help and assistance was greatly appreciated. Both instructors were SO sincere, REAL, authentic and great listeners. Orville
- It is not possible to detail all that I enjoyed about this workshop! The opportunity to practice what was being taught; the safety and support within the gruop and how those were cultivated by the presenters; the injection of humor and fun; the comprehensive responses to the how’s and why’s; the fact that the information was presented in a formulated way that has been proven to be effective; the list can go on! I experienced so many a-ha moments and am still processing all of my take-a-ways that I truly cannot narrow it down. Ivy