Hold Me Tight – Canmore AB

canmore-bannerHold Me Tight: Couples Retreat in the Rockies
Get Away | Relax | Reconnect

Shift course by building deeper meaning and connection in your relationship.

coffee-coupleThis retreat is ideal for you if:

  • You feel disconnected from your partner.
  • You find yourself in the same disagreement over and over again.
  • You feel like you spend more time in conflict than in good times.
  • You are worried your relationship is slipping away.
  • You want to have a stronger relationship.

Gain tools to improve your relationship and chart a roadmap for reconnection.


The Hold Me Tight® Weekend Retreat Program is based on the award-winning and research-proven Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) approach developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and her highly acclaimed book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.

Its outstanding success has been endorsed by the American Psychological Association, acclaimed in many scientific journals, professional magazines and media such as New York Times, Time Magazine, and Psychology Today, and praised by Leading Experts such as John Gottman, William Doherty, and Daniel Siegel. Learn More about Hold Me Tight, Emotionally Focused Therapy, and Sue Johnson ( click link to more information below or on another page)

The Hold Me Tight Couples Retreat benefits:

  • Couples of all ages and lengths of relationships, whether newly dating or together/married for a few years, 10 years, or over 20 years.
  • Couples from all backgrounds, life stages, and sexual orientations who are struggling in their relationship.
  • Couples in therapy who want to progress quickly over a short period of time.
  • Couples who want to improve their relationship.

This Couples Retreat will support you and your partner in:

  • Gaining compassion by deepening your understanding of yourself and one another
  • Acknowledging the existing strengths in your relationship
  • Identifying negative communication patterns
  • Knowing how to de-escalate conflict in your relationship.
  • Learning how to move forward from past relationship wounds.
  • Enriching your emotional and physical intimacy.

hearts-puzzleA weekend away to reconnect, relax, and focus on your relationship.

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains in the quiet town of Canmore, Alberta, this destination retreat affords our couples an opportunity to fully focus on one another and leave day-to-day demands behind.

Over the course of two and half days, we will guild and support you and your partner through the Seven Transformational Conversations outlined in Dr. Sue Johnson’s book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.

What to expect?

  • A Safe and supportive environment.
  • Each couple works through the conversations independently.
  • You are not required to share the content of your discussions with the group.
  • Sharing and making contributions within the larger group is voluntary and focused on the overall process and insights.
  • Having the support and guidance of your facilitators who are Registered Psychologists and specifically trained in Emotion-Focused Therapy. Learn about the facilitators (click link to more information below or on another page about facilitators)
  • The schedule has been structured to allow couples time to relax, explore, and enjoy their time in the Rockies together. Learn about Canmore (click link to more information below or on another page about tourism in Canmore)

The 7 Transforming Conversations:

  • #1. Recognizing the Demon Dialogues. In this first conversation, you and your partner will get to the root of your problems and figure out what each of you is really trying to say. You will learn how to identify your negative and repetitive patterns that lead to further disagreements that do not get resolved.
  • #2. Finding Your Raw Spots. Underneath your immediate, habitual ways of responding that contribute to your Demon Dialogue are sore spots that get triggered. In this conversation you will find out what you and your partner’s raw spots are and learn how knowing this can lead to a different kind of conversation that changes the direction of your relationship.
  • #3. Revisiting a Rocky Moment. In conversation three, you and your partner will put together what you learned from the first two conversations to resolve conflict more effectively, repair rifts in your relationship, and build emotional safety.
  • #4. Forgiving Your Injuries. In conversation four, you will learn a safe and predictable method for revisiting and repairing past emotional injuries that may have occurred in your relationship. While these are not forgotten, instead of being a source of ongoing emotional pain or emotional shut down between yourselves, you will practice a forgiveness process that empowers you to strengthen your bond and move forward with a renewed sense of connection.
  • #5. Hold Me Tight. In conversation five you will learn how to communicate your needs and fears to one another in a calm and safe way. This will move you both into being more accessible, emotionally responsive, and deeply engaged with each other.
  • #6. Bonding Through Sex and Touch. Couples find that the first five conversations create the foundation of a safe, secure emotional connection that leads to being able to talk more openly about their sex life, how sex can be helpful in creating deeper emotional connection, and how a deeper emotional connection leads to better sex and intimacy.
  • #7. Keeping Your Love Alive. Love requires attention to keep it alive and vibrant. This last conversation asks you to identify how you can consistently and deliberately maintain your renewed connection going forward from the retreat.


Learn More about Hold Me Tight, Emotion-Focused Therapy, and Sue Johnson

The Hold Me Tight® Couples Retreat is based on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is an empirically validated model for helping couples. It was primarily created and developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and has demonstrated its effectiveness in over 25 years of peer-reviewed clinical research.

EFT focuses on strengthening the bond between a couple by helping each member express deeper, often hidden and misunderstood emotions. When a couple is able to turn toward each other from a place of vulnerability and respond to each other’s reach, the bond grows and strengthens

  • Research shows that EFT has an astounding 70 – 75% success rate and results have been shown to last, even in the face of significant stress. This is a better statistic than any other model.
  • The outstanding success of EFT has been endorsed by the American Psychological Association, acclaimed in many scientific journals, professional magazines and media such as New York Times, Time Magazine, and Psychology Today.


Leading Experts in the field have said:

EFT gives a proven road map to the process of change in couple therapy. ~ John Gottman, Ph.D, Bestselling author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

EFT is one of the best documented, most substantive and well researched approaches to couple therapy. ~ Alan S. Gurman, Ph.D

One of the few approaches to marital therapy that has been proven to be effective. ~ Jay Lebow, Ph.D, President, Division of Family Psychology of the American Psychological Association

Hold Me Tight Retreat 2018

2018 Dates and Locations:

May 4 – 6 2018 Retreat Canmore

Date: May 4 – 6 2018
Where: Blackstone Mountain Lodge
Early bird: April 4 2018 – $650
Stay tuned for 2019 dates!

October 19 – 21 2018 Retreat Canmore

Date: October 19 – 21 2018
Where: Blackstone Mountain Lodge
Early bird: Sept 19 2018 – $650
Stay tuned for 2019 dates!

Cancellation policy 30 days.

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Your Facilitators

Patricia Lavelle
M.Ed. Registered Psychologist

I enjoy reading in my field and areas of professional interest along with novels, stories about men and women adventurers and maintaining positive thought processes. I am a trained and seasoned long time meditator. You might find it helpful to know that as a psychologist I do not live in a bubble, free of problems. I have faced divorce, job loss, the challenge of moving to a new community and physical issues. I have been able to use what I learn and teach you to get past these and grow from them, instead of having the difficulties define who I am. I also have had rewarding and fun experiences over many years, including travel to Thailand and backpacking excursions in the Rockies.

Melodie Sanford
MA, MSc, CST Registered Psychologist

I hold a profound respect for meeting my clients where they are at and customize my therapeutic approach according to the needs of the individual. Embracing an eclectic approach, I draw on a number of therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavioural, Emotionally-Focused, Solution-Focused, Family Systems, and Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. In addition, I am certified and very experienced working with Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and the Gottman Couples Therapy model. I am also heavily committed to ongoing education and certifications in the pursuit of expanding my knowledge to best help my clients.

The Retreat is held at the Blackstone Lodge in Canmore

The schedule of the Couple’s has been structured to allow couples time to relax, explore, and enjoy their time in the Rockies together.

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