As of January 2020 Patricia has relocated her practice to Campbell and Fairweather Psychology Group in Victoria BC.

Patricia welcomes you to contact her if you wish to have online or in person individual or couple counselling sessions or to arrange a Private Hold Me Tight® Couple Retreat at

canmore-bannerA Mountain Get Away for Your Relationship

  • Not feeling like a group retreat is for your style as a couple?
  • Ready to take your relationship to the next level?
  • Have work, child and personal commitments that make weekly couple sessions difficult?
  • Feeling like you want to make big change in a short time?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, the Private Hold Me Tight® Couple Retreat with Patricia Lavelle, Psychologist in the beautiful Rocky Mountain setting of Canmore Alberta may be exactly what you want and need.

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.

A weekend to relax, reconnect and refocus on your relationship

Relax, rejuvenate, and recharge your emotional closeness and intimacy. Participate in the evidence based Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples approach (EFT) developed by world renowned Canadian psychologist and researcher, Dr. Sue Johnson, originator of the approach.

Only one couple attends the Private Hold Me Tight® Couple Retreat. You have personalized and individualized counselling and support. Patricia Lavelle is an experienced psychologist trained to an advanced level of EFT, which has a 75% success rate sustained over time.

Benefits of Getting Away

Many couples find that they are able to make more progress, more quickly with intensive couple retreats. Being away from the distractions of daily life, surrounded by nature, you have time to resolve entrenched problematic patterns. As you relax, it becomes easier to learn new ways of relating to your spouse or partner.

This 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.
  • You want to make significant progress in a short period of time

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

The Private Hold Me Tight® Couple 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.

The Private Hold Me Tight® Couple Retreat will support you and your partner in:

  • Acknowledging the existing strengths in your relationship
  • Gaining compassion by deepening your understanding of yourself and one another
  • 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, physical and sexual closeness and INTIMACY.

What Can We Expect in a Private Hold Me Tight® Couple Retreat ?

  • One couple + one EFT trained and experienced psychologist
  • 16 hours private sessions including lectures, video demonstrations and couple exercises of the seven conversations from the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson
  • 1 hr Pre- Retreat session via video conference to discuss your goals
  • Completion of questionnaires prior to the retreat to assist with individualizing your retreat goals
  • A copy of the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love sent to your home
  • A Safe and Supportive environment
  • A schedule structured to allow you time to relax, explore, and enjoy your time in the Rockies together. Learn about Canmore (click link to more information below or on another page about tourism in Canmore)
  • Workbooks for each individual
  • Individualized debriefing and feedback on your progress
  • Upon completion a go forward plan
  • 1.5 hr Post- Retreat couple session to assist in maintaining retreat gains
  • Cost is $3995.00. (If you are ready for payment, click here)
    Non refundable $500 deposit to reserve your weekend; Full payment is due 30 days prior to the retreat; 30 day cancellation policy. No refunds after 30 days before your scheduled weekend unless you find another couple to take your place. Check with your insurance plan or health spending account for full or partial coverage the entire amount.

Contact Patricia directly to answer your specific questions and to register at or 403.675.5379

Background on Hold Me Tight®

The Hold Me Tight® Weekend Retreat Program is based on the award-winning and research-proven Emotion 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.

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

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.

hold me tight relationship counselling

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

The Hold Me Tight® Private Couple 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

Contact Patricia directly to answer your specific questions or to register at or 403.675.5379 | Hold Me Tight® is a registered trademark of Sue Johnson PhD