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  • Upcoming Workshops: Hold Me Tight May 13-15, 2022

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    Hold Me Tight® Marital Enrichment Workshop ​

    Do you struggle with the same negative patterns in your intimate relationship?

    Do you find your attempts to stop contention often tend to make it worse?

    Do you feel you could grow in your relationship to become even more connected?

    Couples are invited to join this experiential learning opportunity to change those negative patterns into positive connecting experiences and deepen the bond and connection with your intimate partner! 

    In-Person workshop May 13-15, 2022; Friday 5-9, Saturday 9-5, Sunday 2-6.

    Held at The Center for Marriage and Family Therapy

    7850 SW Members Drive, Huntsville, AL

    The HOLD ME TIGHT® PROGRAM CONVERSATIONS for CONNECTION: A Relationship Education Group for Couples

    Join Trena Peckham, MS/MFTA as she guides you through 6 of the 7 Hold Me Tight Conversations to create a more secure and lasting relationship bond. Based on the book Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson.

    Registration Fee: $495 per couple (includes all workshop materials, light refreshments and beverages, early bird special is $395 if booked and paid by April 15, 2022.

    10 Reasons to Experience a Hold Me Tight Workshop

    1. It is natural for Humans to seek close connection. The human brain is wired for close emotional and physical connection with a few irreplaceable others. Accepting your need for this special kind of emotional connection is not a sign of weakness, but of maturity and strength.

    2. Every marriage experiences times of struggle and sadness. Hurts and fears from distant or recent past register and are stored in the emotional part of our brains and can become “raw spots” that are easily remembered. Learning to speak a clear message about those hurts and fears allow us to more easily navigate the pain associated with that.  Moving through and past these moments with feelings of acceptance and understanding help eliminate some of the inadvertent pain we cause our partners.

    3. Relationships are strengthened when we reach for help when we struggle. Creating a “Safe Haven” is one of the deepest emotional longings for humans.  We are able to explore our world, grow individually and take risks for achievement when we feel we have a safe and secure relationship from which to explore. This is a survival strategy that is in our DNA. Learning to reach toward our partner in struggles rather than attacking or turning away is a key strategy for a “Safe Haven.”

    4. Relationships can survive individual differences. Successful relationships do not require us to be “the same.”  We can find our way to close connection even if we seem very different.  The one thing that will cause a relationship to continually deteriorate is emotional disconnection. Research in Emotionally Focused Therapy has shown that more than relational conflict, emotional disconnection is toxic to secure relationships.

    5. Expecting that perfect marriage is a trap for unmet expectations. When “Happily ever after” isn’t our experience and what we see from others is their very best we can become discouraged, and feel like a failure at the most important part of our lives. Life is not a 2 hour movie that ends on the positive moment. “Happily Ever  After” is a journey, not a destination, and is much easier if we have a map. Emotional presence is a key for navigation.

    6. Arguments are rarely what they seem. We find that the content of arguments is just the tip of the iceberg. These conflicts are usually more about a protest against the feeling of relationship distress and emotional disconnection fueled by a negative pattern of reaction to the protest.  Learning to see the pattern and understand the trap of this pattern will help couples move to a place where they can discover a person who is really Accessible, Responsive, and Engaged in a supportive way. This provides for close attachment and an ability to soothe the needs and fears that are under the surface.

    7. We only have two ways to cope when we can’t connect in love. We can get mad and move in fast to break down the other’s walls, or we can try not to care so much and build a wall to protect ourselves. Which one do you do? A “love law” from emotionally focused couple therapy is to overcome unhealthy ways of coping in love relationships.

    8. Affection is the best tips for a long, happy love relationship. Hugging, holding hands, caressing, and physically reaching out to your partner is an antidote to stress, and the best way to build a better marriage. Cuddle hormones turn off stress hormones!

    9.  Passion and Intimacy are possible in long-term love relationships. Relationships often begin with infatuation and passion and according to research it is possible to maintain deep passion and intimacy in relationships. It is fostered by secure emotional connection and romance can last a lifetime if it is nurtured and worked at.

    10. There is incredible power in feeling safe to ask for our emotional needs to be met and reaching out to meet the emotional needs of our romantic partner. Openness and vulnerability require courage, honesty, and humility. As we learn to create this connection it is transforming for relationships.

    Seven Transforming Conversations for Connection:

    Recognizing Demon Dialogues—In this first conversation, couples identify negative and destructive remarks in order to get to the root of the problem and figure out what each other is really trying to say.

    Finding the Raw Spots—Here, each partner learns to look beyond immediate, impulsive reactions to figure out what raw spots are being hit.

    Revisiting a Rocky Moment—This conversation provides a platform for de-escalating conflict and repairing rifts in a relationship and building emotional safety.

    Hold Me Tight—The heart of the program: this conversation moves partners into being more accessible, emotionally responsive, and deeply engaged with each other.

    Forgiving Injuries—Injuries may be forgiven but they never disappear. Instead, they need to become integrated into couples’ conversations as demonstrations of renewal and connection. Knowing how to find and offer forgiveness empowers couples to strengthen their bond.

    Bonding Through Sex and Touch—Here, couples find how emotional connection creates great sex, and good sex creates deeper emotional connection. (Not included in the HMT workshop)

    Keeping Your Love Alive—This last conversation is built on the understanding that love is a continual process of losing and finding emotional connection; it asks couples to be deliberate and mindful about maintaining connection.

    What our participants have to say

    “I heard and received things from my partner during this three day workshop that I could not or would not have received before!”

    “This workshop is an investment in our future together that I could not put a price tag on…definitely worth the time and money.”

    “This workshop gives you a different approach and viewpoint to address situations and guide you to a positive place in your relationship.”

    “I wish I have learned these techniques 20 years ago…every newly wed couple should complete this training. Don’t wait until things are bad.”

    “I see now how life events affect my relationship.  I now have tools to work through issues side by side with my husband.”

    “My husband and I learned so much about each other and are able to communicate at a completely different level.”

    “The model is very effective with the guided exercises. As a military male I am able to verbalize feelings and emotion.  I have a new skill in my tool kit.” Military in Huntsville

    “This workshop helped me understand my partner’s emotions in a new way.  I feel like I can create better connections and work to resolve long standing issues.”


    “The Hold Me Tight workshop helped save our marriage! The tools and skills we learned will benefit us for the rest of our lives! I’m thankful we took the time to invest in our marriage.”


    I never thought this Program would be this amazing and I have never felt such a positive change in my life. Its always been negative.”

    Happy Husband

    Upcoming Workshops: Parenting for Connection March 5, 2022

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    Positive Support Groups

    Using mindfulness and developing positive characteristics to form new strategies of coping with life’s challenges.

    Women’s Support Group: 5 weeks, 1 hour per week

    $200.00 (includes all materials and 5 sessions)