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In every Hold Me Tight Workshop that we have led, we have experienced what Dr. Sue Johnson calls the  “Transformative power of Hold Me Tight”. We have been so taken aback and moved by the deep and courageous conversations the couples that come to it have with each other over a mere two days. Sue hasn’t only developed an extraordinary therapeutic model for couples therapy, she has also laid out a way (via the Hold Me Tight Workshop) to help couples understand and recognize in a short amount of time what their cycle is and to really get that they and their partner have raw spots that are aching for loving contact beneath the more visible and audible pained protest. Once they really get this, they can look for ways to “take the threat away” and to figure out how to make it safer for each other to reach for each other in a loving way.

As facilitators of this workshop, Dr. Sam Jinich and Dr. Michelle Gannon have felt so lucky to be able to witness couples shifting from disconnection back into loving connection.

Benefits of Attending a Hold Me Tight Workshop:

  1. Couples learn an EFT and Attachment-based framework that helps them think about and better understand their relationship. Couples receive hands-on tools to work through conflict by learning to communicate with each other and to reach for each other in a new way.
  2. Couples that attend this workshop have a renewed sense of hope and confidence in their ability to change their negative patterns. The inspiration that couples take away from the workshop helps them to view their relationship as a team that can work together to bring about change.
  3. Therapists who send their couples to the workshop consistently report that it accelerates the therapeutic process and the time it takes couples to complete Stage 1 of EFT in order to achieve the first change event: de-escalation.
  4. Hold Me Tight Workshop is becoming an essential part of EFT Therapy.  EFT therapists are encouraging their couples to read Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson and to attend the Hold Me Tight Workshop as part of the overall treatment.
  5. By attending with one’s partner or volunteering to help at a workshop, EFT therapists learn about EFT in a new way.

The workshop helps couples to understand that underneath the conflict and the dissatisfaction or disconnection they feel in their relationship, are deeper more vulnerable emotions and longings for connection that are not easily expressed. Instead, there are patterns of disconnection that are triggered easily that keep them battling each other as if their partner was the problem instead of the cycle. From there, we guide couples to have 7 transformative conversations over the course of two days. What we see happen in two days is extraordinary. We have been blown away by how our own couples have done better after these two days. There is a greater understanding about attachment and because of the safety we create, they take risks and more openly tell each other what is beneath the anger and reactivity or withdrawal and silence. We take away the stigma of how they protest when they feel disconnected and we make it safe for them to be vulnerable and to ask for what they need.

If you are working with clients who are struggling in their relationships in what seems like an unyielding impasse or negative cycle where they cannot seem to resolve their conflicts nor get a better handle on their tendencies to criticize or stonewall, please consider referring them to a San Francisco Weekend Couples Workshop.

Dr Michelle Gannon and Dr Sam Jinich will guide couples through an exploration of the wisdom of attachment theory in a way that will help them make sense of their tendencies to protest disconnection from each other.  Over the course of the weekend, we walk them through seven conversations that are rare for most couples to have. Couples explore and have conversations about their patterns of disconnection, the triggers that fuel their conflict and learn specific steps to explore underlying attachment based reasons for what they say and do that only keeps them caught in an endless loop. Other conversations that they experience include: Apologies and Forgiveness; Touch, Intimacy and Sex; How to reach and respond to each other to build more secure attachments with each other. The Hold Me Tight Workshop is above all else a safe and positive experience for couples to have. It is not group therapy and couples maintain their privacy throughout.

What we have heard from our colleagues is that their clients return to their couple therapy with renewed hope and confidence and greater clarity about their relationship.

For more information about upcoming Hold Me Tight Workshops offered in The San Francisco Bay Area by Dr Sam Jinich and Dr Michelle Gannon, visit