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                                  Frequently Asked Questions

















































































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“Hold Me Tight®” is a registered trademark to Sue Johnson.



Can you tell me more about this Hold Me Tight® Couples Retreat?

This Hold Me Tight® retreat is based on a couples therapy model called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and on research by the world-renowned couples expert, Dr. Sue Johnson.
A substantial body of research documenting the effectiveness of EFT now exists. Research studies find that 70-75% of couples using EFT move from distress to recovery, and approximately 90% show significant improvements. For more information on EFT research, please click here. EFT is being used with many different kinds of couples in private practice, university training centers and hospital clinics, and with many different cultural groups around the world. These distressed couples include partners suffering from things such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and chronic illness.

This retreat is the first of its kind: a Hold Me Tight® Weekend Retreat tailored to Asian American and cross-cultural couples in Los Angeles!

Who should attend?

All committed couples are welcome to attend (whether dating, engaged, or married). The workshop is specifically tailored for Asian-American couples, or couples in which one partner is of Asian heritage or identifies with Asian culture. We will be weaving in Asian cultural and cross-cultural perspectives throughout the retreat. And although couples of any cultural background are welcome, if you think you might find other local Hold Me Tight® couples workshops more relevant, please click here.

Here are a few situations that would indicate that this two-day retreat may not be the best fit for a couple at this time:
•    The couple is on the brink of divorce.
•    There is violence in the relationship so that one or both partners do not feel safe.
•    One or both partners have an active and untreated drug or alcohol addiction.
•    There is an ongoing or recently revealed affair.

This workshop is not couples therapy, but rather a two-day educational couples retreat. So, if you are in one or more of the situations decribed above, your needs may best be served by seeking couples therapy for these issues. If you want to seek couples therapy, please click here to look for a couples therapist in your area. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail June Shigeno, LMFT, or Elizabeth Shon, PhD. Once you complete the registration form, we will call you for a brief phone intake, and will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Do I have to share my thoughts and feelings in a group setting?

This is a common concern for some couples. At the beginning of the workshop, we will ask for workshop attendees to introduce themselves by their first names, and briefly answer one or two questions. Other than that, you are free to share or not share in the group settings. We strive to create a safe and relaxed atmosphere, and we find that most couples end up feeling comfortable and enriched fairly quickly by sharing their insights and experiences with others.

What is the cost and method of payment for this retreat?

Early Bird Rate by 10/1/2017 is $350 per couple. After that, the regular rate is $395 per couple. Due to the fact that we are considering this first Hold Me Tight® retreat for Asian & Cross-Cultural Couples an outreach to the community at large, the rates are relatively low compared to similar two-day couples retreats. (The rates will increase next year.)

Once we have received the online registration form, one of us will call you for a brief phone intake. Following the phone intake, you will receive an email with a link to pay for the workshop by PayPal, credit card or debit card. Your space will be reserved once payment is received.

Please sign up early, as we expect this workshop to fill up quickly. Spaces are reserved on a first-come, first-serve basis. We will create a cancelation waitlist for those wanting to register after the workshop is filled.

What is the cancellation and refund policy?

Refunds, less a $25 administration fee, will be issued for requests made on or before 10/14/2017. We will not issue refunds requested after 10/14/2017.

Who will conduct the workshop?

We are five couples therapists with various Asian backgrounds who feel passionate about this work: June Shigeno, LMFT; Elizabeth Shon, PhD; Don Martinez, LMFT; Maricel Veluz, MSW; and Regina Ho, MA, MS.  We have all been trained extensively in the researched-based Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) model. During the two-day retreat, we will be actively assisting couples with conversational exercises so that participants can get the most out of the retreat experience.

Where is the workshop?

The workshop is going to be held at the historic Essick House in Sierra Madre, California, in a quiet residential area. The address is: 550 W. Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. The City of Sierra Madre is close to Pasadena, Altadena, Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte and other surrounding cities of Los Angeles County.


How many couples will attend?
We plan to close the registration at 10 couples. Once registration is closed, we will place couples wanting to attend on a cancellation waitlist. Other couples who are unable to reserve a space for this retreat may want to look ahead to a similar couples retreat that we might offer next year.

Can we prepare before this retreat?
We recommend that you read Dr. Sue Johnson’s book "Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love" before the workshop. However, this is not a requirement, and the workshop exercises will make sense even if you have not read this book.