How I Help Your Relationship or Marriage

As a Couples Therapist, I Commonly See Couples Like You:

If you are like most couples, one of you feels:

  • exhausted from trying to make this relationship better
  • unheard and misunderstood
  • your partner perceives or labels you as ‘needy’, ‘negative’, or a ‘complainer’
  • feels alone and lonely in this relationship
  • rejected or not appreciated by your partner

While your partner feels:

  • like you are constantly walking on eggshells, trying to avoid conflicts
  • frustrated your partner can never seem to ‘let issues go’
  • your partner perceives you as cold, non-caring, or shut-down
  • talking just leads to conflicts and nothing ever changes
  • whatever you do, it’s never good enough for your partner

As a couple, you:

  • keep getting stuck in the same conflict, no matter the topic
  • feel hopeless and weary
  • don’t feel ‘safe’ to discuss emotion-laden topics
  • no longer know how to communicate or connect consistently

You Were Not Born Automatically Knowing How to Create a Good Relationship.

Happy parents in healthy relationship kissing baby between them. This image is meant to convey the benefits of communication skills and mutual respect for new parents. These can be learned at Hold Me Tight Workshops.

You try your best, of course! But you are learning as you go, without clear guidance on how to be an effective partner and have a healthy relationship. It can be painful and difficult without relationship skills, as you both ‘learn by doing’.

Imagine being about to communicate without wondering when the next conflict will occur. When a conflict does occur, knowing how to resolve it quickly, without it dragging on for days and being able to apologize successfully so the issues don’t become a weapon for the next fight. All the while, feeling appreciated and emotionally connected.

My wife and I were at a standstill; plagued by negative behaviors.  After 2 days, I really feel like we’re in a much better place, feeling connected and understood and heard…something we’ve looked for for a long time.  We’ve been given the tools to reconcile and improve, which I’m thankful for.  Now, it’s on us to do the work.”

Mark, HMT attendee, 2018

“Hold Me Tight Workshops®” and Private Couples Retreats Change Relationships

I give you the skills and tools to understand what is not working in your relationship. Above all, I help you make things better through my “Hold Me Tight®” Couples Workshops and Private Couples Retreats.

I am a couples and marriage therapist. Nonetheless, during the “Hold Me Tight®” Workshop, I am not providing couples therapy or marriage counseling. Rather, throughout this couples workshop, I work with you as a relationship coach. Our work is focused on learning practical skills to improve your communication skills, rebuild trust and re-establish a physical and emotional connection.

Young couple embracing with apparent love. The image is meant to represent falling in love and feeling emotionally close from attending a Hold Me Tight Workshop.

What is “Hold Me Tight®”?

“Hold Me Tight®” is not therapy; it’s not sitting with a therapist and discussing all the past issues. Nor is it about blaming one partner or the other for the problems in the relationship.

“Hold Me Tight®” is an educational program that teaches you the tools so that YOU can make your relationship better. As a result, you have the skills to work on your relationship on your own or between couples sessions (if you are seeing a therapist). You learn and practice skills over two days in a very structured manner. Doing so ensures you are practicing the tools successfully and will be able to continue to use them once you return home.

We were on the brink of divorce…I almost cannot believe how incredibly effective this was in solving our communication breakdown.  It taught us to see each other’s hidden messages and needs underneath the anger, resentment, and distance that had developed.  I am walking away with a powerful toolbox to tackle any problems or communication breakdowns we may have in the future.”

Jennifer, HMT attendee, 2018
Empty Nest age couple sitting together relaxed. Image represents a couple who had fallen out of love and felt not good enough prior to attending a Hold Me Tight Workshop. Couple now knows how to fix a marriage and resolve conflicts.

Evidence-based Treatment

Emotionally Focused Therapy and Gottman’s Couple’s Therapy are the two most successful treatment models for couples. They have both been rigorously researched and tested with couples in numerous studies. While I use both models, I primarily work with Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Dr. Sue Johnson developed Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT has a 90% success rate at reducing distress in couples. During her research, she determined that successful couples in healthy relationships benefit from engaging in specific conversations. These conversations are the basis of her book “Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love”. Her Workshop protocol, based on the book, is called the “Hold Me Tight Workshop®”.

Here is a helpful podcast with Dr. Sue Johnson. Listen to it to learn more about the science and philosophy behind EFT and “Hold Me Tight Workshops®”.

Young lesbian couple smiling at each other, feeling emotionally connected. Hold Me Tight Workshops help rebuild trust and save a marriage.

Learn Communication Tools and Improve Your Relationship Skills

Our time together is a balance between learning information and practical application. During the two days, you will:

Make sense of your emotional disconnections by learning the science behind it.
–Improve your relationship by changing the poor communication strategies you commonly use when disconnected.
–Apply tools to reduce conflicts.
–Learn how to apologize and actually mend an ‘issue’ while we are together, finally putting it to rest.
Practice and learn communication skills to speak about difficult topics, such as sex and money.
–Above all, communicate authentically and emotionally connect with your partner.

Choose the Format Best for You: “Hold Me Tight Workshop®” or a Private Couples Retreat

You learn the tools to make changes in your relationship in a matter of two days. At New England Hold Me Tight, we know no two couples are alike. Due to that, we created two different treatment formats help you re-connect. Based on your relationship’s need, pick the most effective option for you. Both help you learn communication, skills, rebuild trust, and, most importantly, get back to a healthy relationship.

“Hold Me Tight Workshops®” for Couples

Close up photograph of LGBT couple kissing during a formal event. Image meant to represent emotional connection and the ability to resolve conflicts when a couple attends a couple and marriage retreat with New England Hold Me Tight.

My Workshops use the traditional “Hold Me Tight Workshop®” protocol but are a semi-private format of just 4 couples

Prior to attending, you and your partner each complete a confidential questionnaire. Doing so helps me understand your individual and shared struggles and goals.

The Workshop is held in a beautifully decorated New England home that has spaced specifically designed for the Workshop. Teaching the communication tools and relationship skills occurs over two days in a group format, but each couple engages in their private conversations in separate rooms.  While conversing and practicing your new skills, my assistant and I rotate between the four couples to ensure you are on track and are succeeding. You learn tools to improve communication skills, reduce conflict, and deepen your physical and emotional connection. You will have conversations deeper than you have ever had; as a result, you experience significant change in your marriage or relationship.

“Hold Me Tight®” Private Couples Retreats

Couple walking on path in New England on rainy day. This image represents how to fall in love again after attending a Hold Me Tight in Massachusetts or a private marriage retreat in Massachusetts.

My Private Retreats incorporate the “Hold Me Tight®” framework; over two days, you learn the tools that you would in the Semi-private Workshop. In addition, retreats have the benefit of complete privacy, a uniquely designed treatment plan, flexibility, and complete focus on you and your relationship

Prior to your Retreat, I meet with you and your parter separately for a confidential individual session. Based on the issues and goals you each share with me, I design a unique Retreat for your relationship

We then spend two days together with my complete attention solely on you, adjusting our agenda based on issues that come up and your relationship needs.  The Private couples Retreat can occur in a dedicated space at my location but there is also the option of working at a location you choose

Whether we meet at my space in New England or at a romantic getaway of your choosing, you will leave with a toolbox full of relationship skills and communication tools to create a healthy relationship.

The focus and depth of the Retreat not only changes how you do things, it transforms your relationship.  

Middle aged Heterosexual couple walking down path together. This image represents a couple who has learned how to fix a relationship from a private marriage retreat. Couples arrive falling out of love and leave in a good relationship and a healthy relationship.

Follow-up After Your “Hold Me Tight Workshop®” or Couples Retreat

After your Workshop or Retreat, you are automatically added to a bi-weekly email where I share tools and tips to help your relationship. We have a private online follow-up approximately two weeks later.

Soon after you finish your Workshop or Retreat, ongoing support is available through a private Facebook group for my “Hold Me Tight®” alumnae only. This group has access to me, supplemental information, and support from other members who have learned “Hold Me Tight®” from me.

If needed, I provide continued support after your intensive work is complete. Many couples do not require this, but it’s an option if your relationship needs more after-care.

Immediately or months later, I am always available to continue our work to strengthen your tools and connection even further.

If you currently have a couples therapist, I share our work so that your tools and learning can be transitioned into your ongoing work with that provider.

Begin Improving Your Relationship or Marriage Today

You don’t have to feel alone in your relationship–struggling to communicate and having so many conflicts over the smallest of things. There is hope for your marriage or relationship.

“Hold Me Tight®” Private Couple Retreats and “Hold Me Tight Workshops®” for Couples both can help you achieve a healthier relationship help. Although they have different intensities, you learn communication strategies, relationship tools and rebuild trust in both.  New England Hold Me Tight has experienced therapists and skilled relationship coaches who specialize in helping couples like you who want to save a marriage or fix a relationship.

Stone walkway with garden beds on both sides, leading up to a bench. This image is meant to represent emotional connection and the ability to rebuild trust after attending a Hold Me Tight Workshop with Bri McCarroll of New England Hold Me Tight.
Workshops and Retreats take place in a dedicated clinical space in a beautiful New England colonial home. This is the front walkway.

To start on your path towards a healthier relationship, follow these simple steps:

1. Contact Bri McCarroll at New England Hold Me Tight.

2. Soon after that, meet for a free 50-minute consultation (video or in office).

3. Decide which option is better for you, a Private Couples Retreat or a Couples Workshop

Either option, we will get you started back onto that path where you communicate and connect with your partner once again.

4. Re-connect again.

Additional Relationship Tips to Help Now

I want you to succeed. So while you are considering which option to use, learn some communication strategies and relationship skills NOW. Check out my FREE videos and blogs.

Also, sign up below to receive bi-weekly emails. In them, you learn additional relationship tips and communication strategies to help save your marriage and/or help create a good relationship with your partner.

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Your Relationship is PRECIOUS.

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