Hold Me Tight® Private Retreats

Private Retreats are just that, private. All my attention is focused on you and your relationship.

Theoretical Foundation

Private Retreats are grounded on the theory of Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and Hold Me Tight®. We engage in exercises and conversations that are proven to be effective. Yet we have the luxury to make our two days entirely focused on your needs, issues, and goals.

Retreats use the Hold Me Tight® framework, so you will:

  • Understand the science behind your disconnections.
  • Diagnose your relationship’s unique pattern of conflict.
  • Practice new tools to navigate disagreements.
  • Learn how to effectively apologize and address hurts.
  • Communicate authentically and connect with your partner.

Hearing Your Side

Many generic workshops and retreats address couples based on overarching themes. Struggling couples do have commonalities; I address those common themes in my own Semi-private Workshops.

Private Retreats cost more, so you can expect more. One of the bonuses of this option is an individual session with each person prior to your Retreat. During that individual session (held in-office or over video), we get to know one another. I address your worries, hear your personal struggle in the relationship, and ensure I understand what you need to achieve from your retreat.

I know there are ‘Two Truths’; I want to understand both perspectives.

No Two Private Retreats Are Alike

Based on your intakes and private individual sessions, I craft a Retreat that is designed uniquely for your relationship. Perhaps there are some longstanding injuries we need to address; patterns of conflict that require extra attention, or so much distance that we need to gently and cautiously open up communication.

A couple that is smoothing out edges prior to marriage will have very different needs and goals compared to a couple that has become ‘roommates’ and is considering divorce. Hold Me Tight® Private Retreats give you and your relationship the time, attention and skills to address the changes that need to happen.


Your lives are busy and it’s hard to make time for your relationship. If you are going to work on your relationship, it still needs to work with your schedule.

Hold Me Tight® Private Retreats work with your schedule. Retreats are generally held on a Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday. If that structure or those dates don’t fit, we can review other possible options. Even the beginning and ending times of the days can be changed. Why? Because this is YOUR Retreat. This is about your relationship and I work with YOUR schedule.

Flexibility is not only about when we meet, it’s also about what we do. When we meet, we will have an individualized plan for your Retreat. We can’t always predict what will come up, though. One of my personal strengths is adapting to the needs of my couples as the need arises; I bring that ability to our Private Retreats so you get what you need, as you need it.

I had high expectations, maybe higher than most and they were definitely met. What exceeded was how you were really able to custom tailor the Workshop…I like how you were able to adjust on the fly. Your level of engagement is very different than a typical couples therapy session. Here, you are able to dig in and you are PRESENT… This helped us resolve longstanding issues that weren’t resolving themselves and were pushing us further apart. You were able to get right into it and solve it”

Todd, Private HMT attendee, 2019
Retreats cost the equivalent of a ‘feel good weekend’
but give lasting results.

A Worthwhile Investment of Time and Money

You are considering investing a chunk of time and money into this; you want it to be worth it. Part of you wonders, “If we break up anyways, will this be a waste?”

I get that concern; I have heard it from many successful couples, prior to their attending one of my Private Retreats. It is a sound investment of your time and money on a variety of levels.

Maximize Your Success

  • My Hold Me Tight® Private Retreats are designed to maximize your ability to succeed. The individual sessions, personalized content, and follow-up supports set you up for success like no other retreats in the New England area.

Tools That Help ALL Your Relationships

  • This Retreat gives you tools that extend past your relationship with your partner. You will be learning tools in this Retreat that you will carry the rest of your life. Your understanding of yourself and how people relate will impact your connections with your children, family, peers, and others for years after your weekend. That understanding is priceless.

Results That Last

  • This costs the equivalent of a ‘feel-good weekend‘, but gives results that last. So many couples spend thousands for the ‘perfect weekend escape’, hoping to rekindle the connection. As fantastic as those weekends may be, reality comes back soon after the bags are unpacked. My Private Retreat is an opportunity to ‘get away’ with the benefit of actually bringing home memories, insights and tools to sustain your connection long after the weekend.
Your relationship will be transformed over one weekend

The Need to Get This ‘Right’

You may have been hurting a long time and are motivated to do something. Whatever you do, it needs to be the best possible option. You realize this relationship may not last long enough for a second chance if what you do now doesn’t work.

Hold Me Tight® Private Retreats provide the best of the best. Quick results, well-researched, personally designed for your relationship, flexible and supported with follow-ups. There are no guarantees in life, but I can promise that during your Private Retreat, you will:

  • communicate to a depth you have not experienced with your partner before.
  • understand what is happening behind the conflicts and how to stop them.
  • connect with your partner in an amazing and authentic manner.
  • address and repair hurts that have seemed impossible to heal.

Private Retreats are the Way to Get it Right

Your relationship will not be changed; it will be transformed.

I thought we would leave here with tools, but not with this renewal…this awakening. I feel like we made huge strides…a deeper connection. This is an investment, it’s a lifetime investment. It’s the best investment I have ever made.”

Savannah, Private HMT attendee, 2019

The Details

How Long is it?

Two days: generally Friday/Saturday or Saturday/Sunday 9-4. Plus 2 individual sessions scheduled before the Retreat and 1 follow-up session scheduled after the Retreat. (Lunch is 45 minutes both days, on your own, with optional ‘homework’).

It’s 17 hours in total; equaling 4 months of therapy.

How are the individual sessions scheduled?

After I receive your deposit, I will contact each of you to schedule your 50-minute individual session. We may do these in my office or over video.

Do you have other scheduling options?

Yes. Share your scheduling needs and we will try to find something that works for all of us.

How much is it?

Total cost is $2800; split into 2 payments. An initial $1400 deposit secures your dates and the remaining $1400 is due one week prior to your Retreat.

What do we get with this?

During the Private Retreat

  • 2 individual sessions prior to your Retreat
  • Uniquely designed retreat based on your needs and goals
  • 14 hours of my one-on-one attention
  • Workbook with exercises to take home with you
  • Summary of strategies specifically matched to your relationship
  • Structured practice of relationship tools
  • Beverages and snacks both days

After the Private Retreat

  • Follow-up email
  • Follow-up 1 hour video session
  • Exclusive access to subsequent coaching or therapy with me
  • Optional 4-page summary shared with yourselves and your providers
  • Special gift to take home to help you connect after the Workshop
  • Ongoing bi-weekly emails with tips/tools to help your relationship
  • Exclusive membership in my private “Hold Me Tight®” Alumnae group on Facebook where you have access to me, my assistant, and other couples who have attended my “Hold Me Tight®” Workshops or Private Retreats.

Where is it?

In my colonial home, located in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Private Retreat has dedicated space in the house so that it’s comfortable and private.

Are you able to come to us or to another location?

Possibly. I have created Retreats with couples as ‘getaways’ in romantic locations. My travel, lodging costs and a per diem surcharge are added to the total when choosing this option.

If you can afford the Private Retreat, I would recommend it.

Couples improve in my small group Workshops, but
relationships can be transformed in my Private Retreats.

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