Tag Archives: couples

Here are two couples retreats you won’t want to miss this summer!

Three gifted marriage counselling facilitators/therapists are offering two separate couples retreats in BC, Canada this summer (2018). I’ve worked with the presenters and can confidently recommend them: Judith Ansara and Robert Gass’s Sharing the Path Couples Retreat, and Beth Falch-Nielsen’s Keeping Love Alive Summer Camp for couples.

Sharing the Path – Judith Ansara and Robert Gass

Robert Gass Judith Ansara Hollyhock

I assisted at last year’s Sharing the Path couples retreat and I came away with a lot of respect for Robert and Judith and their teaching team. Read my takeaways from the experience – “What I learned at the couples retreat – 7 key takeaways from ‘Sharing the Path’ with Judith Ansara and Robert Gass at Hollyhock retreat centre” > click here.

August 5-10, 2018
Hollyhock Centre
Cortes Island, BC, Canada

Rekindle and deepen your experience of love and connection. Several thousand couples have attended our profound couples’ retreats. Many report that the experience was life-changing. Virtually all found their relationships infused with renewed passion, more skillful communication, enhanced mutual respect, deeper friendship, and greater joy and pleasure.

In a respectful and safe way, you will be both challenged and supported to break out of old unskillful habits and be guided in the practices of conscious relationship—authenticity, self-responsibility, empathy, appropriate boundaries, sacred sexuality, deep listening and effective problem solving. You will practice with the content that is most relevant to you and your partnership, thus tailoring the retreat to meet your specific needs. Our time together is also infused with play and fun–something many couples report wanting more of. And of course, simply time dedicated to just the two of you! You will go home with important skills and tools to continue creating a life you love.

For those who already share a good and loving connection, this retreat is an opportunity to develop your skills, and discover new levels of intimacy. For those who are feeling more challenged in partnership, Sharing the Path offers healing ways to rekindle and strengthen your connection and love.

All couples welcome.

(From the Hollyhock retreat centre website – click for more info.)

Keeping Love Alive Summer Camp – Beth Falch-Nielsen (with Richard Klein and Yogita Bouchard)

Beth Falch-Nielsen is a lead trainer with the Hakomi Institute and has been a friend and mentor for over a decade. I’ve done her workshop personally and recommend her wholeheartedly.

August 24-29, 2018
Mountain Waters Retreats
Nelson, BC, Canada

Join us for a unique 5 day Couples Retreat that will breathe new life into your relationship. You will have afternoons to enjoy the many recreational activities that Nelson has to offer, or to just rest and catch up with each other. In the six hours of daily course time (morning and evening) you will get both the tools, and new experiences together, that will allow you to change the unconscious dynamics that underlie conflict, opening the door to more connection in your relationship.

Having the right tools and reconnecting to what is really important can change relationships profoundly. Whether you are in crisis, just stuck, wanting to enrich what you already have, or find yourself at the beginning of your relationship and want guidance in how to “do it right from the beginning”, this workshop will give you a deeper understanding of relationship dynamics and effective tools to support you to create the alive and loving relationship you want.

This workshop will:
1. Offer experiential exercises that will give you concrete skills to take home. It is an opportunity to stop doing what isn’t working, and to start doing something that will.
2. Provide an opportunity to have a different experience – to re-connect, to shift attitudes, and to learn how to nourish and care for your relationship.
3. Help you, if you are in crisis and trying to make a decision about the life of your relationship, by providing models and tools to help you use a different lens to filter your decision through, and by assisting you to connect to a deeper, wiser, and less reactive part of yourself to make that decision from.

(From the Mountain Waters Retreat Centre website – click for more info.)

[Note – I have no financial interest in either of these events, nor am I involved as an organizer or presenter. Please contact the organizers directly for registration and information.]

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Campbell River Marriage Counselling Justice Schanfarber Trying to grow, fix, change, understand or save your marriage? I provide couples therapy, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples on the issues that make or break relationships – Sessions by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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When the love of your life leaves – 5 steps to help you heal

Wife husband leaves marriage relationship counsellingThe end of a relationship or marriage can feel like death. Grief is an appropriate response. This means anger, sadness, denial might all arise.

It’s visceral. Breathing is hard. You can’t sleep. For the person being left it can feel like the end of the world. You wonder if you’ll even survive. To say you’re hurt and confused or angry is too little. It feels much bigger; like everything has been turned upside down and shaken, like the ground has disappeared under your feet.

Along with negotiating urgent practical matters like finances, housing and parenting, you might also come face to face with abandonment, rejection and self-esteem issues, some of which may have been dormant and are arising for the first time.

This is a very, very tender spot to find yourself. It’s immensely uncomfortable. In my work as a counsellor I notice patterns and common tendencies in my clients. I’ve also identified opportunities and choice-points for moving forward in a healthy way. Here are five principles that can help –

1. Feel what you feel
Feelings aren’t negotiable. They can’t be wrong. They simply are. It’s important to feel what you feel. When we deny uncomfortable emotions they come back to haunt us, or they drive our behaviour from underneath consciousness, without our active consent. Rule of thumb – there’s no need to either encourage or deny feelings. Notice them, name them (“I feel sad”) and watch them change over time. Note – Anger is a feeling. Fear is a feeling. Sadness is a feeling. “S/He’s a control freak” isn’t a feeling. (More on that in a future article.)

2. Take thoughtful action
We don’t necessarily choose our feelings, although we choose how we act on them. As much as noticing our feelings is important, it would be a mistake to act on them without consulting our rational, thinking self. The trouble is, when strong feelings are present we don’t have much access to the part of our brain that makes well-considered choices. Take some time. Let feelings settle before you make important decisions around child custody, financial agreements or emails to the inlaws. Breathe.

3. Get support, but not from your (ex)partner
The person who is leaving the relationship is almost certainly not the person to help you cope with the pain you feel. You might feel extremely needy or drawn to this person right now. Do not give in to the urge to seek comfort there, especially if it is not offered. If you are holding out hope for reconciliation, say so, but then get support elsewhere. Seeing you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and take support from others is the most attractive thing about you right now in your (ex)partner’s eyes. Turn to friends, family and community for support. Tell them what helps, and what doesn’t. Find a counsellor or therapist that you trust.

4. Stay open, even when it hurts
When we feel hurt and angry we look for an explanation. We want to understand. We assume we shouldn’t feel this way, that it’s a big problem. And so we search for a reason. The reason we find is almost always some version of I’m bad or They’re bad or The world is bad. What these three positions all offer is a way out of the confusion. Assigning cause (blame) does relieve some tension. The problem is that each of these three beliefs locks us into an adversarial relationship – with self, with other, or with reality (the world). I’m not saying that your relationship ending wasn’t caused by you or them or the unfairness of the world. But getting too fixated on any of those causes makes you rigid and closed to possibilities that might be just around the corner.

5. Help others
This piece of advice was given to me by a friend over a decade ago when a relationship was ending and I was in deep pain. His simple and wise words led me to the act of writing this for you now. Helping others gets us out of our own head and puts us in direct contact with the universal experience of suffering. Everybody hurts. Help someone. Share their pain, and feel your own soften.

Also read –
Dilemmas, confusion and the trouble with good advice
Is victim a dirty word? On victim blame, victim denial, victim mentality and what the victim archetype can teach us.

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Like what you’re reading here?
You’ll love my new book.
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The Re-connection handbook for couples - by Justice Schanfarber - web box2

8-week Relationship Intensive - Justice Schanfarber

 

Campbell River Marriage Counselling Justice Schanfarber Trying to grow, fix, change, understand or save your marriage? I provide couples therapy, marriage counselling, coaching and mentoring to individuals and couples on the issues that make or break relationships – Sessions by telephone/skype worldwide. Email justice@justiceschanfarber.com to request a client info package. www.JusticeSchanfarber.com

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