Advanced Cognitive Therapy Home
Couples Workshops
Relationship Therapy
Group Therapy
Are you depressed?
Are you anxious?
Cognitive Therapy
Schema Therapy
Health & Lifestyle
Recommended Reading
Contact Us and Directions

Sign up for Couples Workshop



The Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat:

Hold Me Tight: Conversations for Connection
An Exclusive Engagement in Midtown Manhattan!
A Relationship Education Retreat for Couples

Based on the book
Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Dr. Sue Johnson

Presented by:
Travis W. Atkinson, an expert in the couples therapy field

Upcoming ACT Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat Dates:
(Sat. 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.)
The cost of the full-day Couples Retreat is $600
For upcoming dates and times,
click Register Now >>

The cost of the full-day Couples Retreat is $600

Register Now >>

“The Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat” is an intense, educational program based on Hold Me Tight: Conversations for Connection, from the book by the creator of Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Dr. Sue Johnson, run by a lead expert in the couples therapy field.

The Retreat Program
The Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat, broken into 8 segments from the theory and practice of EFT, focuses on how the new science of love can help you and your partner/spouse improve your communication, repair your conflict effectively, enhance your passion, romance, and sex, and set a foundation for lasting love and security.
You and your partner/spouse will participate in skill-building exercises and role-plays together, view videos of couples demonstrating each point, and receive one-on-one support from an expert in the field of couples therapy. There is no group work or public disclosure necessary.

The Retreat Topics

  1. Learn the latest findings from science that can help you and your spouse build a secure, lasting relationship
  2. Identify destructive patterns in relationships that can lead to distress and separation
  3. Identify specific areas of sensitivity for both you and your partner/spouse and learn antidotes to effectively heal them
  4. Learn how to repair mistakes and create a secure base in your relationship
  5. Create safe, positive dialogues together with your partner/spouse
  6. Learn how to forgive injuries in your relationship and how to develop or rebuild trust
  7. Create secure connections during sex and touch
  8. Learn how to care for and sustain the love in your relationship

The Retreat Philosophy
The Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat advocates that long-term love is not only possible but is your birthright, and you are better and stronger when you find a safe haven and secure base in your loved one’s arms. A loving relationship is the basis of a secure family, and highly correlated with your long-term happiness.

You no longer have to accept that romantic love is a mystery, or an unattainable ideal. Science is now able to track key moments in your relationship that create joy or anguish.

The Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat derives specifically from EFT, an empirically tested model of couple therapy showing excellent results with lasting effects. Research identifies precisely how change occurs in relationships, and is based on attachment theory, an empirically based perspective forming the basis for the emerging science of love and loving. EFT has developed a systematic and powerfully effective approach to reducing relationship distress and helping couples create trust and intimacy. The ultimate goal is to help a couple create a secure and loving bond, in addition to reducing conflict and distance. EFT is the first couple therapy based on a well-defined and tested understanding of adult love, and has shown positive results with couples dealing with difficult problems.

If you and your partner/spouse are experiencing the loss of a secure emotional connection, a pattern of negative interactions may be perpetuating distress in your relationship. Compelling emotional signals meant to pull you and your partner/spouse closer, or to reduce conflict between you become distorted and loaded with criticism, anger, or apparent indifference. Negative spirals of interaction between you and your partner/spouse can erode trust and increase natural vulnerabilities and the sense of isolation between you.

EFT can help you and your partner/spouse take control of these negative interactions and clarify your emotional signals about connection needs and fears, encouraging responses of love and compassion between you. You and your partner/spouse can become Accessible, Responsive, and Engaged in your relationship. Key conversations clearly and positively answer your relationship question: “Are you there for me?” You and your partner/spouse can then openly reach for and connect with each other to create a secure connection, promoting growth and resilience in both of you.

The Retreat Leader
Travis W. Atkinson, the Director of Advanced Cognitive Therapy of New York, leads the Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat. Travis is a Certified Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapist supervising in EFT, a Certified Gottman Method Couples Therapist, a Certified Schema Therapist, Supervisor & Trainer, and a Certified Group Psychotherapist. He is specially trained in clinically proven models of couples therapy recommended in The New York Times. Travis has also trained couples therapists internationally, recently presenting a keynote address at the Dutch Society for Schema Therapy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and has trained couples therapists at the Mettaa Institute of Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Seoul, South Korea. He is affiliated with Dr. Jeffrey Young’s Cognitive Therapy Center of New York, is co-author of the latest schema mode therapy inventory, the SMI 1.1, and published “Schema Therapy for Couples: Healing Partners in a Relationship” in the Handbook of Schema Therapy, published in Dutch by Bohn Stafleu van Loghum (October 2008).

Travis was trained specifically by the founder of Emotionally-Focused Therapy, Dr. Sue Johnson, the founder of Schema Therapy, Dr. Jeffrey Young, and the founder of Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Dr. John Gottman. He has also co-presented with Dr. Young for three years at the New England Educational Institute, training other couples therapists in the latest schema therapy techniques for couples therapy. You can be assured he uses the latest empirically validated therapeutic techniques and skills, has broad experience in your area of concern, and genuinely wants to help you improve your relationship.

Who Should Attend
All couples, married or in a committed relationship, who want to improve their relationship are invited to attend the couples retreat, whether together or separated, with a few noted exceptions below. The retreat is designed for couples only, so it is not possible to attend alone without your partner/spouse. If one partner is hesitant about attending, you may wish to share Dr. Johnson’s book Hold Me Tight to increase motivation. While the educational portion is presented to all couples, sharing or public disclosure is optional. The number of couples attending is small, capped at 7 couples per retreat. Childcare options are not provided.

If you live outside the New York area, after you’ve registered you may contact our coordinator for hotel accommodation suggestions near the retreat. Food and accommodations are not included with the retreat fee.

The Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat is not appropriate for couples when: (1) one partner is explicitly not committed to working on the relationship (2) there is extensive and long-standing distress where couples therapy would be more appropriate (3) there is a pattern of significant physical or emotional abuse in the relationship, or (4) one or both partners have significant untreated mental health problems such as schizophrenia or suicidal depression.

Upcoming ACT Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat Dates:
For upcoming dates and times,
click Register Now >>

The cost of the full-day Couples Retreat is $600

BONUS: Register now online or via phone (212) 725-7774, attend the ACT Loving at Your Best Couples Retreat, and receive a FREE copy of Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love, by Dr. Sue Johnson, a $25.99 value (for a limited time).

Space is extremely limited and workshops usually sell out. Register Now to assure your place in one of these upcoming seminars:

Register Now >>

If you have further questions about about ACT Couples Retreats, please call (212) 725-7774 or (888) 4-ACT-NYC.



Loving at Your Best
Saturday Retreat

  For upcoming dates and times, click below



©2005 Advanced Cognitive Therapy of New York   •   315 Fifth Avenue @32nd Street Suite 704, New York, New York 10016