New Weekend Workshop For Couples and Individuals

“Connect before you communicate”…Forget everything you’ve heard about sharing your feelings, being frank, trying to get him to share his feelings.
New research about relationship and the male mind tells us that discussion may be the fastest way to shut down communication. The five words most men dread
to hear “Honey, we need to talk”.

In this workshop you will learn exciting new ways to connect and enrich your marriage and relationship. Over the last 20 years, I have counseled hundreds of couples and individuals and studied with the best minds in the relationship field. Ideas from Steven Stosny, PhD; John Gottman, PhD, Harville Hendrix, Terry Real and many others will be combined into the most effective tools to improve your relationship.

You should attend if:

Your marriage is in crisis.
Your relationship is boring, stuck and/or numb.
You want to improve a good marriage
You are about to be married.

Join us for this life changing workshop and learn the most effective and creative ways both men and women can create the relationship they want.

Friday to Sunday

June 7, 8 ad 9–2013

Call or email for details.

To register or if you have quesitions please call 512-705-1052 or email:

$599. for couples
$399. for individuals
(Ask about hotel discounts)

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation…. So we must not forget, when we love, that we are beginners, bunglers of life, apprentices in love and must learn love; and like all learning, this needs peace, patience, and composure.” —Rainer Maria Rilke

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The Blame Game

Did you ever wonder why we blame other people for things that happen in our own lives? Did you ever wonder why it seems so effortless to blame our partner for our own unhappiness?

Did you know that understanding the roots of blaming is the key to healing your relationship? Behind every blaming statement there is an unmet need that you have. If your partner is blaming you for something, he or she has an unmet need wanting to be heard.

For instance Carrie was furious with David because he was always online and never seemed to be engaged with her in the evenings. She blamed him for their lack of closeness. Even though there was an element of truth in her complaint, her anger drove him further and further away. Her unmet need was for safety because of her deep fear of abandonment. Through counseling she learned to be aware and acknowledge her deep need for connection and the way she was blaming David out of her fear. Expressing this need to him in a loving and non blaming way brought them closer. This “softening” allows them to begin to heal and repair their interactions. It also allowed David to admit to his fear of her anger and his need to protect himself by distancing from her.

These are two very basic strategies that couples use to deal with the fear that arises when there is not a safe connection in relationship. The first is to be caught in fear of abandonment and demand responsiveness by blaming. As with Carrie and David this often backfires and pushes the other away. The second tactic is to numb out feelings and needs and to avoid engagement with the other by withdrawing.

It takes real courage to turn to your partner and ask for what you need. This takes incredible strength. As noted marriage researcher, Sue Johnson says, You ask for the emotional support and reassurance you need. Each time you can do this and your partner can respond you are building a safe haven relationship that no amount of outside stress can destroy. We know that when partners can do this they are stronger and more confident as individuals and they create stronger more loving bonds

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Are You In Safe Hands?

By Judith Kennedy, Ph.D. | July 28, 2010 at 05:14 PM EDT | No Comments

Each relationship is made up of three people. The two human beings who commit to be together and the third being or living covenant they create by their intention. This being, like all of us must be nourished in order to thrive.

This covenant must be held as a sacred bond in the relationship and it needs a place to be safe and grow as the relationship grows. A safe place in a relationship is sometimes called a container, one can also think of this place as a vessel such as a chalice which would hold sacred wine. Creating a strong vessel is the key to strong relationships. Think of the relationships that you respect and admire. What is most true about them is the care they take to keep their bond, their container strong. In coming posts, I will discuss ways to nurture and create a healthy vessel for your relationship. For now please read a most wonderful story from Richard Seltzer, surgeon at Yale Medical School who tells of a couple with a very strong container in his book Doctor Stories (

“I stand by the bed where a young woman lies her face post operative her mouth twisted in palsy, clownish. A tiny twig of facial nerve the one connected to her mouth has been severed. She will be this way from now on. The surgeon has followed with religious fervor the curve of her flesh, I promise you that. Nevertheless to remove the tumor in her cheek, I had to cut the little nerve.

Her young husband is in the room. He stands on the opposite side of the bed and together they seem to dwell in the evening lamp light apart from me, private. Who are they? This wry mouth that I have made? Who gaze at, and and touch each other so generously.

The woman speaks…”Will my mouth always be like this, she asks? Yes, I say it will. It is because the nerve was cut. She nods, is silent. But the young man smiles. “I like it, he says, it’s kind of cute.”

All at once, I now who he is. I understand and I lower my gaze. One is not bold in an encounter with a God. Unaware of my presence, he bends to kiss her crooked mouth and I, so close, can see how he twists his own lips to accommodate hers. To show her that their kiss still works.

And I remember that the gods appeared in ancient Greece as mortals. And I hold my breath and let the wonder in.”

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Wild Comfort

by Judith F. Kennedy, PhD

We need it now. Some soothing, some comfort, some grace from a world that seems at times to have gone mad. The oppressive heat this summer, the tragedy as we see the devastation of the oil spill, the war, a senseless shooting of innocent people by a disgruntled employee, all of this reminds us that we must take care of each other and nourish our relationships, the innocent animals and beings who depend on us and our fragile planet.

Kathleen Dean Moore has written an incredible book called Wild Comfort. After experiencing a year of despair, sorrow and loss she turned to the rhythms of nature in order to make sense of that loss. In her travels to the desert, forests and oceans, she observed the life around her – the birdsong, the beetles, the cry of a loon, a feather brushed by the breeze – and she wrote. The result is a book of essays which are full of grace and filled with wisdom; a book of meditation about the seasons and cycles of the earth and the living creatures who inhabit it. Such a title, such grace. After reading it today, I left everything on my desk just as it was. I made my way outside almost as if I was answering a prayer. Sitting on my front porch here deep in the woods on the Cape, I was comforted beyond measure. The birds were out in droves, butterflies too. Is there anything more innocent than a bird, a little chickadee, deciding to honor me with its presence here on my front porch. Bella my chihuahua, sits on my lap, leaning into me with her small warmth. All of us drinking in the holiness of this present moment, this place.

In some way this very personal, intimate book is able to connect our emotions with the wonder of the natural world. Jane Hirschfield says about this book: “In its grounded wisdoms, humility, curiosity, and in the kaleidoscope beauty of its descriptions, Wild Comfort reminds how to see, how to sing; how to welcome, with equal gravity and grace, whatever asks entrance into our lives. It is destined to become a classic.”

I am overcome by gratitude for this book, a reminder of the comfort and refuge there is in wild natural places. Like the grace of the moon sliding out from the clouds on a dark night.

You must read it.

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Secret love

A colleague recently told me about attending a high school reunion. He was really surprised when an old friend told him that his wife had just left him after 30 years. It seems that the man’s wife had also attended her high school reunion and reconnected with her high school sweetheart. She decided to leave her husband and marry the first love of her life. Who hasn’t had some sort of fantasy like that?

Do you ever think back to your own fond memories of a sweetheart and long for that feeling again? Helen Fisher, noted anthropologist and expert on romantic love tells us that there are three major drives in our brain with regard to love: the sex drive, the romantic love drive and the attachment drive. While there are many reasons we evolved this way, it seems that the romantic love drive is extremely strong. Even stronger than any addiction. Think about the strength of that love. You were probably willing to go to the ends of the earth for that person. You wrote his name down hundreds of times. You talked for hours on the phone. No wonder we daydream about lost loves and spend time wondering if perhaps that old love was the “real” thing after all. That romantic love drive is so strong sometimes it can mask the real work of building a mature lasting love. Even if that romantic drive happened with your long term partner, often we wonder if perhaps there is something wrong not to have those feeling anymore.

When I was a young intern, my best friend also a graduate student, had a terrible time managing her feelings for one of her clients. We all wanted to help her so we were full of advice about how she should get counseling herself, meditate, perhaps even transfer her client to another counselor. Boy were we all trying to help. She worried about it all the time and felt so guilty. Finally, she spoke about it to her supervisor. He listened to her for a long time as she poured out all her angst and guilt. As she told it to us, hearing enough, in his wise way, he turned to her and simply said “Why don’t you just enjoy it?

I was shocked to say the least. However, as I fully grasped the advice and realized how relieved my friend was, I understood deeply what freedom he had given her. She could have her feelings. She didn’t need to be afraid of them. She didn’t need to do anything. It seemed too simple. However, no denying the way that simple idea made the world right again for my friend. In Buddhist terms this is called being present with what is. As we relax and accept whatever feelings we are having, they become less powerful and compelling. We can be a witness to the workings of our own heart and mind. We can respond in a wise way to whatever feelings arise and not react out of them.

My colleague was able to relax and work with her client in a new and effective way. She didn’t have to feel guilty or fight not to have any feelings. Soon, those feelings passed and she was able to understand more fully how her own fear of her emotions got in her way.

When that old love of yours finds you on Facebook or gives you a call or when those old feelings come knocking at your heart again “Why don’t you just relax and enjoy it?”

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Who Knew?? Essential advice for your relationship


Did you know that by creating a better relationship you are not only helping you and your partner but you are bringing more peace into the world?

Did you know that there are terrific skills you can learn to create a great relationship and that they are simple and not that hard to do??

Did you know that there are very specific things NOT to do in your relationship? You can overcome the biggest mistakes that most couples make.

Did you know that you have choices and did you know that there are many choices between “Should I stay or Should I go”?

Did you know that there is one critical, essential, central understanding that will change the way you view you relationship?

Did you know that when you feel confused, helpless or lost in your marriage that is when it is the best time to make lasting change?

These ideas and many others will be the central theme of this blog. There are many myths about relationships and many, many  skillful ways to overcome these myths.

It’s great to have you here!

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