Sex, Desire, Intimacy and Connection: Your Whole Relationship: – March 20 – 22, 2020

This workshop builds on previous knowledge gained either from a Hold Me Tight ® workshop, or from significant experience with EFT-focused couples therapy.

Presenters: Lisa Blum, PsyD and Silvina Irwin, PhD

In Hold Me Tight® or EFT Therapy, you learned and practiced nurturing a deeper and more secure emotional connection. In this next-step workshop, you will learn how to enhance your sexual connection, cultivating intimacy, safety, healing, playfulness, and fun!

We welcome same-sex and opposite-sex couples who have experienced EFT therapy or the Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop and who want to take the next step in cultivating greater closeness, intimacy and desire in your relationship.

When:   March 20-22, 2020

Time:  The workshop begins on Friday at 1:00 pm and ends on Sunday around 1:00 pm, with a fairly full schedule throughout. You may wish to consider whether you and your partner are able to add an extra day either before or after the workshop so you can enjoy beautiful Ojai at your leisure.

  • Friday. 1:00 – 6:30 pm

  • Saturday. 9:00 – 1:00 pm, 2:30-6:30 pm

  • Sunday. 9:30-1:00 pm

A detailed schedule is provided below.

Location:  Ojai Retreat & Inn, 160 Besant Road, Ojai, California 93023

CE units: 13.0 hours

Course Level: Intermediate to advanced. CE Workshop is aimed at same-sex and opposite-sex couples/practitioners who have experience in EFT therapy or have attended a Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop.

Cost: Registration Fees for this workshop (includes lodging in a private room at the Inn, with private bathroom):

  • Very Early Bird Registration per couple is $1100.00 by January 1, 2020.

  • Early Bird Registration per couple is $1200.00 between January 1 – 19, 2020.

  • Regular Registration per couple is $1350.00 beginning January 20, 2020.

  • A limited number of discounts are available for fellow mental health professionals and students. Please inquire for availability and rates.

Space is limited at the Inn as there are only 10 available private rooms with private bath. We recommend that you book your retreat as soon as possible to be sure you are able to stay with us at the Inn. Your registration is final when full payment is received.

Click here to go to an EFT Resource Center registration page


After participating in this workshop, attendees will be able to:

  • Explain the optimal physiological state for sexual engagement of Relaxed Excitement where the PNS and SNS are both activated.
  • List 3 strategies for promoting the optimal state of relaxed excitement.
  • Explain the interaction between stress and the sexual response system.
  • Describe the relationship between Adult Attachment Theory and sexual response.
  • Describe the dual-control model of sex and how this model addresses problems of sexual desire.
  • Describe the impact that cultural, familial, and personal histories have on shaping one’s sexual identity and response to sexual contexts.



2:30 -3:00 Check In

3:00 – 3:45 Start of program

Opening introductory remarks
History of how this seminar came to be
Overview of the weekend agenda
Introduction of Couples Exercises
Goals an expectations
Video – What did you see?

3:45 – 4:00  Couple Exercise – goals

4:00 – 4:15  Myth Busting

4:15 – 4:35   What drives us toward and away from sex with a loved one?

Make up small groups

4:35 – 5:00 Getting Back to Our Bodies

Play is important in sexuality

5:00 – 5:15 Break

5:15 – 5:35 More Ways to Regulate — Breath and Body Scan

5:35 – 6:20 Talking About Our Sexual Relationships

6:20 – 6:30 Wrap up and Homework


Breakfast 8:00 – 9:00

9:00 – 9:15 Breathing and body scan

9:15 – 10:05 Exercise

10:05 – 10:35 Review Attachment Theory Main Points

10:35 – 11:05 Mindful Touch, Part 1

11:05 – 11:35 Break and snack – Tower Building

11:35 – 11:40 Recentering and Breathing

11:40 – 1:00 Conversation into the Sexual Cycle

1:00 – 1:15 Debrief

1:15 – 2:15 Lunch

2:15 – 4:00 Exercises on your own (no CE credit)

4:00 – 4:10 Reconvene: Debrief exercises

4:10 – 5:00 Models of sex

implicit model of sex [success = orgasm;]
What model of sex do you WANT to have?
Other models that have influenced us

5:00 – 5:10 Couples Exercise

5:10 – 5:20 Explain remaining exercises

5:20 – 6:20 Importance and how-to of sexual history

6:20 – 6:30 Wrap up and explain homework


8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast

9:30 – 10:00 Welcome back and debrief on Day 2

10:00 – 11:00 Acknowledging injuries

Emotional injuries

11:00 – 11:30 Break (check out by 11:00)

11:30 – 12:55 Understanding Desire: Dual Control Model of Sexuality

12:55 – 1:10 The sexual menu – helping develop couples’ sexual life

1:10 – 1:20 Wrap up and summary points

1:20 – 1:30 Closing video

1:30 Evaluations



Lisa Blum, Psy.D. (PSY#19790) is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in promoting healthy couple and family relationships.  Dr. Blum is an ICEEFT-Certified Therapist and Supervisor Candidate in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), one of the few research-validated therapies for helping couples and families strengthen relationships and build stronger connections.  Dr. Blum is in private practice in Pasadena and West Hollywood, where her work includes individual, couples, and family therapy, and supervision, training, and public speaking on family, marital, and parenting issues. Dr. Blum has worked as a mental health professional since 1987, and has worked extensively with parents and children, teachers and staff both in clinical practice and in community settings, and she consults to public and private schools and organizations to develop programs that support families.

Dr. Blum’s previous experience includes: Supervising Psychologist at the Institute for Girls’ Development in Pasadena; Supervising Psychologist for Children’s Hospital¬-Los Angeles; Staff Researcher at the UCLA Center for Adolescent Health Promotion; and Director of Education for the HiTOPS Teen Health Center in Princeton, NJ, where she designed educational programs for teens, parents, and teachers on healthy adolescent development. Dr. Blum holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Bachelors degree in Psychology with honors from Cornell University.

Silvina Irwin, Ph.D. (PSY#19710) is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Pasadena, CA. and co-founder of the EFT Resource Center.   She is an ICEEFT Certified Trainer, Supervisor and Therapist in Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Dr. Irwin specializes in working with survivors of childhood and adult trauma, focusing on healing and recovery at the individual level, as well as addressing the impact that traumatic experiences have on intimate relationships in her work with couples.   Dr. Irwin works with teens, adults, families and couples. In addition to providing clinical services, Dr. Irwin conducts trainings and workshops for professionals in the community, including the police department, Office of the District Attorney, psychotherapists and psychology trainees at various centers, and medical staff at local hospitals to name a few.

Dr. Irwin trained at Harvard Medical School, and at the University of San Francisco, California Medical School. She received her Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Boston.  She was trained and mentored by Dr. Sue Johnson, founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Your workshop fee includes accommodations in one of the lovely rooms at the Ojai Retreat and Inn, Friday and Saturday nights of the workshop. Complimentary Wi-Fi and parking is available. Checkout is at 9am on Sunday. If you would like to attend the workshop, but accommodations at the lodge are sold out, we can direct you to nearby accommodations. Please email us directly at for further information.

Meals & Refreshments
Your workshop fee includes a plentiful breakfast in the dining room located on at the Ojai Retreat and Inn, both Saturday and Sunday mornings. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided during workshop hours. Lunches and dinners are on your own to be enjoyed at one of the many lovely restaurants the town of Ojai has to offer. We strongly recommend making reservations in advance. Yelp, Trip Advisor, etc. are good sources for restaurant recommendations.

Please go to the EFT Resource Center web page for more information about lodging and meals

Illuminated Education is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Illuminated Education maintains the responsibility for this program and its content.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts APA approval for CE activities for MFTs, LCSWs, LPPCs and/or LEPs.

Outside of California, please check with your licensing board to see whether APA approval is accepted for CE credit in your state. Please call Dr. Cooper if you have further questions (626-744-9472).

Cancellations prior to 1/19/20 at 12 pm will be eligible for a 100% refund, minus a $25.00 processing fee. Cancellations after 12 pm on 1/19/20 will be subject to a $650.00 cancellation fee, and the remainder of the registration fee will be refunded. HOWEVER, you will retain a credit with us for the cancelled registration amount (i.e., $650) to be used toward a future workshop offered by the EFT Resource Center. So no money is lost, only deferred for later use. This policy is the most generous that we can offer; the cancellation fee is necessary because of the non-refundable commitments we make to the hotel or retreat center where we are holding the workshop.

For information about accommodations, please see the EFT Resource Center website ( or contact Dr. Chris Cooper (Illuminated Education) by phone (626-744-9472), FAX (626-585-0440, or email ( If emailing, please reference this program in the subject line.



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