Sex, Desire, Intimacy and Connection: Your Whole Relationship

New Video Format!

Friday, July 17th and 24th and Saturday, July 18th and 25th, 2020

We welcome same-sex and opposite-sex couples of all genders who have either participated in EFT couples therapy, read and practiced the Hold Me Tight® book, or participated in the Hold Me Tight® Couples Workshop.

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!

When:  There will be four part-day sessions on a secure video platform over two weekends  in July, 2020.

Friday, July 17th and 24th: 1:00 – 5:00pm

Saturday, July 18th and 25th: 9:00am – 1:00pm

A detailed schedule is provided below.

For more detailed information about the logistics of this workshop and pointers about how to set up your environment to maximize your comfort and leaning, please go to the EFT Resource Center website.

CE units: 13.5

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: The registration fee of $569 per couple includes the workshop fee for two of you, all materials, expert guided assistance during the workshop from therapists and facilitators, and a pre-workshop box of materials mailed to your home.

You can pay the registration fee online through Paypal with a credit card (no Paypal account is required), or you can pay through the Zelle bank-to-bank network by using this email address: For more information about cost and payment, please visit the EFT Resource Center website or go to the Registration page.

Click here to go to an EFT Resource Center registration page


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

  1. Describe 2 ways that cultural, familial, or personal histories can shape one’s sexual identity and response to sexual contexts.
  2. List 2 commonly held myths about sex which interfere with a positive sexuality self-concept.
  3. Explain at least one way that stress affects the sexual response system.
  4. Describe the optimal physiological state for sexual engagement of Relaxed Excitement where the PNS and SNS are both activated.
  5. List 3 strategies for promoting the optimal state of relaxed excitement.
  6. Describe 5 body-based self-regulation and co-regulation strategies to help members of a couple move into greater physiological attunement.
  7. Explain how pleasurable sexual engagement is a physiological process akin to play.
  8. Describe at least 1 aspect of the relationship between Adult Attachment Theory and sexual response.
  9. Explain the most common negative interactional cycle that develops between partners with discrepancies in desire.
  10. Describe the dual-control model of sex and how it operationalizes sexual desire.
  11. Describe how the dual-control model of sex conceptualizes remedies for problems of sexual desire.
  12. Explain how mindful touch practices reduce anxiety related to sexual desire and performance.


Day 1 – Friday, July 17th

12-45 – 1:00 Check In (sign in via Live Chat)

1:00 – 2:00 – Introduction to the Workshop (60 minutes)

Welcome and Introduction of workshop leaders and workshop format

Goals and expectations of the workshop (for leaders and participants)

2:00 – 2:30 -Couple Exercise (worksheets completed in advance) (30 minutes)

Myth Busting

2:30 – 2:50 BREAK

2:50 – 3:10 – What Drives Us Toward and Away from Sex with a Loved One? (20 minutes)

3:10 – 3:30 – Body-Based Learning: Getting Back into Our Bodies (20 minutes)

3:30 – 3:55 BREAK + PLAY

3:55 – 4:20 PRACTICE ON YOUR OWN (more ways to regulate:  breath and stretch)

4:20 – 4:50 – Talking About a Sexual Relationship (30 minutes)

4:50 – 5:10 – Exercise (20 minutes)

5:10 – 5:30 – Debrief and Homework (20 minutes)

5:30 – Sign Out via Live Chat

Day 2 – Saturday, July 18th

8:45 – 9:00 – Sign-In + Welcome Back

9:00 – 10:45 – Understanding Desire (105 minutes)

Dual control model

Breaks and accelerators


10:45 – 11:00 BREAK

11:00 – 12:00 – Mindful Touch (60 minutes)


Mindfulness and touch


12:00 – 12:30 – Models of Sex (30 minutes)

12:30 – 12:40 – Summary/Wrap-Up (10 minutes)

12:40 – 12:50 – Homework

12:50 – 1:00 – Sign Out via Live Chat

Day 3 – Friday, July 24

12:45 – 1:00 – Sign-In

1:00 – 1:15 – Debrief/homework (15 minutes)

1:15 – 2:15 – Review of Attachment Theory Main Points (60 minutes)

2:15 – 2:40 – Our Sexual Cycle and Raw Spots (25 minutes)



2:40 – 3:00 – BREAK

3:00 – 5:00 – Sensuality and Sexuality (120 minutes)


Sensate Focus


5:00 – Sign Out via Live Chat

Day 4 – Saturday, July 25

8:45 – 9:00 – Sign In via Live Chat

9:00 – 10:00 – Understanding Desire, part 2 (60 minutes)


Dual Control model


10:00 – 10:55 – Sexy and Not-So-Sexy Contexts (55 minutes)

10:55 – 11:15 – BREAK

11:15 – 12:15 – The Sexual Menu – Developing Breadth and Depth (60 minutes)

12:15 – 12:50 – Summary Points and Wrap-Up (35 minutes)

12:50 – 1:00 – Evaluations and Sign Out via Live Chat.


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.CE APPROVAL
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 07/03/20 at 5 pm will be eligible for a 100% refund, minus a $25.00 processing fee. Cancellations after 5 pm on 07/03/20 will be subject to a $100.00 cancellation fee, and the remainder of the registration fee will be refunded.

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



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