Your Whole Relationship: Sex, Desire, Intimacy, and Connection – July 14-16, 2017

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 our many years providing couples therapy to help heal relationships, we have witnessed how hard it is to talk honestly and openly about challenges in sexual relationships. Conversations about sex are often filled with anxiety, shame, embarrassment, and fear of hurting one’s partner. Or sometimes it’s a matter of just not knowing how to talk about it at all. We designed this workshop to demonstrate how to help couples find greater ease in having these conversations — even to find ways to be playful and loving in these conversations — because it’s hard to repair and enhance something that you cannot talk about. This includes talking about the emotional and physical blocks in sexual relationships and creating a safe space for couples to talk about their sexual relationships. We will also explore multiple ways of connecting and communicating in sensual and sexual connection.

This workshop not about sex therapy – that is, we will not focus on diagnosis or treatment for specific sexual difficulties, such as erectile dysfunction, vaginal pain, premature ejaculation, or porn addiction. The workshop focuses on finding pathways for couples to talk about what is and is not working in their sexual relationships, and to help them make a plan together for how to address their difficulties, and heal them.

When: July 14-16, 2017

Time: see SCHEDULE below

Location: Pepper Tree Retreat, 1130 McAndrew Road, Ojai, CA   93024

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 (does not include lodging):

Early Bird Registration: $825.00 (until Wednesday, June 14, 2017)
Standard Registration: $875.00 (after Wednesday, June 14, 2017)

Click here to go to an EFT Ressource 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.


1:30 Check in for Lodging – Main House

2:00 Program Start – Event Pavilion

Introductions and Overview
Myth Busting
Sex and Play

3:45 Break

4:00 Continue Program

Body-based Learning
Debrief in Large Group

5:30 Wrap – Dinner on Your Own

8:00 Breakfast Buffet – Main House

9:00 Morning Session – Event Pavilion

Group Check-in and Discussion
Review of Attachment Theory

11:00 Break

11:15 Continue Program

Mindful Touch, Part 1
Our Sexual Cycle

1:15 Lunch Buffet – Main House

2:30 Mindful Touch, Part 2 (In Your Room, No CE Credit)

3:45 Afternoon Session – Reconvene in Pavilion

Models of Sex
Sexual History
Debrief in Large Group

6:15 Wrap; Dinner on Your Own

8:30 Breakfast Buffet – Main House

9:30 Program Start – Event Pavilion

Group Check-in and Discussion
Acknowledging Injuries

10:30 Break (Check out by 11:00am)

11:00 Continue Program

Sensuality/sexuality Menu
Letter Writing

1:30 Program Ends – Evaluations
Departure; Lunch on Your Own

Lisa Blum, Psy.D. (PSY 19790) is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in promoting healthy family relationships. Dr. Blum has worked as a mental health professional since 1987. Currently Dr. Blum is in private practice in Pasadena and West Hollywood, where her work includes individual, couples, and family therapy, and consultation, training, and public speaking on family, marital, and parenting issues. She 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 is certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in her work with couples and families. EFT is one of the few research-validated therapies for helping couples and families strengthen relationships and build stronger connections.

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 and certified EFT therapist and supervisor in private practice in Pasadena, CA. 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 also provides treatment for mood and anxiety disorders and relationship and family distress. She works with individuals across the lifespan, including children, teens, and adults. 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, therapists 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. Prior to her work in private practice, she was a psychologist at the University of San Francisco providing clinical services, supervision, teaching and training, as well as conducted research on best-practices in the treatment of child trauma.

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).

If you need to cancel your workshop registration 31 or more days days prior to the start of the workshop, you will receive a full refund of your registration fee less a $25 administrative fee. If you need to cancel 30 days or less prior to the start of the workshop, we will be glad to refund your registration fee less the $25 administrative fee if we or you are able to book your place in the workshop with another registrant. If we are unable to find an alternate couple to take your place, we will refund 50% of your registration fee. HOWEVER, you will have a credit with us for the other 50% of the registration amount to be used at a future workshop offered by the EFT Resource Center. This policy is necessary because of the commitments we make to the retreat center where we are holding the workshop.

Lodging is separate from your registration fee and needs to be booked separately. The Pepper Tree Retreat Center has 10 unique rooms in a vintage 1910 farmhouse and separate cottages on the same grounds where our workshop will take place, which will be available on a first-come basis. See a description and pictures of the lodging options here. There is an advantage to staying all weekend on the grounds of the retreat center, as you may find it more relaxing not to have to drive back and forth into town (about 10 minutes away), and you will have access to private space for your couples exercises during the workshop. The PepperTree Retreat Center is also set on a lovely 11 acres of orchards, gardens, and beautiful vistas of the Ojai valley, making it a very peaceful and meditative place to spend the weekend. To book your room at the PepperTree Retreat, please call 877-355-5986 and state that you are with the EFT Resource Center Couples Workshop. All charges for lodging are your responsibility.

Other lodging options in the town of Ojai include high, low, and medium-priced hotels, a list of which can be found here: In addition, there are Airbnb and VRBO (vacation rental by owner) options. You may wish to use web-based search and rating sites (e.g., Travelocity, Travel Advisor, Yelp, etc.) to determine which lodging will be right for you. Please note the cancellation policy of the particular lodging you book, as their policy may be different than our workshop cancellation policy.

We recommend that whichever lodging option you choose, book now, as lodging in Ojai tends to fill up quickly on the weekends.

If you have questions or would like any guidance in making a decision about where to stay, feel free to email Jen Lum at the EFT Resource Center at

The meeting site is accessible for those with mobility issues. If you have any other needs or any other questions, please contact Jen Lum, MA, MFT, EFT Resource Center, 626-460-3175 or email at

You can also 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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