Couple Workshops in Bali

Our Bali Workshop is a definite go ahead for 7th-10th October, 2024.  Please join us for a wonderful retreat and get closer to each other in beautiful East Bali.

Hold Me Tight – Conversations for Connection is normally a 2 day weekend workshop designed to help couples understand the reasons why our relationships with our significant others can go so terribly wrong. This year 2024 we will be running it over 4 half-days in Bali – allowing you more time to digest and process course content in a stunning and nurturing environment.


The workshop helps you understand what underlies the loving connection you have with your significant other and teaches you how to rebuild that connection if it has been lost. There is no sharing of personal information in this workshop as it is not group therapy. We present really important material about how couples get caught in negative interaction and inadvertently hurt each other, and you have carefully structured conversations in private to help you apply the material to your own relationship.


Our workshops are hosted by our Director Janine Moran and Psychologist Melanie Sheehan who bring their therapeutic skills to workshop, along with their humour and warmth.


“Such empathetic and understanding trainers, they made the theory clear and their guidance in the practice helped it to flow in a way I don’t think we could ever get just reading the book” (participant feedback)”


“I would like this program delivered in schools and parenting courses. This is truly a life changing program. The presenters however, created the environment of trust, warmth and experience to allow us to absorb the message.” (participant feedback)”


“Our relationship felt strengthened and we felt a deeper tenderness for each other afterwards.” (participant feedback)”


“Words cannot do justice to the quality of this weekend, simply exceptional.”


“Beyond amazing…all of it”

Click here to listen to audio feedback from previous participants:

What will be covered?

Click here to listen to Melanie and Janine discussing the workshop:

In the workshop, you learn why articulate and capable people, who might communicate beautifully with others, get stuck in negative cycles with the person who matters most to them. It explains why the couple bond is important to all of us and why the way in which we naturally protect ourselves can stop us from expressing vulnerability, and in turn, stop us from connecting.


We cover raw spots that all of us have and that can be accidentally stepped on by our partners and look at ways to repair rocky moments between us. We look at healing attachment injuries – those deep hurts that may have been caused from highly regrettable incidents throughout the years, and we look at sex and bonding.


Finally, we look at ways to keep connected and to stay close. This enables you to rebuild the bonds of love and trust, which are so necessary for fostering and maintaining a healthy relationship.


Our Workshops provide an insight into Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples – created by Dr Sue Johnson and proven to have a 75% success rate in improving and repairing relationships, which is higher than any other form of couples’ therapy. The positive impact of attending this workshop is also evidence-based, tested and shown to have a positive impact on couples who attend.


You will specifically learn current, evidence-based information about relationship dynamics, and about the way our own emotional wiring feeds into our relationship patterns. You will see video footage of real couples having conversations to help them connect and understand each other. We then provide you the opportunity to go away on your own, to practice these same conversations – in a structured way, with support available if needed. You will take Sue Johnson’s book home, Hold Me Tight, and use it as a resource to stay on track.


“It’s distinction from traditional couples therapy, i.e. the cycle – the notion of pursuer and withdrawer, and the chunks of ‘practical’, the ‘safety’ of it for novices to any intervention of this sort, and the residual feeling that this has been a beautiful spring-board to some therapy now.”


“I found the content really helpful; it provided the valuable context I needed. Realising we’re not done and there are words and theories to help explain has been comforting.”

How will the workshop shift your understanding of relationship issues?

Sometimes when you are stuck in negative patterns with each other, you just need someone to show you the tools for getting unstuck. When we are stuck in these negative cycles we often blame our partner – we demonise them, view them as being the problem. We lose patience with them and the relationship. Our workshop will help you to identify the negative loops, cycles and conversations which underpin this kind of thinking.


The focus of the weekend is to highlight negative interaction cycles. All couples get stuck in these cycles from time to time. Whilst they can look and feel a little different from couple to couple, in general, all cycles have the same underpinnings. Janine and Melanie will explain these underpinnings, explaining our latest understanding of relationships founded in neuroscience. 


In examining negative relationship patterns, you will work through 7 healing conversations, which provide a structured framework to “say what needs to be said in order to put things right”. You will be given time to have these conversations on your own over the weekend and Janine and Melanie will be available to help you if you get stuck. 


They have also integrated all sorts of clips, often from Hollywood movies or other therapists, to illustrate points which makes the content easily digestible and interesting to learn. Their material will provide insight into the underlying themes driving certain behaviours between you and your partner, the emphasis of which is to find sound resolutions to issues plaguing your relationship. 


“We understand now that the pattern that a relationship gets caught in is common and can be explained and that there is a way forward to develop as a couple.”


“I’ve found a new understanding of how my partner ‘works’ and how I ‘work’. Also knowing tools to allow us to communicate and connect effectively.”


“Really enjoyed all the clips – the couples and the funny Hollywood ones – humour is so important sometimes to bring you both together with a laugh – and we laughed at ourselves all weekend but also learned an amazing amount of what has been getting in the way for us for a long time.”

What will you take away from the workshop?

“Conscious understanding of the process (the loop) of an argument, and hence how to analyse and de-escalate it. Refresher of my triggers, and my partner’s, and the need to use this knowledge in the de-escalation process.”


“The sense that our relationship problems are not unusual but in fact understandable and ‘treatable’.”


“The importance of understanding the attachment model, the process/cycle, and the neurobiology rather than the content of the conflict or the disconnection.”


“We felt closer, with a greater understanding of our emotions and responses.”


“More positive and aware and more able to see my/our pattern, and that give me loads of encouragement for future work as well as compassion for myself and my partner. Yes, the retreat was normalising and inspirational.”

Will it be ok for us to be in a group?

Our Workshops are not group therapy – couples do not share any private information during the sessions. The sessions consist of Janine and Melanie presenting relationship specific material with an emphasis on the most common relationship issues. The group still interacts as they realise as hear the material as it all rings so familiar and true. The group environment actually makes the weekend more enjoyable and lighter.


“The group was very good, easy to talk to and share without getting too detailed or personal.”


“Felt so supported by the group energy without losing the safety of such personal work, everyone was so respectful of privacy and yet available to share in the process and challenges that were common to most couples in the group.” 


“Common themes and patterns,  reassuring that this is human stuff, not just our stuff.”


“It was reassuring to see so many different people, different walks of life, all with similar issues. Shared experiences, and great people and conversation.” 


“Even though we spent the weekend with 6 other couples, the weekend remained very private. The course content was structured so you didn’t have to share any private information with other participants. This made everyone more relaxed and open to the experience.”  

What can we expect from the 2024 Bali Workshop?

This year’s workshop will move to Bali! After many requests for an overseas Hold Me Tight, we’re absolutely delighted to make it happen.


We will be uploading more information about the Bali workshop in the coming weeks. It will be held in the beautiful Alila Manggis, a Hyatt Hotel on the ocean in East Bali. The workshop will run Monday 7th til Thursday 10th October, daily from 9.30 to 1. Included will be daily yoga, morning tea and lunch.


Afternoons will be free to spend time with each other. Relax and enjoy the closeness and intimacy that new understanding of your relationship creates.


If you’re staying at Alila do this on your stunning daybed overlooking the ocean, or lie by the pool. Have a couple massage by the sea in a bamboo hut listening to gentle waves: Alila offers a very serene spa experience. For the more active, choose to go on a fabulous expedition in nearby East Bali. Click to read about Alila journeys.


These dates are aimed to suit as many couples as possible. Parents may either take children to Bali for the holidays and arrange childcare from 9.30 to 1 each day, or find it easier to leave children with Grandparents over the holidays. Couples without children should be able to arrive and leave Bali outside of peak school holiday airfare dates.


This workshop is suitable for all couples  – including mental health professionals and their partners.


An earlybird rate of $750 per person is available for payments received by the end of June.

The Annual Canberra Workshop (not available 2024)

The workshop venue is the East Hotel, (link to an award-winning hotel in Canberra’s leafy inner south. Participants from out of town come and enjoy the best of contemporary Canberra: nearby cafe culture, outdoor and cultural attractions. The venue provides free bikes and Canberra’s electric scooters for hire can be found in abundance to take around the lake or anywhere on the bike paths that Canberra is famous for. 


For Canberra participants it is highly recommended to have a staycation, spend a night or two at the hotel and immerse yourself in the experience. If that’s not possible,  come for the days only, the workshop runs from 9 to 5. 


The hotel has stunning food and beverage. The workshop price includes morning and afternoon tea and lunches on the beautiful terrace at Agostini’s restaurant. Overnight stays are not included in our price and are arranged by you with the hotel directly, (link to Please make sure you have registered and have a place in the workshop before you book the hotel.


We have chosen a beautiful space where you will feel looked after and this is a really important part of you being able to deepen your connection with the content and each other.


On Saturday night 5-7 we provide canapés and drinks in Joe’s Bar for participants to unwind and connect.  Participants say that this is a real highlight of the weekend. 


The price of our workshop is approximately the same price as 5 counselling sessions, and we help you work on your relationship all weekend. For some couples, it is a gentle and less confronting introduction to working on their relationship issues, and by doing the work in a group, it can be fun as well. 


“Great venue – great food – I really enjoyed the size of the group – large enough to get broader perspectives, but small enough to be intimate.”


“Even though we are from Canberra, we enjoyed having a staycation at a nice hotel, as part of doing the workshop. The food provided was excellent.”


“Professional (venue) – incredible service. So much choice, very elegant. It helped feel like it was something special, a ‘treat’ rather than an ordeal.”


“Food was amazing. Great service and so pleased we stayed overnight.”


“Even though we spent the weekend with other couples, the weekend remained very private. The course content was structured so you didn’t have to share any private information with other participants. This made everyone more relaxed and open to the experience. The venue was spacious and had so much room and break out areas where couples could sit and talk privately. Meals and break times spent with the group provided many great conversations and lots of fun and laughter. I especially enjoyed the Saturday evening drinks.”  


“Felt like we had a wonderful break away and worked on our relationship. It was just what we wanted.”