The kind words on this page were mostly gathered from the anonymous evaluations that participants completed at the conclusion of a Couples In Step retreat. There are a few others given to Irene, unsolicited, in an email or some other kind of communication.

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Just wanted to send a note to say thank you for the weekend. It was a powerful experience – I found it excellent in every aspect, and especially your skills, your gentle approachable manner and your insights.

It is a beginning for us. We have a lot of work to do, but this opened a window on what is possible. I hope we have the courage and commitment to continue.

Thank you for making it less scary..

retreat was a window, winter 2018

Thank you for creating a safe, supportive environment and for your skilled facilitation. Video clips and music were great additions to the material. Just enough group participation.

retreat participant, 2012

It was quite amazing. I learned a lot about myself and my partner and our relationship.

retreat participant, 2012

We found the retreat really helpful as a way to enhance and solidify the work that we had been doing in our EFT-based couples therapy for several months before the retreat.

The retreat complemented our couples therapy work by clearly laying out the background principles and tenets of EFT therapy in a concrete and condensed manner (through the academic research, videos, the workbook and individual exercises). We learned steps and tools to break the negative cycle we often find ourselves in. We learned repair. We learned to build a more secure attachment with each other.

Participating in the retreat after having already started couples therapy made us feel like we were able to get a lot from the retreat. Continuing on with couples therapy afterwards enabled us to further explore what we had uncovered in the retreat.

Being at the retreat with other couples at all stages of their relationship and ages, as well as watching the videos of other couples, helped us to see how similar we are to others. We wouldn’t have gotten this without the group setting and video presentations, so that was great for us as well. We are not alone! That makes us appreciate each other and our relationship even more.

retreat participant, also in EFT couple’s therapy

You know…good facilitators like you empower others to take risks and this is what I am doing now!!! I have really enjoyed the retreat and we both benefited from it immensely, both personally and professionally. Since then, I have immersed more and more in EFT and enjoy every minute of it.

EFT therapist, retreat participant, Ontario

There were couples here at all stages in their relationship and I think they all benefited, no matter what stage of the relationship they were in. We didn’t really get to know what everyone’s problems were (thank goodness!), but enough was said, so that I could tell it was pretty good for everyone.

retreat participant, 2013
I appreciated the opportunity to be with my partner and learn together and then apply it in real time. Thank you for providing this retreat. I like your gentle approach. You have a calming voice. Obviously people benefited.
retreat participant, 2012
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When you started talking about the “science” behind love I thought at first you were ridiculous. But you did a good job. And now that I think about it, why shouldn’t scientists study love. They study everything else. Anyway it was my wife’s idea to come, but I am glad I was here. You could be a science teacher.
Retreat participant
We’ve spent many hours in couples therapy. This was so much better. Going back and forth between the group and our couple stations worked better than therapy for us and you made sure we had lots of time in our couple stations. Thanks a lot.
retreat participant
You will probably learn something about your partner that you didn’t know before. I did. And it helped me find the connection again that was somewhat lost.
retreat participant
My wife and I participated in the Couples In Step weekend, upon the suggestion of our adoption worker. Although I was skeptical coming in, I was thankful on the way out.

My wife and I had thought we had previously had every possible conversation about our relationship before this weekend (been married many years), but the weekend brought out one or two that were quite worthwhile.

It is the whole environment of the retreat which provides a wonderful backdrop of openness, safety, willingness to speak and be spoken to both by the moderators, your partner, and the other participants.

We enjoyed the other participants as much as anything about the weekend; their views, their openness, and their willingness to be frank and be there for each other. We found ourselves missing the other couples we had met, the town where it was held, and even the place we stayed. Everything had a way of knitting itself into the memory and lingering thoughts.We even found ourselves discussing the subject matter of the seminars and discussions in the following weeks.

In retrospect I can see that for couples planning to marry this would be a very beneficial event to attend. They’ll benefit from those who have experienced a lot of what they will experience over the coming years. I highly recommend this retreat as a way to connect. You’ll also find others with similar experiences.

Attachment is the key to relationships, as we have learned both in the world of adoption and the world of marriage.

retreat participant, an adoptive parent
Participating in a Hold Me Tight® weekend retreat is the greatest gift a couple can give to their relationship. Irene’s calm, sensitive and respectful guidance allowed my husband and I to connect on a deep level which I had been longing for. Her Hold Me Tight® retreat helped us fall in love all over again.
retreat participant, Ontario
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I remembered how much I love my partner and that was a long time coming. Although I was already familiar with EFT, being able to focus on its principles for an entire weekend was invaluable.

retreat participant, northern Ontario
This was an amazing weekend and I wish we would have known about this a lot sooner!
retreat participant, Eastern Ontario

This was an amazing weekend and I wish we wWe found the whole retreat very helpful in bringing us closer together. Glad there was a lot of time for us to really get our negative “dance” in a safe environment. The different roving therapists were great too. I thought it wouldn’t work very well to have all the different therapists stop by, but it did!

retreat participant, Manitoba
Transformational weekend for us. Thank you. You had a great choice of songs and video clips to illustrate concepts. You’re examples were real. Thanks for telling us a bit about yourself too. That made it all pretty real. I like your line about how we’re all turkeys swimming in the same soup.
retreat participant, 2012
If I were to te