Hold Me Tight® Chicago One-Day Couples Retreat

A recent testimonial from a couples therapist who attended:

 "I was skeptical to attend the Hold Me Tight® Chicago workshop. I'm a well-versed couples therapist, and I felt I knew all there is to know about relationships. But my marriage was hanging by a thread, so I was willing to try anything. So we came.  

And we gained more than I could ever have imagined. 

We learned about ourselves, each other, and how to connect in ways we didn't know that we could. 

We accomplished in one day what would have taken at least 6 months in couples therapy. 

Thank you, Josh, for guiding us in rekindling our bond. 

I am recommending this workshop to my clients, colleagues, and friends!  Any couple, whether feeling strongly connected or hanging by a thread, can and will benefit from attending the Hold Me Tight® Chicago One-Day Couples Retreat! 

Josh, you brought us hope, connection, and a passion we didn't know could be there anymore. From the depths of our hearts, thank you!" 


"My wife and I regularly benefit from these integral concepts in our marriage."  - Josh, Facilitator


Only 2 spots left for the upcoming retreat on Sun, Mar 22nd!

Hold Me Tight® Chicago One-Day Couples Retreat, March 22nd

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card

When:  10 am - 5 pm (1 hour lunch break around 12:30)

Where:  8707 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL

 After making your payment, please fill out registration information here.  

To see a list of other dates HMTC will be offered, click here.

Would you like to hear some testimonials from people who have attended the Hold Me Tight Chicago Retreat?  Check out this 2 min video from couples who share about their experience at Hold Me Tight Chicago!

Register here.

Bring more laughter and connection to your relationship.


Manya T.

"Our experience at the workshop with Josh was a true catharsis. We began tense, unsure, and perpetuating many of the patterns that threaten the integrity of our bond. As we stuck with the material, we found ourselves grateful for Josh's candor and humor, and we were able to borrow his optimism that we would emerge from the workshop with skills to enrich our connection. By the end, we were laughing, playful and ready to continue the work at home. Since the retreat, we've found ourselves at several familiar crossroads that previously may have devolved into conflict. I'm happy to report that we've emerged from them lighter, happier and more connected. I've already recommended the workshop to my friends and patients."

Tina S.

“...My husband and I were both surprised to learn about the emotions behind some of our long standing conflicts. Josh brought both his great sense of humor as well as his deep compassion to teaching us this vulnerable approach to connecting with each other. We walked away feeling a renewed sense of love and commitment to each other."  


"The best thing you could do for your marriage!" - D.D.


Hold Me Tight® is a product of over 30 years of research in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, a leader at the forefront of Couples Therapy in our generation. Research has guided the HMT workshop to offer exactly what you and your partner need to be able to explore and enhance your bond. The material facilitates the tools you need to get there, to understand yourselves and each other at the core. 

 "This workshop helped us to see beyond the surface issues to the deeper parts that lie behind our connection. The workshop helped us deepen our understanding of ourselves, our partner, and our relationship. We look forward to building a closer relationship with the tools you have given us."  

Relationship Tools Acquired at Hold Me Tight Chicago:


Recognizing Demon Dialogues

Couples learn to identify the negative and destructive pattern they are in.  We begin the process of getting to the root of the problem and figuring out what each other is really trying to say.

Finding the Raw Spots

 Each partner learns to look beyond immediate, impulsive reactions to figure out what raw spots are being hit.

Revisiting a Rocky Moment

Couples establish a platform for de-escalating conflict and repairing rifts in the relationship along with building emotional safety.

Hold Me Tight Conversations

This is the  heart of the program.  These conversations move partners into being more accessible, emotionally responsive, and deeply engaged with each other.

Bonding Through Sex and Touch

Couples find how emotional connection creates great sex, and good sex creates deeper emotional connection.

Therapists love HMT Chicago!


It's an honor and pleasure to share the beauty and wisdom of Emotionally Focused Therapy (the foundation of the HMT workshop) with mental health professionals. Their accolades are a testimony to the depth and beauty of the content being offered and how everyone can benefit from it both personally and professionally.  

Dr. Danielle Dragon, PsyD

 "Josh's warmth and wealth of knowledge creates a safe space to learn a new language of closeness in a marriage." 

Dr. Jeff Gersten, PsyD, Director of the Gersten Behavioral Center

   "Josh has such a calming style and helps to create a safe space for any couple, whether together for one year or fifty, to deepen their connection and recharge their relationship. I found the workshop stimulating, informative, engaging, and the opportunity to explore my own marriage to be refreshing." 

Jennifer Larson, LCPC, NCC, Gottman Level-3 Couples Therapist

 "Attending the Hold Me Tight® Chicago workshop helped me learn additional ways of understanding both my husband's and my deepest emotional feelings... I walked away with a warm sense in my heart and the foundation to continue to have more Hold Me Tight conversations with my husband.  Joshua brings a warm, inviting presence to his instruction while also sprinkling the day with fun and humorous soundbites... Thank you!" 

Accolades for Dr. Sue Johnson's Hold Me Tight


John Gottman, PhD, bestselling author of The Seven Principles for Making Relationships Work

 “At last a road map through Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with its creator. Dr. Johnson’s superb science, humor, and clinical wisdom are finally accessible to all of us. I couldn’t pick a smarter, warmer and more real guide for this journey.”

Daniel J Siegel, MD, author of Mindsight, Parenting from the Inside Out & Brainstorm

 “Wonderful… Hold Me Tight blends the best in research findings with practical suggestions from a caring and compassionate clinician. Hold Me Tight will be of great benefit to couples trying to find their way to better communication and deeper, more fulfilling ways of being with each other. Bravo!”

Harville Hendrix, PhD, author of Getting the Love You Want

 “A much-needed message to all couples and therapists, and I recommend it to all.”

Boston Globe

  "There's something appealing about this book's honest, no-holds-barred approach. By creating complete emotional safety and by willing to be fearless about it, it seems to me, not only can real love be kept alive, it can flourish" 

 "Hold Me Tight®" is a registered trademark to Dr. Sue Johnson, founder of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. 

About Joshua, the Facilitator


Couples Therapist

Couples Therapist

Couples Therapist

 As one of the first ICEEFT certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapists and Supervisors in the Midwest, Josh has been sharing the beauty bonding via EFT with the greater Midwest population for many years.  Besides working exclusively with couples and families in private practice, he offers the HMT workshop regularly, serves on the Chicago EFT Board, runs the North Shore EFT peer consultation group, and offers regular trainings and supervision for therapists learning EFT.  


Couples Therapist

Couples Therapist


"My wife and I have been married for over 15 years.  Along with her regular job, she's the mother of our rambunctious bunch.  We strive to work regularly on our relationship, enjoyed a Hold Me Tight workshop together, and eventually when our kids are older, I hope she'll join me in offering these workshops together." 

For more information about Josh, click here.


Fun Facts

Couples Therapist

Fun Facts

  "In high school I thought I was going to be an Olympic rower.  In college I studied to become a Biblical scholar.  After I got married, I decided to study Couples Therapy.  The latter seemed to stick.  I still want my chance at the Olympics..." 

"I'll have to be satisfied with bringing more love and connection into the relationships of the world.  Personally, I think that's better than a gold medal."



 "Excellent workshop! Thank you, Josh! Really appreciate all the content and learning. Opened my heart to sharing with my partner. Thanks, again!!" 


 "Whatever stage you're at in your relationship, you will absolutely benefit from this workshop!" 


 "Josh was very encouraging and comfortable." 


 "The overall structure and format provided a well paced workshop. Loved the humorous videos. Laughter was so helpful for learning the new material and integrating it."


 "It was a great workshop with concrete, applicable tools for relationship intimacy building as well as non-pathologizing ways to understand one's own attachment needs and history. Excellent exercises and video examples were also helpful in learning during the day. Thank you, Josh!" 

"It's always scary going back to your vulnerable spots. This is a very safe and fun way to go back a

Space is limited!

Hold Me Tight® Chicago Couples Workshop Common Questions:


Who is the HMT Couples Workshop for?

 This workshop was created to help couples who would like to incorporate cutting edge research-based understanding and positive change in their relationship. Whether your relationship feels shaky and you want to feel more secure or you guys are doing great and just want to take your bond to the next level, the HMT Couples Workshop will help you get there.

Is there anyone the workshop is not for them?  Yes, if one or both partners are actively having an affair, actively pursuing an addiction (sex, drugs, gambling, etc), or is strongly considering leaving the relationship. Those factors that will prevent the secure bond the HMT workshop kindles for couples.

We are a religious Christian / Jewish / Muslim couple.  WIll the workshop be comfortable for us?  Yes!  And I would be happy to go over any concerns you may have.  A number of religious couples have attended my workshop and practice of all different types of backgrounds and felt comfortable.

I'm a therapist. Is this workshop for me?

 Of course! The HMT Chicago workshop is a great way to dive into the concepts of Emotionally Focused Therapy in a comfortable experiential way. Many therapists come out of the workshop feeling much more equipped with their couples in the practice. Plus you can get 6 CEs! 

Are the 6 CEs included?

 No. You will be sent a link to sign up, and there is an additional charge of 29.95. 

What should I expect at the HMT Couples Workshop?

 Through slides and videos, you will learn about couples' dynamics and how it happens when distance replaces closeness, defensiveness replaces openness, and even loneliness replaces connection. You will learn what it takes to change those dynamics. Through the presentations, videos, and fine-tuned relationship development exercises done privately, you, as a couple, will develop a deeper understanding of yourselves, your personal dynamic, and how to adjust to a dynamic of your choice. You will experience your relationship in a more secure, connected, and comfortable light. That is ultimately what creates a new space for connection, intimacy and trust. 

Is Hold Me Tight® researched? Is it proven to be effective?

 After over 30 years of research proving the effectiveness of Emotionally Focused Therapy from which the Hold Me Tight® program is based, three research studies have found relationship satisfaction increased significantly after completing a Hold Me Tight® program. The latest study also showed a significant increase in family functioning. 

Do we end up speaking about our relationship issues in public?

 All the exercises are done privately. There are periodic check-ins throughout the day where people can share about how it's going for them. Sharing is optional and limited after the exercises. No one is expected to share any of their personal challenges or revelations. 

More Testimonials

"This is the PERFECT WAY to reconnect when life is really throwing curve balls at you!  Thank you, Josh!"

"Josh is a perfect blend of strength, humor, and tender authenticity, holding a safe place for couples to deepen their conversations with self and other; a perfect day of love and reconnection!"

"Joshua was outstanding!  We all left with practical and powerful tools for a loving and long-lasting marriage."

"Josh did a masterful job covering important marital derailers and solutions in a short time frame.  I now feel my wife and I are in a great position to improve our marriage because of this workshop."

"Joshua did a phenomenal job in presenting important and difficult information.  He created hope and possibilities for relationships that needed it."  

"After years of couples therapy, we never experienced the depth and vulnerability we did in this workshop."

"...a one-day retreat to reconnect and inspire your relationship to be better, stronger, and more exciting for both of you!"

"This was a phenomenal experience that was enlightening, fun, and really helped us to reconnect as a couple!  As a psychotherapist, I really appreciated Josh's warmth, sense of humor, and sense of compassion.  Any couple can benefit from this workshop!  Thank you, Josh!"

"Hold Me Tight Chicago was awesome! ... It gave us tools to continue to have the conversations we've been dying to have but didn't exactly know how to yet.  Thank you!"   - Dani

"Every relationship would benefit from this workshop with Josh!  We feel much closer after today!" 

"...constructive, compassionate... healing... entertaining... informative...  Josh is a terrific teacher and leader!"  

"No matter where your relationship is at, this workshop will make it stronger!"

"You will thank yourself for doing this!  And your partner, no matter how skeptical, will thank you too!"

 "Liberating, nurturing, and real.  Loved it!"  - Anonymous

"What a wonderful day!  I experienced a deep feeling of connection to my husband that I haven't felt in years!"  - Lucy A.

"This workshop offers amazing tools and conversations for a deeper connection and appreciation of your partner.  The workshop is funny, and offers a non-intimidating environment to foster real, raw, and honest conversations."  - Gwendolyn

"Josh was amazing!  I loved the workshop!  It definitely helps to wake up and see things in a whole new perspective." - Anonymous

"Never think you have everything figured out until you come to this couples retreat!"  - Anonymous

"This workshop has the potential to bring you together in unexpectedly beautiful ways!"  - Anonymous

"Joshua is an incredibly empathetic and genuine workshop facilitator.  He makes the space feel safe to be vulnerable.  And I appreciate his ability to weave humor into the process."  - Anonymous

Thank you to everyone who has attended, encouraged, and shared the Hold Me Tight Chicago One-Day Couples Retreat with others!  Together, we can bring newfound warmth and connection to the world, one bond at a time!   


Want to see a schedule of upcoming HMT Chicago workshops?