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Workshop helps couples connect

February 12, 2014

With Valentine's Day on the horizon, couples interested in gaining better understanding of their relationship can find answers at the Hold Me Tight Couples Workshop at CSU.

Ashley HarveyThe four-session workshop, which begins Feb. 25, features Ashley Harvey, an assistant professor in CSU’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies. She will be joined by Paul McClure, a Fort Collins couple and family therapist. The workshop is offered through the CSU Center for Family and Couple Therapy and will be held on campus. The full series costs $125; individual sessions are $45.

“This workshop is an excellent opportunity for couples to learn more about themselves, their partners and their relationship,” Harvey said. “Couples learn that they’re not alone – lots of couples struggle with the same issues when it comes to relationships.”

Not couples therapy

The workshop – Harvey stressed that this is an educational opportunity, not couples therapy – is based on the book “Hold Me Tight” by Dr. Susan Johnson. It also utilizes emotionally focused therapy (EFT), a scientifically validated therapy for couples. EFT has a 70 percent to 75 percent success rate, and results have been shown to last even in the face of significant stress.

The workshop will help couples learn about their patterns of connection and conflict without sharing details about their relationship.

Helping couples connect

Harvey said males take the initiative to sign up for the workshop at least half the time.

“This workshop awakens people, and makes them realize that, in the end, we all want to feel safe and comforted – as well as be comforting,” she said. “I think people want to tap into that innate longing in all of us to have comfort and connection. It’s hard for us to admit that, but we’re all wired the same way when it comes to connection.”

The 90-minute sessions will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesdays through March 25. For more information or to register for the workshop, call the Center for Family and Couple Therapy at (970) 491-5991.

The Center for Family and Couple Therapy is in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, College of Health and Human Sciences.