Fostering Secure Attachment
through Effective Communication
This one-day live virtual workshop is designed for couples in a committed relationship who want to enhance their communication and conflict management skills. If you have a good relationship, it will become even stronger. If you experience difficulties, you will gain practical tools to repair rifts and restore secure attachment with each other.
Benita A Esposito, facilitator.
Licensed Professional Counselor with four decades of experience.
One day: Saturday, February 10, 2024
Location: Virtual Workshop on Zoom
Receive a discount when you register by January 10.
.As couples move beyond the “honeymoon” phase, they inevitably encounter conflicts. If not handled skillfully by both people, emotional wounds mount up, adding one more brick to an invisible wall. Don’t wait until the wall is too high to climb. Invest in the training you need to create the flourishing relationship you know is possible.
Couples who have been together for a while express the following concerns. Do any of these apply to you?
Rest assured, these issues can be prevented or eliminated.
- I don’t want to make waves so I keep quiet.
- When I don’t speak up, pressure builds and I say things I wish I hadn’t.
- I hate conflict. Why can’t we just be happy?
- I don’t feel safe fully opening up to my partner.
- It hurts when my partner judges me.
- I know I shouldn’t be critical, but it’s hard to stop myself sometimes.
- When my partner gets quiet and distant, I feel anxious.
- I hate feeling lonely and far apart.
- We get too emotionally reactive.
- I want to feel more deeply bonded like we did at the beginning of our relationship.
- We used to have more fun together. Sometimes I feel bored.
- Our lovemaking lacks emotional connection and passion.
- My partner doesn’t follow through on agreements.
- To avoid conflict, I do the chores and then feel resentful.
- There’s been an affair, but we want to repair our marriage.
- By the time we get home from work and the kids’ events, we have to prepare dinner, do homework and get the kids to bed. We’re too exhausted to enjoy quality time together.
This workshop is based on four decades of research by Dr. John Gottman on what makes masters and disasters of marriage. We also draw from Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.
Dr. Gottman says that Dr. Sue Johnson is the best couple therapist in the world. They admire each other’s work. Dr. John Gottman has won numerous awards including four National Institute of Mental Health Research Scientist Awards. He was recognized as one of the Top 10 Most Influential Therapists of the past quarter-century by the Psychotherapy Networker.
What kind of activities will we do?
You’ll enjoy a safe place to practice skills under the guidance of an expert psychotherapist who specializes in couples therapy. There will be short lectures where you will skills. Then you’ll practice the skills as a couple. You’ll be invited to share insights with the group and ask any questions you may have.
- You will learn communication skills, the backbone of a healthy relationship.
- Listen and empathize so you both feel understood and respected.
- Share from your heart in a way that draws your partner closer without blaming.
- Create win-win solutions with your partner while being true to your Authentic Self.
- Set aside defensiveness, criticism, contempt and stonewalling.
- Skillfully maneuver through anger, fear, and conflict avoidance.
- Apologize and forgive.
- Ask for what you need and respond to your partner in a supportive way.
- Develop the courage to be vulnerable and transparent.
- Deepen your intimacy on all levels: body, mind and spirit.
- Develop true friendship.
- Understand your personalities, your unique needs, and your gifts.
- Apply the energy that was tied up in conflicts to create what is truly meaningful. When you support each other in creating your fondest dreams, your love grows exponentially.
“We get through conflicts much quicker so they don’t damage our relationship. As a result, we are more comfortable and confident in our relationship, and our future looks brighter than ever. Thank you, Benita!” – J.C., Writer/Editor/Trainer
Why I Facilitate Couples Workshops and Marriage Retreats
I believe that marriages and other committed relationships are the backbone of a healthy society. As I see it, dysfunctional marriages pose one of the biggest challenges in this society. Divorce causes pain for the couple, their children and extended families. Emotional anguish makes it difficult to work. Stress increases illness. That’s why I am passionate about Couples Counseling. When a couple learns how to love well, the positive impact reaches into their children’s lives as well as their siblings, parents, friends, and their workplaces. Healthy couples spawn healthy children. Healthy adults become healthy leaders who generate a ripple effect for hundreds of people.
“Our marriage has shifted from one filled with constant struggles, tension, and unhappiness … to one with clear communication, compatibility, and fun. We will be grateful to you forever!” – J.H., Artist
Want a Preview?
Watch this TV interview where I talk about the four behaviors that Dr. Gottman says predict divorce with 94% accuracy. Scroll down on the webpage until you see the TV interview.
Many couples devote 90% of their time and energy to children, jobs and extended family. No wonder they drift apart.
Some couples choose to tolerate the distance in their marriage until the children graduate. Then they turn toward each other, only to face the daunting challenge of leaping over the Grand Canyon to try to reach each other again.
Unwittingly, some couples leave their marriage vulnerable for someone else to come between them. I am not saying that affairs are right. I’m just saying it happens sometimes. You can prevent affairs. Wouldn’t it be better to talk about what has led to the distance and repair the relationship injuries so your marriage is safe and secure?
Some couples take vacations, but they don’t feel happy a month afterward because they have not learned how to create a real connection. They have not learned how to restore deep emotional intimacy during conflicts.
As a result, even little things can set them off. You know … the straw that broke the camel’s back. All this struggle is exasperating.
The good news is that you can repair relationship injuries and open your hearts again. You can prevent regrettable situations. You can learn relationship skills, just like you learn anything else.
It breaks my heart to see couples suffer from the slowness of private counseling sessions. There’s only so much we can cover in 50 minutes. You can progress more swiftly in this intensive workshop.
Complete the questionnaire and I’ll respond within 24-48 hours. Remember, space is limited to 6 couples so register early.
“Benita has an uncanny ability to understand each of our unique personalities, and to help us build a bridge.” N.A., Speech Pathologist
This is an educational format, not marriage counseling.
If you were taking a college course, you would meet in class 2-3 times a week for 3-4 months in addition to doing several hours of homework every week. If you want a bachelor’s degree to prepare you for a successful career, you would naturally attend four years of college or more. You would think nothing of it.
The skills needed to create a healthy marriage require at least one “college” course. But, if you want a superb relationship, you might want a four-year degree with continuing education for years to come.
We as a society need to get realistic about the education required for healthy flourishing relationships. We need to stop beating ourselves up because we don’t already know how to do it. School didn’t teach these skills.
Don’t keep waiting, hoping time will heal. Time does nothing. It’s what you DO with the time that heals.
Small unresolved conflicts snowball into mountains if they are not repaired.
Be smart. Get educated. Remove the stigma of getting help. You and your relationship will reap the benefits.
“My husband and I did therapy with you 18 years ago when he lost a job and our marriage was floundering. After 51 years our marriage is more solid than ever. You helped us see the right road to travel. We will always be grateful to you for your insight and wisdom.” – JCS, classical guitarist
Q: Do we have to be married to attend this workshop?
A: You can be married, engaged, or living together. There must be a commitment to make the relationship succeed.
Q: What if I’m uncomfortable sharing in a group?
A: That’s understandable. You don’t have to share anything you don’t want to with the group. There will be plenty of activities where you and your partner share privately. However, if you choose to share with the group, you’ll receive expert coaching. You will discover that other couples have similar issues and that you’re not alone. I will teach you how to communicate from your heart without blaming your partner. That helps you both feel safe.
If you want to improve your relationship but you would rather not be in a group, contact me to schedule a Private Couples Retreat tailored to your needs.
Q: We’ve been in therapy before, but we still have conflicts.
A: That’s normal. All of our fears and insecurities arise within an intimate relationship. When you learn how to explore the depths of an issue, you experience the deepest healing.
Q: What theory and techniques will you be using?
A: We’ll use Dr. John Gottman’s 40 years of research on this question: What makes masters and disasters of marriage? We will also use Dr. Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.
I’m a certified Gottman Leader for educational workshops.
Click here to read this article: Gottman Research FAQs. Read about how Dr. Gottman predicts divorce with a 93.6% accuracy rate.
Click here to read the key findings of Gottman’s research.
Q: How many people will attend the workshop?
A: A maximum of 6 couples. Register early to ensure your seats.
Q: Are there couples who should NOT attend?
A: If there is physical, emotional, or verbal abuse, or if there is drug or alcohol abuse, or if there is an active affair, or if you or a highly conflicted couple or on the edge of divorce … this retreat is not appropriate. Schedule a private counseling appointment to get help. If any of these are discovered during the workshop, an appropriate referral will be made.
(1) Please watch my YouTube video: “Four Horsemen, Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Marriage”
(2) You will each complete an application before your registration is accepted, so please apply early.
(3) You are invited to read any or all of these books. If you don’t like to read, look for Drs. John and Julie Gottman and Dr. Sue Johnson on YouTube.
- The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work revised edition 2015 by Dr. John Gottman
- Biblical Reference Guide for the Gottman Method by David Penner and Laura Heck (It’s like the short cliff notes version of the book above.)
- Hold Me Tight or Created for Connection: The Hold Me Tight Guide for Christian Couples by Dr. Sue Johnson
(4) New clients must attend a 10-minute Discovery Call to determine if this workshop is a good fit for you. If it is, then you will schedule a complimentary intake session via Zoom. Both of you must be present in the Zoom meeting and the intake session.
“With Benita’s loving, non-judgmental guidance we learned what she meant by “going straight up the mountain” toward transforming not just our relationship with each other, but our relationship with ourselves. We are sure that Benita’s influence on our lives will be forever.” – P&J G. RN, Employment Recruiters
9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We will meet for two hours at a time and then take a one-hour break. Total: 6 direct hours.
Apply for the workshop and schedule your intake session.
Click here to complete the Questionnaire on the Contact page. Tell me that you want to apply for the Couples Workshop. I’ll contact you within two business days (Monday-Friday) to schedule a 10-minute complimentary Discovery Call. Both of you must be present on the Zoom call.
Regular fee: $697 per couple for one full day.
Tuition includes a half-hour intake session (valued at $125.00) for couples who are not current clients. Attend this intake session before you register to make sure this intensive is a good fit for you.
Discount: The first 3 couples to register by January 10 will receive a discount of $100 for a total of $597 per couple.
Registration deadline: February 3, 2024
Requirements for your Discovery Call
Both of you must attend the 10-minute Discovery Call if you are new clients. Before attending, each of you must read this entire workshop webpage and watch the TV interview “Four Horsemen: Don’t Let Them Ruin Your Marriage.” Click here.
During the Discovery Call, I’ll answer your questions and make sure we all believe this workshop is a good fit for you. If all lights are green, we’ll schedule your intake session if you are a new client. If it’s not a good fit, I’ll suggest private sessions or other resources.
Benita A. Esposito is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Georgia and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor in North Carolina with a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and four decades of experience. She has completed level three of three advanced training programs offered by the Gottman Institute, and she is a certified Gottman Leader. She also completed advanced training in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy by Dr. Sue Johnson, and she is certified in Brainspotting.
Benita specializes in working with adult individuals and couples to create flourishing relationships. She also specializes in counseling highly sensitive introverts. She facilitates deep emotional healing to reduce depression, anxiety, stress and trauma. Benita teaches success skills to help people flourish as their Authentic Self. Click here for bio.
Your cancellation notice must be made in writing via email. You may cancel up until 21 days before the workshop. If you cancel within 20 days, there is no refund, but you may apply your fee to private sessions. A $50 administration fee is non-refundable.
In the unlikely event that Benita cancels the workshop, you will receive a full refund.