Chevalisa Bruzzone and Gabriel Cooper are a superb team that offer powerful couples retreats. They are who Dr. John Grey always refers couples to if he is not immediately available when help is needed.
Chevalisa Bruzzone, LMFT, is a couples therapist. She has advanced training in the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), as well as in Hakomi Experiential Psychotherapy with Couples. Additionally, Chevalisa is also trained in EMDR, an evidence-based approach in healing trauma.
Gabriel Cooper has spent the last thirty years consulting and conducting workshops for couples, families and groups. He holds a Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Organization Development and is currently finishing up his dissertation on Couples Therapy and Trauma for his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.
Gabriel has a varied professional background that he brings to bear with his coaching and therapy clients. He has held positions as a county social worker, a Senior Facilitator at Stanford University, a Senior Business Consultant at Kaiser Permanente, and the Chief Operating Officer for a small, socially responsible investment firm.
Because of their high level of effectiveness in working with couples, Chevalisa and Gabriel are lead assistants in John Grey’s Group Couples Retreats.
Their approach is informed by current neuroscience and attachment research as applied to how partners an intimate relationship can function securely and sustain lasting happiness and satisfaction.
Their work with couples is based on the principle that we all want to be seen, heard and understood, especially by the ones we love the most. Whether we fight over small things, or one of the big four — sex, money, domestic life or parenting — if we become stuck, entangled or estranged from our partner, it impacts our entire quality of life.
With Chevalisa and Gabriel’s help, many couples discover how within minutes of getting in a fight — or even seconds — that what’s really driving their distress boils down to a some very basic yet unspoken questions, like: “Do I matter to you?” “If I hurt, do you care?” “Do you accept me just as I am?” or “Can I depend on you?”
The tools Chevalisa and Gabriel give to couples enable partners to overcome reactive cycles and resolve their issues, both large and small. Instead of escalating into states of emotional upset or shutting down, with their guidance, partners learn to repair upsets, speak from their hearts, and express what they need in effective ways that enable them to feel loved, respected, and connected.
Besides being a great team leading couples retreats, Chevalisa and Gabriel are partners who use the tools they offer others to keep their own relationship on track. By walking their talk, and know first hand how to prevent reactive patterns and keep love and happiness alive.
Re-Wiring for Sustained Happiness and Love
Partners can struggle with relationships for a long time. Like many, they may find high-quality love almost impossible to sustain long term, but instead find themselves reacting more and more over time. Little things turn into major fights, in ways that make no rational sense.
Resulting emotional wounds never heal, but instead can create walls between them. Partners fall under the spell of primitive parts of their brains which act out increasingly destructive patterns. They get taken into states of fight, flight or freeze, even blowing up or shutting down.
Such reactive patterns are entirely unconscious. They operate without our conscious permission or understanding. They connect back to our early wiring — wiring that subsequently influences the way we see, think about and act in our relationships for our whole lives.
The only way to change this is to consciously become aware of what these patterns really are and learn new tools to overcome our mutual distress as partners. No matter how mess-up things have gotten, if you are willing to do it together with your partner, you can overcome your reactive cycles!
You are not doomed to simply repeat these patterns throughout life. It’s important to realize that our ongoing pain is actually the product of a long lineage of unintended faulty wiring — and that we have the power to transform this as adults in our chosen relationship.
By understanding the underlying mechanics of human bonding and how our wiring shapes the way we each attend to that bonding, we create the possibility for growth. Literally. Brains are plastic.
With compassionate and skillful guidance from Chevalisa, you will develop a new awareness of the underlying mechanics in yourself and your partner.
As you adopt new attitudes and use the tools you will get in a retreat, you and your partner will rewire yourselves in the process — and together create a whole new way of relating that naturally encourages safety, trust and freedom.
Intensive Couples Retreats with Chevalisa & Gabriel
Typically, retreats run six hours a day for three days. Two and four-day retreats possible on a case by case basis. We start our day sometime between 8:00 – 10:30 AM and break for lunch.
Retreats take place in two locations in Northern California — Sonoma County, home of the wine country, or Santa Cruz County, along the beautiful Monterey Bay. See places to stay in Sonoma County.
The per-couple cost is $5850 for the standard 3-day Private Retreat. Longer 4- or 5-day retreats are an additional $1950 per day. Travel, meals and accommodations not included.
During your time together with Chevalisa and Gabriel, you will address your particular challenges and needs as a unique couple. You will come away with new experiences, frameworks, tools and a new set of custom-designed ‘vows’ to help consecrate the work you do in a highly practical way that you can take home with you. Follow up sessions also available in person and online.
Loving, lasting change is possible.