Notice: Duing the pandemic, we have stopped conducting all in-person Group Retreats. In their place, Hazal Grey offers this program virtually as a Special Retreat that she conducts privately with individual couples.
Join a special small group couples retreat led by John Grey, PhD, and Hazal Grey, MA, RDT, REAT, RSME/T. This retreat will offer you a uniquely dynamic and powerful experience — a fast track to positive change — an intensive, supportive place to achieve profound results. In a concentrated program you’ll transform your relationship and take home the key tools and communication skills to stay on track.
John and Hazal speak from their own experience as a married couple who know how to keep their love growing and thriving over time. John and Hazal also have extensive training in a wide array of approaches to helping couples. Combining complementary backgrounds and representing both genders, they provide a broad range of tools and skills to meet your needs.
Get Your Relationship on Track
What’s the main difference between couples that stay happy and those who don’t? Why do some couples fall into negative, emotionally reactive patterns that gradually consume their love lives, while others keep their love vibrant and strong?
It’s all about the communication skills and tools they use. Couples who stay happy in love know how to repair upsets — both small and large — and stay emotionally connected. They know how to resolve differences and collaborate to make decisions that benefit both of them. They know how to keep each other feeling first in importance. They easily boost each other’s self-esteem.
The rest of us need to learn these vital skills. Otherwise, distress keeps mounting over years of unhealed rifts and poor communication, so eventually we lose our sense of connection and shared pleasure. We end up walking on eggshells, blowing up, or shutting down. Eventually someone can’t take it anymore.
The tools and skills you will acquire in our retreat will help you create a more secure functioning relationship with your partner, in which you will better be able to:
You will learn the vital tools and skills of healthy, effective communication in our intensive three day program, and you will be coached to use these tools to address your issues and resolve any emotional stuck places that stand between you.
The Special Power of John & Hazal’s Retreats
John and Hazal’s unique retreat is special in creating deep, personally meaningful change. After three days of intensive learning, couples report that they return home with renewed spirits — and with vital new tools to keep building on the positive changes they achieve. Trust is rebuilt and connection is renewed.
Many couples say they get more from this retreat than from months or even years of regular counseling! What makes this program so unique and powerful? It offers you scientifically valid, practical tools to resolve issues and heal upsets, and transform patterns of poor communication that lead to suffering and separation.
Participants also report that the big advantage of being in a group — rather than a private retreat — was to be able to learn these new tools along with other couples. This helps you see that all couples have similar struggles and that we all have the need to acquire new skills and understandings.
Seeing how other couples have similar challenges removes the sense that something is uniquely wrong with you. And you will find how the group supports each other in facing issues and making big changes. There is a special power of a small group of couples joining together to work on their relationships!
What Happens in a Small Group Couples Retreat?
A group retreat consists of a balanced mix of presenting information to the group and individual work as a couple in break-out sessions.
In the group presentations, John and Hazal will share what current research in neuroscience and attachment reveals as real keys to relationship satisfaction and lasting happiness. Using a mix of slides, short videos and demonstrations, they will also teach you effective tools and practical strategies that bring this powerful information to life.
Then in the break-out sessions, you and your partner will have a chance to put those tools into use to resolve your issues, reconnect, heal old wounds, or whatever your particular goals are. During this time, you can get the individual coaching you need from John or Hazal.
We are often asked how deeply participants have to share with the group their issues and problems. The answer is, not very deeply. Most of the work you do is in the private break-out sessions, where you get individual coaching and practice using the communication tools you learn to successfully negotiate your issues. In the group, sharing is generic and oriented to learning the tools.
Throughout the retreat, your individual comfort is our highest priority. John and Hazal understand that some people are comfortable sharing in a group, and others aren’t. They will do everything possible to assure your needs are met and that you feel safe.
John and Hazal’s special group retreats have an extra small enrollment, limited to from 4 to 8 couples. This ensures that you get all the personal attention you want. It also enables you to receive two private sessions over the weekend, one each with John and Hazal. The regular size groups enroll between 12 and 16 couples.
Next Steps to Join a Group Retreat
About Your Retreat Leaders — John Grey & Hazal Grey
John Grey, PhD, is a couples coach and author. For the last 30 years, he has specialized in conducting intensive marriage retreats, or couples retreats. Having worked with thousands of clients, John is an internationally recognized couples retreat coach and pioneer in the field.
John received his Doctorate in Psychology in 1975 from Stanford University, where he taught psychology and cofounded Stanford’s preeminent research center CCRMA. Since 1980, John has been in private practice working with couples in the San Francisco Bay Area. He conducted his first couples retreat in Berkeley in 1990. For the last 20 years he has been leading his couples retreats in beautiful Sonoma County. Over the past few decades, he has presented workshops at venues such as Esalen Institute, University of California Berkeley, Stanford University, and the Scripps Institute. He was also on Dr. John Gray’s — author of the bestselling Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus — personal referral list of couples counselors.
John offers practical, proven skills to couples to transform their marriages. He gives partners the tools to take home and stay on track. As a couples retreat coach, his broad background in neurobiology and attachment theory has enabled him to offer uniquely powerful tools to help couples overcome reactive patterns. He regularly helps couples on the brink of divorce to renew connection and build secure relationships that thrive in shared happiness and intimacy.
In the arena of attachment theory and neurobiology research as applied to couples therapy, Dr. John Grey provides you with an integration of today’s major clinical approaches. He has advanced training in the attachment-based Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) methodology of Sue Johnson — author of Hold Me Tight. He has also been trained in the Neuro-Affective Relational Model (NARM), the work of Larry Heller — author of Healing Developmental Trauma.
John is a nationally recognized expert and is certified in the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), which was founded by Stan Tatkin, PsyD — author of Wired for Love, Your Brain on Love, and Love and War in Intimate Relationships. The PACT methodology draws from more than 30 years of cutting-edge research in the three key areas of neuroscience, attachment theory and human arousal. John is a Founding Core Faculty Member of the PACT Institute, at which he also helped develop the primary curriculum and training program for couples therapists and marriage counselors.
Here’s what PACT founder Stan Tatkin says about John: “With decades of experience behind him, John is a highly intelligent, creative force in the arena of science and relationships. His work is inventive and inspiring.”
John has trained marriage and family therapists, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage counselors and psychotherapists in the highly effective PACT approach to couples therapy. PACT-trained therapists help couples understand their individual attachment styles and to moment-to-moment shifts in arousal states to build secure-functioning relationships built on compassion, love and understanding.
As an strong advocate of self-help, John has written three books on the topic of intimacy and relationship that give people practical tools to maximize shared happiness and minimize reactive patterns and distress.
John’s latest book is Five-Minute Relationship Repair. Praising its clarity, Jack Canfield — author of Chicken Soup for the Soul — said John “presents a step-by-step process for using any relationship conflict as a doorway to deeper intimacy and expanded awareness. Everything you need to create a secure, lasting bond with your partner.”
Hazal Grey, MA, RDT, REAT, RSME/T, is a relationship coach. Hazal has a Masters in Counseling Psychology (MA). This followed a long professional career in music and theater in which she earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA).
Building on this diverse background, Hazal also became a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT), a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT), and a Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSME/T).
Hazal received her MA in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), recognized internationally as a prominent therapy training institute.
Hazal also has extensive training and expertise in the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), in the trauma healing methods of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP), and in the Neuro-Affective Relational Model (NARM) for healing developmental trauma. Additionally, Hazal has in-depth training in Drama Therapy, Somatic Movement Therapy and Expressive Arts Therapy.
Having a wide range of experience, her clinical background includes working at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, at the Center for Empowering Refugees, at the Lomi Psychotherapy Clinic, at the Mind Therapy Clinic in Marin, at San Quentin Prison, and at the Mindful Heart Center.
In addition to co-leading group retreats with John and leading special private retreats of her own, Hazal is the lead follow-up coach for Healing Couples Retreats. She provides follow-up sessions to help participants apply and master the tools they acquire in a retreat once they are back home. In addition to her work with couples, Hazal also excels at working with individuals and groups around relationship issues.
Hazal’s approach is informed by current neuroscience and attachment research as applied to how partners in intimate relationships can function securely and sustain lasting happiness and satisfaction. Hazal has extensive training in expressive arts and drama therapy. She brings warmth, embodiment, and playfulness into her work.
Her work with couples and individuals 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 big issues — if we become stuck, entangled or estranged from our partner, it impacts our entire quality of life.
With Hazal’s help, many clients 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 Hazal gives to people enable them to overcome reactive cycles and resolve their issues, both large and small. Instead of escalating into states of emotional upset or shutting down, with her 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.
Re-Wiring for Sustained Happiness and Love
People 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. People fall under the spell of primitive parts of their brains which act out increasingly destructive patterns. They fall 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 them.
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. This is called neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to change its wiring with the right experiences.
With compassionate and skillful guidance from John and Hazal, you will develop a new awareness of the underlying mechanics in how you engage in relating so that you can experience a healthy relationship — a whole new way of relating that naturally encourages safety, trust and freedom.
During your time together with John and Hazal, 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 agreements to help consolidate the progress you make in a highly practical way that you can take home with you. And follow-up sessions with Hazal are also available in person and via Skype.
Loving, lasting change is possible.
Feedback from Past Group Participants
“Dear John and Hazal,
“Allow us to express our gratitude for helping us with what matters the most in our lives. We are holding the wisdom you’ve shared with us very close to our hearts, as it has been guiding us.
“We have been very supportive of each other and have effectively put in practice your tools. Many things have happened as a result. We realize our partner is there to support us. We find what we need in our partner.
“We are quite surprised by how deep your teachings have touched us, allowing us to feel safe together, calming our fears at the very moment in which they are triggered — or as soon as it becomes possible.
“A big, sincere ‘Thank You!'”
—H and M
“It’s been many weeks since our retreat with you. Our love for each other continues to become even more respectful, caring, and loving. I’m astounded by how much that weekend changed our dynamics, our triggers, our issues. My husband has become the partner I always wanted to be with and I think I have become the partner he has always wanted to share his life with.”
“When we came to the retreat we had already began the divorce process with lawyers. I was 100% surprised it had this much healing effect on our relationship pains, one being multiple infidelities. The processes were simple but profound! The coaching was so genuine and sincere. The level of comfort was huge and the support of the group was helpful. The tools we’ve gained are monumentally important for hitting every issue that may arise in marriage. The blame game has stopped and love has started to flow again!”
“I had no idea what to expect at the retreat, but after spending 3 days with you, I feel our marriage has a new beginning. I am excited for the future of my marriage and compared to the hopelessness I felt before, it feels amazing. The power of the group… is powerful. I genuinely feel like the other couples we spent these 3 days with helped us more than I could have imagined. Thank you for saving my precious family!”
“We were separated for 6 months and this was our last hope. The hope is now a reality thanks to your retreat, and there are no words to describe our full gratitude for your input. The tools we learned we embrace with the utmost accountability. And looking into the future we only see openness, equality, respect, and love. We are moving back in together and our little family can flourish with our new commitments and renewed vows.”
“I never knew I could learn so much in only three days. Both of us had the love, but we didn’t know how to show each other it on a daily basis. we now have the tools to convey that love and respect to one another. Thank you very much for making me a better man!”
“The time we spent with you was life changing. We feel like this retreat has created a new beginning in our relationship. We are surprised by how effective the repairs we did in the retreat have been for us. We truly feel like your retreat has saved our relationship. Thank you so very much!”
“Thanks for showing us how to reset our relationship and create an open dialog. The retreat was very well organized. I like that we walked away with actionable tools, not just a lot of reconnecting that gets lost when you return home.”
“I was feeling lonely and hopeless before arriving to the retreat. We left feeling united and hopeful in making the next level of our journey together with much harmony.”
“I thought the content of this retreat was far superior to any other book or therapy I’ve experienced. Hazal and John’s calm, empathetic, and intellectual approach and energy created a safe environment for open communication. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity; my wife and I are very optimistic about our future together. Thank you for your wisdom!”
“Thank you so much! I’m extremely happy with this couples retreat. Before I had divorce in my mind. Now I’m glad I have the tools to be able to live a happy marriage… All the information was valuable and time went by so fast! Thank you!”
“I feel like my wife and I have all encompassing tools to not only survive the issues of life, family, work… but to thrive in any external environment, by co-creating our own unbreakable ecosystem.”
“I really didn’t know what to expect, but hoped your retreat would help. Not only did it help, it was life and relationship changing. I feel more connected than ever to my wife. I’d say it really doesn’t matter how long you’ve been together (we’ve been married 20 years) the tools and lessons learned in this retreat would help anyone. Thank you!”
“You helped us move past our fears and connect. We learned practical ways to open to love each other fully again. The retreat helped to identify ad defuse years and layers of hurt. Thank you for this deep healing and connection.”
“The retreat far exceeded my expectations. I felt like we got to the core of our issues and heal our fundamental disconnect. You really helped us get to the root of our decades-long conflict and gave us the tools for repairing our deep wounds.”
“I am so glad we came to this group retreat. We came with fear, anxiety of failure and unsure what to expect. We are going home hopeful of a wonderful future together, feeling more connected and attuned to each others’ needs than ever before.”
“Excellent! Helped us from unraveling. We were at the end of our rope and now feel renewed energy and hope for a great future! Great value with top-notch counseling at an affordable price.”
“Before attending my husband and I had already given up on each other. I was attempting to get my emotional needs met elsewhere, and my husband was on the verge of getting his physical needs met elsewhere. We were not even speaking. And my husband swore he would not be participating in the retreat. But after a few hours we let our guards down. The content was amazing, both scientific-based and emotionally intelligent, grabbing both our attention! We learned to communicate and understand each others’ needs. Honestly, we have fallen in love again, mad the marriage a safe place, a real home for both of us. Thank you so much!”
“This saved our marriage. We were discussing on the way that we should have a Plan B to get divorced, but now I know we do not need a Plan B.”
“We’d been in a downward spiral in our marriage, with crises getting steadily worse. You have given us tools and hope for the future, and we’ve seen real improvement already.”
“This was a make-or-break situation for us. I worried what would happen if it didn’t work out. But it did!!! We made it! Thank you so much.”
“To be honest, I only came because my partner insisted. I was in a place of hopelessness. I left filled with hope and feeling connected to my partner.”
“We were looking for ways out of our negative cycle — ways to move toward each other in the face of conflict — and this retreat gave us those. John and Hazal’s very professional, calm and welcoming demeanor, their comfort and ease with us as couples, all helped me feel comfortable in finding a way through what would otherwise have been tough territory.”
“This exceeded all expectations. I didn’t expect to go home with such common sense practical tools to help our relationship. John and Hazal were amazing! The body of work, put together with their warm style was effective and compelling. I’m so happy to have done this and fully optimistic about our use of the techniques.”
“My highest recommendation for this retreat and its effectiveness for a couple who is in distress or who needs to touch and regenerate the loving feelings that brought you together in the first place. Just go!”
“Surpassed my expectations and opened up a whole new world. This retreat opened my eyes to a new way of understanding myself and my husband like never before. Literally life changing.”
“The retreat helped me see the places where my partner and I were stuck in unhealthy patterns, and provided the tools to help us develop secure and healthy patterns of communicating.”
“Thank you for saving our marriage. You gave us amazing insight and tools for how to heal and repair our relationship. This will also have an enormous positive effect on our children.”
“You far exceeded my expectations and I had high hopes to start with. This was a game changer. After 26 years with my partner, to learn new things about him was amazing. I can easily say this has changed the course of our marriage and life in general. I feel like we found something we have been searching for. The tools to find mutual happiness!”
“I have a new level of excitement about what’s possible in our relationship!”
“This retreat gave us the building blocks that all couples need for a healthy and happy marriage!”
“I was unsure what to expect. But now I can safely say that the retreat has blown me away with its simple tools that make such powerful changes. Three days with you was much more useful than the two years we spent in marriage therapy.”
“The tools we gained during the retreat have begun to repair years of bad communication habits. We are both very enthusiastic about our future together.”
“The retreat helped us understand what was behind our reactive behaviors and gave us the tools and language to minimize upsets and maximize our shared pleasure.”
“My expectations were more than met. The information was practical, the exercises led to implementable steps. I appreciated the scientific, grounded approach. The immersion and input of the group was amazing. Very beneficial, practical and actionable.”
“We were skeptical of the group format but we actually found the interactions to be very beneficial and learned a lot from others. We have walked away with insight, understanding, a change of perspective, and a set of tools to assist us in real world applications.”
“Exceeded expectations. Learning about the science behind love and relationships was astounding to me. These concepts had a profound impact on me. This is NOT, NOT, NOT your typical marriage counseling. It is more like a re-programming of all the bad/negative things learned or picked up before you even met your partner. And learning how to rewire yourself for success and happiness without the baggage.”
“We have been to many, many marriage retreats. Honestly, your retreat was our last effort at our marriage. Your program has saved our marriage and has made me see things within myself that I was unaware of. I want to give my sincere thanks to you. You have given us hope and a renewed approach to truly bonding with each other and being the best we can be. Thank you!”
“One of the most beneficial experiences of my entire life. Not only for me and my partner, but with regard to all relationships in my life. Sound scientific principles and wisdom. I will recommend this to everyone. Truly one of my greatest life experiences. Thank you.”
“Way more than I could have expected. I have been searching for the tools to help us fix our marital problems for so long and felt hopeless that they did not exist. But now I feel that I have finally found them. I can’t wait to implement what I have learned and turn my marriage into a healthy, happy and supportive partnership.”
“More than I expected. Nice balance between presentation, discussion and couples exercises. From general marital preventative maintenance to learning how to deal with major marital distresses, this marriage retreat is highly recommended.”
“I was really skeptical about the retreat and didn’t want to attend. However, within the first five minutes, I knew we were in the right place. I now have hope for our marriage, our future, and it’s all because I have the tools and the step-by-step process to repair and prevent upsets. I highly recommend this retreat to couples that have tried everything and failed.”
“Healing Couples Retreats proved to be an immensely beautiful experience, which provided very positive tools to repair crucial aspects of our relationship — through a sensible and thorough method. Hazal and John are exceptional professionals. We would recommend this retreat to any couple that needs guidance.”
“I highly recommend this retreat with John and Hazal. I was hesitant to come, believing there was no hope! But on day two of the retreat I had a significant break-through. Both my husband and I agree that we are now hopeful and excited for the future of our marriage.”
“Just leaving a weekend group retreat with Hazal and John at Healing Couples Retreats with a renewed sense of positivity and optimism. We have specific tools and techniques to help us repair our communication.”
“At first I was hesitant about attending a group session. But my experience was very positive. I ended up learning so much more in a group. I realized the other couples are struggling with the same things… Learning new skills for repair and how to discuss real feelings…. I am so thankful for these new tools.”
“The Healing Couples Retreat provided tools and resources that restored our relationship. It provided hope to us that we can both be happy and secure with each other. We strongly recommend that any couple that wishes to improve their home life consider this retreat.”
“My wife and I have tried multiple marriage therapists in our 14 years of marriage, and John and Hazal have been the BEST by far. Together they bring a perfect balance of PhD science and mind-body experiential therapy work that can help troubled couples have holistic solutions and real results. I highly recommend John and Hazal.”
“In all honesty, I didn’t know what to expect, and didn’t think our issues could be resolved in a group setting in just three days. However, this weekend went way above my expectations. John and Hazal both guided us in a very intuitive flow, and we came away with a much better understanding of what is really going on, and give us some practical tools to keep working on this. Thank you both for your wisdom and guidance. You both have a unique approach which compliments perfectly. Thank you!”
“Healing Couples Retreats allowed me to see into my spouse’s eyes and soul in a way I had forgotten how to do. It gave us both new tools and techniques to use this vulnerable insight in a positive, constructive way.”
“This retreat was soul food for our relationship!! From the simple way to understand attachment and how it affects couples to the tools we learned to repair, John and Hazal give hope infinite! I came in mad, hurt and not liking my partner. Doubtful a weekend would change much…. How wrong I was! I see the man I loved and a new person to care for! Thank you for the love medicine.”