Hazal Grey, MA, MFA, RDT, REAT, RSME/T, is John’s wife and partner at Healing Couples Retreats.
Hazal received a Masters (MA) in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), an internationally-recognized therapy training institution.
She has extensive training in leading-edge methodologies including the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) and the trauma healing methods of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) and Somatic Experiencing (SE).
Hazal is also a certified therapist in the Neuro-Affective Relational Model (NARM) for healing developmental trauma and unresolved emotional childhood wounds that affect current relationships. She has also been trained in other major approaches to couples therapy, including the Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, and Relational Life Therapy (RLT).
Hazal’s clinical background includes working at Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, the Center for Empowering Refugees, the Lomi Psychotherapy Clinic, the Jewish Free Clinic, the Mind Therapy Clinic, San Quentin Prison, and the Mindful Heart Center.
Additionally, Hazal received a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in music, movement, and theater. Capitalizing on her diversified background, she earned specialized credentials as a Registered Drama Therapist (RDT), a Registered Expressive Arts Therapist (REAT), and a Registered Somatic Movement Educator and Therapist (RSME/T).
Alongside her work with couples, Hazal also excels at working with individuals with relationship issues. Having lived in five different countries on three continents, she is especially adept at working with cross-cultural dynamics and 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. She brings warmth, embodiment, and playfulness into her work.
Hazal’s approach produces rapid major positive shifts for over 90% of couples. Partners experience renewed good feelings, emotional reconnection, hopefulness, and confidence in moving forward together.
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 couples enable them to overcome reactive cycles and resolve issues, both large and small. Instead of escalating into states of emotional upset or shutting down, with her guidance partners learn to repair ruptures, speak from their hearts, and express what they need in effective ways that let them to feel loved, respected and connected.
Re-Wiring for Sustained Happiness and Love
Partners can struggle with relationships for a long time. Happiness seems almost impossible to sustain long term, as they find themselves reacting more and more over time. Little things turn into big fights, in ways that make no rational sense.
Resulting emotional wounds create walls between partners, as they fall under the spell of primitive parts of their brains that act out increasingly destructive patterns. Couples fall into states of fight, flight or freeze, even blowing up or shutting down.
Such upsets and reactive patterns are operate unconsciously. They get triggered without our permission or understanding, and they originate in our earliest wiring.
Early emotional attachment wiring can distort the way we see, think about, and act in our relationships for the rest of our lives.
The only way to upgrade such limiting patterns is to consciously get aware of how they operate and acquire new tools to overcome them.
You are not doomed to repeat debilitating early attachment patterns throughout your life. You do have the power to transform such old wiring with your partner today, if you know how.
By understanding how our wiring shapes the way we unconsciously interact, we gain the possibility for new growth. Literally, we can create new neural pathways in our brains. This is called neuroplasticity, or the ability of the brain to change its wiring when it receives the right inputs.
With compassionate and skillful guidance from Hazal, you will develop awareness of the underlying mechanics in how you engage in relating so that you can grow a healthy relationship. You will discover new tools for communicating that naturally promotes safety, connection, trust, and freedom. You will learn proven strategies to maximize shared happiness and to quickly repair the bumps in the road all couples encounter.
How to Schedule a Retreat with Hazal
“My husband and I miserably lived in a ‘hole’ for many years. Individual and couples therapy did nothing but give us more of a chance to blame and label each other. I was desperate for an intensive and in depth solution.
“I researched and telephone interviewed several options. When I spoke with John Grey on the phone, I knew he was the one. He was booked out for a couple months and I was desperate for an earlier date. He suggested Hazal, and reassured me that she could help us.
“As we did our prep work, we both grew excited knowing our relationship would be forever changed for the better.
“My excitement turned to nervous anxiety a few hours before the first session. Hazal quickly made us both feel at ease. She quietly allowed us to each blame the other for about 15 minutes and then we stopped as she began to work her magic. The first three hours went by so easily as we began to learn a new productive and loving way of communicating. My tears overflowed.
“Over the course of the next two days, our old ways had flipped for the better and for the first time in years, I trust and feel protected by my husband. I even crave him sexually which I haven’t done in I don’t know how long.
“I looked at Hazal several times throughout our few days and told her, ‘Hazal you are SO GOOD.’ She is a master of teaching change and how to express true fears and feelings. Her voice and mannerisms are so soothing. Her technique and exercises are eye opening.
“My husband and I are now feeling like two different people with a new loving and healthy relationship. Our children, employees, friends, and even pets are for sure going to notice the huge difference in us!!”
“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
“We originally signed up to come to do a group retreat but it got canceled due to the pandemic. We got an email saying that the retreat was converted to virtual.
“I first thought ‘I don’t want to do it virtually. I need the person right in front of me.’ I thought I wouldn’t get as much out of it doing it online.
“But now I can say that it was life-changing. Just the couple of days have really opened our eyes and our hearts. It was a very informative process.
“Doing it online was actually much better for us. To experience Hazal being 100% tuned in to us while in the comfort of our own home was amazing.
“We are very happy with the results and with Hazal. She has made a big difference in our life.”
“You don’t know what you don’t know”, a thought I contemplated and repeated often since attending the Healing Couples week-end retreat in the face of infidelity in our 24-year marriage. The retreat included couples of varying ages & years together, the surface issues differed, but we all were guided to the realization that the deep heart work and couple connection needed to become our new focus. With decades of experience assisting married couples, Hazal and John gently directed us to understanding that our true essence could flourish, and we could achieve that bond which we so deeply long for and need in a marriage.
“After the realization, the next question is how? John and Hazal facilitated numerous exercises to work on communication and establishing that genuine connection. The beauty of the ‘tool box’ is the variety; we were provided with many options, being able to pick and choose those which resonated with our specific personalities.
“To share a bit more on our personal situation, prior to the retreat neither myself nor my husband had ever been to therapy. This was not based on resistance but more, as I mentioned at the outset, we hadn’t been cognizant of the gravity of our disconnection. In hindsight, I only wish we had recognized sooner that we had been merely living as ‘roommates’ — raising a family & working in our business, rather than functioning as a deeply connected couple, which is really what both of us want and need.
“The option of post-retreat sessions is key because it is human nature to fall into old patterns. In our case, we also needed deeper work to heal trust issues & past traumas. Regarding my experience, Hazal expertly guided me to the realization that my old coping tactics, particularly those centered on ‘pulling up your bootstraps and moving on’, were no longer serving me. I honestly physically feel that constant weight on my chest lifted; new manners of clear and open communication, in turn, have also helped me in my relationships with others, too.
“My husband and I have continued to work with Hazal online now for over a year, I cannot speak highly enough to her professionalism, expertise, and truly innate ability to guide couples toward a quality marriage, and subsequently towards true happiness. Is the work easy? Not always. Is it worth it? 100%. Do you and your partner deserve the results of your work with Hazal? — expanded love along with huge leaps in personal & couple development — absolutely.”
“Our online virtual retreat was a great experience. We came such a long way.
“I didn’t know if I would like online work because I had never done it before. But it felt phenomenal.
“Being in our own house helped a lot. The safety of our home made us more open to the process, which went deep and was healing for us.
“Not having you in the room, it was easier to be truthful and access emotions. The little bit of distance felt really good, that we as a couple were a unit.”
“I was very skeptical of this whole retreat process. It was a lot of money. Was it going to be worth it?
“But I now see that it was totally worth it. I didn’t know that you were going to have so much beneficial information.
“I learned a lot about my wife that I didn’t know. And I learned how to really listen.
“And she is telling me she loves me, after so many years.
“I am thankful we had this opportunity to learn new ways to communicate. To learn new ways to address triggers and conflicts.
“I know we will stumble again. But now I feel confident that we can work through whatever comes up.”
“Our online intensive with Hazal was awesome! We are so glad we signed up for a retreat with her.
“It went by remarkably fast. The content and the process of working with her was very rich.
“And doing the retreat on Zoom was totally fine… if not better. Being in our own space made us feel very comfortable.
“This was the perfect gift for our anniversary!”
“At the end of the first day I told my wife that this is the first time I felt this good in many years. And she said, ‘Me too!’ We didn’t speak further, not to jinx it.
“This has been amazing. Doing it over Zoom was totally fine. Being in our own turf made everything feel safer. We felt like a team right off the bat.
“Thank you for the great work, for the great program and all the tools. We now know how to move forward.”
“Our online sessions with Hazal, equally as good as being with her in person, have been nothing short of revealing in terms of personal development and, subsequently, unifying for our marriage. Sessions with Hazal have also helped me realize that in a marriage your partner can help you heal and filter out the behaviors that no longer serve you (just one of the many, many lessons from Hazal). In other words, your connection to your partner is intricately linked to your healing and beyond that can elevate you to a higher vibe.
“I found an unexpected bonus in our work with Hazal and that is the layers of cultural diversity her own personal experiences afford; she has an innate grasp of factors that perhaps a monocultural therapist might not be able to offer. That additional richness of understanding, along with her amazing ability to weave you and your partner toward healing — artfully providing what you need when you need it — it might even make you wonder if she is clairvoyant (joking!).
“In seriousness, Hazal skillfully guides you through your current phase of ‘awareness’, extending what you need, when you need it, all while raising you to levels of understanding you never imagined possible for you and your partner. I honestly cannot emphasize this enough, if you are hesitating, take the leap and work with Hazal. I am beyond grateful for her, she helped me to arrive to realizations that assisted me in saving myself and starting a new phase in my 25-year marriage.
“I would recommend her for all stages of marriage; actually my hope is, when the time comes, to gift each of my sons a 3 day retreat so they learn the keys of communication to establishing their best possible life in their marriage, with an understanding of themselves and how to securely function with their partner.”
“Mi esposa y yo tenemos 25 años de casados, y desde hace un año que comenzamos a tener terapia conyugal con Hazal nuestra relación marital no solo se ha renovado si no que ha cambiado de manera significativa. Hazal nos ha enseñado diversas herramientas muy prácticas y sencillas que hoy en día utilizamos para elevar nuestra relación de pareja y nos ha ayudado a tomar conciencia de situaciones que dejamos pasar durante muchos años y que con el tiempo se convirtieron en piedras incómodas que obstaculizaron una comunicación equilibrada llevándome a cometer errores muy importantes con mi pareja que incluso nos pudo llevar a la separación. Desde que conocimos a Hazal nos ha ayudado a encontrar el camino del entendimiento, respeto, y equilibrio emocional en pareja. En lo personal me siento como un mejor compañero con la energía y entusiasmo de cuando estaba recién casado y con mucha esperanza renovada de completar una vida feliz al lado de mi esposa. Muchas gracias a Hazal por toda la ayuda y la recomiendo totalmente a cualquier pareja que busque la felicidad completa en su matrimonio independientemente del tiempo que tengan de estar casados.”
“My wife and I are married 25 years and started couple therapy with Hazal since last year, our marriage has not only been renewed but has changed in significant ways. Hazal has shown us diverse, practical, and simple tools which we use today to elevate our partnership and which have helped us become conscious of situations that we let happen for many years, uncomfortable ‘stones’ that obstructed a balanced communication, leading me to make serious errors with my wife that could have brought us to separate. Since we met Hazal, she has helped us find a path of understanding, respect, and emotional balance in our relationship. Personally, I feel I am a better partner, with the energy and enthusiasm of when we were newly married, with a lot of renewed hope of having a happy life by my wife’s side. Many thanks to Hazal for all the help; I completely recommend her to any couple seeking total happiness in their marriage, independent of the time they have been married.”
How to Schedule a Retreat with Hazal
More Testimonials from Past Clients
“Hazal was instrumental to healing our marriage. Her guidance helped both of us get deeply in touch with our core feelings. She had a great healing energy and strong instinct about each of our personalities and needs. Thank you so much for giving us renewed connection in our marriage.”
“My wife and I have tried multiple marriage therapists in our 14 years of marriage. Hazal has been the BEST by far. She was the most intuitive and positive healing therapist I’ve ever encountered in my life. I now feel truly healed from years of hurt, and I now feel like we have real, practical, holistic solutions to use in our day-to-day marriage problems. I highly recommend Hazal.”
“Your retreat and follow-up work with us after the retreat made an incredible difference for our relationship.”
“A year after the retreat we can still say that it was the most powerful medicine for our relationship. Without the retreat we would have never been able to get through the highly traumatizing events we are experiencing now. Despite COVID, health problems, and a death in the family, we are connected more than ever. We now know that our biggest and most important resource is our relationship. We are each other’s best friends. A year ago we would have never been able to feel this way. We would never have made it through this difficult time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
“Our private retreat with Hazal was amazing. I was skeptical at first, and my partner was actually ready to cancel the retreat! But we are both so glad we came because now we’re feeling hopeful again and back in love with each other. And we have learned the tools to stay connected. This has changed how we view each other, and I even experienced a shift in me in how I view myself, which is so positive.”
“Working with Hazal was a gift. She has the ability to intuitively translate and understand different modes of information access and processing.”
“Hazal, thank you so much for your guidance and support. Our communication and understanding of each other are so much better. We are so much calmer and present with each other. We can talk about things we could never address before. I can finally speak what is in my heart and be real with my partner.”
“Hazal’s use of interactive, engaging and hands on techniques to help couples center and connect in a mindful way provide a solid foundation upon which to repair and build a strong, stable relationship.”
“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.”
“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. Hazal’s very professional, calm and welcoming demeanor, comfort and ease with us as couples, all helped me feel comfortable in finding a way through what would otherwise have been tough territory.”
“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.”
“Our retreat 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 is an exceptional professional. We would recommend this retreat to any couple that needs guidance.”
“This exceeded all expectations. I didn’t expect to go home with such common sense practical tools to help our relationship. Hazal was amazing! The body of work, put together with a warm style was effective and compelling. I’m so happy to have done this and fully optimistic about our use of the techniques.”
“I highly recommend this retreat with 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.”
“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 is an exceptional professional. We would recommend this retreat to any couple that needs guidance.”
“Just leaving a weekend group retreat with Hazal 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 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.”
“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 that compliments perfectly. Thank you!”
“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!”
“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, 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.”