“We just feel disconnected...”
“We get stuck in the same argument...”
“We’re not having sex anymore…”
“We’re feeling hopeless ...”
“Is this it?”
Have these thoughts crossed your mind when thinking about your relationship? If so, you’re not alone.
Nat Torrens, LCSW and David F Khalili, LMFT have developed a three session intensive workshop for couples to dive into their relationship with the explicit goal of improving their communication in the service of increasing their satisfaction and wellbeing in their relationship. Whether you’re in a rough patch and looking to shift unproductive patterns, or looking to build up from your solid foundation to get more of your intimacy needs met, this workshop may be for you.
The design is simple: a few basic tools, some devoted time to practice them with skillful guidance, and a supportive group to travel with. Intimacy is hard work – it’s difficult to be vulnerable, and vulnerability is key to a deeper, more fulfilling connection. Most of us didn’t get clear or skillful instruction in these realms of intimacy. That is remediable. You can get them now. We can help.
We feel like we’ve tried all the tricks…
Taking time outs
Asking friends what they’ve done
Scheduling date nights that keep getting pushed back
Avoiding the issue because the arguments never seem to end
Tried to go over the specifics of the issues rather than the way you address the issues
Couples can try all these and still feel defeated and alone for one reason or another:
Feeling frustrated that “nothing’s working,” feeling stuck at an impasse because neither partner will compromise, exhausted from having the “same argument again,” feeling sad that they’re partner seems “different than before.”
Maybe you’re waiting for the “right time” to tackle these issues, or it feels like all of the problems have stacked up and seem overwhelming.
Deep down, there may be an unspoken fear that the relationship is damaged beyond repair.
Or, you or your partner may be facing a new phase or life stressor, and with it the relationship may be going through growing pains. This could be an illness, becoming parents or caring for aging ones, losing a job or starting a new one, moving in or opening the relationship.
Some of you may currently be in couples therapy but feel excited by the opportunity to do some explicit communication skill building, or to be able to bond with other couples facing similar struggles. This workshop can be an excellent adjunct and deepener to work you are already doing in couples therapy.
Regardless of your specific circumstances, concrete skills can help improve your relationship’s health. We’ve seen this to be true for countless couples. That’s why we developed this workshop.
“What if we got along better?”
Of course you can change. Our model is designed to support you in that change process and to jump-start it with a supportive group by your side. You don’t have to go it alone. Being in a group together with other couples up against similar challenges can feel incredibly relieving and supportive. Groups are a rich environment to learn about one’s self and to have one’s experience validated. This is no different for couples. Increasing your self-knowledge, and knowledge of your partner and your patterns together, will already begin to change your dynamic just by awareness alone.
Our workshop will help you:
Identify your emotions and those of your partner
Identify the needs that are underneath those emotions
Communicate those needs in a healthy and direct way
Identify your repetitive conflict patterns and increase awareness of the unmet needs fueling them
Understand how natural fight and flight responses may be contributing to your conflicts
Crafting de-escalation tools to help you both disengage when you have moved into destructive rather than constructive conflict
Learn to listen to your partner (and yourself) better
Practice the art of loving repair and reconnection after painful “misses” or fights
By the end of three sessions your problems may not “be solved” – life is stressful, other challenges will emerge, intimacy is an ongoing adventure – but hopefully you will have more resources to draw upon and will be better able to greet life’s and your relationship’s challenges with a greater sense of confidence.
This is not a “cure all”, it is a guided place to practice the art of intimacy in the company of other couples struggling with some of the same things. Simple. Not easy. Better together. At the end of three weekends, you will hopefully have a better sense of where you get caught as a couple, find more empathy and compassion for yourselves and each other that you’re caught there, and develop more options to employ when you find yourselves there.
When Will This Take Place?
When: Saturdays October 19th, 26th and November 2nd, from 10am to 1pm
Where: East Bay Community Space, 507 55th St (@ Telegraph), Oakland, CA
Cost: $500-600 (sliding scale based on financial need) before September 20th, 2019
$550-650 (sliding scale based on financial need) after September 20th, 2019
We are committed to make our work accessible. If cost is a concern contact us.
Light snacks, coffee and water will be provided. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to our start time to limit interruptions.
Space is limited to 10 couples.
100% refund given if cancelled by October 5th, 2019
50% refund given if cancelled by October 12th, 2019
No refund given if cancelled after October 12th, 2019
Take the Next Step
If you and your partner have any questions contact us here.
About the Facilitators
Nat Torrens, LCSW and David F Khalili, LMFT have been working with couples for 10 years and have seen the same patterns and dynamics play out in ways that leave partners feeling disconnected. These couples have been helped in therapy to examine their needs, emotions and “relationship scripts” and work together as a team to build a healthier relationship.
Throughout the workshop we aim to hold a strong social justice, feminist, and anti-racist lens while being LGBTQ, kink/poly inclusive and affirming.
Nat Torrens, LCSW is a therapist in private practice in Oakland. She has been a teacher and facilitator for over twenty years and taught Couples Communications classes at Kaiser for the last five. She believes firmly in the power of learning and healing in community. She earned a Masters in Teaching from New College of California and her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work. She is also a mother of three.
David F Khalili, LMFT is a therapist, supervisor and graduate school instructor. He is of Middle Eastern and European heritage and has worked with couples from diverse sexual and gender identities, relationship structures, as well as class, racial and ethnic backgrounds. Prior to his training as a psychotherapist, David received his Masters in Sexuality Studies from San Francisco State University. He is committed to providing a space that is inclusive and affirming for marginalized individuals.