Hold Me Tight® Portland Couples Workshops for a Lifetime of Love

Hold Me Tight is the work of Dr. Sue Johnson, the creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. The curriculum is based on decades of research and proven methods for strengthening relationships.

Hold Me Tight Portland will help you break old destructive patterns and develop a new way of relating to each other that is marked by understanding, empathy and a deeper connection.

Trained EFT Therapists, Laurel Marshall, LMFT and Dr. Noah Roost facilitate lively discussions and provide safe spaces to begin having connecting conversations with your partner. You will also be supported by two additional trained EFT Therapist helpers who will be available for the duration of the retreat.

Upcoming Dates:

Oct 13-14, 2023
Jan 12-13, 2024
May 17-18, 2024
Nov 15-16, 2024

“In the two days, I feel like we gained so much insight into each other, our roles, our cycle, how to diffuse, how to claim it and call it, feel it and heal/repair. This was very, very beneficial”

A 2-day, non-residential weekend couples retreat in Portland, OR

Each workshop is designed to help you break free of the old cycles of fighting, retreating, feeling alone and unheard. And give you the tools so you can heal old wounds and find a new feeling of intimacy.

Over the course of this program:

  • You’ll find and nurture a safe place with each other to rekindle that spark, the old feelings of love, and a deep sense of connection.
  • You’ll identify and begin repairing old patterns and attachment wounds.
  • You’ll see how you’re not alone in what you are feeling and experiencing.
  • You’ll experience it for yourself with the guidance of trained EFT therapists.

Covid precautions for this event: The Hold Me Tight workshop will be held in a large, well ventilated room, and will accommodate a maximum of 16 couples at individual tables. We will be following Covid-19 state and county guidelines for indoor meetings.

“Most amazing transformative couples experience I could imagine. Better than 6 months of marriage counseling. We didn’t just resolve a few problems, we have the framework and tools to deal with all future relationship problems”

Strengthen and Deepen Your Relationship

It’s not enough to physically be there in the same space as a couple. Yes, that even goes for “date nights.”

Mere presence and familiarity doesn’t build love and intimacy.

But the subtle experience of safe connection does.

We’ve seen it happen time and time again with our couples. Some even express surprise when they find out they’re not alone in how they were feeling. They just didn’t have the tools to express it and feel truly heard.

As one couple put it:

“I have spent years ignoring or stuffing my feelings. This workshop opened me and my partner to a whole new way of connecting with each other, that actually felt real!”

Small, Intimate, and Supportive

We limit the number of couples to 16 per workshop. That’s so that each participant gets to fully practice the tools and interactions in a safe and supportive atmosphere with trained EFT therapists.

Join us and experience it for yourself, while bringing home the tools to continue these results in your daily life.

Therapists can Earn 14.75 CEU’s

And if you are a Therapist – earn 14.75 CEU’s for attending if you also register for the continuing education units. Register for $50 after you purchase your ticket. Bring your partner and go through the same deeply felt experience to bring the tools and practices of Hold Me Tight to your work with your clients as well as your own relationship.


Workshop Details

“Hold Me Tight®” is a registered trademark to Sue Johnson.

Each workshop is held over two days, and does not include lodging or meals. Includes beverage service and healthy snacks, including coffee and tea.

All orders subject to cancellation fees. See bottom of this page.

1 Ticket Per Couple

* Hold Me Tight® Portland is an educational workshop not meant to replace couples or individual therapy. This workshop is not appropriate for couples experiencing domestic violence, or substance abuse.

If you have any questions regarding the appropriateness of this workshop for your partnership please feel free to contact Laurel Marshall @ 503-298-9219 or Dr. Noah Roost @ 503-757- 7260 for a consultation.

Event Schedule

We’ll start at 8:45am and go until 5pm. We will break from 12:30 – 1:45pm for a lunch break and will take short breaks during the day. You will have the evening to enjoy downtown Portland. Nearby restaurants are available for lunch and dinner.

We’ll start at 9 AM and go until 5pm. We will break from 12:30 – 1:45pm for lunch.

Lodging and Food Options

For those who live out of the city, this may be a good opportunity to spend a little time away and enjoy Portland’s food, nightlife, and neighborhoods. Portland has a wealth of options to explore!


Workshops are held at the Portland Covenant Church, which is centrally located in Northeast Portland and is minutes from downtown Portland or the airport and right near the max stop. Hold Me Tight Portland is not affiliated with the church.

Your Facilitators

Laurel Marshall, MA, LMFT

Laurel Marshall is a Certified EFT Therapist and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with experience and training working with couples using Emotion Focused Therapy since 2010. Laurel has a private practice in Portland, Oregon where she works with couples to identify and heal relationship dynamics that cause them distress, deepen vulnerability, intimacy and foster a secure and sacred connection with each other.

Noah Roost, Ph.D.

Dr. Noah Roost is a licensed clinical psychologist, who has been practicing Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) for the last 8 years. In addition to EFT, he draws from mindfulness based practices, and has been a regular meditator for over 20 years. When he is not geeking out on EFT and other therapy practices, he is spending time with his wife and two sons, painting, mountain biking, laughing, and cuddling with their enormous goofy dog.

Register for an Upcoming Workshop

October 13-14, 2023

Save $125 until March 31st!

January 12-13, 2024

Save $125 until Dec 1st!

May 17-18, 2024

Save $125 until April 5th!

November 15-16, 2024

Save $125 until Oct 4th!

Frequently Asked Questions for Hold Me Tight® Portland Workshops

How long does your workshop last?

We meet on Friday from 8:45am-5pm. We finish on Saturday from 9am-5pm. We move around a lot during our workshop.

Is this a residential workshop?


Where is the workshop held?

We will be holding our Hold Me Tight workshops at Portland Covenant Church, which is centrally located in Northeast Portland and is minutes from downtown Portland or the airport and right near the max stop.  The church provides both large and private breakout spaces for couples to feel comfortable and talk privately.  We have no affiliation with the church.

4046 Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard
Portland, OR, 97212

Is parking provided?

There is parking available in the church lot as well as ample street parking.

Do you provide food/drinks?

We do. Coffee/Tea//Water/Munchies are generously provided. We take a generous lunch break on Friday and Saturday, which allows everyone to partake of the many restaurants near the venue.

Does Hold Me Tight Portland use EFT? What is EFT?

Yes. EFT or Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples is a highly researched and empirically validated couple therapy approach. EFT has been shown to be effective with over 70% of the couples who seek it out. EFT combines experiential emotion focused work with family systems. Grounded in Attachment Theory EFT produces change through corrective emotional experiences which unblock vulnerable hidden primary emotion in a safe, measured and progressive manner. Follow-up studies of couples who partake of individual EFT therapy demonstrate couple satisfaction at 3 years post therapy.

What style of workshop does Hold Me Tight Portland conduct?

The heart of the HMTP workshop revolves around 7 experiential private couple breakout sessions. Each session is professionally facilitated by Laurel and Noah, who are highly trained EFT couples therapists. Our HMTP workshop also utilizes, a lively mix of PowerPoint discussion, video demos, and safe group process and discussion. No death by PowerPoint.

Does HMTP use the methods of Dr. Susan Johnson, the primary creator of EFT?

Yes. As highly trained EFT practitioners with thousands of hours in EFT training and clinical practice we largely base our workshops from the original HMT workshop designed by Dr. Johnson. We have made enhancements over the years we have offered the workshop.

What is the satisfaction rate of couples who partake in the workshop?

Self- Evaluations from the couples that have completed our workshops have demonstrated a satisfaction rating of over 85%.

Are workshop participants asked to process confidential matters in a group?

No. But many participants do share poignant lessons they experience during the workshop. Sharing is completely up to the participant.

Will participants be required to do much writing?

No. But many of our participants take generous notes in provided workshop booklet, or in their own notebooks.

Is HMTP appropriate for couples in crisis?

Every couple is different. Every couple crisis presents different challenges. If you feel like you are in crisis, we recommend that you call us and describe your situation. Only with a good assessment of your current challenge will we be able to fully assess the fit of the workshop for you. We may suggest an intensive session before coming to the workshop to better prepare you to gain the maximum benefit the workshop can offer.

Is HMTP appropriate for same sex couples?

We strongly believe so. Many same sex couples have progressed through our workshop. Studies show that causes for negative interactions between partners cross sexual, gender, race, and ethnic lines.

Is HMTP appropriate for couples with an active addiction (behavioral or substance) or domestic violence present in their relationship?

No. Partners that are struggling with an active addiction or domestic violence in their relationship need professional help to create safety before working on creating intimacy.  We would be happy to talk with you about your situation and provide appropriate referrals.

What is the level of training of the facilitators?

Laurel Marshall, MA, LMFT, holds a professional certification in Emotion Focused Therapy and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. She has private practices in Oregon and Washington where she works with hundreds of couples each year to reduce relational distress and increase intimacy.


Noah Roost, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist. He has completed advanced training and consultation in Emotion-Focused Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness-Based Therapies. His private practice is in Portland, OR, and his primary focus is couples therapy. His research and publication areas include mindfulness, romantic attachment styles, and veterans’ mental health.

What therapeutic follow-up to the workshop is available?

If couples would like to continue with counseling after the workshop, they have the option of beginning couples therapy with Noah, Laurel (based on room in our practice) or our assistants who are trained EFT therapists.  Attendees will also be giving a therapist referrals list for the greater Portland area.

Can participants pay on installment?

We are sorry to say we are not able to provide installment plans. However, we do accept credit cards through Eventbrite for the purchase of your ticket.

Refund Policy

Cancellations will be subject to the following fees:

$150 Non-Refundable fee on any cancellation

$250 Non-Refundable fee on any cancellation made between 27 & 14 days before the workshop date

All workshop fees become non-refundable if made 13 days or less before the workshop date

* Event Processing Fee is non-refundable on any cancellation.