Welcoming couples from New York, Hartford, Providence, Boston and beyond
Over 40 Years Of Experience Healing Relationships
We all have the need to feel valued, understood and loved by our partner. But problems can arise, even in the best of relationships. When the ease and connection in our relationship is compromised, it can feel like our world is being turned upside down. But fortunately, there is hope. Even if your relationship is in turmoil, it is entirely possible to recapture the powerful connection you once shared, no matter how serious the current challenges are.
An Affair Of The Heart specializes in private intensive couples retreats that get right to the heart of the problem, producing significant progress in days, not years.
Our step-by-step, comprehensive and predictable therapeutic process is based on over 40 years of experience with solution building in couples therapy to help rebuild relationships on a foundation of trust, communication and love. Our goal is to reestablish the ease and serenity that you shared with your partner so that you can move forward together.
We have been continuously inspired by countless stories of reconnection and reconciliation that have occurred over the years and are so excited to share this powerful work with you.
STRENGTHEN YOUR BOND • HEAL YOUR RELATIONSHIP • EMPOWER CONNECTION • MOVE FORWARD TOGETHER
5-Day Married Couples Retreat
In our experience, nothing gets a relationship back on track as quickly or effectively as an intensive couples retreat. A retreat offers better results than a year of weekly couples and family therapy, saving you an enormous amount of time and money.
For 5 days, you will be guided through our research-backed protocol where you will learn how to reboot your relationship, reestablish trust with your partner and successfully navigate emotional challenges while maintaining open and effective communication.
About Ross Hackerson, LMFT
For over 40 years, Ross has offered award winning relationship couples therapy services and worked with thousands of people recovering from childhood neglect, sexual and emotional abuse and the lack of connection that comes from preoccupied, distant, disconnected and / or self-absorbed parents. Over this time, he has found that regardless of the type or extent of trauma that everyone has the ability to heal.
Ross is a certified Marriage and Family Therapist and works with a combination of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), Gestalt Therapy, Image Transformation Therapy (ImTT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
"I am constantly amazed by the wonderfulness of this work." – Ross Hackerson
Ross and His Wife Alicia
What Kind of Problems Can Be Solved in a Retreat?
Every couple is unique in how they connect to one another and the issues they face in their relationship. We have worked with couples facing all sorts of problems and found that all can be healed, no matter how drastic, provided that both partners adopt a solution focused approach and are motivated to do the work.
Below are some problems that can be addressed during a married couples retreat much more quickly and effectively than in weekly marriage counseling sessions:
• Contemplating divorce: Most couples that come to a retreat have been in a state of distress for quite some time. Often one or both partners have already contemplated divorce. It is imperative that couples in this situation address their core issues immediately, or else divorce may be the inevitable conclusion. Weekly family & couple therapy services simply do not provide enough time or depth to work into the bulk of the resentment, distrust and attachment issues faced by couples in a situation this emotionally precarious. A retreat provides a safe and supportive environment where couples have the opportunity to unpack all the aspects of their relationship that are causing them to suffer, transforming their distrust into a framework of communication and understanding and restoring their faith and trust in one another.
• Going through an affair: Often couples come to the retreat as a result of newly discovered infidelity, or an old affair that has not been properly healed yet. An affair is a powerful act of betrayal and can instantly thrust a relationship into serious emotional turmoil, destroying the trust and safety that couples feel towards one another. Such a deep injustice can be one of the most challenging issues to come back from. A retreat gives each partner the time they need to share their side of the story, go deep into the emotional impact that the affair has had on them and to take the necessary steps to rebuild broken trust and move forward with renewed vows.
• Problems with emotional and sexual intimacy: Intimacy can degrade over time as poor communication and old relationship wounds are left unhealed. As partners begin to feel emotionally and sexually distant from one another, physical attraction often suffers as well. Distress at the lack of connection can eventually lead to complacency as each partner feels as though their efforts are in vain, further increasing the negative cycle and sense of disconnection. A retreat gives couples the opportunity to heal old relationship wounds, reestablish trust and intimacy and to learn tools they can use to effectively navigate future issues before they affect the foundation of the relationship.
• Empty nest syndrome or living like roommates: In long-term relationships, there is a tendency for partners to take each other for granted. This often has to do with responsibilities and stressors outside of the relationship; e.g. children, work-related stress, etc. After such a long time of neglecting their emotional connection, the couple may end up feeling more like roommates than partners. This may persist for some time but often comes to a head with a major life change, like children leaving home for college, or one or both of the spouses retiring. A retreat goes beyond family couples therapy to provide the opportunity for couples to reestablish why they are together and to remember why they began their relationship in the first place, rekindling lost passion and developing a renewed sense of connectedness with a new solution focused approach.
• Mid-life crisis or major life changes: A mid-life crisis can often trigger turmoil in a relationship, as one or both partners reevaluate the premise of their connection and the meaning they derive from their life. A crisis can occur when somebody hits certain age milestones, loses their longtime career or retires, sending them into a deep cycle of questioning and despair. A retreat gives a couple the opportunity to deeply analyze the confusion and disconnection generated by such large life changes, develop important coping skills for the shifts that are happening and to reaffirm their decision to stay together and continue building their relationship.
• Pre-marital issues or fine tuning your connection: It's easy to fall in love, but often quite challenging to stay that way. It takes emotional intelligence, well-established communication skills and a robust set of tools to address all of the ups and downs that occur over the course of a relationship. Proactive couples will choose to take an engaged couples retreat to address these issues before they become a larger problem, often before they take the plunge into marriage or soon after to ensure that the relationship stays on track.
What Cannot Be Solved?
There are three issues that we call the Three A's that make it impossible for us to move forward:
• Abuse: The core of this work is creating a foundation of trust. Abuse, including physical, emotional and sexual, completely destroys trust between partners and makes it impossible to safely open up to one another. Couples that attend the retreat cannot be involved in a cycle of active abuse.
• Active Addiction: Active addiction is a compulsive behavior that interferes with the relationship. It has equally deleterious effects on the trust shared by partners. It is recommended that people who are suffering from active addition should seek the support of a detox center or substance abuse counselor before attending a couples retreat.
• An Active Affair: A huge part of this work is the willingness of partners to engage in the therapeutic process together. The goal is to reestablish trust and connection and deepen your bond. During an active affair, your loyalties and connection have been severed, leaving your partner vulnerable. This scenario makes it nearly impossible to move forward with meaningful work until the affair has been ended.