An Affair of the Heart was created when Alicia and I took a Hold Me Tight weekend workshop together. I wanted to experience the process in my own relationship while I was getting a certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT).  The course amazed us. Our already very good relationship got better.

We see “An Affair of the Heart” as  a way to continue the work I was doing with couples; and give us time together. The full program grew out of our own relationship, of the trauma work and therapy intensives I was already doing, the success we had providing Hold Me Tight workshops, and requests from participants for more such work.

So for us this is “An Affair of the Heart.”

Our Bios

Ross W. Hackerson, LMFT

I discovered psychology in my last year of college as I prepared to be a teacher. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do.  I taught Science and English and then returned to graduate school in psychology. Several positions after graduate school I was a clinical psychologist at Big Spring State Hospital in Texas, with a busy schedule of testing, therapy, and administration. As Director of the Adolescent Unit, I had therapy groups with the kids, their parents, and families, the beginning of my romance with family therapy.  I read everything “therapy oriented” as I loved the work, and in that reading, I discovered Gestalt Therapy.

I followed my interest in Gestalt Therapy and became a trainer, certified by the previous Gestalt Therapy Institute of the Southwest and subsequently trained therapists. One of the highlights of that time in my life was living in New Orleans and teaching on the Faculty of the New Orleans Gestalt Institute  with Anne Teachworth. Anne introduced me to Richard Bandler and of course, I studied and became an Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Master Practitioner. New Orleans was also where my own family got its’ start and we had two boys there before returning to California, where we had two girls. Having been licensed as Marriage and Family therapist in California, I now had my own family and the “family training” was experiential and intensive.

Well, one thing follows another and I moved New England and took up residence in Northampton, MA. There, in reviewing material in preparation for taking the Massachusetts Marriage and Family Therapist license, I fell in love with Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples. I attended a one-day workshop with Dr. Sue Johnson and determined to continue my training. Well, time, money, distance, and children interfered. I marked the time by studying EMDR (I believe the Gold Standard trauma therapy) and becoming an EMDRIA Certified Consultant. My understanding of trauma deepened and I put together a practice with individuals, couples, and families, most all of them with trauma histories.

Today, years later, I am on the EFT Certification track and constantly amazed by the wonderfulness of this work. It is with a profound sense of the possibility of healing each other and maybe our environment through and in our relationships that we bring you these workshops. Again, it is an affair of the heart.

Alicia Hackerson

I am a special education teacher and consider emotional communication as one of the most important aspects of my time with students. Coming from Argentina, where I trained in special education, I have found that skill very necessary. I’ve worked in the USA since 1986, first in Early Childhood Education and since 1993, as a public school Special Education teacher (Northampton, MA school system).

My upbringing was in a somewhat dysfunctional family with communication and connection as one of its weakest points. Saying what I want and clearly stating my thoughts in the relationship has always been work for me. When Ross and I did the Hold Me Tight workshop I found myself following a structure that allowed me to explore my feelings and work through difficult emotional situations with him. Our relationship is already pretty balanced and we still found many issues to work on or simply became aware of their existence.

As with any new endeavor that we engage in, I have had to find my purpose and what I can contribute; with these workshops, I am mainly a support and technology person. It is always an honor for me to witness the transformations that take place in these workshops and I really enjoy helping Ross teach them. I find that theseworkshops are invaluable for any couple and I appreciate being able to be part of them.