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Exclusive Small Group 2-Day In-Person 
Relationship Therapy Intensive Workshop

Learn the most cutting-edge communication strategies that will change your life and your relationship forever.

With Relational Life Therapists Serafin Upton & Averil Schiff

Auckland 14 - 15th August 2021

Wellington 11 - 12th September 2021

Introductory pricing available now

Our immersion workshops are designed for individuals and couples who want to experience greater connection and relational health.  Heal old attachment wounds, break long-standing patterns of communication that don’t get you what you want, and connect in a way you never could before.


Includes one follow-up, private session at no additional cost.


This workshop will introduce you to brand-new communication tactics and strategies.  Using a six-step framework, we’ll show you how to interrupt your repeating loops, know your dance steps so you can change your relationship’s choreography, and understand the origin of the stories you bring from your relational template (what you learned about relationships in your family growing up), so you can support one another to master new skills that are bespoke to your relationship.


By the end of the weekend, you will achieve the following benefits:


1) Have a clear understanding of the repeating loops you’re stuck in which get in the way of a fulfilling relationship;


2) Learn how to identify and communicate your wants and needs effectively so that your partner can hear and respond to you;


3) Learn completely new ways of communicating so that you can prevent unnecessary conflict, intervene when conflict does arise, and repair damage that may have resulted from conflict. Gain a deeper understanding of yourself and your partner, and pave the way for greater intimacy;


Finally, the learnings you will take from this workshop can be applied to all relationships in your life.  The self-awareness and communication techniques we teach will set you up for success with your family relationships, parenting, collegial relationships, and friendships.  


Who is this workshop for?


Individuals, couples, and anyone who wants to learn more about the Relational Life Therapy approach.  


What model of relationship therapy do you use?


Like many other talk therapy forms, Relational Life Therapy (RLT) involves compassionate and professional care.  However, there are several critical differences between mainstream psychotherapy and RLT.  


While we have trained and practiced as therapists for many years, as Relational Life Therapists, we speak as imperfect people ("coaches") who are also learning about their relationships with people in their own lives.  We can help you because we've been through this ourselves, learned from our mistakes, and while we won’t bore you with endless stories about ourselves, we can share some hard-won wisdom with you.  We don't see ourselves as experts - we see ourselves as walking along beside you.              


Traditional talk therapy tends not to address behaviors or dynamics directly.  Relational Life Therapists address issues head-on and clearly, without shaming the person seeking help.  We won't tell you what you want to hear; we'll let you know what we think you need to hear to have the relationship you want.  While we will cover some skills such as effective communication, we are more interested in addressing the part in all of us that doesn’t want to or feels unable to use tools and techniques in the heat of the moment. 


What will the workshop be like?


This is a focused, intensive experience designed exclusively for a small group environment.  Our objective is to quickly get to the issues and empower you to make more progress in your relationship than you’d see in 3 to 12 months of mainstream couples therapy.  Imagine what a game-changer this can be for your relationship.  Being heard, understood, and empowered to create the loving, supportive relationship you’ve always wanted.


What’s the schedule like?


Each day begins at 9:00 a.m., with refreshing breaks in the morning and afternoon, plus a 90-minute lunch to give you plenty of time to rest and recharge your batteries.  Our 5:00 p.m. end time gives you a whole evening to relax and return feeling refreshed the next day.


Do we have to talk about our relationships in front of other people in the group?


No. We will provide a comprehensive guide at the beginning of the retreat for how to share - if you wish to share - without compromising your boundaries or the boundaries of other people in the group.  


Who else will be at the retreat?


All attendees will be required to complete an application to ensure their comfort and safety and the comfort and safety of others before being invited to attend the retreat.


What kind of activities will we be doing?


We will provide interactive mini-lectures, small group exercises, personal (individual reflection) time, and a lot of fun! 

Will there be role-plays?


No. There are no roleplays, no awkward communication techniques, no unnecessary talk about feelings, and no group hugs - think about this as similar to a professional training you would experience in the workplace.    


Will we get a chance to work with Averil and Serafin one-on-one?


Yes - you will work directly with Averil or Serafin in private break-out sessions to give you the safe space to put everything you’re learning into practice - on your terms.


What do I need to bring?


An open-mind, curiosity, and a willingness to self-reflect and experiment with doing things differently.    


How will I benefit?


- Step away from your regular lives into the focused, safe space of our exclusive workshop to reveal the patterns that may be impossible for you to see right now; 


- Clarify the issues that repeatedly come up, fueling conflict and forcing you farther and farther apart;


- Explore betrayals that have destroyed the trust you once shared;


- Express the painful feelings you’ve hidden for so long – and uncover the communication habits that are keeping you from fully understanding each other;


- Learn how each of you responds to stress and find ways to offer each other compassionate support when life feels overwhelming;


- Create a climate of understanding and forgiveness within your relationship, restoring the mutual respect you both need so much;


- Build and practice skills you can use to strengthen your relationship every day, empowering you to repair and renew your partnership from the inside out;


- Understand how, when, and why we sometimes sabotage our attempts to get our voices heard or our needs met in our relationships with others;


- Understand which communication strategies harm attempts to engage with someone and which communication strategies lead you to success in your relationships. 


About Serafin Upton


Serafin Upton has been a family and couples therapist for over 20 years and has trained under world-renowned relationship therapists Esther Perel and Terry Real.  Serafin initially started as a crisis telephone counsellor in 2003 with Youthline and then worked for a long time in child and adolescent mental health.  These days, Serafin primarily offers sex and relationship therapy to couples and trauma work to individuals recovering from narcissistic relationships.  


Bachelor of Arts, Grad. Dip. (Psychology), Grad. Cert. (Psychotherapy), Masters in Social Work, Masters in International Relations & Human Rights.  


About Averil Schiff


Averil Schiff is a registered counsellor and has worked across human services and behaviour change for 18 years, both in Auckland and her second home in Los Angeles.  After spending many years working in Auckland's maximum-security prison, there is nothing you can say that will shock Averil. This role also built in Averil an unshakeable belief in people's ability to make enormous positive changes for themselves and their families.  Averil completed Relational Life Therapy training through Terry Real’s Relational Life Institute in the USA and now works in private practice in Auckland with individuals and couples.


Master of Arts (Education), Post-graduate Diploma (Counselling).


Having negotiated a deal with our Wellington and Auckland venues, we are now pleased to offer the following introductory rate pricing on our exclusive 2-day intensive workshops. 

Enrol before 21 July: $678


Enrol 22-28 July: $778


Enrol after 28 July: $1108

2-Day Workshop inclusions: 


One follow-up private session at no additional fee


Morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea on both days


Auckland:  14 - 15th August 2021 


Wellington: 11 - 12th September 2021


*Spaces are limited to 12 participants per workshop


Please register your expression of interest by emailing

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