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Beyond Blame to Deeper Connection and Love

General Workshop Information

The Great Blame Game

"You're responsible! How could you? Why did you do that? You hurt me ...
It's your fault! No, it's yours! Maybe it is all my fault...."

How many times have you felt blamed for things you did or said or for just taking care of yourself? Did you feel attacked? Hurt? Angry? Did you feel like blaming back, pulling away or getting even? How many times would your partner say that he or she felt blamed by you?

Blaming is one of the major destructive forces in relationships. Sadly, it is all too common and can appear in subtle, hidden forms.

In this workshop we will examine the roots of blaming and take a close look at how it happens and what the results are. We will learn a new way of being with ourselves and our partner that provides safety and room to open our hearts. We will also learn the very practical "Empowering Communiction Model" for expressing our feelings and needs in a clear, non-blaming, way.

The Problem: "Unhappy Stories"

The problem starts when we create stories in our heads that are full of assumptions about our partner's feelings and interpretations of the meaning of our partner's behavior. These stories often have little to do with reality and usually make us very sad, angry and/or scared. We then react to these unhappy stories with a "fight or flight" response-we either attack (blame) and/or pull away. This leads to an escalation of problems instead of resolution.

The Remedy: "Open Presencing"

The alternative is "Open Presencing." This involves softening into an accepting and compassionate way of being with ourselves and approaching our partner. We take a friendly look at our stories, needs and feelings and share these with our partner. We apply this same attitude towards our partner's experience. The result is often a rich, non-blaming sharing of feelings and needs which brings us closer together instead of driving us apart. Conflicts are transformed, and we end up feeling like allies instead of enemies.

What Will the Workshop Be Like?

This day and a half workshop will combine work of the heart and the head. You and your partner will have the opportunity to explore the subtle dynamics of how you have been relating, and you will learn practical tools that you can take home to move beyond blame. You will learn and practice Open Presencing and the Empowering Communication Model. You will also have fun and share loving and appreciative moments together. Lastly, the high ratio of staff to participants (1 to 4) is designed to provide for guidance and emotional safety.

Who Should Come?

This workshop is for all couples who want to deepen their connection and move beyond blame. This includes couples who are struggling and those who just want a deeper commitment and a more harmonious, supportive, loving, and healing relationship.


Stefan Gonick, Relationship Therapist -

Stefan is a Body-Centered Gestalt Therapist with an additional specialty in intimacy issues and couples therapy. Stefan believes that there are no "enemies" inside us. Rather, it is important to listen very closely to the challenging parts of ourselves to uncover the underlying needs and heal them.

Bruce Brown, Ph.D., LMFT
Pamela Deffreys, Relationship Therapist -

Pamela and Bruce, a married couples therapy team working in Amherst, MA, offer professional guidance enriched by deep personal experience.

Pamela specializes in Conscious Relationship Therapy. She has trained in Mind-Body and Presence-Centered* Psychotherapies (*with John Welwood).

Bruce, during 24 years of therapy work, has created a model of psychotherapy designed to integrate mind, emotions, and body and promote wholeness and vitality in relationships.

General Workshop and Contact Information

Cost: $190 per couple before April 11th ($210 after).
Enrollment: Limited to 8 couples.
Location: Stillpoint Center, Hatfield, MA (10 minutes from Northampton center).

For further information contact:
Stefan at (413) 527-2745 or or
Bruce & Pam at (413) 549-7166 or




Stefan Gonick, EFT Counselor, Trainer and Mentor, has seven years of training in group therapy, Couples Coaching, Gestalt Therapy, Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), EMDR and other body-centered psychotherapies. Stefan has 13 years of experience helping clients heal their emotional issues and as a workshop leader and has been running The Art of Relationship Encounter Group for 8 years.

• Westhampton, MA 01027
(located in Western Massachusetts, near Northampton)