Programs for Couples

Every year my husband and I co-lead a summer couples’ seminar at Esalen. Join us for five wonderful days of learning, relaxation, delicious food and natural hot springs overlooking the spectacular coastline above the Pacific Ocean and surrounded by mountains and forests.

Embodying Your Love
Explorations in Intimacy for Couples

Stella Resnick and Alan Kishbaugh

At Esalen Institute, Big Sur, CA                
Sunday to Friday, July 27-August 2, 2019

Much emphasis in couples’ enrichment focuses on verbal communication, particularly articulating feelings and mending bridges. Yet subtle nonverbal communications can elicit unresolved past emotions in a nanosecond without either partner recognizing their facial micro-expressions, vocal tones, and gestures are triggers. Being in touch with your bodily sensations and attuned to the other’s reactions involves present-centered body awareness and skills that can help partners heal old wounds and enjoy the pleasures of love.

This workshop progresses from partnered exercises and group discussion to partners' face-to-face Gestalt process work that emphasizes body-based awareness, enhancing communication, and resolving unfinished business from the past. The workshop is also about enriching pleasures and we share times of laughter, playfulness, and experiences that expand intimate loving. In this full-spectrum Gestalt approach, we explore three levels of intimacy:

  • Emotional intimacy includes being fully present with one another, breath, body and emotional awareness; stress-regulation; resolving issues; and embracing joy.
  • Physical intimacy involves presence, body-to-body attunement and empathy; affection; soothing stress and pain; experiencing resonance.
  • Sexual intimacy and pleasure involves presence, frank sex discussion; ratcheting up arousal through “relaxed-excitement;” broadening the spectrum of erotic pleasures; and spiritual attunement.

Join us to enhance the depth and scope of your embodied love!

While this workshop is primarily experiential, health professionals can also gain skills relevant to clinical practice and earn 26 CE credits (AASECT, APA, LCSW, MFT).    

For more information and to register for this workshop, please visit:

Recommended readings: Body-to-Body Intimacy: Transformation through Love, Sex, and Neurobiology; The Heart of Desire: Keys to the Pleasures of Love;   The Pleasure Zone: Why We Resist Good Feelings.

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True love is not just about being true to another. The most fulfilling love is when you are also true to yourself. You want to be loved for who you truly are and not for who you can pretend to be.

Being romantic is a great way for partners to play. When one person is attentive to the other with a lighthearted and lively spirit and the other reciprocates in some way—laughs at the joke or smiles back and stays engaged—they’ve connected with their inner playmates.