If you're wondering...
Is non-monogamy right for me (or us)?
How would we even start to open our relationship?
How do I know what I need to ask for?
What if I get jealous when we start seeing other people?
How will we slow things down if they start getting out of hand?
What kinds of boundaries or expectations are realistic in open relationships?
How can we stay connected if we see other people?
What do we need to do to make sure this doesn't split us up?
... this is the right retreat for you.
NO MORE OVERWHELM AND ISOLATION
Often thinking outside the box about relationships can be a little lonely. You might have great friends, but they're not always the most open-minded when we talk about changing the way we love.
And sometimes getting creative relationships can be overwhelming. Most of us aren't taught great relationship skills in the first place- let alone given the tools to tailor relationships to our unique needs and personal growth.
Rather than stay in overwhelm and isolation we gather once a year to build friendship, share tools, gather resources, reflect, grow, and laugh.
JANUARY 12-13, 2019
Private Residence in St Johns neighborhood, North Portland, Oregon
THOUGHTS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS
"Gina packed SO much into this weekend. I think I have tools for anything that could come up."
- Martin, Clackamas, Oregon
"We're going to be better communicators moving forward. I definitely got what I came for."
- Karmala, Sisters, Oregon
TOOLS & TECHNIQUES
This is not a 2-day lecture. I want you to roll up your sleeves and dig in. To help you do this, we will provide space to experience a number of tools and techniques to help you get deeper access to your unique relationship needs. These include:
- Vision boards
- Meditation and guided visualization
- Group breakout sessions
- Optional hot seats
- Large group masterminds
- Values elicitation
- Partnered reflections
- Limiting beliefs release work
- Goals & planning
- Networking & community building
- Resource sharing
BONUS: THE WORKBOOK
YOU'LL GET A COPY OF THE POLYAMORY SELF-REFLECTIONS BOOK
Included are over 60 articles and exercises to help expand your thinking about love, intimacy, and relationships. Write, plan, and dream your way through the 75-page workbook.
YOUR WEEKEND INCLUDES...
- A 2-day immersion with a supportive crew of folks rethinking the way they do relationships too.
- A comfortable and intimate setting at a beautiful private residence in Portland, Oregon.
- Polyamory Self-ReflectionS journal workbook – a 75 page comprehensive journal workbook to work through over the weekend.
- Social Hour on day two to network with your new community with light appetizers and local wine.
- Coffee, tea, delicious snacks and water provided all weekend.
- Small community for collaboration, breakout sessions, and connection.
- Access to Gina Senarighi, Polyamory Coach throughout the weekend for questions, quick coaching, and support in your process.
- All 2017-18 Relationship Master Class Recordings. Listen to master classes on trust, intimacy, managing strong feelings, communication skills for non-monogamy, and more.
What’s not included: Travel to and from the event each day, hotel accommodations, and meals.
Our retreat core values are belonging, creativity, self-awareness, and renewal.
We invite all participants to explore these in the context of their relationships with themselves, with other participants, and with the folks they return home to.
BELONGING - We strive for an inclusive environment free from cool kid tables and mean girl shit. This community is based in compassion and care across differences.
CREATIVITY - We know growth requires dreaming, learning and mistake-making and respect each other's process.
SELF-AWARENESS - We engage in reflection, curiosity, and self-compassion to bring greater awareness. We respect our own and each other's boundaries.
RENEWAL - We go on retreats to renew and refresh our relationships with ourselves and those close to us. We honor the space each of us to replenish our connections.
THIS PROGRAM IS FOR YOU IF:
You are considering opening your relationship
You've been practicing consensual non-monogamy for a short while and want help through the bumps that have come up.
You're ready to change your old relationship patterns
You want to think outside the box about building healthy relationships
You're not into doing love the way everyone else does just because it's what everyone else does
You want more people around you who are exploring healthy alternatives in love
You're interested in talking with other fun folks about love, sex, and relationships
You're able to think creatively without judgment and want to hear other folks experiences
THIS IS NOT FOR YOU IF:
You're not open to reflection, learning about relationships, or personal growth
You hate the Pacific Northwest
You can't hear about other kinds of relationships or sexualities without judgment or laughter
You only want to come to hook up (connections do happen of course, but they're not the primary goal here)
You don't believe socialization, racism, sexism, homophobia are real things
You can't respect other people's boundaries
You can't respect other people's privacy
our retreat schedule
prep work: PERSONAL REFLECTION
This experience is designed to draw upon your strengths in relationship. Once you've registered you'll receive the following materials to assess your unique strengths in relationships. We'll use these tools to inform reflection and conversation all weekend.
Personal Core Values - In order to act with integrity it's imperative we act based on our espoused values. Fill out this worksheet to identify the values guiding your life right now. We'll draw from these throughout the weekend.
Relationship Core Values - It's very easy to fall into default careless patterns in relationships if we lack a clear sense of purpose and guiding principles. Use this guide to clarify your shared values to inform the weekend (and other) conversations about opening your relationship.
Personal Story - We've all got history when it comes to trust, commitment, and partnership. Whether we've gathered lessons from family, friends, or the larger social culture, the story we carry into conversations is shaped by our past experiences. Let's look at what's informing your conversation at this moment.
Non-Monogamy Readiness Assessment - There are some essential ingredients for successful experiences in consensual non-monogamy. We'll start with this assessment to help you identify areas where you may want to focus attention during the weekend.
DAY 1: SELF-CONNECTION
Your relationship with yourself is the foundation of every other relationship you have. Even the most self-aware folks often have surprising reactions when facing consensual non-monogamy for the first time.
Taking time to get clear about what you need individually helps you increase self-trust and personal accountability. It's also the only way to clearly communicate your desires and boundaries to your partner(s).
Understanding My Need for Intimacy - One of the greatest misunderstandings about consensual non-monogamy is that it's all about sex. While sexuality is often an important piece of the conversation, focusing only on sexuality misses several critical components of the non-monogamy discussion. We'll identify the core intimacies and help you discern which you'd like to expand in your life (whether with this partner or others).
Unpacking My Relationship Expectations - None of us come to the table without expectations, and yet misspoken, unspoken, and misunderstood expectations are some of the greatest challenges facing folks in open relationships. Together we'll clarify what you're expecting, and how to better understand what your partner(s) are looking for to avoid future conflict.
Building Trustworthy Partnerships - Join us to untangle the seven scientifically proven components of trust and apply them to your relationship with yourself AND to your current partnership(s). Use this essential material to bolster self-trust and your trustworthiness in relationships.
Heal Your Fidelity Stories & Managing Emotional Reactivity - Many of us carry wounds from past relationship trauma and most of us experience some intense reactivity when opening a relationship for the first time. We'll cover strategies to heal those old wounds to help you move forward grounded in integrity with less reactivity.
Identifying Unmet Needs - One of the critical skills in consensual non-monogamy is clearly identifying and articulating unmet needs with requests to a partner. On the flip side, it is just as important that we are open to receiving and responding to requests from partners. Use the workshop tools overnight to begin shaping a vision for consensual non-monogamy or intentional monogamy moving forward.
DAY 2: MEANINGFULLY CONNECTED PARTNERSHIPS
Drawing from your personal and shared core values we'll use day 2 to cultivate a shared vision for your future. We'll rely on your strengths and gifts and find ways to overcome the most common challenges in consensual non-monogamy.
Expanding A Practice of Monogamy - We'll discuss a model for intentional connected expansive monogamy and cover the most common pitfalls in non-monogamy to help you prepare for possible challenges.
Creating a Shared Vision- It can be really difficult to imagine a polyamorous lifestyle and yet the clearer our vision becomes the more likely you'll attain it. Let's work together to clarify your goals and discern how, when, and if consensual non-monogamy could work for you and how you'll know if things get out of balance (before they reach a breaking point).
Boundaries, Invitations, and Discernment - Boundaries are the foundation of trust in any relationship. They give us clarity about what to expect, and how to communicate and adapt in an open relationship. We'll break down different kinds of boundaries (concerns, agreements, invitations, filters, and hard limits) so you can better harness their power with compassion at home.
Creating Communication Process Agreements - It's really easy to fall into unhealthy communication patters around non-monogamy because it can be so triggering for so many people. Most couples become fatally communication avoidant or over-communicate and process to complete exhaustion (which is also a total desire-killer). Learn to create the right balance for you.
Asking for What I Want - Relationships are all about partnering for meaningful support, sharing resources, and bringing joy. None of that is possible without taking the risk to ask for what you want and need. But for most of us, asking directly for what we need or want is terrifying.
Taking Action to Cultivate More Love - We end day two sharing information and resources to continue connecting with community. Learn the action steps you might take to find another partner, create healthy boundaries with them, deepen intimacy, and find private spaces to share with them.
During our final day together, WE'll integrate everything that unfolded in our workshop.
- What does this mean for your relationship moving forward?
- What agreements, considerations, needs, and requests need to be communicated?
- How will you shape further conversations about consensual non-monogamy between you?
- What questions still linger?
In addition, we'll have multiple breakout sessions, small group work, and more. We spend the final day focused on the two of you together and what you need most.
THOUGHTS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS
"I have nothing but great things to say about this experience. We met great friends I think we'll stay in touch with. I really didn't anticipate I'd be saying this, but I felt really comfortable the whole time.
Gina made it so easy to talk about really hard stuff with strangers and now we're not strangers at all...
... It's really good to know we're not the only ones facing this."
-Thomas, Forest Grove, Oregon
"I cannot believe I never thought about intimacy this way. Gina's model is truly groundbreaking. I can't wait to share it with my roommates."
- Dave, Bend, Oregon
"I only wish we'd signed up sooner. This information would have really changed the last six months for us."
- Renee, Tacoma, Washington
FAQS ON THE OPEN HEARTS OPEN MINDS RETREAT
When is it?
JANUARY 12 & 13, 2019, 12:00-5:00 PM
Where do I register?
There are two steps to registration. If you are interested, do not delay registration (last year's retreats filled in under a week).
1) Submit your retreat application here.
2) You'll receive an email invitation for registration or asking for more information within two business days. We hope to have you join us this year!
3) Have a blast at the retreat!
How much does it cost?
Participation, materials, delicious details, facilitation, and a beautiful space for two days is $250/person.
If you'd like to be considered for a reduced rate space please apply here.
Where is it? How do I get there?
The retreat is in a gorgeous home in St Johns neighborhood, North Portland, OR. It's accessible by bus or car.
Once registered, you'll receive an email with all the specifics.
Where do we stay?
You're going to book your own lodging where you'll feel most comfortable.
What should I pack?
Weather in Oregon is always a little wild. It is likely to be sunny but plan for rain and wear layers for your comfort.
Our retreat is all indoors so we'll be warm and cozy. Wear something comfortable for your body.
What if I want a refund?
All transactions sold for services are non-refundable, please make sure you are 100% sure you want to attend before purchasing.
Are meals included?
Beverages and ample snacks will be provided (options inclusive of gluten free, vegan, and sugar-free diets) to keep you comfy during the day.
What if I need space? I'm an introvert- will there be any alone time?
Weekends are my only chance to regroup. Will there be space to rest?
We build in lots of breaks so you can reflect, renew, and enjoy snacks and new friends.
If you need more time let us know- we can work with you.
Is this retreat for couples only?
Can I come without a partner?
Will there be single people there?
Yes there will be single people there. Typically the retreat is about half couples and half individuals.
If you come with a friend, date, or partner, please note the workshops are designed to interact with lots of folks (not just the one you came with) and we emphasize inclusion and non-judgment.
Please be aware of your actions in the group to help support those outside your group/pair to feel welcome.
Is this for straight people?
Will there be other queers at the retreat?
This retreat is open to all sexualities, gender identities, and gender expressions. Straight people who can embrace other sexualities as equal to their own are welcome. Queers who can compassionately interact with straight folks are always welcome.
For what it's worth, typically the retreats are attended by about 50% straight-ish folks and 50% LGBTQ-ish folks.
Can my kids come?
Will there be childcare?
The retreat workshops are kid-free so you (and other participants) can be free from distraction. Sorry, childcare is not provided.
Is everyone there polyamorous?
Is this just a retreat for open relationships?
What if we're monogamous?
We welcome participants from all kinds of relationships and we do not judge either monogamy or non-monogamy as inherently better than the other. The focus of our conversation will be largely exploring models and boundaries to consider with open minds and hearts.
If we're all connected to our core values and intentions, no two relationship structures will look exactly alike- and we celebrate that.
Some participants are in open relationships or open marriages. They often are seeking a space where they can talk with others in relationships like their own about their unique relationship needs without shame or judgment.
Most participants have practiced monogamy but aren't sure if that's what they want to practice forever. They come to explore possibilities and reflect on what they need (individually and/or together) moving forward. Many leave clearer they want to continue monogamy, others choose to build open relationships.
This retreat is not about one form of relationship being better than another- instead it's about helping you tailor your relationships to your needs with intention and integrity moving forward.
What if I meet someone I'm interested in at the retreat?
Lots of people meet others they're interested in at these retreats which is wonderful. But our primary focus isn't to be a dating or swinging event. This serves three important functions:
We want the group to feel as inclusive as possible. Often crushes in community leave others feeling excluded and/or unsafe. Please respect this fine balance if you do feel pulled to another participant.
Sometimes the thrill and/or heartbreak of new crushes can bring drama to a group. We're here to focus on rethinking relationships in strategic and sustainable ways for all of us. Please respect the calm this group is seeking even if you feel the rush of new love surfacing.
Not everyone comes to these retreats looking for love. Please respect the boundaries of your fellow participants so they can do the work they came for.
Will there be hook up opportunities?
Will there be a play party?
Lots of people meet others they're interested in at these retreats which is wonderful. But we try to keep the group spaces inclusive as possible (so no one feels like an outsider) and drama-free (so folks can move through the material without distraction).
Please respect this fine balance if you do feel pulled to connect with another participant.
There will not be play space or nudity at the event, though many participants choose to attend events together after we close at the end of each day.
We'll discuss local events and how to connect with community as we draw to a close Saturday.
THOUGHTS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS
I am so grateful for the experience of participating in this retreat with Gina as our facilitator and guide. That weekend of exploration led me to a growth-spurt in my relationships and career, as well as the realization that I had held myself back for a long time in these areas.
Through Gina’s skilled facilitation, I felt invited to push my edges and step into the (sometimes) uncomfortable and unknown. She has so many fun and helpful activities woven into the process that you might not even notice yourself saying and doing incredibly brave things until you look back on the experience.
In this workshop, I felt safe, cared-for, and lovingly challenged to step into a more vulnerable and real version of myself. I can’t recommend this experience enough!
- Sadie Pile, Seattle WA
Vulnerability is SCARY. And going away for a weekend with mostly strangers to open up sounded like the worst idea I'd had in a long time. Gina was immediately welcoming and kind, bringing our group into the space graciously and warmly.
Through her smooth, honest, and creative facilitation, Gina created a magical weekend, inviting me to be my best, most authentic self. Was it easy and joyful? Not entirely, but there was lots of laughter and growth and even transformation.
A weekend facilitated by Gina gave me access to open up and connect in ways that hadn't been available before. I keep learning from Gina's teachings that weekend, even now, almost a year later. I'm filled with gratitude for what I got while retreating with her.
- Nuria Gomez, Portland, OR
ABOUT YOUR FACILITATOR
I GET IT.
It's really hard to find support that's both knowledgable and judgment-free when considering an open relationship.
I've trained as both a sex educator (with lived experience in consensual non-monogamy and monogamy) and as a couples counselor and marriage therapist. When I was in graduate school there was even less research and information on serving polyamorous relationships.
I couldn't find support for my own questioning in my marriage therapy graduate program.
I centered my studies on applying communication skills and couples counseling theory in consensually non-monogamous relationships. I've since spent ten years and nearly 10,000 session hours working primarily with polyamorous and open marriages and couples discerning if, when, and how non-monogamy might work for them.
I love supporting clients in session to communicate effectively, set clear compassionate boundaries, manage reactive emotions, and cultivate deeply connected partnerships.
Unfortunately I can't see every couple considering opening their relationship in coaching sessions, so I created this program for two key reasons:
- I wanted to share the knowledge I've gained with more people. Even if you can't see me in Portland, or online coaching isn't the right fit right now, I've got a LOT of good stuff to share to help you sort out what's right for you and how to act on it.
- Most of the clients I support feel really isolated when considering opening their relationship. They typically know very few others who are out about their open relationships (though, trust me, they are all around you) and have lots of friends and family who might judge or shame them for opening up.
YOU DON'T HAVE TO GO IT ALONE.
I created these communities to help connect folks having intentional conversations about opening up- without judgment, shame, or blame. I wanted a space to learn from the experiences of others, share stories, and make friends with other couples who want to love more.
The core of this program is about connecting with yourself, clarifying your values and vision, understanding what's really meaningful to you in partnership so you can better connect with your partner(s). No matter what others in the groups choose, we're here to help you feel clear and strong individually.
Join us! I'd love to have you!
THOUGHTS FROM PAST PARTICIPANTS
I’m truly am grateful I came out in the blizzard this morning... did I ever need Gina and her forum!!! I didn't even know how much I needed to address the issues.
My sharing about needing more connection was totally spontaneous... I didn't even know how much I needed to address the issue until I verbalized it and the tears started to flow!!!
- Nancy Feld, Sturgeon Bay, WI
"Listening to Gina's talk tonight rocked me to my core.
I've known I was ready to transform my life and felt stagnant in my relationships but now I'm ready and prepared to do something about it."
- Jocelynn Jones, Portland, OR