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Ronnie Littlewood
Registered Social Worker, CEO
  • This is NOT a CUDDLY, SMOOSHY, GOOEY kind of retreat.
  • YOU WILL be getting to the heart of what you both do to cause hurt and harm in your relationship.
  • YOU WILL BE EXAMINING your dysfunctional traits.
  • YOU WILL be using RAW HONESTY, to learn how to give and receive complaints.
  • AND YOU WILL BE BREAKING OLD SHI**Y PATTERNS so that you bring life and love back to your relationship.

Do you have questions? 
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What is a couple specific intensive  RETREAT?


When the going gets tough, and people are hurt or angry and carry resentments about not being heard or understood, they often give up and then start down the road to Divorce.

It's hard, but your relationship can dramatically heal!!

A Couple Specific Intensive Retreat (CSIR) is a retreat where we can spend anywhere from 1 day to 3 days working specifically with a couple  around their relationship issues.  

This retreat built for two, is devoted to helping you recognize your communication patterns, breaking down the ones that are dysfunctional, and rebuilding the relationship.  Each retreat is designed to be specific to the issues and problems that the individual couple is struggling with whether it’s communication,  intimacy, family issues, or holding onto resentments.

This Retreat is all about the two of you.

Book A 30 Minute Free Consultation
Why choose an intensive over traditional therapy?

Intensives can be a good fit for couples who:

Have a specific issue that needs to be resolved (like struggling with infidelity, work/life balance, communication issues, or commitment struggles.)

✅ They do not have the time to devote to  working on their relationship for  only 1 hour at a time.  Traditional therapy  just doesn’t fit their schedule.


✅ They are busy professionals, and it is easier to take a larger chunk of time to devote  to their marriage/relationship.


✅ They focus better in an intensive setting where they can devote their time, energy ,and resources to the issues at hand.

✅ They prefer to have the option of having their retreat in the privacy of their home or at the The Couples Clinic.

book a 30 Minute free consultation
How does a couple SPecific Intensive work?


The goal of the Couple Specific Intensive is to allocate a chunk of time to really brainstorming, educating, and healing your relationship.  By focusing, strategizing, and digging deep, the hope is to unveil the resentments, recognize the dysfunctional patterns and re-align the relationship so it can continue to grow.

Ronnie meets with only one couple at a time, so they get her complete attention. Opportunities are given to meet individually so that each individual has the space to discuss what is causing them the most stress and pain in this relationship.  Then we come together for learning and practice opportunities so that we can begin to repair the relationship.

There are many breakaway sessions where you are going to practice the new skills learned while trying to work through some of the pain, hurt and unresolved grief you may have from this relationship.

We will use deep discussion, videos, exercises, and handouts to support your learning and skill set building.

Typically, we will engage in 6 hours of therapy with a lunch break in between, and we can negotiate so it  best accommodates your schedule.

After you’re intensive, we can either continue to do check-ins or I can refer you to a qualified therapist who can continue to support your growth.

Remember in relationships and in marriage we either grow together, or we grow apart. But growth always requires some growing pains and change.


how do we change when we have been stuck for so long?


After working with thousands of couples, I have discovered very clear patterns that happen that cause dysfunction in most relationships.  It often centers around how we deal with emotional pain and complaints. We FIGHT them, or we FLIGHT from them, but we struggle with FACING them.

I teach couples the skill set of how to face pain. I teach couples how to hear and respond to complaints.  I teach couples how to recognize what unresolved grief and pain they are holding onto as resentment. I teach couples how to move into forgiveness.

My end goal is to build a framework and help couples acquire a set of communication tools that will help them have regular uncomfortable conversations going forward. That helps them move into compromise and build a “Team Us” mentality.

We do this by learning about what our attachment style is, what our conflict pattern is, and ultimately learning how to have empathy for how our partner has pain and learning how to respond to it.

Thousands of couples have learned these tools and skills. Let’s face it, the vast majority of us come into romantic relationships clueless about conflict. If we didn’t have a great model of a healthy relationship demonstrated to us by our parents, then we come into our relationship with only the tools that we had.

I am here to tell you…there are better tools.

You can learn them.

And I will happily teach them to you.

You can do this. Look at what you have built already!  You can absolutely build a better relationship.



These can include:

  • Intimacy and Sex Issues- how often we have it, what our love language is, understanding each others wants, needs and desires.
  • Issues around Money- how we spend it, how we earn it, how we save it.
  • Struggles around Control and Power- How we make decisions (big and little) and how much either of us feel like we have a voice in making decisions.
  • Issues around parenting- Are we aligned as parents? Do we have each other’s back around disciplining, raising and having relationships with our children (or our adult children's partners.)
  • Roles and Responsibilities- In other words who does what in the house and what gets done. And who is responsible for what gets done
  • Issues around In-laws or ex’s- Are we struggling with how we are treated by our partners family or ex?  Do we have a voice?  Are there boundaries that need to be in place?
  • Mental health Issues-  Does one us struggle with anger, or anxiety or depression? How is it impacting the relationship? What do we need to do about it to heal us?
  • Issues around Addictions- Has there been substance abuse problems that has hurt this relationship?
  • Trust issues- Whether this has been a betrayal of infidelity, or a breaking of one’s word.  Do we need to learn how to rebuild trust and how do we ensure it doesn’t get broken again.

Each couple is unique and comes with their own issues and own unresolved pain.  The reality is that each person’s pain is their pain. And pain is to be respected.  
So, it helps to understand what your individual pain is (meaning what issues are causing you conflict) and then helping the two of you build empathy, forgiveness, and compromise around these issues.


  • What makes and breaks attachment
  • How to recognize 3 alarm bells behaviors that will signal your need to attend to your partner.
  • How to attend to your partner when they are struggling.
  • Understand how your past attachments in childhood may impact your present-day attachment.
  • Exercises for you each to learn how to start communicating complaints.
  • How to recognize your conflict style.
  • How to get out of fight or flight when you are in conflict.
  • Understand how to help your partner from withdrawing during conflict.
  • Gain skills to stop feeling “nagged” or “pursued” by your partner.
  • Exercises that will help you practice learning to stay calm during an argument- and the best way to stop an argument from escalating into an explosion.
  • How to recognize and combat dysfunctional behaviours.
  • Gain insight to the 4 communication behaviours that end relationships.
  • Identify trigger words and learn positive communication techniques.
  • Opportunities to practice making complaints, hearing them, and responding to them.
  • Learn how to create compromise through 4 easy steps.
  • Practice negotiating your first compromise.
  • Explore how to listen, validate and trust one another.
  • Recognize each other’s love language, and how each person best gives and receives love.
  • Understand what creates resentment.
  • Learn how to release resentment to move towards unconditional love and forgiveness.
  • Learn how to break negative mental health patterns that destroy our relationships
  • Will include breakaway sessions where you and partner can practice what you are learning.
Did you know? You can use your health benefits from work to pay for it!
Call us at 519-541-9173 and we can assist you with this.


  • Take home toolkit booklet with exercises that you and your partner will complete together.
  • 4 ready made dates for you to continue your growth after the retreat.
  • A list of 12 dates that you complete together that focuses on both fun, and function so that you have a pre planned date every month for a year.
  • A completed list of individual and TEAM US goals to promote growth over the next 2 years.
  • A Scorching Hot Monogamy Exercise to learn your wants and needs in the bedroom, plus a specific tailor made Bedroom Menu that you both craft together.
  • Take home assignments so that you can continue the journey.


  • We can utilize The Couples Clinic in downtown Sarnia, Ontario. This is a confidential safe space where no other couples are resent.
  • Depending on your location, we can have the retreat in the privacy of your own home (travel expenses are extra.)
  • Willing to travel to a destination to complete retreat. (Please inquire directly for more information.)

*Dinner and accommodations is on your own and we encourage you take advantage of one of Sarnia's many restaurants and hotels- we will provide a list!*

* We welcome all forms of couples- married, separated, divorced, dating, same sex, and blended family *


Couples Intensive’s work best when each person:

  • Are willing to do some personal work.
  • Feel motivated to understand what they do under stress that isn’t effective.
  • Are ready to explore the kind of relationship that they desire to be in, and willing to make small changes to create it.
  • Have an open mind in learning new concepts and ideas.
  • Are interested in learning exactly what they can do to help their partner feel the loved, valued and appreciated.
  • Have a willingness to adjust how they experience emotional pain.
  • Have a willingness to recognize what their resentments are and learn how to move into forgiveness.
  • And are willing to create a new framework for their relationship so that they can build a better foundation.



During this 30 minute complimentary and confidential online consultation, we will meet to discuss your relationship, and how a CSIR (couple specific intensive retreat) can benefit you both.

We will go over what the present issues are, what your individual goals are and mutual goals for the retreat.

We will also go over what we cover in the intensive and what is the best time period (1 day, 2 day or 3 day) given our learning goals.

I also want you get a feel for me, and determine if it feels like a good fit and answer any questions you may have about the process or content of the retreat.



Ronnie is available for the weekend to best meet your needs and so that you are not interrupting your work schedule.

Depending on your needs, we can complete the retreat at the Clinic, or in the comfort of your own home, or a mutually agreed upon location.


  • 1-DAY retreat $1700 (Sa 6 hours)
  • 2-DAY retreat $3,200 (Sa-Su. 12 hours)
  • 3-DAY retreat $4700 (Fr.-Su. 18 hours)
  • At the time of booking a 25% deposit is required to reserve your space, with the remaining balance due 1 week before our appointment.
  •  Cancellations are 100% refunded less a 100 dollar Administrative Fee. Cancellations are required 72 hours before the event.
  • *If Ronnie is travelling outside of Lambton County, accommodations and travel expenses may be additional.*


Do you have coverage for counselling through your work? We can provide you with insurance receipts to cover the cost of your retreat. As this is psychotherapeutic retreat, it may be covered through your insurance. For more information, please call our office at 519-541-9173 as each insurance provider is different, and we will be happy to answer your questions and walk you through how to get the most out of your work benefits!!

Continental breakfast each day for both of you. Chef Vanessa from @callthechef will be teaching us and getting us to make a gourmet lunch together!

Mid-afternoon snacks. Surprise treats!*Dinner and accommodations is on your own and we encourage you take advantage of one of Sarnia's many restaurants and hotels- we will provide a list!*
what is included? 
  • Take home toolkit booklet with exercises that you and your partner will complete together.
  • 4 readymade dates for you to continue your growth after the retreat.
  • A list of 12 dates that you complete together that focuses on both fun, and function.
  • A completed list of individual and TEAM US goals to promote growth over the next 2 years.
  • A Scorching Hot Monogamy Exercise to learn your wants and needs in the bedroom.
  • Take home assignments so that you can continue the journey.

Couples Counselling Logo

Ronnie has been working in the helping field for the last twenty-three years and has worked with thousands of couples. She has extensive experience with issues such as infertility, infidelity, addictions, and mental health struggles.

 Growing up, Ronnie had a different start in life than most. She lived in multiple blended families, in multiple different provinces and attended over sixteen schools as a child. Because of this, she was always fascinated with love; what makes it and what breaks it.  

 As a result, Ronnie spent the vast majority of her career learning and trying to understand attachment and love. Whether her work was in the field of adoption, reunification, or helping couples and families recover from the trauma of abuse, mental health, or addictions, Ronnie has always known her calling in life was to help others learn how to love one another, and most important... love themselves.

She has been trained in the PREP Method(Prevention and Relationship Enhancement Program) and has completed graduate training in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy and Brief Solution Focused Therapy. She also has completed Level's 1 and 2 of The Gottman Method (Dr. Gottman is the world's leading researcher in marriage therapy.)  She has received also received training through the Approved Clinical Supervisor through ACT (Advanced Counselor Training).  

 Ronnie brings a refreshing, straightforward and sensitive approach to working with couples. She is known for her humor, her ability to work with intuitive energy, and occasionally (tee hee) her salty language.

 Her life's goal and dream are to help #1millionmarriages 💕.

Ronnie Littlewood, M.S.W., R.S.W.
Registered Social Worker, CEO
Sarnia Area Hotels and Attractions
Sarnia is located on beautiful Lake Huron, with clean beaches, casino, racetrack, and gorgeous parks.
Below is a list of all our wonderful attractions as well as hotels where you can book your stay.

Sarnia Hotels

Quality Inn

The Insignia by Marriot

Bestwestern Plus

Hampton Inn

Local Attractions

Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery

Stones N Bones

Wawanosh Wetlands

Canatara Beach and Park

Germain Park

The Lawrence House Centre for the Arts

Seaway Kiwanis Children’s Animal Farm

Starlight Casino

Hiawatha Horse Park and Driving Range

Live Music


Refined Fool Brewing Company - Little Fool

Refined Fool Brewing Company - Big Fool

Two Amigos

Twisted Arm

Paddy Flaherty’s