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About "Getting to the heart of the matter" retreat.

Getting to the heart of the Matter is a relationship retreat open to ANY couple.

Whether in an intimate relationship or not, we have all been hurt in connection with others and we all have healing to do. The more we protect ourselves from further hurt, the less we can receive the love that is available. 

In a safe and relaxed environment, this retreat will offer time and space to explore the U-turn question "who am I in relationship?"

There will be presentations, group experiential exercises: done individually or with your partner, and group discussions. Facilitators are present but not intrusive. 

The retreat will offer opportunities to explore:

  • The energetic connection between your mind and heart.

  • Protective impulses that keep you from the connection you want.

  • Basic human needs for contact, love and safety.

  • Tools for regulating the body and mind.

  • How learning to change your conversations will change your relationships, inside and out.

Experiences include: 


- Meditation, 
- Movement
- Time in nature
- Self-reflection
- Journaling
- Sharing and experimenting with new behaviour
- Laughter and play


For more about Toni Herbine-Blank, check out her website at


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Retreat Leader
Toni Herbine-Blank

Toni Herbine-Blank MS RN is a senior trainer for The Centre for Self Leadership. Her expertise is in the use of IFS with couples and has developed trainings and retreats presenting these nationally and internationally. She is an experienced group leader with a reputation for being compassionate and empowering. 


Shelley Hartz

Shelley Hartz, RN, MSN, CS is a psychotherapist in private practice in Littleton, MA. Her practice of IFS over the past 15 years includes assisting with many IFS and IFIO trainings. She also co-facilitated the IFS Women's Retreats. Shelley's passion for healing and self-nourishment draw on the support of the natural world, music, play and the capacity of the human heart to love. 


Sarah Stewart

Sarah Stewart, PsD, has a unique interest in nature and the inter-connectedness of all sentient beings.Sarah has been involved with the evolution of IFIO since its inception in 2010. She has extensive experience working with internal relational dynamics in couples and larger groups. She is a nationally recognised expert in trauma and addiction for over 25 years. Sarah's clinical practice is in Watertown, MA.

Retreat Particulars

Please be advised that this is not a formal training about couples therapy and is not intended as a training on how to guide this work for other people. This is strictly a retreat for your personal growth and well-being.


The retreat will take place over 5 days starting on Sunday evening, April 7th, 2024 when we will meet to welcome everyone for Dinner at 6.30pm followed by an opening session from 7.30pm - 9pm.


We will meet on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10am to 1.30pm for a morning session and 4.30pm - 6.30pm for an afternoon session. Wednesday we will have a morning session from 9am - 1.30pm and you will have the afternoon free. We will conclude the retreat with an early breakfast followed by a morning session on Friday, April 12th from 8.30am - 10.30am after which people are free to check out at 11am and make their return journeys home. 

The retreat cost includes tuition, accommodation and 3 delicious meals a day Monday - Thursday. A 3-course evening meal is included on Sunday night, the first night of the retreat and a full breakfast is included on Friday morning, the last day of the retreat. The retreat cost assumes couples will be sharing the same room. If separate rooms are required, you will need to pay an additional charge for a separate room. Please advise on the registration form.

As mentioned, there is an afternoon off on Wednesday to allow participants to process, rest and relax with spa treatments or for those who seek a little bit of adventure, touring the most popular sightseeing venues in the area. Spa treatments and sightseeing tours are optional extras.

This retreat is limited to seventeen couples. Retreat Tuition cost plus an application form will be available to you once you register your interest. Your place on this retreat will only be secured once a €750 non-refundable deposit per couple is received. Please do not make any travel plans until your registration is formally accepted. 

Any travel costs to the retreat location in Killarney, Co. Kerry, Ireland is the sole responsibility of the participant.

Please note that this retreat is currently planned as an in-person program. Any changes due to COVID-19 restrictions will be posted here as soon as they become available and you will be notified by email for those registered. 

IMPORTANT: Please read our FAQS page on this website for further guidelines and information on Covid, the arrangements we have in place in the unlikely event the retreat is cancelled due to Covid or in the unlikely event the retreat leader is not in a position to attend. The FAQS page also provides further general information which you may find useful when planning your trip. If after reading the FAQS page you have any further information, please feel free to email us at

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