2019 Couples Retreat, Hepburn Springs
31 May -2 June 2019

With Maggie O'Shea


This 3-day residential workshop and retreat for Couples is hosted at the lovingly restored 1920s Continental Guesthouse in the beautiful bush setting of Hepburn Springs. As well as the workshop sessions, there will be Happy Hour, bush-walks, short guided meditations and relaxation, log fires, date-night, delicious meals, good coffee, jam & cream scones, and the option of a massage or session in the steam room, ensuring that the retreat is not just informative or transformative, but also fun, pampering, restful and romantic.

You will learn about the latest relationship ideas and theory, brought to life with relevant short and accessible mindfulness and compassion practices and other paired exercises. All sharing about your relationship will be just with your own partner (NOT to the larger group – everyone’s worst fear!), and there will be time to relax, walk or have a dinner date just with the two of you.

The new neuroscience suggests that sustaining a long-term intimate relationship is one of the most rewarding but challenging of human endeavours. Even though we are wired for love and belonging, our tricky negatively-biased brains easily seduce us into unhelpful stories and unhelpful patterns of interaction. Honouring the universality of this challenge, this retreat will be reassuring, informative, helpful and inspiring for any or all same- or opposite-sex couples, including those who feel their relationship is humming along wonderfully well and just seeking a tune-up or a long weekend away with a difference! There will be a maximum of 8 couples.

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  • 2 nights/3 days accommodation in cosy Guesthouse with own ensuite

  • All delicious meals, including breakfasts, lunches, morning & afternoon teas, and Friday night dinner (excluding Saturday “date night” where you and your partner will take each other out to nearby Hepburn or Daylesford)

  • 3 days Workshop sessions

  • Workshop materials including textbook, notes, guided practices and references and suggestions for following up.

  • Celebration cocktail or glass of local bubbly or wine on Friday and Saturday nights

Not included in Fee:

  • There is the option of Massage or Turkish Steam Room sessions on site at the Continental, or down the road at the Hepburn Bathhouse. These will incur an additional expense.

  • Saturday “date night” dinner out with your partner in Hepburn Springs or Daylesford


Earlybird (paid in full by 1st April): $949 per person ($1,898 per couple).  After 1st April: $999 per person ($1,998 per couple). It is also possible to pay by 3 X instalments of $666, with first payment due on registering as deposit, and last payment due 7 days before retreat.

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More about this program:

All Couples need a MAP!  Neuroscience shows us that the negatively-biased brain can make sustaining a long-term relationship a challenge for all of us, even if we begin by being madly in love. In Couple MAPS, the M is for Mindfulness; A for Attachment; P for Practice; and S to be revealed!

Couple MAPS is a new program developed by Maggie and combining mindfulness and compassion practices with evidence-based theory from several leading relationship models, particularly: Sue Johnson’s Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) and Stan Tatkin’s Psycho-biological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). It also includes material from the research and programs of grounded theorist and famous TED talker Brene Brown, and researchers and clinicians, John & Julie Gottman.

This program is designed for Couples to be able to take on board the key principles and practices and, if wanted, continue to practice at home. It is not Therapy and, unlike the EFT weekends that Maggie has previously co-facilitated, there will not be additional couple therapists available for coaching & support, although this may be an option for couples wishing to take that up privately after the retreat. If your relationship is currently in very high distress, please indicate this on your registration form & discuss with Maggie before paying to see whether this retreat will be suitable for you.


OUTLINE (please note, this may change).

Day 1: Friday 31st May
10-10:45am: Arrive to the aroma of good coffee and homemade scones.
11am-1pm: Workshop
1- 2:30pm: Lunch & Room Check-In
2:30 - 5pm – Workshop 
5 – 6:30pm: Free Time for relaxing, bush-walking, massage, a trip to the nearby Bathhouse etc.
6:30 – 8pm: Celebratory cocktail or glass of local bubbly or wine, followed by dinner
8 – 9pm: Workshop

Day 2: Saturday 1st June
8 – 9am: Breakfast
9 – 11am: Workshop
11 – 11:30am: Morning Tea
11:30 – 1pm: Workshop
1 – 4pm: Lunch, followed by Free Time for relaxing, bush-walking, massages etc.
4 – 6pm: Guided Relaxation, followed by optional Hammam session with partner
6 – 6:30pm: Happy Hour – a glass of your choice of a local bubbly or wine.
6:30 onward – “Date night” with your partner in nearby Hepburn Springs or Daylesford.

Day 3: Sunday 2nd June
8 – 9am: Breakfast
9 – 11am: Workshop
11 – 11:30am: Morning Tea
11:30-1pm: Closing Session
1-3pm: Lunch & finish.