The French Retreat

Making relationships work: 2-day retreat for couples

A two-day residential couples workshop in France that will enhance your current relationship, using Hoffman tools and more. This retreat is presented by Hoffman UK and hosted by Matthew and Emma Pruen at The French Retreat, near Bordeaux.

Dates: Friday 30 August – Sunday 1 September 2019
Price: £1,000 per couple (£500 per person)
Price includes two days of tuition in a stunning retreat venue with swimming pool, all meals, refreshments, accommodation and airport transfers from Bordeaux.

You do not have to have done the Hoffman Process to attend this retreat.

About the course

For most people, the primary template for our intimate relationships is the example provided by our parents. While this template remains unchallenged, what we witnessed them do (or not do) in their own relationship and the ways they related to others will influence our own relationship choices. So when we face relationship struggles in our own lives, we can often get a sense of ‘Groundhog Day’ and feel ill-equipped to deal with them…

Emma and Mathew PruenMatthew Pruen has built on a decade of working with couples in one-to-one and group settings. He’s also worked as a Hoffman facilitator since 2008. Emma Pruen is a self-esteem mentor and shamanic practitioner, who did the Hoffman Process in 2001. Together, they host year-round personal growth and creative workshops at the French Retreat, their beautiful home and retreat venue in Bordeaux.

For this specially-developed Hoffman relationship workshop in London, Matthew and Emma will draw on their vast Hoffman experience, as well as a wider range of wisdom traditions, including the teachings of psychotherapist David Richo and Harville Hendrix’s Imago Relationship Therapy.

Who is the retreat for?

The two-day workshop is designed for anyone wanting to develop their ability to enjoy life in their current intimate relationship. You do not have to have done the Hoffman Process to attend this workshop. It aims to support attendees in achieving real breakthrough. The intention of the course is to get couples connected again – through clear communication, witnessing each other and rebuilding respect, trust and intimacy.

Couples seeking to part well will also gain from the experience. After all, the skills required to find respectful closure are the very same needed to create a healthy future together – communication, understanding and trust.

A large proportion of this workshop’s content is experiential (rather than theoretical). It provides a unique opportunity to learn and grow by experiencing tools and practices, and sharing in a group setting. It is only open to couples. Individuals not currently in a relationship are welcome to attend one of the alternative workshops or retreats listed here.

Matthew and Emma PruenWho is the retreat for?

The retreat is open to any open-hearted, curious people. It is not necessary to have completed the Hoffman Process. All we ask is that participants come in a spirit of willingness to be vulnerable and honest with themselves and others in a confidential setting.

What the retreat will offer:

The course will look at:

  • Healthy versus unhealthy relationships – recognising co-dependency and addiction and how to be an adult in relationships
  • Setting healthy boundaries in relationships
  • Communication skills – learning how to express your needs healthily, and how to really listen and be heard
  • Intimacy and commitment – fears we all share and how to overcome them
  • How the past is present in relationships – exploring the impact of our past and learning ways to do things differently
  • Healing our unmet needs from childhood – learning how to ‘self-parent’
  • The introvert/extrovert or ‘maximiser/minimiser’ dimensions of relating
  • From Transference to transformation – the role of Transference in relationships and how to work with it
  • Developing our spiritual resources to support and guide us

The venue:

The workshop is held in South West France at The French Retreat, near Bordeaux, from Friday 30th August – Sunday 1st September. You are welcome to arrive any time after lunch on Friday 30th for a 5pm start. We’ll finish after lunch on Sunday 1st, in time for you to catch flights departing from Bordeaux after 5pm.

This breathtaking location enables us to offer some exceptional experiences in nature. It provides a perfectly secluded retreat atmosphere to support participants in having the breakthroughs they are looking for. There will be an element of personal retreat time each day, where you can read by the pool, take a massage or walk in the French countryside.


  • The retreat includes airport transfers from Bordeaux plus all meals and refreshments.
  • The workshop content spans two days; there is not the option just to do one day on its own.
  • The cost for the workshop is £1,000 per couple (£500 per person).
  • Optional massage, holistic treatments, yoga, salt-water swimming pool, mountain bikes and walks in the French Countryside are available (some at an extra charge)
  • The fee for this workshop is non-transferable. Last-minute cancellations may be subject to an admin fee. Bookings cancelled within seven days of the start of the course will not be refunded

To benefit fully from your workshop or retreat, please do make sure that the course you are booking reflects your current circumstance. Details of other Hoffman relationship workshops and retreats in London and France can be found here.

Confidentiality notice: Please note that this event is held in conjunction with Matthew and Emma Pruen of the French Retreat. Any information you provide relating to the event, including pre-course work and post-retreat feedback, may be shared between the Hoffman UK office and French Retreat in order to facilitate your booking. If you have any concerns about this, please contact the Hoffman office on 01903 88 99 90 or email

‘A powerful week in France, a way to re-engage with the Hoffman philosophy and tools but in far more relaxed way than the Process…’

‘The setting is lovely and the hosting and facilitation was impressive and welcoming. Go for it!’

‘Truly magical! The location and food were out-of-this-world and the workshops extremely interesting and insightful. I’d go again in a heartbeat!’