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Safe Haven Relationship Center 

Our Intensive Story

Early in my career as a counselor, I, Dr Sharon May, saw couples in the traditional weekly format.  I quickly found that weekly sessions were slow going, often difficult to get and keep significant momentum.  So I extended the hourly sessions to a few hours, then a few days.  I found the extended time (3 days are optimal) allowed me to make much progress with significant and meaningful change. And the changes were deep and lasting. We began to offer the intensive model as an alternate to weekly counseling and the intensives quickly became popular. Individuals also asked for intensives to move through the growing process over a few days rather than many months.


Joined by Alan Hart, we have become known for our innovative and successful Safe Haven Intensive Model.  For couples, individuals and even families longing to heal and foster a Safe Haven relationship and live a good life. 

Safe Haven Model

The intensives and counseling are based upon the “Safe Haven Model”.  It is an integration of Emotionally Focused Therapy, faith, attachment theory, neurobiology of relationships as well as cutting-edge relationship and emotional intelligence research.  Dr Sharon May is the originator of the Safe Haven Model, refined and expanded with Alan Hart.


At the heart of the Safe Haven Model is Emotionally Focused Therapy.  EFT was originally co-conceptualized by Dr Susan Johnson and Les Greenberg and is the most well-researched and highly successful marital and individual therapy model of today. The model shows a 75% to 84% rate of change and 90% rate of significant change. That means, after going to counseling with an EFT therapist, 7 out of 10 couples make it and perceive their marriage to be a safe haven.  And research shows that even after 4 years, couples and individuals are still doing better than ever.    

The Safe Haven Model walks people through a meaningful, life impacting personal journey.  The process helps people understand the way they relate in life, identifying their hurts and stuck places. And provides a safe place for couples and individuals to process, grow and heal. This fosters inner character allowing for new, healthier ways of being in life and relationships. 

The Safe Haven Relationship Center

The Safe Haven Relationship Center was founded by Dr Sharon May and later joined by Alan Hart.  It is a unique Relationship Center comprised of well-trained therapists, associates and life coaches in Carlsbad, California.  Many of our clients come from all over the country to attend one of our highly successful marriage intensives, individual personal growth intensives, and training seminars.  Dr Sharon May, Alan Hart, Linda Stewart and the Safe Haven Team teach nation-wide, attracting people from all over to our office in Carlsbad to attend our Safe Haven Intensives for hope, healing and training. 


Our vision is to be a resource for you, your marriage and family through all the seasons of life.  We want to bring hope as well as provide practical ways to help you heal, grow and flourish so you can love well in your relationships and live a good, meaningful life.


At Safe Haven Relationship Center, we believe we are created to live and grow in relationship with others. We are designed to live a meaningful life while loving and being loved by others, working, exploring, creating and playing. We do our best in life when we are whole, balanced, well-rounded individuals with vision and purpose, in close connected relationships with those we love.  


The Safe Haven Intensive Journey helps you become aware of your vulnerabilities, hurts, stuck places and the unproductive ways you cope with your pain and struggles. The intensive experience helps you understand how your past, fears and dragons that have shaped who you are. Counseling and coaching also help you navigate through hardships and struggles so you can grow, mature and become all God has for you to be.  And since your ‘character’ is the summation of who you are, growing your ‘character’ allows you to live and love well.  The intensive journey and counseling experience is also a way for you to obtain support, wisdom and direction as you get through hurts, traumas, difficult transitions and tough situations.  


The support of your coach or counselor helps you find the courage to be the best version of yourself in all situations.  The process helps you not only get through, but become a better person, getting the most out of this precious life God has given us.  


What often scares us the most in our life, is not the painful situation we are facing, but rather facing it alone. We were created to grow in community, and we do our best when connected to meaningful community of caring people.  


Come grow with us.

    *Grow as a person, become the best version of ‘you’

    *Get through life’s difficult, traumatic and painful

      struggles the healthiest

    *Grieve, adjust and transition through life’s ever

       changing seasons

    *Discover a meaningful life vision and set goals

     *Grow your character and find the courage to

       overcome what keeps you stuck

    *Develop a balanced, character-centered, emotionally

       healthy way of life

    *Restore and enrich your marriage

    *Learn how to parent the best you can, strengthen and

       foster a safe haven family

    *Improve your personal and work relationships


If you are in a difficult season in your life or marriage, we would like to be there for you.


 Whether your marriage needs a tune-up or is filled with hurts or betrayals, we would like to help you heal and foster a ‘safe haven marriage.’

And if you are stuck and hurting in your life, the intensive experience allows you to get to the heart of your issues, make sense of and work them out over a few days.


We would like to offer you hope. 

The Safe Haven Intensive is very different to other kinds of therapy or intensives. That is because of the well known counseling model the intensive is based upon, the well-trained intensive leaders, and the incredible impact focusing for several days in a row has on your life and marriage.

Young Couple
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